Hawaii DNP Programs

Get your Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree in Hawaii - online & campus-based options.
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Online DNP Programs & nursing PhD programs may be available for Hawaii students. Check current course listings.

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Hawaii DNP Programs

Hawaiian universities are beginning to offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in order to improve the quality of healthcare. DNP is a terminal nursing degree that focuses on clinical practice, rather than research.Currently, there is one university in Hawaii that offers a DNP program, but this number is likely to grow in the near future.

The University of Hawaii at Hilo states, in summary, that the mission of this program is to prepare the graduates to be leaders and educators in the field of nursing. The program strives to give nurses the tools to be administrators and to help shape healthcare policy, as well as to provide excellence in care.

Admission Requirements

The admissions requirements are as follows (in addition to application and fees):

  • Transcripts from accredited programs
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Current Hawaii RN license, and license in state where applicant intends to practice
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Professional goal essay
  • Interview
  • Resume
  • Foreign applicants: CGFNS credentials evaluation and passing score on TOEFL

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

There are two program entry-points at The University of Hawaii at Hilo: Post Baccalaureate and Post Masters. The former is for nurses who are not yet at the advanced practice level, and the curriculum consists of 73 credits. The Post Masters to DNP program is made up of 37 credits. In order to graduate, students must maintain at least a 3.0 and complete 1000 practice hours and complete and present a Practice Inquiry Project. Post-BSN students must also complete Family Nurse Practitioner competencies.


Tuition is currently $615 per credit hour for Hawaii residents and $1,269 per credit for out-of-state tuition. This information is subject to change.

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Hawaii Board of Nursing
King Kalakaua Building
335 Merchant Street, 3rd Floor
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 586-3000
Fax: (808) 586-2689

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Hawaii Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Programs (HI)

As of May 28, 2010, the state of Hawaii does not currently offer a DNP degree program at any of their local colleges or universities. If you are a nurse seeking DNP certification, NurseGroups recommends that you research your distance learning/ online program options.

See the online DNP program section of this article for a link to one such program.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a post-graduate level practice nursing degree. A DNP focuses on the clinical aspects of nursing as opposed to working on medical research or teaching.

Due to the fact that most Hawaii DNP degree seekers are working professionals, there are a number of flexible educational options available including RN-DNP (BSN-DNP) bridge programs and specialized programs for certified advanced practice nurses.

Hawaii DNP Degree Prerequisites

In Hawaii, nurses seeking DNP certification must already hold both BSN and MSN degrees. Being the final and most advanced degree offered to professionals in the nursing field, there is strict educational criteria. Since the DNP is a relatively new status in the profession, there has not been much national standardization of academic criteria. Therefore, it is essential for you to check with your Hawaii educational institution of choice to find out what specific prerequisites they require for program admission. You can also check with the Hawaii Board of Nursing to find out more about how Hawaii recognizes DNPs.

Online DNP Programs for Hawaii Nurses

Online education is also known as distance learning. As this level of certification becomes increasingly popular in Hawaii, more and more Hawaii higher learning institutions are offering their DNP programs online. This will make it far more convenient for current RNs to take the next step without having to sacrifice time on the clock or professional responsibilities.

Benefits of DNP Certification

There are benefits in Hawaii to holding this advanced degree. Having a strong focus on advanced practice, leadership, and actual application of clinical research, DNPs are often depended on to fill the gap between doctors and nurses.

Also, Hawaii nurses holding this certification are quickly becoming favored for parity with other health professionals when and where a doctorate status is required. This includes being called upon for involvement in advanced diagnosis, legal consultation, and highly specialized clinical research. With their focus on actual clinical application, DNP nurses are typically viewed as the most experienced.

As a nurse, earning a DNP degree will also foster enhanced leadership skills and the knowledge to deliver superior healthcare service to patients, which will in turn advance you professionally.

Resources for Hawaii Nurses Seeking a DNP Degree

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