Rhode Island Nursing License
The requirements for working as a nurse in Rhode Island are fairly basic and fundamental. All working nurses must have a valid, current Rhode Island nursing license, and they be able to show proof that they have completed an associates degree in nursing. Both the license and the degree must be approved by the Rhode Island Board of Nursing.
Employment prospects within the state are promising. There are over 12,000 working RNNs in Rhode Island, and their average annual salary is approximately $71,000.
The Rhode Island State Nurses Association is a good source of information about working as a nurse in Rhode Island, and this organization can also provide useful information about grants and scholarships for different educational programs. This information can be accessed at www.risna.org. Additional information can be found at http://www.health.ri.gov/for/nurses/.
To acquire a nursing license in Rhode Island, nursing applicants must be of good moral character, and they must complete a basic high school program or equivalency course as well as a board-approved basic nursing education program.
RNs must pass the NCLEX-RN exam, or they can apply for a license via endorsement.
Rhode Island is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, so out-of-state nurses do not need to apply for a license to work in the state if they have a current, valid license from their home state and that state is a part of the NLC.
Foreign-educated nurses can work in Rhode Island if they complete the requirements of the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) and they can present a copy of a driver’s license, tax return, etc.
The licensing agency in their home state must also submit a statement to the Rhode Island Board of Nursing that the candidate is in good standing in that state.
Licensing fees are $145 for RNs and $45 for LPNs.
For RNs, ten hours of continuing education during the two years covered by their current license are required for renewal.
In addition, RNs must also provide a recent passport-style photo, along with an official transcript from the nursing school they completed that lists their graduation date and degree.
They also must apply to the Department of the Attorney General for a national background check that is supported by fingerprints, and for a state background check as well. This report must be sent directly from the AG’s office to the Rhode Island Board of nursing.
More information on this process can be found at www.riag.state.ri.us/bci/records.php.
LPN License Requirements
LPNs seeking to practice nursing in Rhode Island must have a high school education or a certificate showing completion of the equivalent, along with an official transcript from a government-approved school of practical nursing that shows completion of general curriculum. Their coursework must include the biological and physical sciences, social science and nursing, and basic concepts in medical, obstetrical, psychiatric and pediatric nursing.
They must also successfully complete a board approved English language proficiency examination.
Finally, they must successfully pass the NCLEX-PN to work in Rhode Island.
RN Education Requirements
To become an RN in Rhode Island, nurses must complete an associates degree in nursing from a university or accredited college that has been approved by the Rhode Island Board of Nursing.
A list of schools offering an associates degree in nursing includes the Community College of Rhode Island, which has campuses in Lincoln, Newport, Providence and Warwick. More information on these schools can be found at http://www.degreetree.com/resources/how-to-become-an-rn-in-rhode-island.
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LPN Education Requirements
For LPNs in Rhode Island seeking to become registered nurses, Rhode Island offers an additional path to an associates degree in nursing via the College Network, which sponsors an online program that leads to an AS in Nursing. LPNs must have an existing nursing license to qualify for this program.
The advantages of this program include no required classroom attendance, no waiting list, a savings of over 50 percent over traditional programs along with financing options. The learning is self-paced and convenient, so applicants can choose their own timeline for earning the degree. Information on this program can be found at http://www.degreetree.com/school/the-college-network/lpn-to-rn-as-in-nursing-licensed-lpn-lvns-only?campusid=22&programId=110#Init.
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Rhode Island licensed nurse compared to the national annual salaries, all based on the latest May 2013 Occupational Employment Statistics figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
RN to BSN Programs
Due to the combination of an aging population, health care reform measure and new preventive care programs, many registered nurses in Rhode Island are finding that they need additional education to keep up with the ongoing demands of their workplace. The RN-to-BSN program has turned out to be an ideal solution to this problem.
In Rhode Island, a partial list of colleges offering this program includes the New England Institute of Technology in Warwick, Rhode Island College in Providence (and Kingston) and Salve Regina University.
The best specialization areas for nurses choosing this program are obstetrics and gynecology, pediatric nursing and nursing education. ICUs and catheterization labs are popular destinations for those with this degree, and RNs with a BSN are also highly desirable in skin and wound care work.