While working as a registered nurse is extremely rewarding, you might be looking for a way to advance your nursing career even further. Family nurse practitioners are some of the most in-demand healthcare professionals, due to their ability to provide health care to patients of all ages. Working as a family nurse practitioner requires you to utilize all of the skills and knowledge gained from nursing school. You may see patients on a daily basis, supervise nurses, and conduct research on the standards of evidence-based care.
There are many benefits to working as a family nurse practitioner in Rhode Island. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Rhode Island gives nurse practitioners full practice rights. What that means for you is that you do not need the oversight of a physician, nor do you need a collaborative agreement with a physician in order to practice.
In addition to the wide scope of practice given to nurse practitioners, you may also be able to substantially increase your earning potential. O*Net lists the median salary for nurse practitioners in RI as $97,800 per year. However, with enough experience and seniority, you may be able to earn up to $155,700 per year (O*Net, 2012).
To start the process of becoming an NP in Rhode Island, look through the schools on this page and select those that interest you. Keep in mind that bordering states may also offer programs you are eligible for, as well as those schools offering distance education options. Requesting information can provide you with the knowledge base you need to eventually choose the school and program that is best for you.
Family Nurse Practitioner Curriculum in Rhode Island
Since family nurse practitioners see patients of all ages, your coursework may cover health care for varying populations. Some of the classes you may be expected to take include Older Adult Health, Public Health, Community Leadership, Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacology, and Advanced Health Assessment. Many of these courses expand upon what you learned in nursing school, so if you are currently working as a nurse you may have an advantage when you get to graduate school.
Another requirement of a family nurse practitioner program is a set of clinical rotations. During your clinical rotations, you'll see patients in various settings and with very different healthcare needs. This will allow you to practice your skills, become comfortable with working with patients, and build professional connections within your community. The specific amount of clinical hours you may have to complete depends on which school you attend, but most schools require between 700 and 800 hours of clinical work.
Financing your Family Nurse Practitioner Program in Rhode Island
Applying for scholarships can help you pay for your education without having to take out loans or pay out-of-pocket. The Nursing Foundation of Rhode Island has provided scholarships for advanced nursing students for over 20 years, and they continue to award scholarships on an annual basis.
Family Nurse Practitioner Careers in Rhode Island
Before you can begin working as a nurse practitioner, you have to get your advanced practice nursing license from the Rhode Island Board of Nursing. Once you have earned your license, you just need to renew it every two years. Unlike most other states, Rhode Island does not have any continuing education requirements.
You can choose to work in any number of healthcare settings as a family nurse practitioner. However, the majority of jobs are in hospitals, urgent care clinics, and conventional medical clinics. Some of the largest employers in the state include UnitedHealth Group, Genesis HealthCare, Quincy Medical Center, and Consulate Health Care.