Nurses in Rhode Island have several top-notch institutions to choose from, despite the state’s status as the smallest in our country. The schools available also cumulatively cover every level of education in nursing, so you can get a degree while staying in-state no matter what your goals are — whether you want to get a certificate, an ADN, a BSN, a master’s degree, or even a PhD.
Transition Programs to Consider
In a state where BLS data reports that RNs are employed at almost three times the rate of LPNs, it really makes sense to pursue a transition program to further your education, making sure that you end up with an ADN or BSN. And if you needed another reason to check out one of the transition programs listed below, RNs make about $20,000 more a year than LPNs, which pays for its own tuition costs in no time.
If you’re planning on staying in Rhode Island while you study, there won’t be a lot of options, but you’ll have some quality schools to choose from. University of Rhode Island, Salve Regina University, and the new England Institute of Technology are some top schools in the state, and they all offer transition programs with some kind of flexibility via an online option — so you can continue working.
Graduate Programs for Nurses in Rhode Island
Despite the fact that the state only has five nursing schools, Rhode Island’s graduate program selection is quite respectable. The state even has a well-respected school offering doctorate degrees in nursing — University of Rhode Island. Other common specialties in the state include gerontology and family nurse practitioner.
One specialty that only MSN-prepared nurses can fulfill is nursing education, which is a profession that’s highly needed in Rhode Island.
Job Outlook for Nursing Students in Rhode Island
Rhode Island’s unemployment rate might not look great at first sight – 9.1%, according to the latest BLS data reports – but the state seems to be on an upswing, which is an encouraging sign. Employment rates have improved by 1.5 percentage points in just the last twelve months alone.
In addition to improving employment for the overall job market, the nursing industry seems to be pulling ahead of other sectors, providing more options for graduating students than you’d expect at first sight.
The best advice for nursing students pursuing a certificate or associate’s degree is to look for nursing assistant positions, as licensed practical nurses are under-employed by about half in Rhode Island while nursing assistants are employed at almost twice the rate of other states.
Another option is to stick it out for a four-year degree, which would help guarantee employment in one of the registered nurse positions that are doing very well in Rhode Island. In this case, the bachelor’s degree not only opens up more income opportunities and an easier employment seeking process — it also gives greater access to the field of registered nursing, which is doing much better than the LPN field.
Income Data for Rhode Island Nurses
|Data from BLS 2012||10th Percentile||50th Percentile||90th Percentile|
|Nursing Instructors and Teachers
|LPN / LVNs
Employment: — *
* Double dashes (–) indicate data not available.