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 Hawaii. Kapiʻolani CC recommends the student contact the respective professional licensing board to determine the licensure requirements in the state in which the student live.

Special Admissions

The Associate’s Degree in Nursing is a select admissions program; pre/corequisite courses, examinations, test scores, and/or other required documentation are submitted and reviewed during designated application periods. Applicants are then selected and notified by the Nursing Department.

For more information on the admissions, and procedure visit the following links found in the Forms & Documents section below: Nursing Information Sessions, Self-Advising Forms, & the Admissions Application/Checklist.

Program Overview

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.  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. Graduates are eligible for admission to the fourth year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs at UH Mānoa and UH Hilo.

Contact Information

Degree & Certificates

Associate in Science – Nursing (72-73 credits)


Program Information

Special Announcements

ATI TEAS Exam Announcement: (updated 4/19/2022)

Effective May 31, 2022, the Kapiʻolani CC Nursing Department will NO longer allow the ATI TEAS to be proctored at home. After this date, all students must take the ATI TEAS exam at a testing center.

The nursing department will grandfather in all exams taken since March 20, 2020 when UH officially mandated the “Stay at Home” order. Effective June 1, 2022 the ATI TEAS exams must be taken in a testing center to be considered for the Kapiʻolani CC Nursing Programs.

Hawai‘i Statewide Nursing Consortium Curriculum Update

Since Fall 2012, the Kapi‘olani Community College (KCC) Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program has been aligned with the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) program via the Hawai‘i Statewide Nursing Consortium Curriculum, thus enabling ADN graduates to continue their nursing education in pursuit of a BSN degree at UHM. Previously, for admission into its RN-BSN Program in Fall 2019 and after, the UHM School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene required the completion of pre-nursing courses specifically in nutrition, statistics, speech, and chemistry (excluding CHEM 100) along with other general education courses, while also requiring the maintenance of a grade of “B” or higher for all math and sciences courses and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher for all courses completed, while also having only six credits pending completion at the time of application to the UHM RN-BSN Program.

Effective for admission into its RN-BSN Program in Fall 2021 and thereafter, the UHM School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene changed the admissions requirements relative to pre-nursing courses eliminating the need for Kapi’olani CC ADN graduates to complete specific courses in chemistry, nutrition, statistics and speech. ADN graduates will no longer be required to complete a statistics course in order to enroll in the NURS 364 course (which serves as a “bridge course” between the Kapi‘olani CC ADN Program and the UHM RN-BSN Program). Additionally, ADN graduates will no longer need to maintain a grade of “B” or higher for math and sciences courses, although students must still maintain a cumulative grade point average of “C” or higher for all courses completed. The physical science requirement does not to be fulfilled via a specific chemistry course, wherein ADN graduates may choose any physical science course to fulfill the natural science requirement. The six-credit pending policy has also been eliminated. ADN graduates must still complete all other general education course requirements. Additionally, the UHM RN-BSN Program in Fall 2021 and thereafter will be offered entirely online, asynchronously for two semesters (if attending full-time) or three semesters or more (if attending part-time). Kapi‘olani CC ADN students are encouraged to meet with a Kapi‘olani CC Nursing Department counselor for advice to ensure their transfer to the UH-Mānoa RN-BSN Program.

Pilot Study for ATI-TEAS Pre-Admissions Exam for Nursing Program

Effective June 1, 2013 and as part of a pilot study to analyze the Assessment Technology Institute’s Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI-TEAS) exam and determine if the minimum adjusted individual total score should be revised, the Nursing Department at Kapi‘olani Community College (KapCC) will accept an ATI-TEAS adjusted individual total score of 65% or higher to fulfill the pre-admissions exam requirement for the KapCC Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program and the KapCC LPN-RN Transition Program. Applicants for the KCC nursing programs must continue to fulfill all other admissions requirements and will be considered for admissions on a “best qualified” bases.

