How to Become an LPN in Hawaii – A Simple Guide

How to Become an LPN in Hawaii - A Simple Guide

Thinking about becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in Hawaii?

That’s a smart move!

With the increasing demand for nurses in the healthcare field, there are tons of opportunities that will be knocking on your doorstep.

But you may be wondering where to get started… What are the requirements needed? What skills do you need to become an LPN?

Well, look no further. 

In this article, we’ll give you a simple guide on how to become an LPN in Hawaii.

We’ll also answer relevant questions, such as:

  • What is the difference between a CNA, LPN, and RN?
  • What is the average salary of an LPN in Hawaii?
  • Where do most LPNs in Hawaii work?
  • What skills are needed to become an LPN?

If you’re still thinking about which career path you would want to take in the field of nursing, then here’s an article on How to Become a Nurse!

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

How to Become an LPN in Hawaii – 4 Simple Steps

The process of becoming an LPN is very straightforward. Here are the steps:

  1. Enroll in an Accredited LPN Education Program
  2. Apply for an LPN License in Hawaii
  3. Get a Job as an LPN or Pursue Higher Education
  4. Maintain and Renew Your LPN License

Step #1: Enroll in an Accredited LPN Education Program

The first step to becoming an LPN is enrolling in an accredited or state-approved LPN education program.

Be sure to enroll in an accredited school to get the best education and to ensure that you will not be disqualified.

You can check out the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the Hawaii Board of Nursing to lead you to an approved LPN program.

You can also check the NCLEX pass rates of these different schools from 2020-2021 here.

Here are the top 5 schools that offer an LPN program in Hawaii.

Kapiolani Community College

4303 Diamond Head Road

Honolulu, Hawaii 96816


University of Hawaii Kauai Community College

3-1901 Kaumuali’i Highway

Lihue, Hawaii 96766


University of Hawaii Maui College 

310 W. Ka’ahumanu Avenue

Kahului, Hawaii 96732-1617


University of Hawaii Hilo

200 W. Kāwili Street

Hilo, HI 96720-4091


Hawaii Community College

1175 Manono Street

Hilo, HI 96720-5096


Different schools have different admission requirements, but here are some general requirements you may expect:

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • TEAS test scores
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses
  • Successful completion of background/drug tests

LPN Program Length and Duration

The length of the LPN program depends if you choose to study part-time or full-time. But this usually takes around 1 to 2 years to complete.

Most Hawaii schools include these courses in their LPN curriculum:

  • Child Health
  • Maternity Nursing
  • Personal Vocational Relations
  • Human Development

Tuition Fees

LPN education program costs vary depending on the university, undergraduate school, or community college. 

Students have to cover tuition costs, course materials such as textbooks and uniforms, and other fees. 

You can complete your LPN program with tuition fees costing less than $9,000. Enrolling in Hawaii Community College, for example, costs an estimated $7,240. 

The program usually includes practical training in the classroom and clinics. 

With 1 to 2 years of training and education, you’re a step done in your LPN journey.

Step #2: Apply for an LPN License in Hawaii

After graduating and completing your nursing education program, you’re ready to apply for a license.

But you’ll first have to take an exam that proves you are fit to work as an LPN. 

You will need to apply by examination to Hawaii’s Board of Nursing. 

Application by Examination 

To apply by examination, you should prepare:

  • A completed application form
  • A government-issued identification and social security card
  • A criminal history record check (through fingerprints)
  • Official transcripts from your state-approved program, along with an official letter stating you’ve completed your education. 

You must be at least 18 years of age and a US citizen, national, or approved to work in a US state.

To read more about the application requirements and special provisions, you can go to this link

If your application is accepted, you can then proceed to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN) exam

The NCLEX-PN is a national exam that includes various nursing topics that test the skills and knowledge of the students. 

There are many practice tests available online to help you prepare for the NCLEX-PN.

It’s worth noting that you need to pass the NCLEX-PN within two years of your registration.

After passing the NCLEX-PN, you will be granted a license to practice as an LPN in Hawaii.

If you fail the exam on your first try, don’t worry. You can still retake the exam (although you will need to register again).

If you fail after three tries, you will need to take a board-approved remedial course before you can retake the exam.

Application by Endorsement 

If you’re already licensed as an LPN in another state and plan to get a license in Hawaii, you can apply by endorsement.

To apply, you will need to prepare:

  • A filled-up application form
  • A criminal history record check 
  • A non-refundable $40 application fee
  • Social Security Number as proof
  • Proof of passing the NCLEX
  • Official transcript of state-approved nursing program.
  • Verified out-of-state license
  • Self-query report from the National Practitioner Data Bank (“NPDB”)
  • Foreign applicants must submit a course-by-course review by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)

If your application is accepted, you will receive an LPN license in Hawaii. 

