Top LPN Programs in Hawaii

Last Updated/Verified: September 15th, 2023

If you want to get started in the healthcare field but don’t want to spend many years and tons of money on school, you may want to consider becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN).

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The LPN path is a great choice if you want to jump-start your career in healthcare because, unlike other medical professions, it does not require extensive education or training. In fact, when you enroll in an LPN program, you can complete your education in about two years. LPN programs are centered on practical applications that you will use in the real world versus a ton of theoretical courses that are not essential for the job.

  • The average base salary for an LPN in Hawaii is $24.04 per hour.
  • On average, LPNs in Hawaii earn an additional $7,750 per year in overtime pay.
  • The annual median wage is $43,163 in Hawaii, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The average annual median wage is approximately $4,130 higher than the national average LPN salary of $48,820.
  • The national job outlook for LPNs is projected to grow 9% by 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Overview of LPN Schools in Hawaii

Most Hawaiian LPN programs are located in cities such as Hilo, Honolulu, and Kahului. LPN programs are commonly comprised of two semesters plus one summer session and an average of 40 credit hours. Most programs can be completed as quickly as two years for part-time students, and in as little as nine months to one year for full-time students.

LPN programs are typically fast-paced to cover many topics in a short amount of time. Programs vary from school to school. However, most Hawaiian LPN programs have courses covering the following subjects:

  • Patient care
  • Personal Vocational Relations
  • Human Development
  • Maternity Nursing
  • Nursing Ethics
  • Infection Control
  • Therapeutic Nutrition
  • Intravenous Therapy
  • Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Pediatric, Geriatric, and/or Maternal Nursing

LPN Accreditation

It is essential to choose an accredited LPN program in Hawaii. Nursing schools in the United States are evaluated by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) as well as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). These commissions determine whether the school is meeting state and national standards. For accredited LPN programs in Hawaii, the Hawaii Board of Nursing has additional information.

LPN Admissions Requirements

Specific requirements for LPN admissions will vary from school to school, which means it’s best to contact the individual schools you are interested in for additional information. To get an idea of common admissions requirements across Hawaiian LPN programs, most will require the following at minimum:

  • High school diploma, GED, or equivalent certificate.
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.
  • Proficient score on ATI TEAS exam.
  • Prerequisite courses completed with at least a C+ average.
  • Pass a drug test.
  • Pass a background check.

LPN Tuition & Costs

LPN tuition and costs can vary widely from institution to institution. Hawaiian nursing students will typically need to pay for tuition, cost-of-living expenses, and school supplies such as textbooks, laptops, and uniforms. To help with these expenses, some schools offer financial aid and grants.

LPN Licensing Requirements in Hawaii

To obtain an LPN license in Hawaii, a student is required to complete LPN coursework through a state-approved program. Once these requirements have been met, the candidate must submit an application to the state along with a $40 application fee. An official transcript must also be sent directly to the state from the nursing school with an official letter to certify the student’s completion of the program. The applicant is then required to take and pass the NCLEX-PN exam. LPN licenses in Hawaii expire on June 30 every other year (odd-numbered years only).

Checklist to become a Hawaii LPN:

  1. Complete all required coursework through a state-approved LPN course.
  2. Send your application to the Hawaii Board of Nursing.
  3. Have the nursing school you attended send your official transcript to the Hawaii Board of Nursing.
  4. Take and pass the NCLEX-PN exam.
  5. Obtain a CPR card if you do not already have one.


To obtain an LPN license in Hawaii, a student is required to complete LPN coursework and take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN) exam. This exam tests candidates on a range of nursing topics such as medical procedures and patient care. Once you have completed your coursework and submitted your application for licensure with the Hawaii Nursing Board, the Board will verify your eligibility. Once this is complete, you will receive instructions on how to register for the NCLEX-PN exam. The exam costs $200. If you fail the exam, you can retake it after a specified amount of time.

LPN Reciprocity

LPN candidates who graduate from a nursing school and pass the NCLEX exam in another state must complete the licensure process requirements of that other state in order to be licensed in Hawaii by endorsement. Once requirements have been met, the candidate may submit an endorsement application along with the following to be approved in Hawaii:

  • Official transcript from a state-approved nursing program.
  • Proof of passing the NCLEX.
  • Social Security number verification.
  • Verification of licensure in another state.
  • Candidates from outside the U.S. must complete the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) evaluation prior to taking the NCLEX exam.

LPN Salaries in Hawaii

In Hawaii, LPNs earn an average of $24.04 per hour and an additional $7,750 per year in overtime pay to create an average salary of $50,930 annually. This is roughly $3,880 more per year than the national average annual LPN salary of $48,820.

The following lists the average LPN salaries (annual mean wage) in Hawaii’s top metropolitan areas:

  • Hawaii-Kauai nonmetropolitan area ($56,100 per year)
  • Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina ($51,340)
  • Urban Honolulu ($54,250)


LPN salaries vary by location as well as the specific type of work the position entails. For instance, in-demand jobs such as those in geriatric care or the surgery field often boast higher salary opportunities than family physician offices. Additionally, nurses with the flexibility to work night and weekend shifts have the opportunity to earn higher wages than those who can only work weekday shifts.

