The Kaua'i Community College Career Ladder Nursing program is built around the career ladder concept that allows flexibility in career and educational planning. The program admits new students every fall semester. The Career Ladder Nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30326; telephone: (404) 975-5000. The program was reaffirmed accreditation until Spring 2025. The ACEN ( is officially recognized as the accredited agency for nursing education by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, and the U.S. Department of Education. Successful completion of the first level of the curriculum leads to a Certificate of Achievement (CA) and eligibility to take the State Board Examination for licensure as a Practical Nurse. The first level curriculum requires two semesters and one summer session, resulting in the CA. Continuation into the second level of the Career Ladder Nursing program is based upon satisfactorily meeting established criteria for entry of continuing students into the second level. The second level requires an additional two semesters and leads to an Associate in Science (AS) Degree and eligibility to take the State examination for licensure as a Registered Nurse. Graduates will also be eligible for admissions to the fourth year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at UH Mānoa after completing additional prerequisite courses which can be taken concurrently with the AS degree program. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) seeking advanced standing into the second level of the Career Ladder Nursing program must meet established criteria for entry of LPNs into the second level.

Program Admission Requirements:

Complete prerequisite courses that are listed with:

  1. A grade of “C” or higher (C- is not accepted).
  2. A minimum GPA of 2.75.
  3. Complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam with scaled scores at the Proficient Level or higher in all content areas. Basic and Developmental Level scores in any content area will not be accepted.
  4. The Nursing Program Admissions Committee will utilize an admissions rubric approved by the Nursing program faculty as the basis for admission into the Nursing program. Prospective students should see the Health Science counselor for the current admissions rubric.

Graduation Requirements:

A grade of “C” or higher for all NURS alpha courses in the Nursing program is required for graduation.. Students need to complete computerized proficiency testing on a Standardized Exit Exam with a satisfactory exam score in the spring semester of the second level. Students failing to obtain a satisfactory score will be required to complete a designated NCLEX-RN review course at his/her own expense before the A.S. Degree in Nursing can be confirmed.

Program Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs) approved 02/06/2013:

  1. A competent nurse’s professional actions are based on core nursing values, professional standards of practice, and the law. [Institution Student Learning Outcome (ISLO): Personal Responsibility]
  2. A competent nurse develops insight through reflective practice, self-analysis, and self-care. [ISLO: Cognition, Personal Responsibility]
  3. A competent nurse engages in ongoing self-directed learning and provides care based on evidence supported by research. [ISLO: Cognition, Information Competency, Social Responsibility, Personal Responsibility]
  4. A competent nurse demonstrates leadership in nursing and health care. [ISLO: Social Responsibility]
  5. A competent nurse collaborates as part of a health care team. [ISLO: Communication, Social Responsibility)
  6. A competent nurse practices within, utilizes, and contributes to the broader health care system (including the Global Community). [ISLO: Social Responsibility]
  7. A competent nurse practices client-centered care. [ISLO: Communication, Cognition, Information Competency, Social Responsibility, Personal Responsibility]
  8. A competent nurse communicates and uses communication technology effectively. [ISLO: Communication, Information Competency]
  9. A competent nurse demonstrates clinical judgment/critical thinking in the delivery of care of clients while maintaining safety. [ISLO: Cognition]

Federal Program Licensure Reporting Requirements:

The Kaua‘i Community College Career Ladder Nursing Program curriculum is approved by the Hawai‘i State Board of Nursing and meets Hawai‘i Administrative Rules 16-89-46, 16-89-47, and 16-89-48 ( If you are not residing in the state of Hawai‘i and are taking a Kaua‘i Community College online course or program leading to professional licensure, Kaua‘i Community College cannot confirm whether the course or program meets your state’s professional licensure requirements. Please verify with the National Council of State Board of Nursing ( for the appropriate licensing board in the state you intend to practice.


The Associate Degree Career Ladder Nursing Program at University of Hawai‘i-Kaua‘i Community College located in Līhu‘e, Hawai‘i is accredited by the:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) 

3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400 

Atlanta, GA 30326 

(404) 975-5000 

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Associate Degree nursing program is Continuing Accreditation. View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program at

Degrees and Certificates