Five-Year Time Limit for Science Courses Eliminated

Effective June 2012 and thereafter, the Nursing Department at Kapi‘olani Community College (KCC) will eliminate the five-year time limit for the science prerequisite and co-requisite courses for the ADN Program and LPN-RN Transition Program. Starting with those applicants for the ADN Program and LPN-RN Transition Program in the Spring 2013 semester and thereafter, students will no longer be required to complete their science prerequisite courses and co-requisite courses within five years of their application to the nursing program. The science prerequisite and co-requisite courses include ZOOL 141-141L, ZOOL 142-142L, MICR 130, PHRM 203 and CHEM(any numeric).

The five-year time limit policy is being eliminated, since students accepted into the ADN Program in the Fall 2012 and thereafter will be required to complete the NURS 212 – Pathophysiology course, which will focus on pathophysiological concepts that are basic to understanding illness and injury and the corresponding spectrum of human responses, which serve as a foundation for the formulation of clinical decisions and care planning.

Program Accreditation

The Associate in Science in Nursing program at Kapi‘olani Community College located in Honolulu, Hawai‘i is accredited by the Accreditation Commission in Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30326; phone: (404) 975-5000.

The most recent accreditation decision made in 2021 by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Kapi‘olani CC Associate in Science Degree in Nursing program is Continuing Accreditation. The next ACEN accreditation review is scheduled for 2029.


Potential Career & Employers

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

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

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

Program Learning Outcomes

Program Approval

The Kapiʻolani CC ADN Program is approved by the Hawai‘i State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (formerly known as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission).

Hawai‘i Statewide Nursing Consortium (HSNC) Competencies

  1. A competent nurse’s professional actions are based on core nursing values, professional standards of practice, and the law.
    1. Core nursing values include social justice (from the American Nurses Association statement), caring, advocacy, respect for self and others, collegiality, and ethical behavior.
    2. Ethical dilemmas are embedded in clinical practice; an obligation of nurses is to notice, interpret, respond and reflect on these dilemmas using ethical principles and frameworks as a guideline.
    3. It is essential for nurses to participate in discussions of ethical issues in health care as they affect communities, society, and health professions.
    4. Professional nursing functions within legally defined standards of practice and state specific regulations.
  2. A competent nurse develops insight through reflective practice, self-analysis, and self care through the understanding that:
    1. Ongoing reflection, critical examination, and evaluation of one’s professional and personal life improves nursing practice.
    2. Reflection and self-analysis encourage self-awareness and self-care.
    3. Pursuing and advocating healthy behaviors enhance nurses’ ability to care for clients.
  3. A competent nurse engages in ongoing self-directed learning and provides care based on evidence supported by research with the understanding that:
    1. Knowledge and skills are dynamic and evolving; to maintain competency, one must continuously update his/her knowledge using reliable, current sources of information from the biological, social, medical, public health, and nursing sciences.
    2. The nurse uses legitimate sources of evidence for decision-making such as research evidence, standards of care, community perspectives and practical wisdom gained from experience.
    3. As best practices are continuously modified and new interventions are constant, the nurse incorporates changes into practice.
  4. A competent nurse demonstrates leadership in nursing and health care through the understanding that:
    1. An effective nurse is able to take a leadership role to meet client needs, improve the health care system and facilitate community problem solving.
    2. A competent nurse effectively uses management principles, strategies, and tools.
    3. An effective nurse works with the health care team including the delegation of responsibilities and supervision.
  5. A competent nurse collaborates as part of a health care team.
    1. The client is an essential member of the healthcare team.
    2. A collegial team is essential for success in serving clients.
    3. Effective team members must be able to give and receive constructive feedback.
    4. Colleagues create a positive environment for each other that values holistic client care.
  6. A competent nurse practices within, utilizes, and contributes to the broader health care system.
    1. All components of the health care system must be incorporated when providing interdisciplinary care.
    2. The effective nurse contributes to improvements of the health care system through involvement in policy, decision-making processes and political activities.
  7. A competent nurse practices client-centered care.
    1. Effective care is centered around a respectful relationship with the client that is based on empathy, caring, mutual trust, and advocacy.
    2. Nursing practice should reflect the attitudes, beliefs and values of clients.
    3. An understanding of the culture and history of the community is fundamental in the practice of nursing.
  8. A competent nurse communicates and uses communication technology effectively through the understanding that:
    1. Effective use of communication is an essential part of all interventions to establish caring and therapeutic relationships to educate and advocate for clients.
    2. When working with colleagues or clients, it is important to insure that accurate, timely and complete communication has occurred.
    3. Successful communication requires attention to elements of cultural influences, variations in the use of language, and a participatory approach.
    4. Information and communication technologies provide essential information delivery of effective nursing care.
  9. A competent nurse demonstrates clinical judgment and critical thinking in the delivery of care of clients while maintaining safety through:
    1. Analysis and integration of available data.
    2. Implementation of prioritized care based on evaluation of data.
    3. Evaluation and analysis of the nurses’ personal clinical performance.
    4. A competent nurse engages in risk reduction activities and recognizes, communicates and intervenes to promote client safety.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Associate in Nursing degree requirements, the student should be able to:

  1. Evaluate nursing care based on the legal and ethical framework of the state in which they practice and the American Nurses Association Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics.
  2. Describe and analyze episodes of clinical practice and self-care; and identify areas of strength and those requiring development.
  3. Implement evidence-based practice by locating and evaluating the best available evidence in making clinical decisions; and engage in on-going professional growth and self-directed learning in the practice of professional nursing.
  4. Employ leadership skills in implementing and/or delegating the delivery of safe nursing care to clients and client systems.
  5. Collaborate with the multidisciplinary team to advocate for clients, client systems, and groups in meeting their health care needs.
  6. Contribute to the improvement of the health care system through involvement in interdisciplinary activities and choose from a variety of tools in accessing, interpreting, and providing cost-effective nursing care.
  7. Develop therapeutic relationships based on mutuality, respect, cultural sensitivity, caring, and the beliefs and value systems with the client, client systems and community.
  8. Communicate professionally, clearly and therapeutically in all interactions.
  9. Demonstrate clinical judgment in the delivery of safe, cost-effective, quality care, using information and patient care technologies to diverse clients across a wide-range of settings.
  10. Utilize health promotion, disease prevention, and restorative nursing in assisting clients and client systems to maintain independence.


When can I apply to enter the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program?

You must first complete the ADN prerequisite courses and the ATI-Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam, after which you can complete an application to enter the ADN program in the fall or spring. The fall semester application period is December 1 to February 1; while the spring semester application period is June 1 to September 1.  The prerequisite courses can be completed at Kapi‘olani Community College or other campuses within the University of Hawai‘i (UH) System.  Courses completed at institutions outside of the UH System may also be used to fulfill the ADN prerequisite courses. 

What’s the difference between the prerequisite courses and the co-requisite (support) courses for the ADN program?

The ADN prerequisite courses must be completed before the application deadline, while the ADN co-requisite (support) courses can be completed before the application deadline or while in the ADN program.

How long will it take to complete the prerequisite and co-requisite courses for the Kapʻiolani CC ADN program?

The minimum of length of time will consist of three terms (e.g., Fall, Spring and Summer or a combination thereof), since the ZOOL/PHYL 141 (Human Anatomy and Physiology I), ZOOL/PHYL 142 (Human Anatomy and Physiology II) and PHRM 203 (General Pharmacology) courses must be completed in the proper sequence. You can decide how and when you want to complete the other prerequisite and co-requisite courses around the ZOOL/PHYL 141, ZOOL/PHYL 142 and PHRM 203 courses.  You are encouraged to complete the English and math courses early on since some of the other ADN prerequisite and co-requisite courses require a certain level of English and math qualification.

Is there a time limit on the prerequisite and co-requisite courses for the ADN program?

There is no time limit for the pre and co-requisite courses.

Am I able to re-take any prerequisite and co-requisite courses for the ADN program and obtain a better grade in order to enhance my application to the ADN program?

Yes, you may retake a prerequisite or co-requisite course to obtain a better grade in order to enhance your nursing application, since the Kapi‘olani CC Nursing Department does not have a limit on the number of times that a course can be repeated for a better grade. 

