Kauai Community College (KCC), part of the University of Hawaii system, prepares students for careers through its work-training certificates and associate degrees, as well as preparing students for transferring into baccalaureate programs at other colleges. It is the only college to serve the island of Kauai, and it offers courses in the liberal arts, education, business, health sciences, technology, and hospitality.
Among Kauai Community College’s health sciences programs are two nursing programs, both of which are accredited by the Hawaii State Board of Nursing and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. In addition, Kauai Community College offers a short certificate program for nurse assistants. Here is a review of the available nursing options at Kauai Community College:
Certified Nurses Aide Certificate
Students who earn a Certificate of Completion for the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) program can seek a license from the state board of health in order to perform entry-level work in healthcare facilities, especially in long-term care facilities. Kauai Community College’s 150-hour training course consists of sixty hours of classroom instruction in addition to ninety hours of clinical practice. The program emphasizes caring for the elderly. Ten students are accepted into each CNA training class.
Practical Nursing Certificate
The Practical Nursing program at Kauai Community College takes three semesters, not counting the required prerequisites. Generally, students must take eight prerequisite classes, in English, psychology, anthropology, and the sciences, although a student with a very high SAT/ACT score or a high score on Kauai Community College’s COMPASS placement exam may test out of a few prerequisite courses. On the other hand, exam scores may also dictate that a student must take additional, developmental courses in math, English, and writing before beginning the Practical Nursing program. Students must maintain a GPA of 2.5 in all prerequisite classes in order to be considered for admission. The nursing program admission process is competitive, but Kauai Community College has implemented some measures to make sure that the admission process does not favor a certain gender or ethnicity.
Forty percent of admitted students are admitted on the basis of their qualification; these students have the best test scores, GPAs, recommendations, etc. The other 60 percent of the nursing class is admitted on the basis of first come, first served. If a student meets the minimum qualifications for the program and applies early enough, he should be accepted. The program begins in the fall, and goes through the following spring and summer semesters. It consists of thirty credits, half of which are for in-class instruction and half of which are for hands-on instruction. At the end of the program, graduates are prepared to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX_PN). They can then seek work as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) or go on to work on a further nursing degree.
Associate of Science in Nursing
Kauai Community College has designed its nursing programs in a “career ladder” structure. Students who wish to earn an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree begin with the Practical Nursing Program. They spend the first year (three semesters) studying alongside the LPN students. At the end of the year, the LPN students take the NCLEX_PN and leave the program, and the ASN students go on to a second year of nursing studies. ASN students must complete seventy-two credit hours in total, forty-five of which are for lecture hours, and twenty-seven of which are for clinical/labs. Using Kauai Community College’s career ladder structure, graduates of the ASN program can either take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN) and go into the working world as Registered Nurses (RN), or they have the option of bridging into the University of Hawaii-Manoa’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. In order to be eligible for this, students must take an additional twenty-seven credits of prerequisites (which are offered at Kauai Community College) while completing the ASN program. After completing the ASN program and the prerequisites, students can enter the fourth year of the University of Hawaii’s BSN program, which can be completed via distance learning, if desired.
Kaua´i Community College
3-1901 Kaumuali Highway
Lihue, HI 96766