MSN Programs Rhode Island

In the Institute of Medicine’s, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, published in 2010, the committee emphasized the need for nurses to reduce gaps in care. As primary care providers, nurses not only increase access to health care services but also implement care plans for diverse patients, reduce infection rates, prevent medication errors, and facilitate the transition of patients from hospital to home.

When nurses are permitted to work to the full extent of their training and education, as they are in Rhode Island, they can help control costs and ensure patients receive the best clinical care. They will spend much time in patient education, function as primary care providers, and manage care coordination. Their expanded scope of practice will also include health coaching, researching, and disease management.

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) prepares registered nurses to move into roles that build on their previous education and experience as a nurse. Graduates can diagnose illnesses and prescribe medication without a physician oversight. They develop the knowledge and clinical expertise to serve as care coordinators and ensure the continuity of care. The MSN program is the most common path for preparation as an advanced practice nurse. Right now, the State of Rhode Island licenses APNs in three categories: Certified Nurse Practitioner, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, and Clinical Nurse Specialist. There are several roles available for the CNA and CNP categories.

Specialized Learning

The MSN program prepares professional nurses for leadership roles in various healthcare settings. The curriculum provides specialized preparation in several focus areas, including primary health care, psychiatric mental health nursing, gerontological nursing, nursing administration, and nursing education. Students who successfully complete the course of training will be eligible to sit certification exams to practice as clinical nurse specialists or nurse practitioners.

The program is designed to accommodate both full-time and part-time students according to their individual needs. The coursework will include nursing theory, nursing research, and leadership in health policy. To develop the knowledge and skills needed for caring for clients in the chosen concentration, students will cover courses related to nursing strategies for common and uncommon problems in the client-nurse system. After completing the foundational courses, students will begin courses specific to their concentration area. These core and support courses combine to give nurses the preparation for advanced practice in a chosen category and concentration.

A critical goal of the MSN program is to develop graduates who are capable of assuming professional leadership roles and the capacity to design and implement delivery systems in response to changes in health care policies. Additionally, nurses will be able to use knowledge of the humanities and sciences to guide nursing research and practice, exude competency and confidence in advanced level practice, exhibit moral and ethical values in the delivery of care, communicate in a scholarly manner, evaluate opportunities and complications in health care and provide leadership for change, and use their expertise in a concentrated area of study to transform health care delivery.

Most MSN degree programs require a bachelor’s degree for entry. However, some programs admit RNs holding an associate degree in nursing and take them to the graduate nursing degree through the RN to MSN program.

RN to MSN: If you plan to expand your career potential by earning a master’s degree in nursing and becoming an advanced practice nurse, the RN to MSN program will help you to reach your goals in just two years. The online option lets students learn without compromising their work or family schedules. The program structure varies but generally requires completion of three or four undergraduate courses before enrolling in the master’s level nursing courses. Since the program facilitates the acquisition of the BSN and MSN together, it is more time and cost effective than completing them separately. Through the replacement of a few required BSN courses with the MSN courses, which offer more advanced content than the corresponding BSN courses. Graduates may be eligible to sit a national certifying exam in their concentration area.

Direct Entry MSN: The direct entry MSN gives registered nurses with a baccalaureate degree in nursing the tool to manage changing needs within the health delivery system. Adults who hold a bachelor’s degree in another discipline may gain entry to the program and complete the MSN on a full-time basis. The course of study may be generalist-based or specialty-based based on the student’s career goals. Graduates will have the expertise and leadership to coordinate and deliver better nursing care in the increasingly complex health care system. APRN majors require completion of 11-14 credit hours of clinical courses and a clinical residency where students practice under the mentorship expert clinician in their chosen focus area. The minimum number of credits required for the completion of the MSN degree varies from 45 to 52 depending on the major. Graduates are qualified to sit for the appropriate certification examination.

Post-Master’s Certificate: The post-master’s certificate program gives students the opportunity to change or expand their advanced practice nursing role. It builds on the previous clinical skills and knowledge to prepare students for a new practice role. The program admits nurses who already have a master’s degree and lets them specialize in another area. The curriculum will be personalized based on prior clinical coursework and the requirements to complete the program, and because of this students will need to meet with an advisor to work out a program plan. Courses completed in the previous master’s program may be waived in the post-master’s curriculum. Clinical hours completed in the master’s degree may also be transferrable.

Summary of Enrollment Criteria

The following are required to as part of the graduate application process:

  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Letters of recommendation (academic and professional) attesting to your ability to succeed at graduate study
  • A curriculum vitae or resume
  • Satisfactory scores on the MAT or GRE – taken within the past five years
  • A statement of purpose describing your goals for pursuing graduate study
  • A completed application with all the reading documents
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0
  • A baccalaureate degree in nursing from a program accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing or the National League
  • A registered nursing license in Rhode Island
  • At least two years clinical nursing experience
  • A grade C or above in statistics

How Much Do MSN Programs Cost?

The tuition for graduate study at the University of Rhode Island for matriculated nursing students is $706 per credit. A number of loans, graduate assistantships, and scholarships are available to help students finance their graduate study. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis. Mandatory student fees include student services fee, health services fee, accident and sickness insurance, registration fee, and a graduate tax. Additional fees include books and supplies, credit overload, enrollment deposit, and clinical supplies.

