How to Become an LPN in Rhode Island – A Simple Guide

How to Become an LPN in Rhode Island - A Simple Guide

Dreaming of becoming a nurse and helping others out?

Well, that’s a fantastic idea! 

If you want to join the medical industry quickly, safely, and with the promise of a great career, becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN is a great way to go!

With the chance to work at major hospitals and with senior doctors, the job of an LPN is exciting, not to mention the rewarding salaries they receive.

That being said, many people find it hard to get there and are often left scratching their heads.

That’s why we are here to help.

The following article provides an in-depth, step-by-step, easy-to-follow guide on becoming a practicing and licensed LPN in Rhode Island.

We’ll also cover important FAQs that aspiring and licensed practical nurses should know, including:

  • How much does an LPN make in Rhode Island?
  • How much does it cost to become an LPN?
  • I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I work as an LPN in the U.S.?

So, if you’re ready, let’s get started!

How to Become an LPN in Rhode Island – 4 Simple Steps

Here are the 4 simple steps to becoming an LPN in Rhode Island: 

Step #1: Enroll in a State-Approved LPN Program

Step #2: Get Your LPN License

Step #3: Secure Your First Job

Step #4:  Keep Your License Active

Let’s have a look at each one.

Step #1: Enroll in a State-Approved LPN Program

Becoming an LPN entails having to go to school for it.

Since the job of an LPN involves handling patients with various health conditions, you will need to be trained for this. 

That’s right when it comes to nursing, education is taken very seriously, and you must choose a good nursing school.

And finding a state-approved school should be at the top of your list!

Your LPN program will count for nothing if it isn’t state-approved, so make sure to keep an eye out for this.

Aside from state approval, you should look at the NCLEX passing rates of these schools. A high passing rate usually means that they prepare their graduates well for the board exams.

You can find a summary of NCLEX passing rates by school here

Other considerations include the costs, the schedules, the location, the professors, the facilities, etc. 

Program Length

LPN programs usually last 12-18 months, depending on whether you are studying full-time or part-time. 

If you are a full-time student, you can finish everything in just a year! 

Program Content

The exact course content for LPN programs may differ per school, but some of the topics may include:

  • Normal Growth and Development
  • Nursing Fundamentals
  • Communication
  • Communicable Diseases
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Leadership
  • Supervision
  • Ethics and Unethical Conduct
  • Critical Thinking
  • Gerontological Nursing
  • Rehabilitation Nursing
  • Maternity Nursing

Aside from classroom instruction, you will receive clinical training. 

You will be exposed to a real-world setting where you will apply what you learned under the supervision of an RN.

Admission Requirements

To enroll in an LPN program, you’ll need to meet some prerequisites.

These may vary by institution but generally include:

  • a high school diploma or the equivalent, such as the General Educational Development
  • Satisfactory HESI A2 test scores
  • CPR certification
  • a copy of college transcripts 
  • thorough health check-up

Step #2: Get Your LPN License

Completing your education was the first step, but the next step involves getting a license.

How do you do that?

There are two main ways to get an LPN license in Rhode Island – through examination or endorsement.

You’ll need to go through the examination process if you are a fresh graduate or if you’ve never been licensed as an LPN before.

You can go through the endorsement process if you are already an active LPN in another state. 

Let’s talk about each process more deeply. 

Examination

Everyone wants to make sure that the people handling their health are reliable and competent, right?

That’s precisely why there are strict requirements that you need to comply with to become an LPN.

One such requirement is passing the NCLEX-PN.

The NCLEX-PN is the nationwide nursing exam to test your knowledge, decision-making skills, and competence as an LPN. 

If you don’t pass this exam, you can’t become licensed. 

The best time to take this exam is soon after graduation because everything you learned is still fresh in your mind… The earlier, the better. 

While you review and prepare for your exam, you should also be registering and filing for it simultaneously with the Rhode Island Board of Nursing. 

Follow the steps below to register:

  1. Complete the Online LPN Rhode Island Application.
  2. Pay the application fee of $45. 
  3. Complete the Background Check with Fingerprints. 
  4. Make sure your LPN school sends your official transcripts directly to the BON. 
  5. Submit proof of Rhode Island residency (if Rhode Island is your primary state of residency).
  6. Register with Pearson Vue for the NCLEX-PN and pay the $200 registration fee. 
  7. Wait to receive the Authorization to Test (ATT) form by email. 
  8. Schedule your exam schedule and location after receiving your ATT.
  9. Take the exam.
  10. Wait for the results.

