Practical Nursing (PRCN) Program


Selective Admissions

The Practical Nursing program 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.

Admissions Procedures

  1. Apply and complete steps to become a Kapi‘olani CC student if you are currently not a student of the UH system. For assistance with getting started at the College, contact
  2. Meet the program faculty and counselors to learn more about the program. Visit the Health Careers Info Session section on this page to join an upcoming session. Connect with the Health Careers Counseling Center for advising support as needed.
  3. Complete program requirements and apply to the program. For more information download the following links:
    1. PRCN Self-Advising Form  (pdf)
    2. PRCN Admissions Application/Checklist Form (pdf)

Special Announcements

Practical Nursing Program: FALL 2023 Application, April 1 – May 15, 2023

Effective April 1, 2023, the Nursing Department is conducting a pilot study to determine if a waiver of the 5-year time limit for science courses that have expired (PHYL 141, PHYL 142, & PHRM 203) can be granted for applicants who have completed 200+hours of work experience in the healthcare field with direct patient care at a medical facility (home health care not eligible) within the past 3-years of the application period.

Practical Nursing Program: UPDATE: (2/27/2024)

Starting in Fall 2024, the Practical Nursing program will be held at both KCC and LCC sites to accommodate the growing nursing student population.

Program Overview

The Practical Nursing program curriculum is designed to prepare students with entry-level competencies needed for the Licensed Practical Nurse examination. The program consists of planned learning experiences in classroom, laboratory and faculty-supervised clinical settings which will prepare the student to function in the role of a beginning practitioner of practical nursing. The program prepares the student for eligibility to take the licensure examination for practical nurses. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, students are eligible to take the licensing examination to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. The program is fully accredited by the Board of Nursing, State of Hawaiʻi. The Practical Nursing Program prepares graduates for the National Council of Licensure Examination for practical nurses (NCLEX-PN).

Contact Information

Degree & Certificates

Certificate Of Achievement – Practical Nursing (44-46 credits)

Program Information

Special Announcements (ARCHIVED)

Revised Nurse Aide Requirement for Practical Nursing Program

Effective April 1, 2018, and pending approval by the college, nursing program applicants, who utilize a nurse aide course to fulfill the nurse aide requirement for the Kapiʻolani CC Practical Nursing (PRCN) Program, must complete a Hawai‘i state-approved nurse aide course with a minimum of 135 hours of classroom lecture, lab and clinical practicum. PRCN applicants must complete the NURS 100 & NURS 100 Lab – Long Term Care Nurse Aide course offered by Kapi‘olani CC or complete any equivalent nurse aide course offered at another institution. Nursing program applicants, who utilize the nurse aide work experience to fulfill the nurse aide requirement for the Kapiʻolani CC PRCN Program, must provide proof of the nurse aide work experience and completion of any Hawai‘i state-approved nurse aide course.

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.

Nursing Program Career Ladder

After completing a Practical Nursing program and obtaining their practical nursing licensure, interested students may pursue the LPN-RN Transition (ANURS-LPN) which is for Licensed Practical Nurses who are interested in becoming a registered nurse. This program may be completed in three semesters after all Kapiʻolani CC LPN-RN Transition prerequisites are completed. For more information, visit the LPN-RN Transition Program page.

Potential Careers & Employers

There is a demand for practical nurses in long-term care facilities and home health settings with possible opportunities in the acute/hospital setting. The average entry-level salary is $20 per hour and with experience $28 per hour or more.

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.

Licensure and State Authorization

Once the student has completed the Certificate of Achievement in Practical Nursing program and has successfully obtained certification in Hawai‘i by the Hawai‘i 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 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 lives.

Program Outcomes

Program Approval

The program is fully accredited by the Board of Nursing, State of Hawai‘i.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Certificate of Achievement in Practical Nursing, the student should be able to:

  • Function as a member of the health care team under the supervision of the R.N. and/or M.D.
  • Participate in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of nursing care.
  • Administer safe nursing care for patients throughout the life cycle.
  • Identify the legal and ethical responsibilities of the practical nurse.


How can I obtain advising information about Kapi‘olani CC’s program?

We offer a variety of ways to learn about nursing programs at Kapi‘olani CC; pre-recorded videos, LIVE monthly zoom sessions, virtual drop-in advising hours, and a newsletter. Visit the Nursing Information Session page to access these resources.

When can I apply to enter the Practical Nursing (PRCN) program at Kapi‘olani CC?

You must first complete the PRCN prerequisite courses, the ATI-TEAS exam, a state-approved nurse aide course and (15-hour) medical terminology course, after which you can complete an application to the PRCN program. 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 PRCN prerequisite courses. Complete the transcript evaluation process to identify which transfer courses may apply as a prerequisite.  The fall application period is October 1 to December 15 (at the off-campus Leeward CC site) ; while the spring semester application period is April 1 to May 15 (at the Kapiʻolani CC site).

How long will it take to complete the prerequisite and co-requisite courses for the Kapi‘olani CC PRCN program?

The minimum length of time will consist of two or three semesters, 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 around the ZOOL/PHYL 141, ZOOL/PHYL 142 and PHRM 110 courses. You are encouraged to complete the English and math courses early on since some of the other PRCN prerequisite courses require a certain level of English and math qualification. There are no corequisite courses for the PRCN program.

Is there a time limit on the prerequisite courses for the PRCN program?

The science courses (i.e., Zoology/Physiology and Pharmacology) have a five-year time limit, which must be completed within the last five years prior to the first day of the application period. There is no time limit for all other (non-science) courses.

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

Yes, you may retake a prerequisite course to obtain a better grade in order to enhance your nursing application, since the Kapiʻolani 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 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 courses.

Does my cumulative grade point ratio (GPR) count, when my application is reviewed by the Kapi‘olani 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 Kapiʻolani CC in order to be considered for the Kapiʻolani CC PRCN program. However, your Kapiʻolani CC cumulative GPA is not used for ranking purposes, when applicants are selected for the PRCN program.

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 are not necessary for the PRCN application unless verifying your nurse aide work experience within the past three years of application to the PRCN program.

How are students selected for the nursing program?

For the Practical Nursing (PRCN) program, the “best qualified” applicants are selected based on three criteria: their grade point ratio (GPR) for the prerequisite courses, their percentile exam score and their completion of the co-requisite courses before the application deadline. A range of points are assigned for the GPR for the prerequisite courses, for the percentile score for ATI-TEAS exam and for each co-requisite course (completed before the application deadline).

For the Practical Nursing 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 PRCN program each semester?

For the Practical Nursing (PRCN) program, the Kapi‘olani CC Nursing Department receives approximately 40-50 applications each Fall and Spring of which approximately fifteen (15) to twenty (20) students are accepted each semester depending on the availability of instructors and the number of students that can be accommodated within the clinical practicum facility.

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

Students are encouraged to complete the prerequisite and co-requisite courses for the Associate Degree in Nursing/LPN-RN Transition program.

What is a nursing student schedule like and am I able to work full-time or part-time while enrolled in the Kapi‘olani CC PRCN 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 PRCN program. Private nursing scholarships administered by Kapi‘olani CC are available.

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 site and satellite site at Leeward Community College depending on classroom space and instructor availability, while its Practical Nursing (PRCN) program is offered at its Diamond Head (DH) campus site each Spring semester and at its satellite site at Leeward Community College each Fall semester.

Is certification available?

The Kapi‘olani CC PRCN Program prepares its graduates for the National Council of Licensure Examination for practical nurses (NCLEX-PN).