Do I need to maintain a certain grade and achieve a certain grade point ratio for the prerequisite and co-requisite (support) courses?

All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher. A 2.5 cumulative grade point ratio (GPR) is required for the pre-requisite and co-requisite courses.

Does my cumulative grade point ratio (GPR) count, when my application is reviewed by the Kapiʻolani CC Nursing Department?

Your cumulative grade point ratio at Kapi‘olani CC must be at least 2.0 or higher (which is a “C” average or higher) for ALL courses completed at Kapi‘olani CC in order to be considered for the ADN program.  However, your cumulative GPA is not used for ranking purposes, when applicants are selected for the ADN program.

What courses will fulfill the humanities requirement for the ADN Program?

The courses listed below will fulfill the humanities requirement for the Associate in Science Degree in Nursing:

  • AMST 201;
  • ART 101, 189;
  • ASAN 100, 201, 202;
  • DNCE 150;
  • EALL 261, 262, 271, 272;
  • ENG 270 (any alpha), 271 (any alpha), 272 (any alpha), 273 (any alpha);
  • HIST 151, 152, 231, 232, 241, 242, 281, 282, 284, 288;
  • HUM 269;
  • HWST 100, 107, 207, 222, 257, 282;
  • IS 109, 161;
  • MUS 106, 107, 108, 170, 229
  • PACS 257
  • PHIL 100, 102, 103, 211, 213, 250;
  • REL 150, 205;
  • SP 251;
  • THEA 101

For updates on the listing of courses that will fulfill the humanities requirement for the Associate in Science Degree, please access the on-line catalog.

How do I prepare for the ATI-TEAS exam? Is there a time limit on my ATI-TEAS exam score? Am I able to re-take the ATI-TEAS exam, if I am not satisfied with my initial exam score?

Please refer to the ATI TEAS page for all inquiries regarding study guides, time limits, re-takes, scores, and general ATI TEAS information.

Are letters of reference needed as part of my application?

Letters of reference should document the applicant’s direct patient care experience in a health-related field as evidenced by completion of a training program, work experience in a health care field, or physician verification of caregiving experience.

How are students selected for the nursing program?

For the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program, the “best qualified” applicants are selected based on four criteria: their grade point ratio (GPR) for the prerequisite courses and co-requisite courses (if completed before the application deadline), their adjusted individual total score for the Assessment Technology Institute’s Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI-TEAS) exam, completion of the co-requisite courses before the application deadline and (patient-based) health and medical work experience or training. 

For the ADN Program, LPN-RN Transition Program and PRCN Program, qualified applicants who are deemed as Hawai‘i residents for tuition purposes are considered first for acceptance; after which, qualified, non-resident applicants are considered on a space-available basis.  Military personnel and their dependents are eligible to pay resident-level tuition based on their non-resident military exempt tuition status; however, they are deemed as non-residents when applying for the Kapi‘olani CC nursing programs, since the military personnel’s home of record determines the state of residence.

How many applications are received and how many students are selected for the nursing program each semester?

For the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program, the Nursing Department at Kapi‘olani Community College receives approximately 175-200(+) applications each semester of which approximately eighteen (18) to twenty-four (24) students are accepted each semester. The number of acceptances will depend on the availability of instructors and the number of students that can be accommodated within the clinical practicum facility.

After applying to the nursing program, when will I be notified of my application status?

Fall applicants who apply for the ADN program by the February 1st deadline will be notified of their application status by mid-April.

Spring applicants who apply for the ADN program by the September 1st deadline will be notified of their application status by early November.

Are non-resident students accepted into the nursing program?

All students are welcome to apply regardless of their tuition status (i.e., resident or non-resident); however, the Nursing Department must first consider all qualified nursing applicants, who are deemed as Hawai‘i residents for tuition purposes. Students, who are deemed as non-residents for tuition purposes, will be considered on a space-available basis.

Is there a wait list for the nursing program?

There is no formal wait list for the nursing programs; however, there is an alternate list that is maintained for only a specific semester.

