RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Hawaii

The Hawaii State Center for Nursing reports that currently 59 percent of nurses in the state hold a BSN or higher. In 2012, 18 percent of all BSN students were participating in RN to BSN bridge programs.

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Projections show that the number of registered nurses in Hawaii will grow by around 30 percent over the decade leading up to 2022. As Hawaii’s healthcare industry welcomes in hundreds of new nurses in the coming years, hospital systems are looking to their existing staff RNs to meet the demand for more nurse leaders and educators by encouraging them to gain the necessary qualifications through RN-BSN completion programs.

RN to BSN Degree Programs in Hawaii

Although online programs provide the most common and convenient path by which licensed RNs can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Hawaii’s RNs can choose from in-state schools that offer RN to BSN programs, including those located in Honolulu and Hilo.

Whether online or on-campus, these colleges and universities each have their own specific entry requirements and BSN curricula, though there are many similarities among these programs.

Using a semester credit scale, the components of the RN to BSN program will be arranged as follows:

  • Prerequisite courses and general undergraduate requirements – approximately 2 years or 60 credits
  • Core courses – approximately 2 years or 60 credits
  • Accelerated programs – some educational institutions in Hawaii offer accelerated core courses that allow prospective BSNs to work and complete their education simultaneously

Admission Requirements to Enroll in an RN to BSN Program

In general, the requirements for admission into an RN to BSN program usually include the following:

  • A minimum GPA of around 2.7
  • Some programs accept applicants directly out of high school, while others require applicants to already be a licensed nurse in Hawaii
  • Some schools require minimum testing scores, such as:
    • SAT – 950
    • ACT – 20

Each school or university can decide its own policy on accepting credits from other institutions. A typical policy is to award at least 30 semester nursing credits towards a BSN based on a candidate’s existing Associate Degree of Nursing.

Before BSN candidates can delve into their core subjects, they must have already fulfilled the following course prerequisites. There is a good chance many of these courses will have been completed during a candidate’s original ADN education:

  • Statistics
  • Writing, research, and analysis
  • Organic and biochemistry
  • Algebra I and II
  • Microbiology
  • Anatomy and physiology I and II

RN-BSN Program Curriculum and Structure

Schools will often provide a distance learning option for RN students who want to complete some of their core courses online. Depending on the educational institution, all of these core courses may be offered online:

  • Health promotion and education
  • Comprehensive health assessment
  • Mental health and nursing
  • Child and family health
  • Nursing and the childbearing family
  • Complex nursing care
  • Nursing in a health community and community health care
  • Multicultural nursing
  • Nursing research
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Any clinical requirements of RN-BSN programs can be competed at university affiliate hospitals and other locations with agreements in place. This could include places like:

  • Kapiolani Medical Center in Honolulu
  • Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu
  • Hilo Medical Center

Employer Incentives Designed to Help RNs Complete BSN Programs

Recognizing the improved patient care and reduced liability that a BSN can bring, many employers and advocacy groups offer incentive programs to encourage RNs to return to school.

  • MedStaff Healthcare Solutions in Honolulu provides its nurses who hold BSNs with licensure reimbursement, free continuing education, and educational development
  • Aureus Medical Group, employing BSNs at several locations in Hawaii, offers its employees incentives like a tuition reimbursement program that can cover up to $12,000 of a BSN degree program
  • The Filipino Nurses’ Organization of Hawai’i offers a scholarship for BSN candidates
  • The Hawai’i State Center for Nursing provides resources for scholarships available through the Hawai’i Community Foundation
  • The Hawai’i Community Foundation also sponsors the Margaret Jones Memorial Nursing Fund for prospective BSN candidates
  • The Hawai’i Nurses’ Association provides resources for several scholarship sources

Nurses who hold a BSN can also use their education as a stepping-stone for MSN or DNP programs as they move towards one of the four recognized Advanced Practice RN (APRN) fields:

  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Anesthetist

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