How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Hawaii
Becoming a nurse administrator is a great way to make a difference in the nursing field. Nurse administrators play a vital role in managing and directing the activities of nurses and other medical staff. They also work in multiple settings like including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and schools.
The first step to become a nurse administrator in Hawaii is to get a degree in nursing. You can do this by attending an accredited college or university nursing program. Once you have your degree, you will need to successfully clear the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become a registered nurse (RN). After passing this exam, you can then work as an RN and gain the experience required to become an administrator.
The Duties of a Nurse Administrator
The nurse administrators are the backbone of any hospital. Their job is to oversee the day-to-day operations of nursing staff and ensure that patient care is of the highest quality. They are also responsible for making sure that all nurses are properly trained and equipped to handle their duties. In addition to these primary tasks, nurse administrators may also be responsible for developing nursing policies, managing budgets and providing direct patient care.
Nurse administrators typically work in hospitals, but may also work in other healthcare settings like clinics, care facilities or home health agencies. These professionals report to the head of the nursing staff or the administrator of the facility in which they work.
Becoming a nurse administrator can be a rewarding way to advance your career in nursing. It offers the opportunity to use your leadership skills to improve patient care and make a positive impact on the lives of those you serve.
The Process to Become a Nurse Administrator in Hawaii
The first step in the process is to earn a bachelor’s degree, typically a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Some employers require at least a master’s degree or higher. All employers will require extensive experience working in a nursing role. Several schools in Hawaii offer nursing degrees and the tuition cost is relatively affordable when compared to other states.
The cost of tuition for nursing school in Hawaii can range from $10,000 to $30,000 per year, depending on the school you choose. (Additionally, Hawaii offers a great climate and plenty of opportunities for novice and experienced nurses to work in a variety of settings.)
Highest-Rated University Nursing and Nurse Leadership Programs in Hawaii
1. The University of Hawaii at Hilo
UH Hilo’s School of Nursing offers a range of beginner programs, as well as excellent opportunities for nurses who want to become administrators. Students will receive a thorough and well-rounded education that prepares them for a successful career in nursing or nursing administration. (Tuition: $306 per credit for Hawaii residents; $846 per credit for out-of-state students.)
2. The University of Hawaii at Manoa
The Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing (NAWSON) offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. NAWSON also has two options for those pursuing their BSN: (1) the direct entry pathway, which is for new students and takes four years to complete; and (2) a three-year plan of study designed for current students, transfer students and military veterans. (Tuition: $471 per credit for Hawaii residents; $1,389 per credit for out-of-state students.)
3. Chaminade University of Honolulu
Chaminade’s Nursing School offers state-of-the-art facilities and a knowledgeable faculty. Students are equipped with a strong foundation based on supportive mentorships, hands-on learning and realistic simulations. Chaminade offers both a standard BSN program and an accelerated two-year program. (Tuition: $34,294 per year.)
4. Hawaii Pacific University
Hawaii Pacific University has both online and in-person graduate degrees, as well as several on-campus undergraduate degrees. Along with a four-year BSN program, HPU also offers LPN/LVN-to-BSN and RN-to-BSN program options for nurses already working in the field. There are also options for military veterans to work as a hospital corpsman. (Tuition: $18,660 per semester.)
5. University of Hawaii Maui College
The associate of science in nursing (ASN) at UH Maui College’s Nursing Program specifically prepares students to transfer to UH Manoa’s BSN program. The ASN also provides students with a “certificate of achievement” at the practical nurse level. (Tuition: $131-$306 per credit for Hawaii residents; $345-$846 per credit for out-of-state students.)
The above is only a small selection of the most-notable programs in Hawaii. With a little research you can find plenty of other quality university, college and junior college programs.
What to Expect When Taking the NCLEX-RN
The NCLEX-RN is a computer-adaptive test (CAT): a computer-based test that adapts to the test taker’s knowledge of the material. As you take the test, the difficulty of each question changes based on whether you answered the previous question correctly. Once you answer a question correctly, the next question will be more difficult. In contrast, if you make a mistake on a question, the next one will be easier.
To get an idea of what will be on the exam, you can find a number of free NCLEX-RN practice questions online.
Once you’re prepared to take the NCLEX-RN, you can schedule an appointment at a Pearson VUE testing center (this is the company that actually administers the exam). You can find multiple testing centers throughout the United States. For the one nearest to you, please visit the Pearson VUE website.
Taking the NCLEX-RN
The NCLEX-RN is given by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). To register, you will first need to submit an application to the nursing regulatory body in the state or jurisdiction in you want to be licensed in; in Hawaii, this is the Hawaii Board of Nursing. After you receive approval for the applicaton, you will be granted permission to register for the NCLEX-RN with Pearson Vue.
Keep in mind that you should start this process well before you wish to take the actual exam as it takes a lot of time. You will also need to pay a testing fee, which is currently $200.
What Happens After You Pass the NCLEX-RN
The NCLEX-RN is just one of the hurdles you’ll face on your journey to becoming a nurse administrator in Hawaii. After passing, the next step is obtaining your nursing license from the Hawaii Board of Nursing. Once you have your license, you can begin working as an RN in Hawaii.
Gain Experience Working as a Nurse
To qualify for the vast majority of nurse administrator positions in Hawaii, you’ll have to have at least two years of hands-on experience working as an RN. This can be done by working in a variety of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities or home health agencies. You’ll start building the knowledge and skills necessary to be a competent RN and eventually an effective leader.
Continuing Your Nursing Education
Multiple reasons exist as to why an employer would prefer a nurse administrator with a graduate degree. First, a graduate degree demonstrates that the individual has taken their career seriously and is willing to invest the time needed to be successful. Secondly, a graduate degree generally provides the nurse administrator with more knowledge and skills than someone with only a bachelor’s degree.
It may not be feasible for every person to able to commit to a graduate degree program, and that’s perfectly okay. There are many excellent nurse administrators who hold only a bachelor’s degree. However, those individuals who do choose to pursue a graduate degree will find that it opens doors to more senior positions and higher salaries. As with most jobs, the higher your degree is, the more likely that you will find a high-paying position early on with the potential to gain seniority as time progresses.
Salary and Job Outlook for Nurse Administrators in Hawaii
The average salary for a nurse administrator in Hawaii is $84,000 per year. The job outlook for nurse administrators, too, is positive, with an expected growth of seven percent over the next 10 years. This means that there will be approximately 1,200 new job openings for nurse administrators in Hawaii over the next decade.
Resources for Hawaii Nurses Who Want to Become Administrators
If you’re a nurse in Hawaii who wants to become an administrator, there are some great resources available to help you make the transition. Here are a few of the best:
- The Hawaii Nurses Association (HNA) is a great place to start. They offer plenty of resources and networking opportunities for nurses looking to move into leadership roles.
- The American Nurses Association (ANA) is an excellent resource and their website offers plenty of information on the process of becoming an administrator.
- The National League for Nursing offers a wealth of resources, including information on certification and accreditation.
- The Philippine Nurses Association of Hawaii (PNAH) can also help nurses interested in becoming administrators by providing resources and support for nurses who want to pursue higher levels of education and leadership.
To learn more about becoming a nurse administrator in Hawaii, contact the Hawaii Board of Nursing at (808) 586-3000.