Before you balk at the tuition of Hawaii's most expensive universities, bear in mind that students pay roughly half of list price on average due to various grants and financial aid. Other expenses can add up quickly, however, so it's best to have a full view of the financial costs ahead of time.

Here is the math. Starting on the high end, the average four-year student at a private university pays about $13,000 annually in tuition and fees after grants. However, room and board averages $10,000, books and supplies cost $1,200, and transportation and other expenses can add an additional $2,500. The all-in costs of education will decrease if the student attends a public university, particularly if he or she lives in-state, and/or if the student is enrolled in a shorter two-year program. A student who commutes to a local two-year community college will only pay an average of $11,000 per year, versus an all-in cost of almost $27,000 in the above scenario.

Of course, a community college degree or certificate will not provide the same job market value as a bachelor's degree from a prestigious university. For instance, a certified nursing assistant who has very little schooling makes an average of $29,000 per year in Hawaii, while the salary of a nurse practitioner with a master's or doctorate degree is triple that amount at over $100,000 annually.

Armed with this knowledge, we've compiled a list of the best nursing schools in Hawaii, ordered from most to least expensive.