• Licenses
  • Hawaii RN Licensing Guide

    • Not a Compact State
    • Participates in NURSYS
    • Renewal every odd-numbered year


    The Hawaii Board of Nursing (BON) operates under Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), Professional & Vocational Licensing (PVL) Division. More than 28,000 registered nurses were licensed by the Hawaii BON in March 2022. The BON prescribes standards for preparing individuals to obtain a Hawaii nursing license, including approving nursing education programs and licensing qualified applicants by endorsement and examination.


    Applicants for a new Hawaii nursing license may complete a fillable form online or submit a paper application with legible printing in black ink only. The Hawaii BON only accepts the most current revised paper applications posted online. It won’t accept any outdated paper applications. Applicants who submit an outdated application will delay the processing of their Hawaii RN license. Incomplete applications also won’t be accepted and delay processing.

    The curriculum for Board-approved nursing education programs that prepare RNs for licensure must be approved by a national accrediting nursing organization recognized by the Hawaii BON. It must include courses in nursing that combine theory and clinical experience based on the nursing process, patient care through the lifespan in various healthcare settings, legal and ethical issues in nursing, and professional responsibility. The curriculum must also include courses in social and behavioral sciences, biological and physical sciences, and humanities or the arts. It must comprise 120 semester credits for a bachelor’s degree in nursing or 64 semester credits for an associate degree in nursing with at least 40% of nursing credits in clinically or laboratory instruction for both degree types.

    Any applicant applying for RN licensure by endorsement or exam who answered “Yes” to questions related to criminal offenses or disciplinary actions must submit relevant documentation either with their application or directly from the official source. Situations and required documentation include:

    • Convicted of a crime in any jurisdiction that hasn’t been annulled or expunged:

      • Detailed statement signed by the applicant explaining underlying circumstances leading to the conviction

      • Certified copies of all court documents related to the conviction

      • Proof of compliance with any sanctions imposed by the court

      • Certified copy of the terms of parole or probation, if applicable

      • Statement from parole or probation officer detailing applicant’s compliance with court orders, if applicable

    • Any license ever suspended, revoked, or otherwise subject to disciplinary action by the Hawaii BON or any other state boards, or any current investigations or disciplinary actions pending:

      • Detailed statement signed by the applicant explaining underlying circumstances leading to the disciplinary action

      • Certified copies of all relevant documents from outside Boards of Nursing pertaining to the disciplinary action

    Applicants with pending investigations or disciplinary actions must report the outcome with all relevant documentation within 30 days of disposition.

    All Hawaii RN license applicants by endorsement or exam must include a legible copy of a government-issued photo ID that includes their date of birth and a legible copy of their signed Social Security card with their applications. They’re also required to complete electronic fingerprinting for criminal history record checks through the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center (HCJDC).


    Regardless of the issuance date, all Hawaii RN licenses expire on June 30 of every odd-numbered year. Nurses can complete their Hawaii RN license renewal online if they don’t have any disciplinary actions, convictions, or pending disciplinary actions within the past two years. If they do, they must renew by paper application. Online renewals are processed in about 3 to 5 business days compared to 14 to 21 business days for hard-copy renewals. Online renewals are only available from the beginning of April to midnight on June 30. The BON mails postcard reminders regarding renewals but RNs are responsible for ensuring they renew on time.

    Unless an RN qualifies for an exemption, all Hawaii nurse licensees must complete at least one learning activity as part of the continuing competency requirement of the renewal process. Applicants for renewal can only choose one learning activity during a biennium. They can’t combine multiple activities. Options to fulfill the continuing competency requirement include:

    • Completing 30 hours of continuing education (CE) hours

    • Acting as a preceptor for at least 120 hours in a one-to-one relationship with a nursing student or an employee transitioning into a new clinical practice area 

    • Completing a refresher course from an approved provider that includes at least 60 hours each of didactic and clinical practice 

    • Acting as the principal or co-principal investigator while completing a nursing research study or as the lead or co-lead while completing an evidence-based practice project

    • Completing at least two semester credits of post-licensure nursing-related academic education from an accredited nursing program

    • Authoring or co-authoring a peer-reviewed nursing or health-related article, book chapter, or book that’s published during the biennium

    • Completing a board-recognized nurse residency program

    • Developing a nursing education presentation and being the primary presenter during the first-time presentation that results in at least five contact hours of instruction that qualifies as CE for attendees

    • Completing other similar types of learning activities pre-approved by the Board

    The Hawaii BON conducts random audits to determine whether continuing competency requirements have been met. RNs randomly selected for audits must submit documentation within 60 days verifying completion of one learning activity during the last biennium to the Board. Failure to provide sufficient documentation within this time frame will result in disciplinary action. RNs are required to maintain their continuing competency records for at least four years.

    RNs can check the status of their renewal online on their MyPVL account under “Pending Application.” Licenses not renewed by midnight HST (Hawaiian Standard Time) on June 30 of each odd-numbered year expire and RNs can’t practice nursing until they restore their license.

