Hawaii Community College Nursing Program Review

Hawaii Community College (HCC) serves students in Hilo and the surrounding area, offering associate degrees and certificates in a whole range of disciplines. True to its foundation as a vocational school, the college mainly offers professional programs, but it does also offer a few liberal arts programs as well. As a work force training college, one of its main areas of focus is the rapidly growing and changing healthcare field.

Students who wish to take advantage of the many opportunities in the field can find opportunities through the Division of Nursing and Allied Health at Hawaii Community College, which offers two tracks for prospective nurses. Both nursing programs are accredited by the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). Hawaii Community College itself is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Practical Nursing (PN) ProgramCertificate of Achievement in Practical Nursing

The Certificate of Achievement in Practical Nursing program at Hawaii Community College prepares students to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX_PN), and seek work as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). The PN program consists of forty credit hours in total; six credit hours of core requirements and thirty-four hours of nursing courses. This is a quick way for prospective nurses to enter the field, since it only requires a year of study in total. Students begin the program in the fall semester, continue through the spring, and wrap up with an eight-week summer course. One year from the time of entry, then, students are prepared to work as LPNs.

Associate of Science in Nursing

The Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program is more intense, both in its core requirements and in its nursing requirements. Students must take thirty credit hours of core classes and forty-two credit hours of nursing classes, for a total of seventy-two credits. The program generally takes about five semesters to complete; students should plan on an entire year of prerequisite core classes before applying to the program. After acceptance, they will spend three semesters focused entirely on learning nursing skills. The nursing classes start in the fall, and follow a set progression, so students must plan prerequisite classes accordingly. All prerequisites must be completed prior to the start of the fall semester, otherwise the student will have to wait a year to start the ASN program. The classes for the ASN degree are offered at the Hawaii Community College campus in Hilo, and some classes are also available through the University of Hawaii Center at West Hawaii, but this can vary depending on student interest and faculty availability. If there are sufficient faculty and students, an ASN program will also begin in West Hawaii each fall. At the end of the ASN program, students are ready to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN). If they are successful, they will receive the title of Registered Nurses (RN) and may seek work in hospitals, out-patient clinics, in patients’ homes, and other settings.

Hawaiʻi Community College
200 West Kawili Street.
Hilo, HI 96720

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