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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

  • 2015 mean salary for NPs in HI: $114,220
  • NCLEX-RN 2015 pass rate for Hawaii: 78%
  • Hawaii’s legislature voted in 2016 to allow APRNs to certify cause of death on death certificates
  • Hawaii’s legislature voted in 2016 to allow APRNs to dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients

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

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:

Hawaii Nurse Practitioner Salary

States that border the Pacific boast some of the highest nurse practitioner salaries in the nation, according to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. The 2011 AANP National NP Compensation Survey showed that in the Far West region, including Hawaii, nurse practitioners earned an average base salary of $97,567, and an average total income of $107,518. Advance for NPs & PAs, a peer reviewed health care professional journal, reported in their 2011 National Survey of NPs and PAs that nurse practitioners in the Hawaiian city of Honolulu earned one of the highest average salaries in the country at $114,500.

Registered Nurse Salary

Area name
Annual mean wage
Honolulu HI
Hawaii / Maui / Kauai nonmetropolitan area

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners Salary

Area name
Annual mean wage
Honolulu HI
Hawaii / Maui / Kauai nonmetropolitan area

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

Area name
Annual median wage
Honolulu HI

Nurse Administrator Salary
(Includes Nurse Managers, Directors, and Chief Nursing Officers)

Area name
Annual mean wage
Honolulu HI
Hawaii / Maui / Kauai nonmetropolitan area

These tables provide salary and employment information compiled by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2011. The data contained herein does not include self-employed nurses in independent practice.

When responding to the salary survey, some advanced practice registered nurses identified themselves as RNs while others identified themselves as health diagnosing and treating practitioners. When available, both sets of data were included for comparative purposes.

* These figures represent earnings that are at or above $90.00 per hour or $187,199 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish earnings beyond $90.00 hourly or $187,199 yearly.

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