Despite its relatively small geographic size and population, Rhode Island employs more than 1,000 licensed practical nurses, according to the state’s Department of Labor and Training. Still, the US Department of Health and Human Services projects that the state will face a deficit of 1,120 LPNs by the year 2025. To address this growing concern, Rhode Island colleges are offering quality education and training through accredited LPN programs. Those interested in taking advantage of ample career opportunities, as well as help others in need, can read on to learn more about LPN programs in Rhode Island, as well as how to obtain a valid license to start working.
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Choosing a Rhode Island LPN Program
While many states offer LPN programs in different settings, such as community colleges, career vocational schools, and private institutions, Rhode Island educates LPNs a little differently. Currently, the community college system is the only state-approved LPN program in Rhode Island. Graduates from Rhode Island Community College (RICC) go on to work in physician’s offices, hospitals, and home care settings.
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LPN Licensure Requirements in Rhode Island
Every state in the U.S. requires LPNs to be licensed to practice. Because licensing processes vary from state to state, it’s important to understand the requirements in your area. The following section explains how to become licensed and maintain licensure in Rhode Island.
- Must hold a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate
- Must complete a national background check, including fingerprints, through the Department of Attorney General
- Be able to present Rhode Island proof of residency: copy of driver’s license, tax return or lease)
LPN Education & Training
LPN license applicants must prove that they completed an approved one-year LPN program in Rhode Island by arranging for an official transcript to be submitted directly to the Rhode Island Board of Nursing. If necessary, applicants may send the transcript to the Board along with their application as long as it is in an envelope sealed by the nursing school.
Rhode Island is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact, which means LPNs with a license from any participating state do not need to obtain a separate Rhode Island nursing license to practice. However, LPNs with a license from a non-participating state must apply for a Rhode Island LPN license before working as an LPN. In that case, a photo of an active out-of-state license must accompany the License by Endorsement application. Nurses who hold a license in good standing from a non-participating state may also apply for a 90-Day Temporary Permit while waiting for a permanent license to be issued.
Additional LPN Licensure Requirements
- Submit a signed Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Education form with a 2 x 3-inch photograph (head and shoulder view) attached.
- Attach check or money order for $45 made to the RI General to the upper left-hand corner of the application. The fee is nonrefundable.
- Apply to take the National Council Licensing Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) from the NCSBN. Applicants have the option to apply for expedited military status by including one of the following documents: Leave Earning Statement (LES), Copy of Orders or DD-214 showing honorable discharge.
- Pass the NCLEX-PN
Note: All applications are considered valid for one year from the day they are received. After one year, a new application must be submitted.
License Renewal Process
LPN licenses must be renewed every two years for a fee of $45. Renewal applicants must complete 10 hours (or one CEU) of continuing education and will be required to sign a statement to that effect. It’s the responsibility of each applicant to obtain documentation proving CEU completion because there is a risk of being audited during the following four years.
Rhode Island LPN Salaries
There are job openings for LPNs across the state of Rhode Island, with some areas experiencing higher salaries than others. The table below identifies areas in Rhode Island with the highest LPN salaries.
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Top Paying Metropolitan Areas
Trends in Rhode Island Employment
The demand for nurses in Rhode Island mirrors the national nursing shortage. According to the Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training, there will be approximately 545 openings for LPNs from 2012 to 2022. This figure includes 268 positions based on growth and 277 positions based replacement. Reasons for the growing demand include an aging population and retirement of LPNs currently working in the field.
Where the Jobs Are
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Providence-Fall River-Warwick RI-MA||1,650|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Employment of LPNs in Rhode Island
Average Annual Openings 60
Source: Projections Central
Resources for LPNs in Rhode Island
This site offers licensure and license renewal information from the State of Rhode Island Department of Health.
LPNs can check to see if their license has been issued at this site during the application process.
This association provides lobbying services, continuing education, and access to an annual convention for LPNs across the U.S., including Rhode Island.
This site explains the process for taking the NCLEX-PN exam from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing which covers the state of Rhode Island.
This guide from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training provides detailed descriptions and statistics about LPNs in the state
This not-for-profit professional association is made up of members from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut who promote quality patient care in their states. These nurses represent a variety of occupations including RNs and LPNs.
The Rhode Island Board of Nursing (RIBN) is part of the Department of Health. RIBN regulates licensure and license renewal in the state. Online forms and directions are available on this site.
This membership organization of RNs and LPNs provides networking opportunities, a mentoring program, and access to a continuing education library.
SNARI supports LPN and RN nursing students in the state by providing community outreach, leadership opportunities, and an annual convention.
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