To read more about the endorsement process, you can go to this link

Step #3: Get a Job as an LPN or Pursue Higher Education

Now you’re all set to become a full-fledged LPN!

It’s time to find a job!

You can find work in primary care settings, which include public health, home health, school health, nephrology, perioperative care, and palliative care or hospice.

LPNs in Hawaii usually take the primary role of a staff nurse at 72%. Some take on executive roles, teaching, consultancy, and research. 

What does an LPN do?

But what does an LPN usually do? Here are some of the tasks usually done by an LPN:

  • Provide nursing care in a state hospital
  • Work in a hospice office, assist the coordinator, and perform nursing interventions
  • Administer medicine in an outpatient clinic

How much does an LPN earn?

LPNs in Hawaii roughly earn around $25.64/hour, with an average annual salary of $53,320. 

This is higher than the mean annual wage of LPNs nationwide. 

How can an LPN advance his/her career?

Aside from working, you can still choose to pursue specializations and advance your career.

In Hawaii, the most common specialty of an LPN is gerontology, at 23%.

Other specialties include pediatrics, acute care, adult health, and family health.

LPNs can also transition to becoming registered nurses (RN) by taking and completing an accredited RN program. 

To get an RN license, you will need to take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. But in some cases, LPNs can take accelerated RN programs which are shorter and faster than full RN programs because of their experience.

Becoming an RN will grant you more opportunities and tasks compared to an LPN. 

Employment Outlook for LPNs

From 2021-2031, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that there will be a 6% increase nationwide in the employment levels of LPNs. 

Hawaii has an average of 60 job openings for LPNs annually. Back in 2012, there were over 1,340 employed LPNs in Hawaii. It increased to 1,567 in 2022.

Even though Hawaii is one of the smallest US states, they have a lot of opportunities for job-seekers and practitioners in the field.

Although Urban Honolulu has a high employment rate, the Hawaii / Kauai nonmetropolitan area has a high average hourly wage and annual salary. 

How to Become an LPN in Hawaii


Step #4: Maintain and Renew Your LPN License

LPN licenses in Hawaii expire on June 30 of every odd-numbered year.

If you fail to renew your license it will expire. If it is expired for two years, then it will be terminated. 

You won’t be allowed to legally practice and will have to start from scratch if you want to practice as an LPN again. Hence, the need to apply to have your license restored in two years.

LPNs in Hawaii are required to provide any proof of completion of continuing education activities, which include:

  • 30 contact hours of CE
  • National certification/recertification
  • Board-approved refresher course
  • Two (2) semester credits of post-licensure nursing practice education 

To renew an existing nursing license in Hawaii, it would cost you $60, excluding the additional charges that may apply.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Becoming an LPN in Hawaii 

After going through the steps, you may still have a few questions in mind about becoming an LPN in Hawaii.

What is the difference between a CNA, LPN, and RN?

The terminology used in the nursing industry is extremely diverse and can be challenging to understand. 

So, here is a brief explanation of what CNA, LPN, and RN mean.

Type of NurseTime to Complete Training ProgramExaminationRequiredTasks
CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant/ Certified Nursing Aide)4-12 weeksState-approved exam (e.g. CNA
Prometric Exam)
Basic nursing care

LPN/LVN(Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse)12-18 monthsNational Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN)Assist RNs with more complex tasks

Administering medications
Changing bandages
RN (Registered Nurse)2 years – graduate with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)

4 years – graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN)ADN 

Monitor patients
Assist in procedures
Track the patient’s progress
Guide LPNs and CNAs


All tasks of an ADN
More complex services such as managerial and administrative roles

What is the average salary of an LPN in Hawaii?

According to the BLS, LPNs in Hawaii have an average base salary of $25.64/hour, with an average annual salary of $53,320. 

The average salary of an LPN in Hawaii depends on many factors, including which city you are in.

How to Become an LPN in Hawaii


Where do most LPNs in Hawaii work?

LPNs usually work in nursing homes, patients’ homes, residential facilities, hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, schools, and government facilities, to name a few.

According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey, the top-paying LPN specialties are as follows:

What skills are needed to become an LPN?

There is no definite answer on which skills are required to become an LPN. 

But aside from having the knowledge you’ve gained from nursing school, you need to have compassion. This is very important when you’re dealing with a lot of patients daily, taking care of them, and having a bond and connection over time.

Having good communication skills when you’re in the workplace will keep you on track when interacting with doctors, fellow nurses, patients, and such. 

You also need to have stamina as you’re always active, alert, and on the go. This goes hand in hand with handling pressure, as you need to be quick and precise with your actions and decisions.


And that’s about it.

We hope we’ve given you some insight into how to become an LPN in Hawaii with our simple four-step guide!

Rest assured, we’ll do what we can to help you with anything you need.

If you have any questions or clarifications, be sure to let us know.

We wish you all the best on your nursing journey!

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