Hawaii CNA Requirements and Training Programs

It’s an opportune time to join the health care industry as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Careers in the industry are among the fastest growing ones, and the trend will continue well into the next decade – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among the fastest growing in the industry are home health aides and personal care aides, both of which will see an expected growth of 20 percent by the year 2016. The trends reflected on a national level are also an exciting reality in Hawaii. The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations ranks home health aides and certified nurse aides among the top ten fastest growing occupations within the state. The continued growth of the senior population is the primary reason for the increased demands. The Department of Commerce and Consumers Affairs, in collaboration with the state’s Nurse Aide Registry, maintains the quality of health care by training, certifying and preparing nurse aides for their multi-faceted roles.

CNA Classes in Hawaii

Certification Requirements

Outpatient clinics, hospitals, home health agencies and nursing homes offer a wide range of opportunities for Hawaii nurse aides. The registry, along with the Professional and Vocational Licensing Branch of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, employs strict guidelines for managing nurse aides to protect patients and residents in long term care facilities. As such, you must comply with state requirements and train extensively in patient care and patients’ rights before you can take up employment as a certified nurse aide. The training prepares the nurse aide student for the state exam, which is a requirement for placement on the registry.

Employers bear the responsibility for the actions or non-action by the medical staff towards patients. Therefore, it is essential that they verify your status with the nurse aide registry before retaining your services. The verification with the registry will reveal charges of mistreatment, abuse, misappropriation of resident property and neglect if any. Foreign nurses, lapsed CNAs, and military trained CNAs must apply for testing and certification as a prerequisite to employment.

Prerequisites to Training

Nurse aides, who possess a high school diploma, have distinct advantages over non-high-school graduates. Employers, in general, are more likely to hire a high school graduate, especially hospitals and specialty clinics. High school graduates also earn better wages and are more likely to advance to other careers – within and outside of the medical industry. The latter is true mainly because degree programs require a high school diploma or GED as a prerequisite for admissions. Bearing the advantages in mind, you don’t need a high school diploma to gain entry into many nurse aide training programs. However, some schools may administer an entry exam to evaluate your reading and comprehension abilities.

Following are some other prerequisites to training:

  • Must be 18 years of age to take the state CNA exam
  • Attend the school’s orientation
  • High school diploma or GED (recommended)
  • Pass the TABE reading and math test (for persons without a high school diploma)
  • A cleared background check – must not be older than 6 months
  • Overall good physical health – no communicable diseases or restrictions on lifting
  • Negative TB test or chest x-ray
  • Copy of state-issued ID
  • Immunization (MMR 1 & 2, Hepatitis B, Meningitis, Varicella)

Hawaii Certified Nurse Aide Training Requirements

Hawaii state officials maintain their commitment to providing the highest standards for training for nurse aides. State-accredited programs facilitate a minimum of 100 hours of instruction, including 30 hours for clinical practicum and 70 hours of classroom and lab instruction. Program facilitators are usually RNs with a wealth of experience in the field. They equip nurse aide students with the training and skills they need to provide quality care to residents in various health care settings.

Apart from hands-on skills, the course content covers topics such as infection control, mental health disorders, medical terminology, dressing and undressing with IV, basic nursing skills, anatomy, grief and loss, death and dying, nutrition, turning and positioning, safety, restraints, confusion and dementia. Students also learn how to communicate with patients and their families, patient independence, privacy and dignity.

Upon completion of nurse aide training, you’re eligible to challenge the state’s nurse aide competency exam for placement on the nurse aide registry.

Cost of CNA Training Hawaii

There are approximately 25 state-approved nurse aide training programs in Hawaii. The cost of training depends on the provider. However, the average cost of training is $1,100 exclusive of textbooks, supplies, medical equipment and state licensing. With the added costs, the total cost of training and certification could amount to $1,500.

If you’re unemployed, you can turn to grants and employer-funded programs to ease the cost of training. Traditional sources of financial aid are not available for short-term nurse aide programs, but there may be opportunities for free training at local nursing homes and hospitals.

Community colleges offer a distinct advantage over other programs in that you’ll might earn credits, which you can transfer into a nursing degree program. Contact the financial aid department at your community college to find out about scholarship or grant opportunities. While for-profit training providers offer fast-paced instruction with few barriers to entry, you should be wary as the cost of tuition is significantly more than other institutions.

Nurse Aide Testing

After graduating from an approved training program, you’re eligible to sit the nurse aide competency evaluation administered by Prometric. Your training provider could assist you with scheduling, or you can fill out the application to schedule your exam at a regional testing center – if your training provider is not an approved test site.

The exam tests both your knowledge and competency skills, and you must pass both components in order to obtain your license. The two-part evaluation comprises of a written examination and skills evaluation administered on the same day.

The written component of the exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. You’re given 90 minutes to take the written exam. There’s an oral option, which you must request at the time of application if you have difficulty reading English. Remember: You cannot request an oral exam on the day of the test. Prometric offers an outline of the written test as well as a practice test in the candidate handbook.

The skills test is also a timed test. The computer generates three skills at random, and you’ll have to perform those, in addition to Handwashing and Indirect Care skills. The length of the exam depends on the skills assigned by the computer. You must perform all five skills according to standards in order to pass the exam. A list of skills is available on Prometric’s website. If you pass both exams (skills and written), you will receive your Hawaii Nurse Aide Certificate and wallet card indicating your clearance to work in long term care facilities.

