Becoming an LPN in Rhode Island
Being a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a commendable profession. An LPN is a person who takes care of patients in a medical setting. They work with other nurses, doctors and administrative staff. An LPN does things like administer medication and monitor a patient’s vital signs. As a Licensed Practical Nurse, a person should be comfortable with assisting patients with personal hygiene, working in a fast-paced environment and understanding orders from clinic staff. LPNs can work in hospitals, private practices, correctional facilities or in the military.
Being a Licensed Practical Nurse in Rhode Island
Becoming an LPN in Rhode Island requires licensure by the Nurse Registration and Nurse Education Board, which is a part of the state’s Department of Health. Because Rhode Island is a small state it is a member of the nurse licensure compact states. This means that obtaining the license in Rhode Island also qualifies you to work in neighboring states. If you’re interested in becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Rhode Island, you’ll need a high school diploma or a GED to begin your career. After that, you’ll need to complete a nursing education program. There are even some schools that help students acquire both at the same time.
Becoming an LPN
Once you’ve completed all required coursework to become a nurse, you’ll need to take the national exam conducted by The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). Becoming an LPN in Rhode Island requires that you have a clean record with no criminal background. The Office of Attorney General (AG) will request fingerprints and an official national criminal background check that must be passed to become an LPN. After this is complete, you’ll need to have a passport type photo of yourself to attach to your official application, which is then submitted by mail. If you don’t pass the exam on your first attempt, Rhode Island does allow you to retake the test an unlimited number of times at an additional cost to you.
Learning About Nursing in Rhode Island
Because it is a requirement in Rhode Island to have additional nursing education to work as a Licensed Practical Nurse, you’ll want to make sure you are taking courses at an institution accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). After becoming an LPN, you can choose to further your education and become a Registered Nurse (RN).
Here are some schools in Rhode Island that will help you gain a nursing education before taking the national exam.
- Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College Charter High School, Providence. This nursing program has only been open since 2011. It is a public charter high school that focuses solely on the nursing profession. It is a unique school in that students begin their journey toward becoming an LPN in ninth grade. It is a four-year program, and tuition is free. Any student in Rhode Island is welcome to enroll.
- St. Joseph School of Nursing, North Providence. St. Joseph is an accredited nursing school. This school offers students a diploma in nursing, which is a prerequisite to taking the national exam. They hold classes in North Providence and the Salve Regina Campus in Warwick. They have a robust placement process, and the school is affiliated with many Rhode Island hospitals and clinics.
LPN Overview and Wages in Rhode Island
Rhode Island is near the bottom of the list when it comes to employment projections, according to the Projections Managing Partnership. As of 2016, data shows that over the next 10 years, job growth for nurses will only be one percent. This equates to an average of 80 new openings per year through 2026.
Although job growth is stagnant in Rhode Island, an LPN’s salary is near the top in the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average annual pay was $57,840 in 2017. That same year, the average hourly rate for LPNs was $27.81. This pay can vary for Licensed Practical Nurses in Rhode Island, depending on the employer.
Working as an LPN in Rhode Island
Rhode Island does not have the smallest population, although it is the smallest state in the U.S. The U.S. Census Bureau shows that there are only three cities in Rhode Island that have a population of over 100,000 people. Most nursing jobs will be found in the densely-populated areas of Providence, followed by Warwick and Cranston. An experienced LPN can earn as much as $72,870 per year in these cities. Entry-level LPNs can expect to make between $44,880 in the early phase of their career. LPNs are needed in many areas such as nursing homes, oncology clinics, emergency rooms and pediatric clinics.
Becoming a nurse in Rhode Island will not only lead you to an excellent salary, but it is a rewarding career filled with satisfying work and exciting opportunities.