For the ADN Program, Transition Program and the PRCN Program, applicants who are not selected for admissions may be deemed as alternates depending on their ranking.  Alternate students are required to attend the Nursing Program’s New Student Orientation Session and are encouraged to complete the health requirements in case they are selected for the nursing program.  Alternate students may be offered admissions as early as two months before the start of the semester or as recent as one week before the start of the semester.  In either case, alternate students must be ready to start the nursing program at the time they are offered admissions or the next qualified alternate student, who has completed all of the health requirements, will be offered admissions into the program.  Alternates for the nursing program who are not offered admissions into their semester of application must re-apply to the nursing program in a subsequent semester.

I’ve completed all of the prerequisite and co-requisite courses for the ADN program and was wondering if there are other courses that can be completed during the semester before I actually start the ADN program?

Below are other courses that are recommended for pre-nursing students. While no extra application consideration is given for completing these courses, pre-nursing students gain extra knowledge in preparation for entry into the ADN program.

  • BIOC 141 – Fundamentals of Biochemistry (3 credits)
  • BIOL 101 – Biology and Society (3 credits)
  • BIOL 171/172 – Introduction to Biology I/II (3/3 credits)
  • FSHE 185 – The Science of Human Nutrition (3 credits)
  • HLTH 110 – Medical Terminology (2 credits)
  • HLTH 125 – Survey of Medical Terminology (1 credit)
  • HLTH 160 – Study of Diseases (3 credits)
  • HLTH 252 – Pathophysiology (3 credits)
  • HLTH 270 – Aging Rehabilitation (1 credit)
  • MEDA 100 – Introduction to Medical Assisting (3 credits)
  • MICR 140 – General Microbiology Lab (2 credits)
  • NURS 100/100L – Long Term Care Nurse Aide (6 credits)
  • PHIL 250 – Ethics in Health Care (3 credits)
  • PSY 170 – Psychology of Adjustment (3 credits)
  • PSY 224 – Abnormal Psychology (3 credits at Windward CC)
  • PSY 371 – Abnormal Psychology (3 credits at UH-Mānoa)
  • SOC 257 – Sociology of Aging (3 credits)

In addition to the prerequisite and co-requisite courses for the Kapi‘olani CC ADN program, other courses required for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at UH-Mānoa include the following:

  • Two courses from within the Diversification of Arts (DA), Humanities (DH), and Literature (DL) categories, choosing two courses from within a different group (i.e., DA, DH, or DL).
  • Two courses from within the Global and Multicultural Perspectives (FG) category, choosing two courses from within a different group (i.e., FGA, FGB or FGC).
  • Two (non-nursing) courses for the Writing Intensive (WI) requirement.

In addition to the aforementioned courses, students should consult with a Nursing Department counselor for advice on other pre-nursing courses required for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at UH-Hilo.

What is a nursing student schedule like and am I able to work full-time or part-time while enrolled in the ADN program?

Depending on the scheduled days/times for the lecture, lab and clinical practicum for a specific nursing course, a nursing student schedule encompasses the weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The decision to work is a personal choice, however, it is recommended that students lessen their work hours or forego working due to the demands within the nursing program.

Is financial aid available for the Kapi‘olani CC nursing programs?

Federal financial aid (i.e., grants, college work study and loans), UH System tuition waivers and private nursing scholarships are available for students accepted into the Kapi‘olani CC nursing programs.

Will Kapi‘olani CC offer its nursing program at other sites throughout O‘ahu?

The Kapi‘olani CC Nursing Department currently offers its Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program at its Diamond Head (DH) campus and off-campus instructional site at Leeward Community College, while its Practical Nursing (PRCN) program is offered at its Diamond Head (DH) campus (in the Spring term) and at its satellite site at Leeward Community College (in the Fall term). The ADN program is offered at the (LCC) satellite site depending on instructor availability and classroom space.

Is certification available?

The Kapi‘olani CC ADN Program prepares its graduates for the National Council of Licensure Examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN). After the first semester of this program, students have acquired skills for employment as nurse aides.

Do you offer non-credit courses in nursing?

For current offering of non-credit courses, please click on Continuing Education & Training.