Steps to Becoming an APRN in Hawaii

hawaii nursing

Get your Graduate Degree in Hawaii
Earn your National Certification in Hawaii
Apply for APRN Recognition in Hawaii
Renewing Your APRN Recognition in Hawaii


The Hawaii Board of Nursing (808-586-2695 or recognizes qualified registered nurses as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).

Four categories of APRN are recognized in Hawaii:

  • Nurse practitioners
  • Certified nurse midwives
  • Clinical nurse specialists
  • Nurse anesthetists
Hawaii Job Statistics

  • 2011 base salary for NPs in HI: $97,567
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate in Hawaii: 82.58%
  • April 2012, Hawaii Board of Nursing adds prescription of controlled substances to APRN scope of practice
  • 2011 statute revised to allow APRNs in Hawaii to practice as primary care providers

You must hold an unencumbered Hawaii RN license prior to applying for APRN recognition.

With your active RN license, you may follow these steps to become a recognized APRN in Hawaii.


Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

*If you’re an RN interested in entering advanced practice and becoming a nurse practitioner, earning a Master of Science in Nursing is your best option.

The online Master of Science degree in Nursing through Georgetown University's School of Nursing & Health Studies allows you to tailor your education to one of four population specific roles: Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse-Midwifery/Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers currently licensed RNs an opportunity to earn their MSN through one of two online degree options:

Aspiring FNPs can earn an MSN Online through Nursing@USC in as few as 21 months. The program prepares students to deliver primary care while improving the health and lives of individuals, families and communities. BSN required.

Capella University offers CCNE-accredited online nursing programs designed to meet the needs of RNs at every career stage:

You must complete an accredited graduate-level program that results in at least a master’s degree in clinical nursing or nursing science.

Qualified Graduate Programs

The program you choose must be accredited by an institutional, specialized, or programmatic accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE), and its curriculum approved by the Hawaii Board of Nursing.

Course Requirements

In order to meet standards of the APRN scope of practice in Hawaii, you must take coursework in the following areas:

  • Advanced assessment
  • Diagnosing, prescribing, choosing, and administering therapeutic measures
  • Advanced pharmacology

Prescriptive Authority

After being recognized as an APRN in Hawaii, you may apply for prescriptive authority. This requires that you have taken additional coursework in advanced pharmacotherapeutics as part of your graduate program.

To maintain prescriptive authority, you must take coursework in advanced pharmacology and advanced pharmacotherapeutics every two years.


Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

The Hawaii Board of Nursing recognizes four types of APRN. You must become nationally certified within the category you wish to work before the board will legally recognize you as an APRN. Independent national certification agencies exist to facilitate this process. You must meet the agency’s educational, experience, and examination requirements in order to become nationally certified.

The Hawaii Board of Nursing recognizes the following APRN titles:

  • Nurse practitioner (NP)
  • Certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
  • Nurse anesthetist (NA)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)

Certification Programs

If you complete an APRN national certification program from one of the following agencies, the Hawaii Board of Nursing will recognize you as an APRN generalist or specialist in the state:

Once nationally certified by one of the above agencies, you may pursue APRN recognition in Hawaii.


Step 3. Apply for APRN Recognition

You must provide your US social security number on your application for APRN recognition, as required by both federal law and Hawaii Revised Statutes. If you do not have a social security number, contact the Board at 808-586-2695 before proceeding.

Complete the Application for APRN Recognition.

  • Have your graduate nursing school send an official transcript directly to the Board
  • Have your national certification agency send verification of your certification directly to the Board
  • Include application fee payable to Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Send all of the above to the Hawaii Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 3469, Honolulu, HI 96801.

Prescriptive Authority (APRN-RX)

After receiving APRN recognition, you may apply for prescriptive authority. This may be done by filing the Application for APRN Prescriptive Authority (APRN-RX) and attaching the proper fees. Have your graduate school send another copy of your transcript, and have your national certification agency send verification of certification.

If you wish to also prescribe controlled substances, you must first obtain a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) number and Narcotics Enforcement Division Registration Number, by completing the Application for APRN Prescriptive Authority for Controlled Substances.


Step 4. Renewing Your APRN Recognition

Your Hawaii RN license and APRN recognition expire biannually on June 30 of all odd numbered years. Renewing each requires filing a separate renewal form and fees as described below.

Licensure status may be checked online via this link.

Continuing Education

To maintain prescriptive authority as an APRN-RX, you must take five hours of coursework in advanced pharmacology and advanced pharmacotherapeutics during each two-year renewal cycle.

Hawaii’s APRNs are not required to fulfill continuing education requirements to maintain recognition. However, you must fulfill the requirements of your national certification agency to maintain certification. Maintaining national certification is mandatory to maintaining APRN recognition in Hawaii. Check with your certification agency for more details on continuing education:

Proof of national certification will be required at the time of license renewal.

License Renewal Notice

The Hawaii Board of Nursing will mail you a postcard renewal reminder as your license renewal date approaches.

  • Complete  the Renewal Application, one for renewal of your RN license and one for APRN recognition renewal
  • Attach the proper renewal fees for each license type/recognition, payable to DCCA
  • Attach proof of your current national certification

Mail all of the above documents to DCCA PVL-Renewal, P.O. Box 3469, Honolulu, HI 96801.

Expired and inactive RN License/APRN Recognition Renewal Application

If your RN license and APRN recognition has expired, you may use the same renewal form above. However, you must pay a late renewal fee as specified on the form.

If your RN license/APRN recognition is inactive, you may use the Inactive Status Renewal Form and pay the proper fees as indicated on the form.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Associations in Hawaii

Consider becoming a member of one of these professional organizations that work in support of APRNs in Hawaii:

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