If you pass the exam, you will receive your license and can start working!

If you don’t pass, you will receive a diagnosis of how you performed in your exam. This is a helpful tool as you prepare to retake the exam. 

Endorsement

Are you already an LPN in another state? Do you want to work in Rhode Island?

Are you planning to move to this state and continue working as an LPN? 

You do not need to repeat the examination process, but only provide the following:

  • Background check with fingerprints. 
  • Verification of licensure in another state.
    • This can be done through http://www.nursys.com/.
    • If your state is not part of Nursys, then you need to request your home state to send a verification directly to the BON.
  • Proof of Rhode Island residency (only if Rhode Island will be your primary state of residency). 

Note: Rhode Island is no longer part of the NLC since 2018. So, multistate LPN licenses do not apply in Rhode Island. 

Step #3: Secure Your First Job

If you’ve reached this step… CONGRATULATIONS! 

You can now focus on finding your dream job and advancing your career. 

The best way to find a job as LPN is by following the oldest trick in the book: Find out where LPNs most commonly work.

LPNs mostly work in nursing care facilities, home health care, offices or clinics of physicians, hospitals, and residential nursing homes, to name a few, so trying there is a good start.

Opportunities are also starting to crop up in schools, government offices, insurance companies, personal care services, health stores, and sports centers. 

Although these are less conventional LPN jobs, working here can provide a good experience and a base to kick things off.

Healthcare services are needed almost anywhere, so you can be creative when trying to land a job. 

However, job markets are always tough, and considering Rhode Island is a small state, it may be even tougher. Knowing how to market yourself and your services is crucial. 

You have to be innovative.

Step #4: Keep Your License Active

Licenses are precious, which means you have to take good care of them by regularly renewing them.

License expiry occurs two years after acquisition. 

If you are unable to renew it in time, you will be fined a penalty. If you still don’t think that’s a big deal, after 5 years of expiration, your license can be permanently revoked, so don’t forget.

Renewing a license requires completing 10 hours of continuing education in Rhode Island. Once complete, only then can it be validly renewed.

So, don’t forget to make time for your studies! 

FAQs about Becoming an LPN in Rhode Island

Now that we know how to become an LPN in Rhode Island, let’s discuss some additional but important information that many people ask for.

How much does an LPN make in Rhode Island?

LPNs in Rhode Island have an annual mean wage of $59, 800, which translates to an hourly mean wage of $28.75. 

Both Rhode Island’s per-hour and annual income are incredibly impressive and considerably higher than the American average!

So, becoming an LPN here would not only be exciting but also very well-paying.

How much does it cost to become an LPN?

There are quite a few areas where costs are involved:

  1. Nursing School Tuition Fees: $15,000 – $30,000
  2. Nursing School Materials: $200-$500
  3. Application fee: $45
  4. NCLEX: $200

Aside from the abovementioned costs, you can expect costs here and there, especially on acquiring all the requirements, so keeping a backup of $400-$600 is a good idea. 

But as mentioned, the pay in Rhode Island is good, so it may be worth all the expenses. 

I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I work as an LPN in the U.S.?

Foreigners who are interested in working in the US as an LPN may be allowed to work. 

But they would need to complete three major things:

  1. Completed Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) evaluation of their official transcripts
  2. Undergo Background check with fingerprints
  3. Sit for the NCLEX-PN exam

They will also need to provide their Social Security Number. 

Wrapping it up

Becoming an LPN isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. 

The opportunities which await you after your hard work are endless. 

If you stay disciplined, determined, and dedicated, you, too, can fulfill your dreams and become a successful, reputable LPN.

However, your dedication does not need to end with becoming an LPN. The beauty of becoming an LPN is the opportunity for growth.

If you want to learn, achieve, and aim for more, why not consider transitioning from an LPN to an RN? Better yet, a specialized RN? If you’re interested in learning about this career path, check out our page for more details. 

Remember, aim high, keep going, and dream big.

Wishing you all the best!

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