Rhode Island Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: NP License in RI, APRN Licensure


by NursePractitionerLicense.com Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Rhode Island

Follow below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in Rhode Island.

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

You must obtain an RN license before becoming a CNP in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education provides licenses through examination or endorsement.

In each instance, you will need to:

  • Submit an online application through the Rhode Island Department of Health Online Services.
  • Provide the required documents via email or mail.

You can mail documents to the Department of Health at:

Rhode Island Department of Health
Three Capital Hill – Room 103
Providence, RI 02908-5097

If you wish to email documents, send them to Michele.monroe@health.ri.gov.

You also must submit a $135 fee when applying for a license.

Then you will take the additional steps to receive your license by examination or endorsement.

RN License by Examination

If you are currently a Rhode Island resident and aren’t licensed in another state, you will apply for an RN license by examination. You must provide:

  • Official transcripts from your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program:
    • While you can become an RN with a two-year associate degree, it will not put you on the path to becoming a nurse practitioner. Instead, a four-year degree will serve as a springing board to obtaining your CNP license.
  • Proof of residency:
    • The Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education requires this if you intend to use the state as your primary residence. You can prove residency by providing a driver’s license, lease, or tax return with your Rhode Island address.
  • Background check with fingerprints:

Then, you can submit an application to take the NCLEX examination through the NCSBN. After passing the exam, you can obtain your license.

RN License by Endorsement

If you are a licensed RN in another state, you can apply for a Rhode Island license by endorsement. This requires:

  • Proof of residency if your primary location is in Rhode Island:
    • You can provide proof with a tax return, lease, or copy of your driver’s license with your current Rhode Island address.
  • Background check with fingerprints:
  • License verification:
    • You can receive a license verification through the NCSBN’s Nursys website. However, if your current license is in California or Pennsylvania, the state will need to send verification directly.

Advanced Education Requirements

You will need to complete a master’s degree program in nursing to meet the state’s education requirements.

You will also need to choose a population focus area before entering a degree program. You can become a CNP that focuses on:

  • Adult/gerontology.
  • Family/individual across life spans.
  • Neonatal.
  • Pediatric.
  • Psychiatric/mental health.
  • Women’s health/general related.

Go to the Rhode Island Nurse Practitioner/Nursing Degree Programs page. Then, choose the degree level and your population focus before conducting a search.

The search results will bring back accredited programs, and you’ll see information about distance learning. Thus, if you need to balance obtaining your master’s degree while working as an RN, you can find an online program to accommodate your needs.

National Certification

After completing your education requirements, you’ll be ready to obtain national certification. You’ll choose a certification board based on your focus population. For instance, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board certifies:

  • Family nurse practitioners.
  • Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner.
  • Emergency nurse practitioners.

However, you’ll need to use the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board if you want to become primary care certified pediatric nurse practitioner or an acute care certified nurse practitioner.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners can help you find an NP certification board during this step. Then, you can go through the process to get certified so the organization can submit a letter to the Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education.

Gaining Final Authority to Practice as an NP in Rhode Island

If you meet the requirements, you’ll be ready to go through the application process. First, you must take steps to gain authority to dispense prescriptions. The state of Rhode Island requires a:

  • Rhode Island Controlled Substance Registration.
  • Drug Enforcement Administration Registration.

Start by filling out and submitting your application for the Rhode Island Controlled Substance Registration. Be sure to include the $200 application fee.

Then, you must apply for a DEA number. New applicants can apply with the DEA online.

After registering to dispense controlled substances, you’ll be ready to apply for your license. You can submit your license application to the Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education. The license fee is $145 and must be included with your application.

You’ll also need to provide:

  • Official transcripts.
  • Copy of your active Rhode Island RN license.
  • Letter from the APRN certification body.
  • National criminal background check with fingerprints through the Department of Attorney General.
  • License verification if you are licensed in another state.