Becoming an LPN in Rhode Island

Rhode Island strives to provide safe patient care by licensing health professionals who provide the best service, as well as educating the public and providing access to quality health care. To practice nursing in the state, an individual must obtain licensure by enrolling in an accredited program and passing the NCLEX-PN examination. By 2026, an increase in licensed practical nurse jobs is estimated at 12%, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This in-demand career pathway is easily achievable for Rhode Islanders. Rhode Island LPNs earn around an hourly wage of $26.55 or annual salary of $55,230, which is roughly $11,200 more per year than national average.

Details on Rhode Island LPN Schools & Classes

Rhode Island is a small state, but practical nursing program opportunities do exist within its borders. These LPN programs are offered at a community college and a technical school in the state, and are typically completed in 3 semesters (about one year). Students opting for part-time attendance may take longer to graduate.

The LPN curriculum covers various entry-level nursing topics and is delivered in a classroom-based format, with labs and clinical experiences typically weaved in. Common course titles include:

  • Gerontological Nursing
  • Pharmacology
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • General Psychology
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Nursing Across the Lifespan

Accreditation

Choosing a fully accredited school is important for prospective students. Schools and programs accredited by organizations such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) are generally trustworthy and held to a higher standard, giving students peace of mind. It’s also imperative to ensure that a student’s LPN program of choice is approved by the Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nurse Education.

Admission Requirements

Students are encouraged to make sure they meet the minimum requirements for admission before applying to their preferred Rhode Island LPN program. Requirements may include:

  • Official copies of transcripts from high school (or GED) and any colleges attended
  • If applicable, proof of current CNA licensure
  • Satisfactory Accuplacer test scores
  • Satisfactory HESI A2 test scores
  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Submit background check and proof of health requirements

Tuition and Costs

Many prospective LPN students are anxious to find out the total cost of this type of nursing program. Like many other nursing programs, the LPN student will be responsible for tuition, mandatory fees, and supplies (such as books). Transportation fees and other indirect costs should also be considered. Financial aid, grants, loans, and scholarships can all help students pay for school.

For example, the estimated total cost of the LPN program at Lincoln Technical Institute is $27,149. This includes tuition and fees.

Rhode Island LPN Licensing Requirements

Rhode Island LPN's must be trained via an approved program found state-wide in community colleges, vocational schools, and private nursing schools. Once the program is complete, the graduate must take the NCLEX exam to apply for licensure. The applicant must also submit an application to the state, including:

  • Official transcripts from state-approved nursing program with graduation date and degree confirmation in a sealed envelope from the school.
  • Recent headshot (passport-style) photograph.
  • Criminal background check.
  • Proof of registration (ATT) for the NCLEX.

Rhode Island LPN licenses expire every 2 years.

NCLEX Exam Information

All students must take and pass the NCLEX-PN examination upon completing their LPN program. This exam tests students’ nursing curriculum comprehension and is required for official licensure as a practical nurse. For more information on the NCLEX-PN exam, visit our guide here. This NCLEX-PN practice test is also a great tool for studying for the exam.

LPN Reciprocity and eNLC

Rhode Island was a part of the original Nurse Licensure Compact and is currently pending legislation to be included in the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC). The eNLC allows nurses to practice in any participating state without having to obtain additional licensure. Nurses from non-compact states are required to apply for a Rhode Island license by endorsement and must provide:

  • Recent headshot (passport-style) photograph.
  • Official transcript from school of nursing.
  • Graduation from a nursing program.
  • Photo copy of active license from another state.
  • Criminal background check.

Foreign applicants who have studied abroad and are comparably licensed in their country must also submit the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) evaluation of their official transcripts and completed a full course-by-course review.

LPN Salary in Rhode Island By Area

The table below lists career information organized by the BLS for licensed practical nurses in Rhode Island. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Providence, Warwick1,550$25.44$52,910

For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Rhode Island LPN to RN/BSN programs page.

LPN Programs in Rhode Island

ProgramDetails
Community College of Rhode Island
400 East Ave, Warwick, RI 02886
(401) 825-1000 Visit Homepage
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Lincoln Technical Institute
622 George Washington Highway, Lincoln, RI 02865
(401) 334-2430 Visit Homepage
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