Nursing: Registered Nurse Preparation

Nursing: Registered Nurse Preparation

Program Description

The Associate in Science degree nursing curriculum is designed to prepare students for the nursing profession. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN nursing examination (National Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse) to become a registered nurse. The Associate in Science degree in nursing program at Kapi‘olani Community College located in Honolulu, Hawai’i is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30326, (404) 975-5000. The most recent accreditation decision by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Associate in Science degree in nursing program is continuing accreditation. New students are admitted each semester and are given both theoretical instruction and an opportunity for clinical application of nursing skills as they prepare for entry-level practice as registered nurses. After graduates have passed the nursing licensure examination, they will be prepared to fill beginning level positions as Registered Nurses in hospitals, doctor’s offices, or other health-related institutions, and participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of nursing care for clients throughout the life cycle. Graduates are eligible for admission to the fourth year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs at UH Mānoa and UH Hilo.

Program Accreditation

The Associate in Science degree in nursing program at Kapi‘olani Community College is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). For additional program accreditation information, please go to Associate in Science degree in nursing program accreditation status.

Degree and Certificate Programs

Admissions Procedure

For detailed admissions information, go to the Associate in Science Degree Admissions Procedures webpage.

Nursing Program Career Ladder & Licensure

A career ladder model is incorporated into the Associate in Science degree in Nursing program to provide students with an opportunity to acquire skills to become a nurse aide as well as obtain training and licensure to become a practical nurse and a registered nurse.

After completing the first semester of the ADN program, students acquire skills to become a nurse aide (without the benefit of certification) in the acute setting. Students interested in obtaining certification as a nurse aide in the long-term care setting should apply and be accepted to enroll in the NURS 9 – Long-Term Care Nurse Aide course. Previously, after completing the third semester within the ADN program, students were eligible to take the National Council of Licensure Examination for practical nurses (NCLEX-PN) examination to become licensed practical nurses. Effective immediately, the Hawai’i State Board of Nursing is no longer permitting applications for nursing licensure without first completing a nursing education credential. Hence, the NCLEX-PN option after the ADN third semester is on hold indefinitely. The Associate in Science Degree in Nursing Program prepares graduates for the National Council for Licensure Examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN) examination and to perform as entry-level registered nurses.

Potential Careers and Employers

Registered Nurses work in hospitals, clinics, long-term care nursing homes, home setting, schools, and community health settings.

To learn more about nursing and other health care careers, please check the “Hawai’i Career Explorer” website at

For prospective employment as a registered nurse, please check the “Hawai‘i is Hiring” website at

Qualities Needed

Nurses need to enjoy working with and caring for people, be personable and reassuring; be patient and compassionate; be honest and reliable; be able to accept, give and use constructive feedback; have good manual dexterity and coordination; be able to act quickly and effectively in emergencies; be able to speak and write well; work independently or with a team; be able to deal with a variety of emotional expressions; and provide personal care for individuals across the lifespan.

To prepare for the nursing program and career, you will need to develop a strong background in math, science and English; acquire work experience with direct patient care in a hospital, nursing home, clinic or other health care setting; develop good communication, computer, logical thinking and time management skills; complete prerequisite and co-requisite courses and the pre-admissions exam.

Licensure and State Authorization

Once the student has completed the Associate in Science Degree in Nursing program and has successfully obtained certification in Hawai’i by the Hawaiʻi Board of Nursing, s/he will be eligible to obtain a state license, which will allow the licensee to practice nursing in the State of Hawaii. Kapiʻolani Community College (Kapi‘olani CC) may not be able to confirm whether a particular program meets the professional licensure requirements outside of the State of Hawaiʻi. Kapiʻolani CC recommends the student contact the respective professional licensing board to determine the licensure requirements in the state in which the student lives.

Contact Information

  • Counselor:
  • Nursing Dept: Kopiko Building, Room 201   (808) 734-9305

Nursing: ADN Program Learning Outcomes

Program Announcements

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