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Kapiʻolani CC practical nursing program students

University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges are doing nation-leading work to reduce Hawaiʻi’s critical healthcare worker shortage and meet the need for licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Three UH Community Colleges—Kapiʻolani CC, Kauaʻi CC and UH Maui College—had 100% of their practical nursing program students pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) on their first attempt in 2023.

Students with training simulator
Kapiʻolani CC practical nursing program students

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, there were 47,552 first-time, U.S.-educated practical nursing candidates taking the examination, with an overall pass rate of 86.67%.

“The 100% pass rates among all of the UH Community Colleges with active practical nursing programs demonstrate the tremendous value of these programs, the high-quality education that nursing faculty deliver, and indicate bright futures for their graduates,” said Laura Reichhardt, director of the Hawaiʻi State Center for Nursing. “The practical nursing programs, and the students who graduate from them are supporting and sustaining a dwindling but much-needed workforce.”

The workforce shortage is well documented. In 2022, 211 out of 634 licensed practical nursing positions in Hawaiʻi (30%) were open, according to a report from the Healthcare Association of Hawaii.

Of the three programs, Kapiʻolani CC had the most—23 students—who took and passed the licensure exam on their first try. UH Maui College had 11, and Kauaʻi CC had five.

“The nursing department at Kapiʻolani Community College remains steadfast in its commitment to providing excellent education in an effort to meet the state’s workforce demands.” said Interim Dean of Health Academic Programs Karen Boyer.

The NCLEX test results were announced at the March 7 meeting of the Hawaiʻi Board of Nursing.

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