Certification Costs

  • Initial application fee – $25
  • Written and skills exam – $200
  • Oral and skills exam – $210
  • Written retest – $50
  • Skills retest – $150
  • Oral retest – $60
  • Rescheduling fee – $25
  • Reciprocity fee – $25

Walk with the following items on exam day:

  • Check in at least 30 minutes before the exam
  • Two forms of proper ID
  • Authorization to test letter
  • Watch with a second hand
  • Uniform scrubs and flat, non-skid, closed-toe shoes for the skills exam

Out-of-State CNAs

If you’re an out-of-state CNA, you must contact the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), who will determine whether you qualify for direct placement on the registry or if you need to take the competency evaluation.

  1. Complete the application form
  2. Submit the application along with a copy of your CNA certificate
  3. Mail the application, other supporting documents and application fee ($25) to the registry.

Note: There registry will deny your application for reciprocity of if there are findings of abuse, neglect or mistreatment on your records.


CNA certification is valid for 24 months from the date of issue. To be eligible for renewal, you must:

  • Work at least eight (8) hours for monetary compensation within the 24-month period.
  • Submit the application for renewal within 30 days of expiration.
  • Ask your employer to fill out section 2, verifying your employment
  • Provide proof of 24 hours of continuing education if your proof of employment is from a non-Medicaid facility
  • Name and address changes must be accompanied by supporting documents.

Contact the Registry:

Hawaii Dept. of Commerce & Consumers Affairs

Professional and Vocational Licensing Branch

335 Merchant St.

3rd Floor, Room 301

Honolulu, HI 96813

Phone: (808) 739-8122

Fax: (808) 734-8318



354 Uluniu Street, Suite 308, Kailua, HI 96734

800-967- 1200

Hours of operation: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

State Approved CNA Programs in Hawaii

Aiea, HI Freestanding CNA programs:

Health Care School of Hawaii

98-025 Hekaha Street, Aiea, HI 96701


Hilo, HI Freestanding CNA programs:

American Red Cross-East Hawaii

55 Ululani Street, Hilo, HI 96720

(808) 935-8305

Hawaii Institute of Healthcare and Training Service

1059 Kilauea Avenue, Hilo, HI 96720, United States

(808) 933-1295

Sweetwater Health Education Services

106 Kinoole Street, Hilo, HI 96720, United States

(808) 961-3338

Hilo, HI Colleges and Universities offering CNA programs:

Hawaii Community College

200 West Kawili Street, Hilo, HI 96720


Honolulu, HI Freestanding CNA programs:

American Red Cross-Oahu Training Site

4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816


CareGiver Training School Corp.

1320 Kalani Street, Honolulu, HI 96817


Healthcare Training-Career Consultants, Inc

2130 North King St., Suite 7, Honolulu, HI 96819

(808) 843-2211

Professional Healthcare Educators

1286 Kalani Street, Honolulu, HI 96817, United States

(808) 847-3366

Honolulu, HI Colleges and Universities offering CNA programs:

Kapiʻolani Community College

4303 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816

(808) 734-9000

Kolani Community College-Diamond Head Unit

4303 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816

(808) 734-9000

Honolulu, HI Hospitals and Nursing Homes offering CNA programs:

TLC Total Loving Care Health Service

1088 Bishop Street, Honolulu, HI 96813


Kahului, HI Colleges and Universities offering CNA programs:

Maui Community College

310 West Kaahumanu Avenue, Kahului, HI 96732

(808) 984-3471

Kailua Kona, HI Freestanding CNA programs:

American Red Cross-Kona

74-5615 Luhia Street-A1B, Kailua Kona, HI 96740

(808) 326-9488

Kailua Kona, HI Freestanding CNA programs:

La’i’Opua Lapa’au Health Academy

74-5599 Luhia Street #E5, Kailua Kona, HI 96740

(808) 327-1221

Kaneohe, HI Freestanding CNA programs:

Ohana Pacific Management Company

45-181 Waikalua Road, Kaneohe, HI 96744

(808) 247-0003

Kaneohe, HI Colleges and Universities offering CNA programs:

Windward Community College

45-720 Keaahala Road, Kaneohe, HI 96744

(808) 235-7400

Kealakekua, HI Hospitals and Nursing Homes offering CNA programs:

Kona Community Hospital

79-1019 Haukla Street, Kealakekua, HI 96750

(808) 322-9311

Kealakekua, HI Colleges and Universities offering CNA programs:

Hawaii Community College

81-964 Halekii Street, Kealakekua, HI 9675

(808) 969-8830

Lihue, HI Freestanding CNA programs:

American Red Cross-Kauai

4364 Hardy Street, Lihue, HI 96766


Kauai Nurse Aide Training Center

3877 Kaia Place, Lihue, HI 96766


Lihue, HI Colleges and Universities offering CNA programs:

Kauai Community College

3-1901 Kaumualii Hwy, Lihue, HI 96766


Pearl City, HI Freestanding CNA programs:

Pacific Nurse Aide Training Center

803 Kamehameha Highway #411, Pearl City, HI 96782

(808) 454-4435

Pearl City, HI Colleges and Universities offering CNA programs:

Leeward Community College

96-045 Ala Ike Street, Pearl City, HI 96782, United States

(808) 455-0011

Wahiawa, HI Freestanding CNA programs:

Advanced Care Training

1034 Kilani Ave. Unit 105, Wahiawa, HI 96786

(808) 623-7109

Wailuku, HI Freestanding CNA programs:

Healthcare Training-Career Consultants, Inc.-Maui Unit

33 Central Avenue, Wailuku, HI 96819

(808) 843-2211

Waipahu, HI Freestanding CNA programs:

Healthcare Training-Career Consultants, Inc.-Waipahu Unit

94-210 Pupukahi St., Suite #205-#206, Waipahu, HI 96797

(808) 676-4933

Waimanalo, HI Freestanding CNA programs:

Hawaii Job Corps Center

41-467 Hihimanu Street, Waimanalo, HI 96795, United States

(808) 259-6001

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