Hawaii Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: CRNP License, APRN Licensure


by NursePractitionerLicense.com Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

Hawaii is one of the most beautiful states in the US, and it’s also one of the highest-earning states for nurses. NPs earn about 10% more than the national average salary, so it’s a great place to start a career.

The Hawaii Board of Nursing receives applications all year long and is saddled with the responsibility of gatekeeping a high quality of nursing services in the state. To become a nurse practitioner (NP) in Hawaii, you will need to acquire an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license.

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Hawaii

Follow below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in Hawaii.

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

Prospective applicants for an NP license to practice in Hawaii are required to hold an RN license to practice in the state. There are two major routes of application which include RN by Examination and RN by Endorsement of an out-of-state license.

Hawaii is not a party to the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). This compact enables nurses to practice physically and virtually in member states as long as they hold a valid multistate license. It was intended to ensure a smooth flow of the nursing workforce from state to state as needed. Since Hawaii is not a party to this compact, every nurse must first obtain an RN license in the state before they are allowed to practice.

RN by Examination

This is the application route for recent graduates of accredited nursing programs from board-approved institutions who have never been licensed to practice nursing in any state or jurisdiction in the US.

  • The minimum education required for RN licensure is an associate degree in nursing. However, since you intend to become an NP soon, a bachelor’s degree in nursing is a more practical choice.
  • Applying via this route requires you to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), which is the qualifying test for all entry-level registered nurses. The exam tests your possession of the requisite skills and knowledge to practice as a nurse in Hawaii. This examination is handled by Pearson Vue, and applicants are required to apply to take the test online before submitting their licensure application.
  • Each applicant has a maximum of three attempts. Failing the third attempt will cause you to take a mandatory board-approved remedial program before attempting the test again. You would be required to provide proof of completion of such a program, and you can take the test within six months of completing the program.
  • The application process can be completed online, or you can download the form and mail it in.
  • You will also need to request that your official transcript be mailed directly to the Board from the nursing program you attended. The transcript must contain your date of graduation as well as the type of degree obtained.
  • Foreign-trained nurses must have their credentials evaluated by the CGFNS or Josef Silny & Associates, Inc., International Education Consultants. Their evaluation must confirm that your education is in no way of a lesser quality than that of US-trained nurses.
  • You are also required to provide a means of identification, such as a government-issued photo ID. Use the same one you used to register for your examination. Finally, you are required to provide a legible copy of your signed social security card.

All applicants must undergo a criminal background check using Fieldprint, Hawaii’s largest Livescan network. File your application within 30 days of fingerprinting to ensure your results are obtained. Visit the Board’s website for instructions on completing the background check.

The nonrefundable application fee is $40, and there’s an additional licensing fee of $36. For those mailing their paperwork, send it to: Board of Nursing, PO Box 3469, Honolulu, HI 96801.

You can deliver the application in person or by overnight mail to: Board of Nursing, 335 Merchant Street, Rm. 301, Honolulu, HI 96813. If you have any questions, contact the licensing office at: (808) 586-3000.

After the Board receives all of the required information, your application for licensure will be reviewed and approved if you meet all qualifications.

RN by Endorsement

This route is for holders of a valid RN license issued in another state. Applicants are expected to have completed a Bachelor of Nursing program and fulfilled the same basic requirements as Hawaii’s licensure by exam applicants. Candidates must have also passed the NCLEX-RN or SBTPE in addition to fulfilling all other qualifications for being licensed in the state of origin.

  • The application process is also completed online or by downloading the PDF.
  • A major requirement for this route is verification of licensure from the state you are licensed to practice. This can be obtained using the Nursys platform.
  • If you are foreign-trained, your credentials would also have to be vetted as specified under RN by Examination.
  • Finally, all applicants are required to submit a self-query report from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), which you can request here.

Regardless of the licensure route, all applicants after July 1, 2017, are required to have background checks run on them before a license can be issued. Your fingerprints are to be captured by Fieldprint with the code “FPHIBrdNursing” to ensure that the results of the checks are sent to the Board. Your fingerprints will be sent to the FBI and the Hawaii Criminal Justice Center.

You are required to file your license application within 30 days after your fingerprints have been captured to enable the Board to access the results. Learn more about the process here.

All applicants are expected to have a work permit in the US. If you don’t have one, passing the NCLEX and fulfilling all other requirements will get you conditional approval which is not a license to practice nursing. But it will make processing your license easier once you obtain your work permit. Each applicant has a maximum of two years to complete their application once they begin.

Concerning application fees, both routes go for $40. However, there are certain extra charges which include the License fee ($36) and the Centre for nurse fee ($40).

If your license is issued between June 1 of an odd-numbered year and June 30 of an even-numbered year, you will be required to pay a Compliance Resolution Fund fee of $100 and half of the renewal fee ($18).

If your license is issued between June 1 of an even-numbered year and June 30 of an odd-numbered year, you will only need to pay a Compliance resolution fund fee of $50. Payments are made by attaching a personal check, money order, or cashier’s check for the appropriate amount made payable to the COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS.

Advanced Education Requirements

Nurse practitioners are required to complete a graduate-level nursing program with specific population foci specialization.

Nurse practitioner population foci specializations include:

  • Pediatric
  • Adult
  • Family
  • Acute care
  • Neonatal
  • School
  • Psychiatric/mental health

Your program should also be accredited by a national accrediting agency.

To prepare you for practice, the program should include coursework such as advanced pharmacology, advanced assessment, and clinical management (diagnosis, prescribing, designing, and administering therapeutic measures). The pharmacology aspect is expedient for those who intend to obtain prescriptive authority.

National Certification

Once you have completed your graduate-level nurse practitioner preparatory program, the next step is to get national certification. This is done by national certifying agencies specific to each population foci. That means that you are expected to contact the certifying agency that certifies professionals in the specialty area that you are trained to practice.

These certifications are usually examination-based; therefore, it is necessary for your chosen nursing program to prepare you to display a satisfactory level of knowledge and skill required to practice as a nurse practitioner. Here are some of the agencies approved for certification of a prospective NP in Hawaii;

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner in Hawaii

The Board receives applications for an APRN license from applicants who are required to have a valid and unencumbered RN license to practice in Hawaii. Applicants who have been licensed as an NP in another state also need to have an RN license to practice in Hawaii. The application process can be completed online or with this form.

Application fees are similar to those for the RN license, except that it does not include the “center for nurse” fee. In addition to being licensed to practice as an RN, applicants must have completed a graduate degree nurse practitioner training program and received at least a master’s degree. They must also have obtained national certification for one or more practice areas.

As part of the application, you will be required to request that a copy of your official transcripts be sent from the institution you attended. Your transcript will specify the kind of degree obtained and your date of graduation. You will be required to verify your current license and all licenses ever held using the Nursys platform.

Your national certifying agency must also provide proof of your valid certification. All applicants are also required to provide proof of citizenship using a valid government-issued photo ID as well as a copy of their social security card.

No license will be issued without the above in addition to a permit to work in the US. Finally, applicants are also required to submit a self-query report from NPDB.

The APRN license does not automatically give prescriptive authority to its holders unless they apply for it simultaneously. Hence, you might need to apply for this if you intend to prescribe or dispense medications. The application is completed online and done for free.