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Annual Report
Registered Nurse Survey '07
Nurse Staffing &
Patient Outcomes
Projected RN Workforce in Hawaii 2005 - 2020
Nursing Education Programs
2005 - 2006
Nursing Education & Practice
Hawaii's Health in the
Balance: A Report on the
State of the Nursing Workforce

Hawaii State Center for Nursing

2528 McCarthy Mall
Webster Hall 432
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 - Map -

Ph: (808) 956-5211
Fax: (808) 956-3257


ANNUAL REPORT 2007 (download pdf file)

Archives: 2005 | 2006

Report from Advisory Board | A. Act 198 | B. Strategic Plan | C. Fiscal Year 2007 Financial Statement | D. Nurse Leadership Program | E. Abstract: Projected Registered Nurse Workforce in Hawaii 05-20 | F. Hawai'i Partners In Nursing Project Report | G. Abstract: Nursing Education Programs 05-06




Forecast data of the registered nurse workforce indicates that Hawai‘i will experience a growing nursing shortage over the next fifteen years as veterans and baby boomers retire from the profession. Out of this group the most significant effect w ill be felt in the tertiary education arena where 65% of faculty were 50 years or older in 2006. The aging trend in faculty indicates that we may have young people interested in entering the nursing profession and apply to nursing programs however the qualified applicants will be unable to enter nursing programs because of declining numbers of faculty to teach.

The State of Hawai‘i has eight nursing education programs. Two are private institutions and six programs are part of the University of Hawai‘i public system. Nursing programs are located on the islands Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai. In 2006, nursing programs in Hawai‘i turned away approximately 14% (255) of qualified applicants from Associate Degree (AS), Bachelor’s Degree (BS), and RN-BS programs; and 29% (34) from Master’s in Nursing (MSN) and PhD programs.

To strategically address the growing workforce shortage the Hawai‘i State Center for Nursing and the nursing programs across the state have implemented an annual survey to collect ongoing student enrollment data, student and faculty demographics, and faculty vacancy rates. Trending data will be generated over time to inform workforce planning and policy at the state and regional level.


The University of Hawai‘i System, School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene and Community Colleges, approves the maximum number of pre-licensure students that may be enrolled (i.e., admission slots) in programs that offer a licensed practical nursing (LPN) diploma or certificate, an associate’s degree in nursing (AS), or a bachelor of science in nursing (BS). Private institutions have unlimited admission slots. However, all programs may have difficulty filling admission slots if they currently lack faculty, facilities, or clinical placement sites to support the number of admission slots. They also may not fill admission slots if there are few qualified applicants, or if admitted applicants do not enroll because of financial or personal reasons or acceptance to another educational program.


Survey findings indicate that during 2005-06 the percent of admission slots unfilled or filled in the public system were
• 36% (48) of the admission slots for clinical ladder programs were unfilled
• 2% (1) of admission slot for LPN program was unfilled
• 100% (90) of admission slots for AS program were filled
• 9% (13) of admission slots for BS program were unfilled i.e., all of these unfilled slots were in RN to BS programs

In 2005 - 2006, the majority of nursing programs reported they had more qualified applicants than the number of approved / available admission slots. The one exception was the public institutions offering the RN to BS program. These programs had more admission slots available than qualified applicants.


Overall, for the public institutions providing data and enrollment information, an estimated 542 qualified applicants were not enrolled.
• LPN programs reported that 131 qualified applicants were not enrolled
• Ladder programs reported that 122 qualified applicants were not enrolled
• AS programs reported that 210 qualified applicants were not enrolled
• Public pre-licensed BS programs reported 45 qualified applicants were not offered enrolment and 12 did not take up an offer to enroll. Private prelicensed BS programs where an unset number of admission slots are available reported t hat 791 of qualified applicants did not take up the offer to enroll
• RN to BS programs offered by two public programs reported 13 slots were unfilled and 2 qualified applicants did not take up the offer to enroll. The one private program reported 1 qualified applicant did not take up the offer to enroll
• MSN programs reported 29 qualified applicants were not enrolled
• PhD program reported 5 qualified applicants were not enrolled

A total of 574 graduates received a LPN, AS or BS in the undergraduate programs; 36 graduates received a MSN or PhD in graduate nursing programs in Hawai‘i for 2005-06. Survey results for the 2005-06 school year show that;
• 71 graduates received a certificate or diploma through a LPN program,
• 79 students in the ladder program completed requirements for the LPN portion of the program,
• 56 graduates completed the ladder program and received an AS,
• 65 graduates received an AS,
• 302 graduates received a BS,
• 28 graduates received a MSN, and
• 8 graduates received a PhD in nursing.

However, not all undergraduates are new to the practice of nursing. For example, survey data identifies that approximately 7 percent (41) of BS students newly enrolled during 2005-2006 were already licensed as registered nurses (RNs) and returned to upgrade their level of education.

The immediate capacity of nursing education programs to accept students is determined by the availability of faculty, facilities, and clinical placement opportunities. Out of the data provided, survey findings related to faculty in Hawai‘i nursing programs show that:

• The race/ ethnicity data provided on 252 faculty, an estimated 1.2% of faculty members are identified as African American, 3.2% of mixed racial / ethnic descent, <1% Pacific Islander, 3.2% Hispanic, 3.2% Native Hawaiian, 23% Asian, and 65% Caucasian.

• Out of the age data provided on 132 full-time faculty, 68% of full-time faculty are 50 years or older.
• Out of age data provided on 122 adjunct faculty, 63% of adjunct faculty are 50 years or older.
• The overall vacancy rate for full-time faculty positions in nursing education programs is 15% (20 out of 133 positions) and the vacancy rate for adjunct faculty positions is 0% (0 out of 149 positions).

When asked about issues of concern for their nursing program, survey respondents reported most frequently difficulties in filling full-time faculty positions. The lack of sites for clinical placements; followed by the lack of faculty for clinical placements and the lack of classroom facilities were also identified as issues of concern.

Of the eight institutions surveyed:
• 75% reported difficulty filling full-time
• 50% reported difficulty filling adjunct faculty positions with a particular emphasis on certain specialty areas such as medical/surgical, pediatrics, obstetrics, and mental health.
• 63% lack enough sites for clinical placements for nursing students.
• 63% lack faculty to support the clinical placements of students.
• 50% lack classroom space.
• 50% lack funding support.

Factors such as faculty vacancies, limited clinical placement sites and classroom facilities continue to diminish the capacity of nursing education programs to accept greater numbers of students. Even if there is an increase in the number of young people seeking to become nurses in Hawai‘i, we cannot increase current production without increasing nursing faculty and redesigning how we do business.

In response to the education capacity issues the University of Hawai‘i statewide nursing consortium is redesigning nursing curriculum and learning strategies to increase flexibility and accessibility. Other initiatives such as simulation labs across the state will help alleviate some of the issues concerning lack of clinical placement sites.


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