3 Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Hawaii – 2024

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Hawaii enjoys a reputation as one of the healthiest states in the nation. Nonetheless, The Aloha State faces several healthcare challenges that speak to the need for primary care providers. Graduates of accredited nurse practitioner schools in Hawaii help address health issues like inadequate access to mental health services, escalating diabetes rates, and an increase in tobacco use. Hawaii is one of the states where NPs can practice autonomously, so these healthcare professionals are in high demand: CareerOneStop expects utilization of their services to increase by more than 53 percent in the next decade. Aloha State NPs command salaries that average $128,310 a year. Keep reading to find out about the best nurse practitioner programs in Hawaii for 2024.


(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 3 Best NP programs in Hawaii for the year 2024.)

1) University of Hawaii at Manoa - Honolulu

Programs Offered: DNP

If enrolling in one of the best nurse practitioner programs in Hawaii is high on your list, then you could consider University of Hawaii’s DNP program. The school enjoys the distinction of being the state’s forerunner in healthcare improvement through research and doctoral education. Also, as an NP student here, you will be provided an opportunity of completing elective courses from partnering doctoral programs of other colleges and universities. This not only offers you a wide choice of electives to choose from, but the credits earned through this “NEXus liaison" can be transferred to UH at Manoa without any extra tuition cost. Also, the college being a veteran-friendly institution, if you have served the US Army and have completed your bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field you can transfer credits towards the Graduate Entry Program which directly leads you to the DNP-NP degree. As a veteran student, you can benefit from reduced tuition costs and a learning experience that is tailormade to your special needs.

DNP Concentrations: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner

You can earn the terminal degree in nursing with a choice of specializations in adult-gerontology primary care or family health. This nurse practitioner program in Hawaii is available through three pathways; BSN to DNP for BSN graduates, MSN to DNP for registered nurses prepared at the master’s level, and a graduate-entry program for non-nurses with a non-nursing bachelors degree. Depending on your educational background when you decide the pathway, you must choose your specialty track as well. The DNP curriculum is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge that are required in influencing healthcare improvement through evidence-based practice and leadership skills. Regardless of the specialty you choose, you progress through the program as a cohort, taking online and face-to-face classes. To graduate you must complete a total of 77 credits and 720 supervised clinical hours. The program takes around three years, with the exact timeline depending on the pathway you enroll. The core courses which are common for both specialty tracks include pathophysiology, pharmacology, health policy, nursing leadership, healthcare technology & informatics, evidence-based practice for advanced nursing, and the DNP project.

2) University of Hawaii at Hilo - Hilo

Programs Offered: DNP

Are you someone who wants to make a difference in the health of the state’s rural population and are searching for Hawaii nurse practitioner schools that focus on rural health, University of Hawaii can be a befitting choice. Not only does the university’s NP education focus on rural and transcultural health, it also takes into account various issues and factors that impact healthcare delivery in these underserved regions of the state. As a nurse practitioner school of repute, the college has played a significant role in producing nurse leaders who strive towards achieving social justice and health equity. By completing a DNP here, you will be able to offer advanced primary care to a multicultural patient population.

DNP Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

This DNP program is offered as two pathways; BSN to DNP-FNP and MSN to DNP-FNP. While the former requires three years of study on a full-time basis, entering post an MSN, you can complete the program in two years. Upon earning the DNP-FNP degree you can pursue direct and indirect patient care roles in various settings, including healthcare organizations, hospitals, federal healthcare agencies, and universities. The evidence-based curriculum mainly teaches you interdisciplinary collaboration, leadership, and population health. You will demonstrate enhanced critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills to improve healthcare quality.

If you enter the program as a BSN prepared nurse, you must complete 73 to 79 credits in environmental health, social aspects of health, healthcare informatics, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and health assessment. The curriculum focuses on rural health promotion and requires you to complete a clinical practicum in a rural primary care setting. The FNP portion of the coursework mainly takes you through courses in advanced primacy care of individuals across the lifespan. You also complete an elective for which the college recommends taking a course in Education Teaching Strategies. During the final eighth semester, you must complete your DNP project.

The MSN to DNP pathway requires 37 to 40 credits and comprises courses in advanced research methods, health economics, program evaluation, rural health promotion, health policy, and leadership. The culminating fifth semester constitutes completing the DNP project.

3) Hawaii Pacific University - Kaneohe

Programs Offered: MSN, RN to MSN, and Post-Master's Certificate

Do you wish to advance your nursing career, but lack the time to accommodate a class schedule during the day? Well, if that is the case and you are checking out nurse practitioner programs in Hawaii that offer the flexibility of evening classes then you may like to look at Hawaii Pacific University. NP education here is designed for working nurses, offering classes in the evening. Although some courses are offered online, the college mainly delivers the coursework through face-to-face classes under the mentorship of a dedicated faculty. As an NP student here, you will learn to collaborate with students from public health and social work. This interdisciplinary exposure goes a long way in preparing you to become a competent care provider in the complex healthcare environment. The college’s focus on improving healthcare of the local communities of Hawaii will not only improve healthcare in the state but also provide you with umpteen opportunities by engaging in community service for the state’s diverse population. To become an advanced practice nurse, depending on your previous degree, you can enroll in either the MSN, RN to MSN, or post-masters certificate program.

MSN Concentrations: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AGACNPs) and Family Nurse Practitioner

This MSN program comes with specialization options in adult-gerontology acute care and family health. To qualify for this program, you must be a BSN graduate, holding an RN license. Whether you choose to care for the elderly or adults across the lifespan, here, you will not only receive hands-on training at the college’s Experiential Learning Center but also through extensive clinical experiences at eminent medical facilities throughout Oahu. The clinical sites, especially for the adult-gerontology track, include various settings such as medical surgery, reconstructive plastic surgery, operating room, surgical intensive care, and ambulatory care. To graduate you require completing anywhere close to 45 credits along with 600 clinical hours, after which you will be eligible to take the certification exam in the chosen specialty to become a certified NP in Hawaii.

RN TO MSN Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner

Are you an RN aspiring to become an advanced primary care provider? WWell, then this RN to MSN nurse practitioner program in Hawaii is just right for you as you can take your associate in nursing straight to the master’s level, seamlessly. The curriculum prepares you with the skills and knowledge required to offer primary care to individuals across the lifespan.

Post-Master’s Certificate Concentrations: Adult-Gero Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GACNP) and Family Nurse Practitioner

If you are an MSN seeking to expand your role as a nurse, you could consider enrolling in either the track for acute care of adults & elderly or in primary care of individuals across the lifespan. MSN graduates already certified in adult, pediatrics, or women’s health will receive credit for their previously completed advanced practice courses. As such, you must complete 27 credits, after which you take the certification exam in your chosen specialty.



What are the Total Number of Accredited NP Programs in Hawaii?

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners reports that currently there are Five accredited nurse practitioner programs in Hawaii.

Program Type #
MSN to DNP 1
Post-Master's Certificate 1

Other States

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