Options to Complete Your BSN: RN to BSN Programs in Hawaii

People may speak of returning to school for a BSN, but it’s not really a return in the classic sense. It doesn’t mean quitting a job or moving somewhere else. Even in remote Hawaii, there are options to complete your BSN while working at your regular job.

There are multiple reasons that Hawaii’s professional nurses might consider BSN completion. Some of these reasons also apply to nurses in other areas of the country. Medical procedures are getting more complex and so is the healthcare system. The AACN notes that BSN nurses are prepared for more complex and varied roles and that hospitals with a greater proportion of BSN nurses have fewer adverse events. But Hawaii’s population — very rural and very diverse — constitutes an additional reason. It takes collaborative and coordinative skills to meet patient needs outside of a traditional acute care setting. It also takes cultural competency and a familiarity and comfort with community resources. Hawaii actually has the most diverse population of any of the 50 states.

What courses can you expect in your baccalaureate degree program? You will learn to care for patients with complex healthcare needs in both community settings and traditional hospital ones. You will also study leadership and management issues and gain at least a foundation in nursing research skills. You may, for instance, learn how to write a research proposal.

You may have a chance to select one or more nursing electives. As a BSN completion student, you may also need to take a few courses outside the nursing department. Hawaii Pacific, for example, requires research and argumentative writing.

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BSN Career Mobility

Experienced nurses may choose BSN completion programs to give themselves greater career mobility. A bachelor’s degree is a preferred or required qualification for many nursing positions in both the hospital and the larger community. Among these positions are clinical nurse educator, case manager, and clinical coordinator.

You must have a bachelor’s to be a public health nurse. A BSN can also be an asset for some hospital positions, particularly those that involve leadership. Hospitals that have magnet status must have at least 75% of their nurse manager positions staffed by RNs with education at the baccalaureate level or higher. Hawaii has one magnet hospital, the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu.

RN to BSN Program Considerations

Depending on their location within the state, Hawaii’s RNs may have a choice of either traditional or online learning. Classes at Honolulu’s Hawaii Pacific takes place in a classroom setting. The program at the University of Hawaii, on the other hand, utilizes distance learning. It is open to students on the islands of Hawaii, Maui, or Kauai. Although it is mostly online, there are some classes with a clinical component. Students may choose to enroll full-time, or to take as a little as one or two classes a semester. Full-time students can complete the program in about a year and a half (three semesters and a summer session).

Students also have the option of enrolling in online RN to BSN programs from other universities, both public and private. Some of these do not have a clinical requirement. Don’t feel that a program is out of your reach, though, just because it has a small clinical requirement. It is sometimes an option to arrange to do practicum hour in a healthcare center near you. The process of making arrangements may be much easier for someone who is already licensed as a professional nurse.

Hawaii’s prospective students should also be aware that employers like Hawaii Pacific Health offer tuition reimbursement to employees seeking their BSN.

RN to BSN Programs in Hawaii

Hawaii Pacific University

University of Hawaii- Hilo

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