Job Outlook for LPNs in Hawaii

The national employment rate for LPNs is forecasted to increase 9% by 2029, which is a much faster growth rate than the average for all occupations according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Hawaii’s demand for LPNs is outpacing supply as older generation LPNs are retiring. The race to get new entrants trained, licensed, and into open positions is in full swing. Healthcare employers are encouraged to offer incentives including education benefits and flexible schedules to lure and retain top LPNs.

The aging baby boomer population is one of the largest drivers for this growth in demand for healthcare services over the next several years. Additionally, chronic conditions have become more common in the last few years. This, combined with the shift to many procedures being done outside of hospitals that once could only be done in hospitals, creates more demand for outpatient services, such as those LPNs may perform.

Overall, the outlook for the nursing industry for upcoming LPNs is promising. There are more open positions than there are candidates to fill them, meaning the job market will not be swamped with competition.

Top LPN Schools in Hawaii

University of Hawaii at Manoa
2500 Campus Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

The oldest and largest University of Hawaii school is the Manoa campus in Honolulu. The University of Hawaii at Manoa keeps class sizes low with only about 20 students per class. Nursing student candidates have the opportunity for direct entry into the program as soon as they graduate from high school.

Kapiolani Community College
4303 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

Kapiolani Community College is very similar to Hawaii Community College in its nursing program offerings. This school does not have a traditional 4-year program but does provide the 2-year ASN program that allows for students who complete the program to take the NCLEX-PN. Historically, Kapiolani Community College students have excelled in the NCLEX-PN.

University of Hawaii Kauai Community College
3-1901 Kaumuali’i Highway
Lihue, Hawaii 96766

The University of Hawaii Kauai Community College offers a 2-year ASN program with the ability for graduates to take the NCLEX, similar to other community colleges in Hawaii. This school serves as Kauai’s premier community college and is a great choice for residents of Kauai.

University of Hawaii Maui College 
310 W. Ka’ahumanu Avenue
Kahului, Hawaii 96732-1617

The University of Hawaii Maui College is the prime school for Maui residents. This college does not offer a 4-year BSN program. However, students have the opportunity to complete the 2-year program and transfer from there to the University of Hawaii Manoa’s BSN program if they so choose. This school adds value with its small class sizes and beautiful campus.

University of Hawaii Hilo
200 W. Kāwili Street
Hilo, HI 96720-4091

The University of Hawaii Hilo was originally part of the University of Hawaii Manoa, but it split off in 1970 and over time has become one of the best schools in the state. Most of the University of Hawaii Hilo students are in the undergraduate program.

Hawaii Community College
1175 Manono Street
Hilo, HI 96720-5096

Hawaii Community College is a good choice for Pacific Islander students who are not residents of Hawaii because it offers a discounted tuition rate that is not much higher than the in-state tuition price. This school does not provide a traditional 4-year nursing program, but it does offer a 2-year ASN program, which provides students with the option to take the NCLEX-PN.

Hawaii Pacific University
1 Aloha Tower Drive
Honolulu, HI 96813

Hawaii Pacific University has two campus locations. The primary location is in Honolulu, while the secondary campus is located in Hawaii-Loa. Hawaii Pacific University is unique in being a private school that has no religious affiliation.

Chaminade University of Honolulu
3140 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

Chaminade University is Hawaii’s only Catholic college, but you do not need to be Catholic to get a good nursing education from this school. More than 20 different religions are represented throughout the campus. Nursing graduates have historically excelled in the NCLEX-PN. This school also provides excellent financial aid opportunities.

University of Phoenix Hawaii
745 Fort Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

The University of Phoenix is most prominently known as a premier online school; however, the university has physical campus locations around the country. The location in Kapolei on Oahu provides online classes with a college campus environment.

University of Hawaii – Windward Community College
45-720 Kea‘ahala Road
Kāne‘ohe HI 96744

Windward Community College offers a program to become a Certified Nurses Aide (CNA). This community college provides a unique approach combining traditional native Hawaiian healing techniques with Western healthcare training and education. This school offers a nursing pathway to become an LPN, RN, and BAS in Hawaiian and Indigenous Health and Healing.

Additional Resources

The following resources provide additional helpful information on how to become an LPN in Hawaii:

Hawaii Board of NursingThe Hawaii Board of Nursing is in the Professional and Vocational Licensing Division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. This organization oversees nurse licensing applications and provides information about nursing exams and the path to become an LPN in Hawaii.
King Kalakaua Building: 
335 Merchant St, Honolulu, HI 96813

Hawaii Nurses Association: The Hawaii Nurses Association is the state’s professional association for registered nurses.
3375 Koapaka Street, Suite B217
Honolulu, HI 96819

Hawaii Student Nurses Association: This is an affiliate of the National Student Nurses Association dedicated to both the personal and professional development of nursing students.
3140 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816