University of Hawaii at Manoa Nursing School Review

Serving over 20,000 students and offering over 200 different degree programs, the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UH Manoa, or UH) is the most prominent member of the University of Hawaii system. Among its many programs are several in the nursing field.

The School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene at the University of Hawaii at Manoa has bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs for prospective nurses and nurses who wish to continue their education. All programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Hawaii State Board of Nursing.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is a classic, four-year program. The first year is dedicated to general education requirements/prerequisites, and the following three years focus on nursing instruction. For students who enter the university directly from high school and already know that they want to pursue nursing, the university offers a special bridge program. They enroll immediately in the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene in their first year.

While all the classes are the same as the traditional BSN students, the direct entry high school students join a learning community in their first year to help them transition more smoothly from prerequisites to nursing classes. Students also have the traditional option of applying and enrolling in the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene after completing all prerequisites, generally at the beginning of the second year of study.

They must complete the same curriculum as the direct entry high school students, but they do not join learning communities during their first year. At the end of the program, students are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN) and seek work as Registered Nurses (RN).

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Executive RN to BSN

The University of Hawaii- Manoa welcomes RNs who hold an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree to earn their BSN degree through the Executive RN to BSN program. In fact, many community colleges throughout Hawaii offer ASN programs that line up with the curriculum at the University of Hawaii – Manoa in order to allow ASN graduates to easily transition into the BSN program.

The University of Hawaii – Manoa’s RN to BSN program consists of only thirty-four credits, but before applying students must have forty-seven credits worth of prerequisites as well as the courses for the ASN. Students who can demonstrate professional experience and competence may be eligible to place out of some of the thirty-four credits of upper-level nursing courses; advisors will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Practitioner

The University of Hawaii at Manoa offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for students who wish to provide primary care as Nurse Practitioners (NP). Within this NP program, students may specialize in Adult/Gerontology, Pediatrics, Family, Family/Public Health, or Pediatric/Public Health. Depending on the specialty chosen, the total credits required range between forty-five and sixty-two, and over 500 clinical hours are required. The NP program can be completed on either a part-time or a full-time basis, and the program is available via distance-based learning.

Master of Science in Nursing – Advanced Public Health Nursing

Through the MSN – Advanced Public Health Nursing program, students can prepare to take the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center exam for advanced public health nursing and earn the title of Advanced Public Health Nurse. In this role, nurses can oversee the health and wellness of an entire population, and contribute to promoting health awareness and disease prevention. The program requires thirty-six credits in total, and is designed to be completed on a part-time basis over six semesters. Distance learning is available for this program. Students may also complete this program in conjunction with the MSN – Nurse Practitioner program, earning dual certification in public health nursing and pediatric or family health.

Master of Science in Nursing – Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist

An RN who wishes to provide advanced care and direct overall care for adult patients can enroll in the University of Hawaii – Manoa’s MSN program, specializing in adult healthcare and working toward certification as an Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. This program requires forty-two credits in total, and can be completed in two years (full-time) or three years (part-time). Some parts of the program, but not all, can be completed online.


Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration

Each year, the University of Hawaii – Manoa accepts eighteen students into the MSN – Nursing Administration track. This prepares nurses to direct healthcare delivery at an administrative level, affecting and implementing healthcare strategies. The program consists of thirty-six credits, which are completed over the course of eighteen months. The format is hybrid, partly on-site and partly online.

Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration/MBA

Students can simultaneously complete the Nursing Administration MSN track and complete an MBA through the University of Hawaii – Manoa’s Shidler College of Business. The dual degree requires fifty-four credits. While the nursing administration part of the degree is hybrid in format, the MBA classes are only available on-site. The dual degree can be completed on either a full-time or a part-time basis.

Master of Science in Nursing – Master’s Entry Program in Nursing

A student who holds a baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing may earn an MSN and transition straight into a leadership position in the nursing field through the Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN). After completing prerequisites in science, psychology, and statistics, students then complete three semesters of bridge classes. At the end of these three semesters, a student can take the NCLEX_RN, and move into one of the MSN programs. The length of time to finish the program then depends on the MSN specialty chosen.

Post-master’s Certification

A nurse who has already earned an MSN may return to school to earn an MSN with a different specialty through the Post-master’s Certification track. This requires a minimum of fifteen credits, but the total number of credits will vary depending on the previous education of the nurse and the new specialty chosen.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing program is offered online only, although students must commit to spending one week per year on campus. The program is designed to take four years on a part-time basis, and requires forty-five credits in total. A dissertation is required. The PhD in Nursing program, which is open to nurses who hold an MSN degree, prepares students to influence the way nursing is taught and the way healthcare strategies are implemented.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Building on the MSN program at the University of Hawaii – Manoa, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program continues to train nurses to be leaders in the healthcare field, both on the level of caring for individual patients and on the level of implementing healthcare strategies and promoting wellness in the community. The program takes two years on a part-time basis, and is offered in a hybrid format, partly online and partly on-site. Thirty credits are required in total; this includes an evidence-based project. As with the PhD in Nursing program, the DNP program is only open to nurses who already hold an MSN degree.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
2500 Campus Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

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