Students in Rhode Island may complete nursing programs that lead to diplomas, associate's, bachelor's, or master's degrees. Such programs may last less than two years and up to four years or more. Clinical components such as field training or internships are included in most nursing programs.
To practice nursing in Rhode Island, students have to complete an approved education program and then apply for the appropriate state license. State licensing is available for licensed practical and registered nurses, nursing assistants, registered nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists.
There are six accredited schools in Rhode Island that offer diplomas or degree programs in nursing and qualify graduates for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
Community College of Rhode Island
The nursing programs offered by the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) are available on the school's campuses in Warwick, Lincoln, Providence and Newport. The Practical Nurse Diploma requires students to take three 'Level I' classes in nursing; the three courses account for 33 credits out of the 63 credits needed for this track. Graduates of the diploma program are eligible to take the exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Students who pursue the 71-credit Associate in Science in Nursing degree program complete most of the same courses needed for the diploma, plus two additional Level II nursing courses that are ten credits each. Requirements to apply include demonstrated competencies in specific academic areas as well as standardized testing and completion of prerequisite courses. The CCRI nursing program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.
New England Institute of Technology
Students at the New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) can pursue an Associate in Science in Nursing on the school's campus in East Greenwich, south of Providence. This private not-for-profit school has an open admissions policy. Students can choose from four possible dates to begin the nursing program, which takes seven quarters and a minimum of 21 months to complete. Coursework covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, medical and surgical assessments, nursing fundamentals and pharmacology; many of the courses have an accompanying clinical component. The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission accredits NEIT's nursing program.
Rhode Island College
At Rhode Island College (RIC) in Providence, students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in different formats. In addition to the standard 4-year 'basic baccalaureate' format, there are accelerated options for students who possess an associate's degree in nursing or a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing subject. Core courses taken include 3-credit foundational courses and 4-credit 'cognates', such as anatomy, physiology, microbiology and chemistry. Students also complete seven courses, six credits each, in specialization areas such as mental health, children and families, newborns and community health.
Students who have a bachelor's degree in nursing and are current RNs and want a higher level of education can enroll in the RIC Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program, which has two concentration options. The first is an adult and gerontology concentration with a focus on acute care. The other choice is in community leadership and public health. The nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Salve Regina University
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program at Salve Regina University in Newport is offered in two tracks. The pre-licensure track is an option for students who enter straight out of high school or for transfer or second-degree applicants. Prerequisite courses are required. The other option is a degree completion track for students who are already registered nurses and are looking for a bachelor's degree. Students in this track are granted at least 59 credits for their previous education and experience; a total of 132 credits are needed to complete this bachelor's in nursing. Courses cover topics such as the professional nursing transition along with service learning, leadership, public health and aging/end-of-life care. The Salve Regina programs are accredited and approved by the Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education.
St. Joseph School of Nursing
Students can earn a nursing diploma in three years at the St. Joseph School of Nursing in North Providence. Each of the six semesters needed for the program is 17 weeks in length, but one 6-week summer session is also needed at the end of the first year. Foundational courses cover topics such as dosage calculation, nutrition, anatomy, pharmacology and physiology. As the students advance in the program, there are courses in mental health nursing, surgical nursing, comprehensive nursing, leadership and management and parent child health nursing. The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission accredits the program, while the Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education approves it.
University of Rhode Island
Located in Kingston the University of Rhode Island offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. There is an RN to BSN program option along with the standard 4-year degree option. For a clinical requirement, students can gain experience working in nearby schools, community health agencies, nursing homes and hospitals. A total of 121 credits are required for the program. There is coursework available in children nursing, community health nursing, advanced medical-surgical nursing, nursing research and comprehensive health assessment. The Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education accredits the program.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Nursing Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Community College of Rhode Island||2-year, public; small city|| Practical Nurse Diploma,
Associate in Science in Nursing
|$4,564 (in-state), $12,156 (out-of-state)*|
|New England Institute of Technology||4-year (primarily associate's degrees), private not-for-profit; small city||Associate in Science in Nursing||$29,856*|
|Rhode Island College||4-year, public; mid-size city|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing
|$8,929 (in-state), $21,692 (out-of-state)*|
|Salve Regina University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Science in Nursing||$40,150*|
|St. Joseph School of Nursing||2-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Nursing Diploma||$17,207*|
|University of Rhode Island||4-year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Science in Nursing||$14,138 (in-state), $30,862 (out-of-state)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.