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Navigating the Nursing Profession in Rhode Island

Updated: Sep 13, 2022

Let us help you land on your dream job here in Rhode Island! Read on this article to know more about the licensing process in Rhode Island, and more!


Through this article, you will be able to know the following:

  • Fees for the licensing

  • Licensing renewal process (step-by-step)

  • Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

  • Licensing and certification

  • Salary of nurses in Rhode Island

  • Popular hospitals in Rhode Island

  • Nursing associations in Rhode Island

  • Contact details


Fees for the Licensing

The table below shows the required payments for the licensing, whether you are a first-time nurse, applying by endorsement, or renewing your license. You can also visit the Rhode Island licensing page to know more details.

At the time of writing, local legislation is working to make Rhode Island a nursing compact state. This will allow nurses to hold multi state licenses in the future. Visit the NCSBN site to stay updated,

*Fees may change without any notice.


Licensing Renewal Process

  1. Check when your license expires by visiting the Rhode Island Board of Nursing website. Rhode Island has a Verification page for you to verify your license.

  2. Complete all your continuing education requirements BEFORE your license expires.

  3. Apply for your renewal process by going to the Rhode Island Board of Nursing. You may check on the Renewal Information page for more specific information.


Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

The following are the Continuing Education Requirements for nurses in Rhode Island.

  • For RN/LPN - 10 contact hours every 2 years in which 2 hours must be in substance abuse

  • For APRN - 10 contact hours every 2 years in which 2 hours must be in substance abuse; and must maintain national certification)

The Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education accepts courses that are ANCC accredited.


Licensing and Certification

Step 1: Education

To earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you must attend an accredited institution that offers ADN for 18-24 months. You can also take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree in an accredited institution. These programs typically take 4 to 5 years to complete. If you have an ADN but you wanna pursue your bachelor’s, there are certain programs that let you earn your BSN in 12 to 18 months. There is also an RN to BSN program that will take one year for you to earn the degree. Said programs let you save on time and money as you work towards advancing your career.

Step 2: Licensing

Six weeks before your graduation, you can start the process of your application for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is composed of 75-265 items and you will be given a limit of 5 hours to finish all of it. Failing the exam does not necessarily mean that you do not have the chance anymore. After your first try, you just have to wait for 45 days and you can apply again.

The scope of NCLEX includes questions about: (1) health promotion and maintenance; (2) safe and effective care environment; (3) physiology and integrity; and (4) psychology and integrity.

Step 3: Experience

This time, you must learn how to take the opportunities in gaining first-hand experiences in dealing with patients, with colleagues and superiors, and with the different situations that you might face. These invaluable experiences will make you more attractive to bigger employers in the future.

Step 4: Certification

Your last step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. There are different requirements for earning a certification, depending on your preferences so it is important to check with the governing provider for information. You can attend several trainings, seminars or workshops in varied institutions for this purpose.


Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Rhode Island

Shortage of healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, has been a perennial issue in the country. This makes nurses highly in demand during this period of time. This profession will increase by about 9% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary is $85,270.

Let us help you check out average wages of nurses to help determine if Idaho is the right place for you.


Popular Hospitals in Rhode Island

Still not decided on whether to work as a nurse in Rhode Island or not? This list of the best hospitals in the state will surely help you make that decision to go in the right direction. U.S. News and World Report made a list of the best and popular hospitals in Rhode Island. Here are some of them:

  • Miriam Hospital – (Providence, RI):

    • A teaching hospital

    • A general medical and surgical facility

    • Rated high performing in 3 adult specialties and 9 procedures and conditions.

    • A member of the Magnet Recognition Program®.

    • Specialties include Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics and Urology

  • Rhode Island Hospital – (Providence, RI)

    • Rated high performing in 6 adult procedures and conditions

    • A teaching hospital and a general medical and surgical facility

    • Specialties are Heart attack/Heart failure, Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and Stroke

  • Kent County Memorial Hospital – (Warwick, RI)

    • Rated high performing in 3 adult procedures and conditions

    • A general medical and surgical facility.

    • Specialties include Heart and Kidney failure, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

  • South County Hospital - (Wakefield, RI)

    • Rated high performing in 4 adult procedures and conditions

    • A general medical and surgical facility

    • Specialties include Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics and Pulmonology & Lung Surgery

  • Westerly Hospital - (Westerly, RI)

    • A general medical and surgical facility

    • Rated high performing in 1 adult procedure or condition

    • Specializes in Cardiology & Heart Surgery, among other fields.

*The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards Magnet Status to Hospitals that apply and meet certain criteria. This award is also considered as the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care.


Nursing Associations in Rhode Island

Becoming a member of a nursing organization will open the greatest opportunities to your career growth. It gives you the ticket to networking, varied job opportunities, and a bunch of information and experiences shared between you and your fellow nurses. Through these organizations, learning and professional growth never stop. Listed below are just a few of the nursing organizations that you can find and join once you are in Rhode Island.

American Nurses Association – Rhode Island: - dedicated to the promotion, advancement, and protection of nursing thereby improving the quality of and access to health care in Rhode Island.”

Student Nurses’ Association of Rhode Island: - an organization of student nurses and nursing faculty from across Rhode Island. Each member represents the nursing schools in Rhode Island and gets involved in community outreach, leadership opportunities and plans an annual convention.

NP Alliance of Rhode Island: - promote the profession of nurse practitioners through education of the public, other health professionals and legislators. The intent is to improve the professional and business environments for nurse practitioners and the educational support of NP students.

Visit the site to know more about the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.


Contact Information

Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education

Phone: (401) 222-5700

Fax: (401) 222-3352

Department of Health

3 Capitol Hill

Providence, RI 02908

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