How to Become an LPN in Rhode Island
The field of nursing is a very demanding career choice. Nurses must be able to spend most of their shift on their feet, understand written and oral directions and instructions and make decisions quickly. On the flip side, nursing is a very rewarding career for anyone who has the desire and compassion for helping others.
In the State of Rhode Island, LPNs make up 11% of the entire nursing workforce. Rhode Island is a member of the Nurse License Compact of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. That means, once an LPN receives a license in Rhode Island; they may practice in other Compact States without applying for licensing in other Compact States.
LPN Employment in Rhode Island
Employment opportunities in the nursing field are strong and will continue to grow by 18 to 20% through the year 2020. It is one of the few careers that will maintain steady even as the economy rises and falls. As healthcare options increase, the number of LPN positions will also increase.
LPN Education and Salaries
LPNs are required to be licensed by the State of Rhode Island and the Nurse Licensure Compact. LPN candidates must complete an accredited LPN program that includes class work and clinical training. The programs take 8 to 24 months to complete and offer a diploma, certificate or Associate’s Degree to the successful student. Clinical training is undertaken at a local healthcare facility and gives the student the opportunity to take part in real care situations. Class work includes the study of nursing fundamentals, anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, psychology and obstetric, pediatric and geriatric studies.
The average LPN salary in Rhode Island is $53,000. LPNs working in specialized areas of nursing may earn greater than the average salary. Entry level LPNs can expect to earn a starting salary of $29,000. The overall compensation package for an LPN includes salary and healthcare insurance, pension and/or 401K participation and compensated time off. Some employers may include tuition reimbursement to employees who seek higher nursing education.
LPN Licensing Process in Rhode Island
After completing an accredited LPN program, candidates must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). The LPN candidate can access the exam application through the State of Rhode Island Department of Health. The application includes a 2”x2” passport type photograph and a criminal background check, including a fingerprint card. While the LPN candidate is waiting to take the exam, they may work as an LPN as a Graduate Practical Nurse (GPN) for up to 90 days. If the applicant does not pass the exam within 90 days, the privilege to continue to work is nullified. The LPN candidate will be notified of exam results 24 to 48 hours after taking the exam. Applicants who pass the exam will be issued a license certificate and a wallet card via postal mail.
LPNs are required to renew their license every two years. LPNs will receive a notification to renew, along with a registration code. The code is required if renewing a license online. Licensees must complete 10 hours of continuing education within the 24 months prior to renewal, even if the licensee no longer practices. Continuing education classes can be taken online or live, but the classes must be approved by the Rhode Island State Nurse Association or the American Nurse Credentialing Center or an approved nursing school or other recognized professional nursing association. LPNs should retain the documentation for continuing education for four years.
LPN Job Duties
LPNs work under the direction of a registered nurse or physician and undertake a variety of tasks such as dispensing medication, oral and injections, perform diagnostic testing and track results, dress wounds and sores and change dressings, track vital signs, implement and maintain care plans, address patient concerns and answer questions and work with other members of the care staff such as the nursing assistants, physicians and other nurses.
LPN Schools in Rhode Island
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