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Graduate Entry Program in Nursing

UH Manoa Nursing offers post-baccalaureate entry to the Master’s Degree and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs.  Applicants interested in moving from the pre-licensure year to the PhD program can speak with the GEPN Coordinator. There is an opportunity to enroll in this program following completion of specialty course work. The goal of the PhD Degree program is to prepare researchers and scholars with the expertise to conduct research to improve the health of culturally diverse populations, especially in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Basin regions. The DNP Degree provides students with the skills and knowledge to assume leadership roles in advanced nursing practice upon completion of the program.  

Program Description

The University of Hawai'i at Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene is pleased to offer an accelerated entry program to a career in Nursing. The Graduate Entry Program in Nursing is designed for adult learners:

  • Who have not attended an RN educational program
  • Who have a baccalaureate degree in another field other than nursing
  • Who are leadership bound and seeking a career in advanced nursing
The program consists of a pre-licensure year of study that is delivered across three continuous semesters. Upon completion of the first year, the students transition into their graduate nursing degree track and begin courses for their advanced degree. At the time of application, you will select a specialty area and graduate degree (i.e., MS, DNP).  Once admitted, transfers from one specialty area to another are not encouraged and are not allowed for certain specialty areas (e.g., NP tracks). Strict adherence to the School's transfer policy is followed when requests for transferring to another specialty are requested."
Students will obtain one of the following degrees at the completion of their program:
  • Master of Science: prepares the nurse for an advanced role
    - Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
    - Advanced Public Health Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice: provides the terminal degree in nursing practice
    - Family Nurse Practitioner
    - Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    - Post-MBA in Health Care from UH Manoa Shilder College of Business
The first year of the curriculum is based on a competency model appropriate for graduate level adult learners. Active learning strategies are emphasized including clinical experience, simulation exercises, and a continuous emphasis on searching the literature for the most current evidence based research associated with nursing practice. At the foundation of the curriculum are the "Determinants of Health" as presented in the "Healthy People 2020" national agenda http://www.healthypeople.gov/.
Emphasis is placed on health promotion and disease prevention as well as the care of the healthy, sick, and dying from a local, national and global perspective.  A substantial amount of the curriculum is clinical practicum in community and hospital/health care settings where students are actively engaged in nursing care under the supervision and guidance of faculty. Threaded throughout the curriculum are research, patient safety, community nursing health, and cultural diversity as well as the various contexts (i.e., historical & social) of nursing, nursing roles, and the core values of the profession.

Fast Facts

  • Enables qualified nurse professionals to enter the workforce in a shorter period of time increasing the pool of nurses prepared to assume leadership roles in practice, education and research.
  • The first year of intensive study is offered in a tri-semester format of 16-18 credits per semester. Due to the rigor and scheduling, it is impossible for students to be employed during this year.
  • Due to the accelerated and non-traditional nature of the program, New Student Orientation is typically conducted the first week of August.  Additionally, one of the fall semester courses is offered during the two weeks prior to the official start of the semester, therefore students should plan on being physically on the island of Oahu during the entire month of August. 
  • The curriculum is based on a competency model appropriate for graduate level adult learners.
  • Employers of GEPN graduates recognize the value of these highly qualified, well-rounded nurses to the workforce.
  • Healthcare community partners collaborate with the School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene in the applicant review process, curriculum development, and dedicated clinical experiences.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the GEPN pre-licensure year, the student is eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). Upon passing the NCLEX-RN exam students can apply for and obtain a license as a registered nurse. 

Following successful completion of the pre-licensure year, students immediately transition into their chosen degree track. The post-licensure specialty curriculum prepares students for their chosen role in advanced practice nursing. Please refer to the specialty area/degree program information for additional details including program outcomes.

Resource for Prospective Graduate Students


Shannon Mark, MEd
GEPN Coordinator
Phone: (808) 956-0445
Fax: (808) 956-5977

Rosalie Garcia, RN, PhD(c), MS
Program Director
Phone: (808) 956-4550
Fax: (808) 956-3257


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