Traveler Tips Hawaii

April 7th, 2015 | Posted by Amber in Travel Nursing, Traveler Tips

What to Expect as Travel Nurse in Hawaii

When you think about nursing assignments across the U.S., what is considered the top
travel nursing destination for you? Is it Hawaii? Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to
spend their days off soaking up the sun on black sand beaches, exploring the Hawaiian
rainforest, or splashing around in waterfalls! After spending about 4 years on the island
myself, I can assure you that this would be a trip of a lifetime.

travel nurse Hawaii salary

Believe it or not, landing a travel nursing assignment in Hawaii doesn’t have to be as
unrealistic and difficult as you think! Check out the top 10 tips that will be sure to help
you obtain and enjoy a travel nursing assignment on one of Hawaii’s beautiful islands.

Let’s talk about Hawaii Travel Nursing Pay

Plan Ahead & Save That Money

Hawaii is known to pay with its sunshine and tropical landscape. It doesn’t take much to
entice a nurse into packing his or her bags and jumping on a flight out to
paradise. Hospitals know this too, which is why you may not feel the “wow factor”
when you see the average salary of travel nursing applicants. Why not set yourself up
for success and take one or two higher paying travel nursing contracts before you travel
across the Pacific? When you get to the island you will most definitely want to take
advantage in some touristy activities (which we know won’t be cheap). So, pull some 48-
hour workweeks and save money from a travel nursing gig with a higher salary!

Getting to Hawaii and Back

This is one travel nursing assignment that you certainly can’t drive to, which means you will need to purchase plane tickets. Now the question is, do you buy round-trip or one way? Let’s think about this for a second. You will spend 13-16 weeks in one of the most beautiful locations our country has to offer. Do you know for certain that you will be ready to leave when your contract is over? Who knows? You may love it so much that you want to stay and become a local. It has happened before–more than you would think. Buying a one-way ticket is usually the way to go. No set return date and it’s often cheaper than a round trip!

Hawaii on Island Transportation

To ship my car or to not ship my car? That is the question. This is one of the big decisions nurses have to make when taking a contract in Hawaii. Is it worth your spending over $1500 to ship your car there and back? Of course, this is a personal decision. However, you do have other options! Think about buying an island car! There are little car dealerships all around the islands that you can purchase a used car or truck without spending over $1,000. Now, this won’t be a Ferrari or Maserati type car, but it will get you from A to Z! When you’re ready to head back to the mainland, you can turn around and sell it, which allows you to get some of your hard earned money back!

top paying travel nursing jobs

Public transportation is another way to get around. Hawaii has a very practical bus system (especially Honolulu) and cabs are never hard to find.

<pGet some exercise each day and bike to and from work. Check out local shops and Craigslist for cheap, used bikes to cruise around on. A little fresh air never hurt anybody!

<pIf you want to rent a car, be prepared to spend around $600/month or more. It may be a good idea to save the rental cars for days you plan on exploring the island. This way you are only spending your money on a car when you need it. If you do decide to rent a car for your entire visit, be sure to ask for monthly rates and discounts. A lot of the major car rental companies have deals you may not know about.

<pUltimately, when it comes down to getting around on the island, it is best to first find out where you are staying, then determine which transportation method will be the best for you.

Being Flexible:

Not the yoga, twisty type flexible. Be flexible with your shift preferences. When it comes down to using travel nurses, hospitals love seeing nurses who are able to accommodate any scheduling needs they may have. It’s best to travel to Hawaii with the mindset that you may be rotating shifts and working every other weekend. As a candidate you want to stand out amongst the other 25+ travel nursing applicants they are reviewing. Need time off? Be flexible with this request too. Requesting some weekends here and there so you have some blocked time to do fun things shouldn’t be an issue, but asking for too much time may cause the hospital to move on to the next candidate. We certainly don’t want that to happen!

Hawaii Travel Nursing Licensure:

Hawaii is not a travel nursing walk through state. The good news, there is an option to get a quick temporary license in Hawaii! The bad news, you have to have a job lined up already. In order to get a temporary Hawaii travel nursing license you will need to:

  1. Complete the Endorsement Application – you can obtain this from the Hawaii Board of Nursing website:
  2. Send in a photocopy of your current U.S. nursing license indicating the expiration date of license.
  3. Submit Verification of Employment Form – this is also found on the Hawaii BON website. This is a form that basically states you NEED a Hawaii nursing license ASAP because you have a position lined up. This form is first filled out by your travel nursing agency, then sent to the hospital you will be contracted at in Hawaii, and from there the hospital will send it in directly to the Hawaii Board of Nursing.
  4. Submit Verification of Original License – you will need to verify your first state license you ever received as an RN. Depending on what state this is, you can either do this via or you may have to visit your state’s
    board of nursing website directly for verification if they are not a Nursys participant.
  5. Remit Fee Cost – this should be anywhere around $180-$210, but times are always a changing with nursing licensure fees so its highly suggested you double PPR Travel Nursing 6 check the exact amount you need to send in before you cut the check or money order.

Thinking about getting a permanent Hawaii nursing license? If you are positive Hawaii
will be a travel nursing destination for you in the future, go ahead and get a permanent Hawaii nursing licenses! Having this is a sure way to make your application stand out when it comes time to pursuing your dream Hawaii travel nursing job. It’s not too tedious of a process and won’t hurt your wallet. Follow all of the steps above except for step 3, there is no need for this if you are just planning ahead. Again, as a reminder it is always good to DOUBLE CHECK this application process with the BON since requirements can change.