Requirements For Advanced Practice Nurses Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education oversees the licensure for Advanced Practice Nurses in the following categories and population focus:

  • Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP)
    • CNP Adult/gerontology
    • CNP Family/individual across the lifespan
    • CNP Neonatal
    • CNP Pediatric
    • CNP Psychiatric/mental health
    • CNP Women’s health/gender-related
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
    • CRNA Family/individual across the lifespan
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • CNS Adult/gerontology
    • CNS Family/individual across the lifespan
    • CNS Neonatal
    • CNS Pediatric
    • CNS Psychiatric/mental health
    • CNS Women’s health/gender-related

All applications for APN licensure must hold an active Rhode Island RN license or an active RN license in a Compact State.

Guidelines for APN Licensure by Examination

Submit the following to the Rhode Island Board of Nursing:

  • The application completed in blue or black ball-point pen. Answer all questions that are applicable or use N/A for Not Applicable. Make a copy of the completed application before submitting to the Board.
  • The application fee of $145. Make check or money order payable to General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island and staple it to the upper left-hand corner of the first page of the application. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • A recent passport type photograph – 2” x 2”. Affix the photo to page 8 of the application
  • Official transcript of nursing education sent directly from the educational program to the Board of Nursing. The transcript must indicate the degree granted and date awarded.
  • A letter from the certifying organization indicating your certification in a specialty and population focus. Request that the organization sends validation directly to the Board of Nursing.
  • A background check report sent directly from the Department of Attorney General (AG) to the Board of Nursing. You must apply to the AG for a national background check supported by fingerprints and a state background check
  • The completed Affidavit of Application – notarized by a notary public

Guidelines for APN Licensure by Endorsement

Submit the following to the Rhode Island State Board of Nursing:

  • The application completed in blue or black ball-point pen. Answer all questions that are applicable or use N/A for Not Applicable. Make a copy of the completed application before submitting to the Board.
  • The application fee of $145. Make check or money order payable to General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island and staple it to the upper left-hand corner of the first page of the application. The application fee is non-refundable.
  • A recent passport type photograph – 2” x 2”. Affix the photo to page 8 of the application
  • Official transcript of nursing education sent directly from the educational program to the Board of Nursing. The transcript must indicate the degree granted and date awarded.
  • A letter from the certifying organization indicating your certification in a specialty and population focus. Request that the organization sends validation directly to the Board of Nursing.
  • Verification of licensure from each state you have been granted a license to practice as an advanced practice nurse. The verification must be sent directly to the Board of Nursing. Make sure to sign and complete identifying information on the Interstate Verification Form.
  • A background check report sent directly from the Department of Attorney General (AG) to the Board of Nursing. You must apply to the AG for a national background check supported by fingerprints and a state background check
  • The completed Affidavit of Application – notarized by a notary public

The Board needs to receive a completed application and all additional information to review your request for licensure. If you fail to submit all the required documents within one year from the date of submission, you must submit a new application and fee to be considered for licensure.

The entire review and licensure process could take up to 8 weeks. It will take an additional 2 to 3 months for review if you have malpractice, criminal, or disciplinary history. After the Board approves the license, it will take another 7 to 10 business days to issue the license. Wallet-sized cards will be mailed within 3 weeks from the date of issuance. It will be mailed to the address on the application. If your address changes before the licensure process is complete, you must notify the Board using the Change of Address Form.

Military Status Eligibility: If you are in active military duty, a military veteran with honorable discharge, or the spouse of someone in active military duty or a reservist, you may apply for Military Status Eligibility to expedite your application. Provide a Leave Earning Statement (LES), Letter from Command, Copy of Orders or DD-214 showing honorable discharge with your Military Expedited request.

Temporary Work Permit

Endorsement candidates may be eligible for a temporary permit after providing proof of current licensure as a registered nurse in Rhode Island and an out-of-state APN license that is active. CRNAs must provide a transcript of their nursing education and a resume.

The temporary permit will be valid for 90 days and is not renewable. Prescriptive authority is not granted to temporary permit holders.

Prescriptive Authority/ Controlled Substances Act Registration

Complete the Rhode Island Uniformed Controlled Substances Act Registration (CSR) on page 11 of the application packet if you wish to prescribe controlled substances as a CRNP or CNS. You will not receive a Federal DEA registration number if you do not provide proof of a Rhode Island issued CSR.

The fee for the CSR is $200 for two years and is renewable with the APN license. The CSR will only be issued to an RI practice address. Provide a copy of your DEA registration to the Board of Nursing within 60 days of issuance by the DEA.

APN Renewal Requirements Rhode Island

APRN licenses expire biennially. The Board will send notice of expiration at least 60 days before the license expires. The licensee must renew the RN license, APRN license, and CSR online and provide evidence of current national certification upon renewal.

Contact the Board of Nursing

Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education

3 Capitol Hill, Providence RI 02908
Phone: 401-222-1800
Fax: 401-222-6548

MSN Programs Rhode Island

Kingston, RI MSN programs:
The University of Rhode Island
45 Upper College Rd, Kingston, RI 02881
401-874-1000

North Providence, RI MSN programs:
St. Joseph Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia
200 High Service Avenue, North Providence, RI 02904
401-456-3638

Pawtucket, RI MSN programs:
Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island
111 Brewster Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860
401-729-2000

Providence, RI MSN programs:
Rhode Island College
600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence, RI 02908
401-456-8000

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