    Continuing Education Requirements

    RNs fulfilling the continued competency requirement for renewal through continuing education must choose a CE provider acceptable to the Hawaii BON. CE courses approved by any other State Boards of Nursing besides the California or Florida BON aren’t acceptable. The Hawaii BON find these CE providers acceptable:

    • American Nurses Association

    • American Nurses Credentialing Center

    • National Council of State Boards of Nursing

    • Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education

    • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education

    • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education

    • Council on Certification of the American College of Nurse Midwives

    • Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties

    • National Certification Corporation for Obstetric

    • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

    • Council on Certification of the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists

    • Nurse credentialing agencies accredited by:

      • National Council of State Boards of Nursing

      • National Commission for Certifying Agencies

      • American Nurses Credentialing Center

      • American Board for Specialty Nursing Certification

      • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board

      • Institute for Credentialing Excellence

    • Nursing schools nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 

    After completing a CE course, RNs must receive a completion certificate with the name of the course and provider, date completed, and number of CE hours earned, or they won’t receive credit for the course. These certificates work as CE documentation if an RN is audited.


    Fingerprinting Requirements

    All applicants must complete electronic fingerprinting to obtain FBI and State of Hawaii criminal history record checks. Mandatory background checks became effective in Hawaii on July 1, 2017.

    U.S. Applicants:

    Applicants in Hawaii must make an appointment for fingerprinting with Fieldprint, Inc. either online or by calling 877-614-4361. Fieldprint has offices in all 50 states, so out-of-state nurses may also have access to a local office. When scheduling the appointment, applicants must enter their Fieldprint Code, which is FPHIBrdNursing. Anticipate appointments being 2 to 6 weeks out.

    On the day of the appointment, applicants must bring their appointment number and two valid forms of identification. Fieldprint technicians capture fingerprints electronically through Live Scan and send the digital image electronically to the HCJDC to process state and federal background checks. Applicants must file their Hawaii RN license applications within 30 days of fingerprinting to ensure the BON can obtain the results. If results are unobtainable, applicants must repeat the fingerprinting process, including paying the service fee. The BON won’t issue a Hawaii nursing license until it receives the applicant’s background check. 

    Applicants in Foreign Countries:

    Applicants outside the U.S. or those in the U.S. who are in a location that Fieldprint doesn’t  service must complete a hard-copy fingerprint card. Request these cards by emailing the Hawaii BON at [email protected]. Hard-copy fingerprint cards must be completed by a law enforcement agency that offers fingerprinting services and may charge a fee. Mail completed fingerprint cards and Form HCJDC-073 with a money order or cashier’s check for $48.25 made payable to the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center to:

    Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center Attn: CHRC 465 S. King Street, Room 102 Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

    All fingerprints received electronically or through fingerprint cards are retained by the HCJDC and the FBI for all purposes and uses authorized for fingerprint submissions.

    Contact Information

    Hawaii Board of Nursing King Kalakaua Building 335 Merchant Street #301 Honolulu, HI 96813 [email protected] (808) 586-2695


    Hawaii isn’t currently part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) so RNs with an active license in another state must apply for licensure by endorsement, even if they currently hold a multistate license.

    Licensure by Endorsement

    RNs applying for a Hawaii RN license by endorsement must go to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) website to perform a self-query and submit a Self-Query Report with their application. Digitally certified Self-Query Reports are $3 per order with an additional $3 charge for each mailed paper copy. Applicants needing assistance should call NPDB at 800-767-6732. Besides the requirements of all applicants, other steps in the licensure by endorsement process for RNs educated in the U.S. include verification of:

    • Completion of a state-approved or nationally accredited nursing education program

    • Exam scores from passing the NCLEX-RN, State Board Test Pool Exam (SBTPE), or a state-board constructed exam before the inception of the SBTPE

    • RN license number with the effective and expiration dates

    Nursing license verification should include all licenses from other states or jurisdictions, including the original license received on initial licensure by examination. Applicants can verify their licenses through Nursys if the states use this system, otherwise, they must submit the request for verification to the appropriate State Board of Nursing.

    Licensure by Exam

    Unlicensed graduate nurses must apply for a Hawaii nursing license by exam after completing a Board-approved nursing education program to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

    Graduate nurses applying for a Hawaii nursing license by exam who have recently graduated or will be graduating soon from a Board-approved nursing education program must have their school send the Hawaii BON an official final transcript verifying their graduation date and degree conferred. The school may also send an official letter certifying the applicant’s completion of a nursing education program so the Board can deem them eligible to sit for the NCLEX. However, the official transcript must still be sent in a sealed envelope from the applicant’s school before nurse licensure will occur.

    Once the Hawaii BON reviews and approves an application for licensure by exam, it makes the applicant eligible to take the NCLEX-RN through Pearson VUE. The test center for the NCLEX in Hawaii is located on Oahu. Pearson VUE sends applicants an Authorization to Test (ATT) so they can schedule their exam. Pearson VUE sends the applicant’s NCLEX results to the BON office, which mails them to the applicant within 10 business days. The Board issues a Hawaii nursing license to applicants who pass the NCLEX.

    Licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses

    Exam applicants educated outside the U.S. must have their education reviewed by a Board-approved credentialing organization. Currently, the only two credentialing organizations approved by the Hawaii BON are the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) and Josef Silny & Associates, Inc., International Education Consultants. Foreign-educated nurses must arrange to have one of the credentialing organizations prepare a credentials review to determine whether their education is comparable to that of a graduate of a U.S.-accredited nursing education program.

    If using the CGFNS, this organization evaluates the applicant’s nursing school transcripts and prepares a Credentials Evaluation Service Professional Report, which doesn’t include English competency or the CGFNS exam. If nursing instruction wasn’t provided in English with English textbooks, the CGFNS completes a Certification Program (CEP), which includes an education credentials evaluation and English competency and CGFNS exams.

    The Hawaii BON must be able to retrieve the credentials evaluation online directly from the credentialing organization or the credentialing organization must email it directly to the BON. The Hawaii BON doesn’t accept copies and no longer accepts evaluations prepared by Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).


    Initial processing of applications normally takes 15 to 20 business days. However, overall processing from the receipt of a completed application to the issuance of a Hawaii nursing license is usually 45 to 60 business days. Processing can be delayed by incomplete applications, pending receipt of third-party documents, and/or pending results of the licensure exam, background checks, Board approval.

    Temporary Nurse License

    Hawaii doesn’t issue temporary licenses for new graduate nurses. However, the BON does issue a temporary permit for RNs applying for licensure by endorsement. To obtain a temporary permit, RNs must:

    • Complete the application for a Hawaii nursing license without exam

    • Provide verification of current nursing license including expiration date

    • Submit a completed original Verification of Employment form including the signature of their employer in Hawaii

    • Provide proof they mailed the Verification of Licensure form or submitted a request for licensure verification through Nursys

    • Pay a separate fee of $50 for the temporary permit

    RNs are allowed one temporary permit and only allowed to practice nursing if employed by the employer indicated on the Verification of Employment form. The Hawaii BON won’t issue another permit for a different employer.


    Applicants can apply for a new RN license online by creating a MyPVL account. They also may be eligible to file their Hawaii RN license renewal online. Applicants may pay fees by credit card, eCheck, or subscriber account when paying online. Those mailing or dropping off paper applications must attach a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to Commerce & Consumer Affairs. Checks must be written on accounts from U.S. financial institutions, in U.S. dollars. The BON charges a $25.00 service charge for payments dishonored for any reason. Application fees are nonrefundable. Current nursing fees and other related costs include:

    • Initial Application Fee for RN Licensure by Exam: $60

      • Additional fees due after passing the NCLEX-RN

    •  RN Licensure by Endorsement Application: $234

      • Licenses issued between July 1 of an odd-numbered year through June 30 of an even-numbered year

      • Includes $60 application, $36 license, $100 Compliance Resolution Fund, $18 half renewal, and $40 Center for Nurse fees

    • RN Licensure by Endorsement Application: $166

      • Licenses issued between July 1 of an even-numbered year through June 30 of an odd-numbered year

      • Includes $60 application, $36 license, $50 Compliance Resolution Fund, and $40 Center for Nurse fees

    • Temporary Permit for Licensure by Endorsement Candidates: $50

    • On-Time RN License Renewal:

      • Active Status: $176

      • Inactive Status: $12

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    Frequently asked questions

    How many times can a Hawaii nursing license candidate take the NCLEX?

    Any nurse licensure candidate who fails the NCLEX three times, regardless of when or where they took the exam, must pass a board-approved remedial course and submit proof of course completion. The candidate must apply for retesting within six months of completing this course and may be approved to take the NCLEX up to three more times before they must take another remedial course.

    Why do previously licensed RNs in Hawaii have to get fingerprinted?

    The law related to fingerprinting for the purpose of completing criminal history records checks wasn’t enacted until June 21, 2016. It requires all nurses, including new licensees and nurses seeking renewal, restoration, reactivation, or reinstatement to be fingerprinted to protect public safety. Nurses licensed before July 1, 2017, must be fingerprinted during an upcoming renewal period.

    How do licensed RNs in Hawaii get physical proof of licensure?

    Licensed RNs in Hawaii must retrieve and print their wall certificates and/or pocket IDs online from their MyPVL account but there’s no cost. The Hawaii BON doesn’t print and mail these documents to reduce costs and align with the State’s paperless initiative.

    Is Hawaii a compact nursing license state?

    No, Hawaii hasn't joined the Nurse Licensure Compact, as of June 2022.

    Can I get a temporary nursing license in Hawaii?

    Hawaii doesn’t issue temporary licenses for new graduate nurses, but it does issue a temporary permit for RNs applying for licensure by endorsement.