Pet Policy:

We all have our furry loved ones that love to come on assignment with us. But, if you are going to accept a travel nursing position in Hawaii you may want to rethink bringing your pet or at least do some planning in advance. Hawaii is a rabies-free state, and requires that upon arriving to the island(s) your pet must be quarantined for up to 120 days. That’s some serious separation time! There is something you can do about this though, as long as you plan in advance. Hawaii has what is called a “5-Day-Or-Less” program. This includes a list of strict requirements that all animals must meet prior to arriving on the island. In addition to this list, your pet must qualify for “airport release”. This way you don’t have to spend more than 5 days apart from each other. You can find all the info you need on the Hawaii Rabies Quarantine Info Brochure.

Hawaii Travel Nursing Pay

Hawaii Travel Nursing Pay Expectations

Hawaii travel nursing salary was touched on in Tip #1. However, it is something worth
bringing back to the surface. Hawaii is a beautiful travel destination and many travel
nursing RN’s are willing to accept a position solely for the island-life experience.
Employers are not going to offering you a top travel nursing salary to entice you to
accept a position in Hawaii. Now, the goal isn’t to deter you from applying or accepting
a travel nursing position in Hawaii, but more to set your expectations. Think of it as a
paid vacation. You may not be able to add tons of money to your savings, but the
experience itself is paid for. Always be sure to speak with your recruiter about the travel
nurse salary in Hawaii BEFORE your decision to interview for positions. You want to
make sure it is feasible for you to accept a contract out there.

Hawaii? What’s the difference:

“Hawaii” – double times as a name for the 6 major islands that make up the 50th state, but is also the sole name of the Big Island. It’s important to know the difference between all of the islands so that you can be sure to choose an assignment on the best one for you. They all have something different to offer, check out some below info on the most commonly traveled too islands.

The Big Island (aka Hawaii) – Except for 2 of its major cities, this island is considered more rural and less developed than the other islands. There are two sides of the island that are very different from each other so make sure to do some research before settling down out there. Being one of the newer islands, it has fewer beaches than other Hawaiian islands. The weather here is never dull, it is the only island that you can sunbathe at the beach one day and hit the ski slopes the next. Another fun fact, it has the most active volcanoes in the world!

Maui – This is the second largest island and is known as one of the more tropical islands to visit. It is famed to have a little bit of everything. You can start your day having breakfast in one of the bigger urban districts, spend your afternoon hiking through a rainforest and visiting waterfalls, then end your day in one of the more quiet historic areas. Tons to offer!!

Oahu – With having the capital city located here, you can expect this to be the most urban island. Honolulu is a bustling city with large skyscrapers and the state’s densest population. You can expect to spend a little more money here when compared to the other islands, simply because of the city atmosphere. You can always escape the craziness of the city and drive through the island to some world famous spots like the North Shore or Waikiki. If shopping and nightlife is your cup of tea, then this may be the island for you!

Time Change in Hawaii

Be sure to turn those clocks back! Hawaii is approximately 6 hours behind EST! It is one
of two states, Arizona being the other, that doesn’t observe daylight savings time. Depending on the time of year, the time zone in Hawaii may be 5 or 6 hours behind EST. It’s an important thing to remember when you go to give your family and friends on the mainland a call. As much as they would love hearing from you, a 2am wakeup call is probably not the most ideal. Lastly, remember this for when you are waiting for hiring managers to call you for a phone interview. It’s safe to say your phone probably won’t start ringing until the late afternoon/ early evening your time, be sure to discuss the best times to chat with your travel nursing recruiter.

Learn the language:

<pEven though Hawaii is considered the 50th state of the United States, they do take pride in speaking their own language. It would be great if you could arrive to the islands knowing some of the basic words and phrases. This way you can make the most of your experience while enjoying time and taking care of the Hawaiian natives. Break out those flash cards and study some of the words listed below:

  • Aloha – Love; affection; greeting, salutation; Hello! Good Bye
  • ‘A‘ole pilikia – You’re welcome/No problem
  • Hele – Move, go, travel
  • Hoaloha – Friend
  • Honu – Green sea turtle (these are endangered and you will see signs on the beach often warning you from touching them)
  • Haole – Foreigner, person not from Hawaii
  • Kāne – Men
  • Keiki – Children
  • Kōkua – Help or support 
  • Mahalo – Thank you
  • Maika‘i no au – I am fine
  • Malasada – Portuguese donut (amazingly delicious)
  • Mauka – Towards the mountains
  • Makai – Towards the ocean
  • Moana – Ocean
  • ‘Ohana – family and/or close friends
  • Pau – Done or finished
  • Shaka – hand gesture of extended thumb and pinkie. Symbolizes the Aloha spirit “Shaka Brah”
  • Wahine – Women 

Now that you are an expert on traveling to and accepting a travel nursing position in
Hawaii, the next step is to actually GO!! Leave the mainland and embark on the travel
nursing assignment of a lifetime. Keeping in mind all the shared tips and information
above will help set you up for success out in the Pacific! Aloha and safe travels!!

PPR Travel Nursing is ready to assist you in getting an assignment in Hawaii. You can
contact us at Aloha!

Aloha photo via Pixabay. Pitbull in the sand via Pixabay. Mountains photo via Pixabay.

One Response to “Traveler Tips Hawaii”

  1. Khai Le says:

    Thank you so much for this info. I just started travel nursing and have had Hawaii on my list for quite sometime now. I think it is a good idea to go to a place like Cali, make some more in advance and then go to Hawaii. I think that’s what I am going to do! My girlfriend is going to quit her job and we are going to go to Hawaii together. I think our only real challenge, as you said above, is the pet policy. We have a nearly 100lbs alaskan malamute that would love to come with us (its going to cost a fortune!). We really have to plan that in advance to get him to come along!



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