The University of Rhode Island's story begins on a family farm in 1863, when a land grant supplied funds to purchase the 140-acre Oliver Watson Farm in Kingston. The farm became the site of Rhode Island's agricultural school and agricultural experiment station in 1888, establishing the DNA for the spirit of inquiry, research and discovery for the public good that is a distinctive feature of URI and our commitment to our community.


The University of Rhode Island grew rapidly throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century, expanding its undergraduate degree offerings and awarding its first master's degree in 1907. In 1995, three years after the University celebrated its centennial, URI was designated an Urban Grant Institution. The University charted a path for enrollment growth and capital improvement that has endured since the early 2000s. In 2014, URI enrolled its largest freshman class of all time, and total enrollment neared 17,000.

The old farmhouse, now restored and listed as a historic landmark, still stands on the campus — a testament to our history of going beyond what anyone might have expected.

College of Nursing

Nursing is a systematic, deliberate caring process that promotes health by reducing risk, preventing disease, managing illness, and supporting clients in all phases of living and dying. It requires clinical skill, but it also draws upon your creative abilities to solve problems and understand each client's unique healthcare needs. It's not an ordinary profession, and this is not your standard nursing program.

The URI Nursing degree program was founded in 1945, and is the oldest university degree program in the state. We are one of New England's foremost nursing leaders, because our cohesive faculty is known and respected throughout the US for deep thinking, for thorough and creative problem solving, and for our excellence in both showing and teaching our students how to consistently pioneer new programs, discoveries and technologies that improve nurses' performance from the bedside to the boardroom. Join us and see where big thinking can take you.


Accreditation standards establish the quality and value of your educational investment and lets employers know you are well prepared for the next step in your career.

The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges

The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges is the regional accreditation agency for colleges and universities in the six New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The Commission is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a reliable authority on the quality of education for the institutions it accredits. The Commission is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), affirming that its standards and processes are consistent with the quality, improvement and accountability expectations that CHEA has established.

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

The University of Rhode Island's baccalaureate and master's nursing degree programs and post graduate APRN certificates are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Meet Our Students

Stories are powerful, and our students and recent graduates tell theirs the best. Read the stories of our current students and recent graduates from our campus program to hear why they chose The University of Rhode Island to prepare for the next step in their rewarding careers.

Samantha Ahmed, Class of 2014

Samantha Ahmed

Hometown: Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Samantha chose URI because it was close to home, but she's fallen in love with her professors, who she says are the program's biggest strength. "All the nursing faculty are very helpful and kind, they always want what's best for you, and they expect you to work hard. They're pretty awesome," she said.

She's a bit of an explorer, and she saw a career in nursing as a terrific way to explore all sorts of fields – trauma, intensive care, community health, anaesthesia, teaching and more. "With nursing, I can keep growing and learning as a healthcare provider, while in other majors you get stuck in a single field. I've always been the type of person who wants to help other people, and nursing will allow me to improve peoples' lives emotionally, physically and mentally," she said. But while the versatility of nursing is a constant, Samantha does have some pretty clear big ideas for her career – she wants to work for a non-profit organization, serving low-income unindustrialized populations around the world.

Anne Boutin Galipeau

Success Stories

"Thank you for everything that you do to make this online program possible. This former Rhode Islander really appreciates it! Cheers to graduation/STTI, the continued success of this program, and all the nurses that make a difference every single day!"

—Anne Boutin Galipeau, online RN to BS in Nursing graduate

Maura Coburn, Class of 2014

Hometown: Windham, New Hampshire

Lots of little girls say they want to be a nurse when they grow up, but for Maura, it stuck. And she chose URI as the place to become a nurse because of its reputation and location near beaches and big cities and because "the campus had all of things I was looking for." Such as the fact that it's a large(ish) school that feels like a small school where she sees familiar faces all over campus and professors are approachable, accessible, and make time for students outside of class.

She's spent the past several summers providing in-home care for a 90-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer's Disease – an internship that's given her real world experiences to enhance her classroom learning. But it's also inspired her to be the kind of nurse patients look forward to seeing, the kind of nurse that makes them feel comforted. We'd call that a pretty big idea.

Morgan Deprey, Class of 2013

Morgan Deprey

Hometown: Bristol, Connecticut

Lots of options. That's what appealed to Morgan about majoring in nursing. And sure enough, with her bachelor's degree, she'll be able to move into direct patient care, research, education, or pretty much any area she wants to. And because her mom has always worked in health care settings, she discovered long ago that every area of health care offers a rewarding and exciting career.

The surprise for Morgan, though, has been the intimate environment within URI's College of Nursing. She's created a network of friends and faculty, both in and outside of nursing. And she says the interactions between nursing faculty and students are very personal.

"They make it clear they're here for us, to help us grow and learn as both future nurses and individuals," she said. She's been impressed by the ability and willingness of the faculty to adapt lecture and clinical materials to the most current healthcare practices.

Her big idea, for now anyway, is to make sure her patients know she is there just to serve them specifically — probably something she picked up from her professors here. Whatever Morgan winds up doing in nursing, we're sure she's going to do it well.

Kimberly Drucker, Class of 2015

Kimberly Drucker

Hometown: Attleboro, Massachusetts

Just because the human body is so darned fascinating. That's what attracted Kimberly to a career in nursing. It was URI's combination of big and small that attracted her to pursue her nursing education here. First, "even though the campus is in a rural/suburban area, the clinicals are mostly done in a city. I love that I get aspects of both worlds at one university," she said. And second, "I love that I can walk around a big campus and see familiar faces everywhere," she said.

What has surprised her most, however, is that that same intimacy applies to her interactions with her professors too. She didn't expect professors to be so approachable, so willing to respond to emails and answer questions, and so interested in seeing her succeed in nursing.

Kimberly's not sure where she wants to specialize – some days it's emergency room and trauma, and other days it's gerontology. Good thing that at URI, she's welcome to change her mind as often as she wants to. In fact, she says she's most excited about all the changes that are coming to the health care in the U.S. and that no matter how she uses her nursing degree, she's "happy to be a part of what will improve our health care system and ultimately the health of our country."

Leslie Montague, Class of 2013

Leslie Montague

Hometown: Providence, Rhode Island

The inspiration for Leslie's nursing career came from watching nurses care for her great-grandmother when she was ill. She knew then that she wanted to be the kind of nurse that makes a positive, caring impact on her patients and their families.

She already knew about URI's strong reputation for nursing education, but she's been pleasantly surprised by the diversity within the College of Nursing, especially the growing number of male nurses. And she's excited about the new residence hall opening up for nursing underclassmen, "which is going to be amazing," she says.

Equally amazing are the nursing professors at URI, who Leslie says are invaluable in preparing students for the most professional career possible – from proper etiquette to hard-earned grades to the strictest professionalism expected in the real world. She says they're helping her become the kind of nurse she wished her great-grandmother had – one who is happy, compassionate, and unlimited in her care.

Gabrielle Rate, Class of 2016

Gabrielle Rate

Hometown: East Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Watching her aunt drop her busy schedule and travel from New York to Florida to care for a relative, Gabrielle saw that nursing is more than a task-oriented career. "It's a career in which you develop a special bond with your patients while providing them with comfort and care. My dream job would be to work at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, make my patients comfortable in a hospital, give them someone they can depend on and share a relationship with," she says.

The whole idea of relationships have been central to experience at URI. She chose URI because our nursing professors seemed to really care about helping students reach their goals. "I sensed that there were close interpersonal relationships amongst the students and professors." And indeed there were. "The nursing faculty is a group of intelligent, caring and patient individuals. They are always willing to help me and answer any questions I have. I can tell they want us to succeed as nursing students."

She also found a close-knit student community too. "I originally thought I wasn't going to be able to get to know people living on a large campus, but living-learning communities allow nursing students to form relationships outside of class and help one another with studies, and as a freshman, I'm already forming close relationships that I'm sure will last throughout my time here."

Sabrina Schores, Class of 2015

Sabrina Schores

Hometown: Stoneham, Massachusetts

When her family needed extensive medical care, