Top CNA Programs in Hawaii

Certified nursing assistants/aides (CNAs), along with registered nurses (RNs), are viewed by many working in the field as the backbone of the medical establishment. Together they provide nearly 85% of all direct patient care. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, certified nursing assistants are listed as one of the fastest-growing occupations in the entire country. Although doctors represent a patient's primary caregiver, it is the registered nurse and especially the CNAs who interact directly and most often with patients needing care. Without the aid of nursing assistants, the jobs of physicians and registered nurses become much more difficult.

Educational training for a CNA is incredibly important. Prospective CNAs in Hawaii should seek out the very best programs that are available to them.

Typically, CNAs find employment inside hospitals, doctors offices, assisted living facilities for elderly patients, and more. Many RNs begin their work in the nursing field as CNAs.

How to Choose a Top CNA Program in Hawaii

Those interested in pursuing a career as a Certified Nurse Assistant in the state of Hawaii should do their research to ensure that they are choosing the program that's right for them. Prospective CNA students should take the following measures into consideration when looking for top programs to attend:

  • Determine the program's CNA certification exam pass rate; compare it to the statewide average
  • Program awards
  • Approximate cost to attend
  • Number of campuses the program is offered at
  • Local healthcare facility partnerships with the program
  • When was the program originally established?
  • What sort of credentials to the administrators and instructors have?
  • Availability of scholarships/financial aid/grants
  • Student success rate of the program (how many students enroll versus how may graduate)

Testing and Certification

Before becoming eligible to take the state certification exam, all prospective CNAs in Hawaii must first complete a state approved CNA educational program. The student can then sit for the State of Hawaii Nurse Aide Certification Competency exam. Like the vast majority of other state CNA certification exams, Hawaii's certification exam also has two sections or components: knowledge and skills. The knowledge portion of the exam consists of multiple choice questions which evaluates the student's comprehension. The skills test requires candidates to display various skills from a list that they have been tasked to master. Each section of the test is administered to candidates on the same day, and both must be passed. Test takers can view the results 48 to 72 hours after taking the exam. In the case that the exam is not passed on the first attempt, candidates are permitted up to three attempts.

The total fee to take the exam is approximately $225.

List of CNA Classes and Programs in Hawaii

Students are highly encouraged to choose the best CNA program available to them. The right school can impact future employment greatly, so students must take care to select a quality program. To help narrow down the field, we have compiled some of the top CNA programs in the state of Hawaii.

Kapiolani Community College

Kapiolani Community College is a publicly funded, post-secondary higher education institution located in Honolulu, Hawaii on the slopes of Diamond Head. The school represents one of the ten campuses of the University of Hawaii system.

KCC offers students a 6-credit, 150 contact hour Long Term Care Nurse Aide Certificate of Competence that goes by the course code NURS 9. The course aims to teach basic nursing care for the elderly and the disabled in a wide variety of healthcare settings. Students who graduate become eligible to take the State of Hawaii Nurse Assistant Competency Evaluation Exam.

Healthcare facilities near Diamond Head currently hiring CNAs

  • Aloha Nursing Rehab Center
  • Palolo Chinese Home
  • Per Diem for Healthcare Professionals


For those students who reside within the Hawaiian state lines, the total estimated cost of attendance is approximately $771. For individuals coming from out of state, the total estimated cost of attendance is approximately $2,055.

University of Hawaii Maui College

Originally established in 1931, the University of Hawaii Maui College is a publicly-funded commuter college located in the city of Kahului on the beautiful island of Maui. UHMC represents one of the ten subsidiary educational institutions of the University of Hawaii school system which is anchored by its flagship institution, University of Hawaii at Mãnoa.

UHMC offers students a 6-unit, one semester long certificate training program. The program’s main objective is to prepare its students to work in hospitals, private nursing clinics, long-term care facilities and home health agencies. Graduates from UHMC are eligible to sit for the state certification examination exam.

Healthcare facilities near Kahlui currently hiring CNAs

  • Matrix Medical Network
  • Mastercare
  • Kaiser Permanente


For those students who reside within Hawaiian state boundaries, the total estimated cost of attendance is approximately $771. Out of state individuals can expect to pay approximately $2,055.

Windward Community College

Windward Community College is a state funded, 2-year community college with branches in Honolulu County and around the island of Oahu. The college was originally created in 1972 and is one of the ten campuses of the University of Hawaii system.

WCC offers students a 7-week CNA training program that prepares them to pass the state certification exam. The first five weeks is comprised of the lecture component of the program, and in the final two weeks, students receive hands-on practice at local nursing facilities.

During the first five weeks, class meetings are held Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 2:30pm. Classes during the final two weeks are held Monday through Wednesday from 5:30am to 2:30pm.

Healthcare facilities near Honolulu and Oahu currently hiring CNAs

  • Manoa Cottage Kaimuki
  • The McCohnells
  • Wilson Care Group


Students enrolled in WCCs Certified Nursing Assistant program can expect to pay a total estimated cost of $2,465.

Kauai Community College

Kauai Community College was originally founded in 1965. It is a publicly funded, postsecondary educational institution and commuter college located in Lihue on the island of Kauai. It’s also one of the ten higher education institutions that make up the University of Hawaii system.

KCC offers students a two course, 5-credit nursing assistant program that seeks to prepare them to provide care to the elderly, ill and disabled. NURS100 – Nurse Aide (3 credits) represents the didactic learning portion of the course. NURS100L –Nurse Aide Clinical Lab (2 credits) represents the on-site, clinical skills portion of the course. Upon successful completion of the both sections of the course, students can then sit for the State of Hawaii Nurse Aide Certification exam.

Healthcare facilities near Lihue, Kauai currently hiring CNAs

  • Hawaii Health Systems Corporation
  • Ohana Pacific Management Company
  • BAYADA Home Health Care


For students who maintain official residency in the state of Hawaii, the total estimated cost of attendance of Kauai Community College is approximately $624. For out of state students, the total estimated cost of attendance is approximately $1712.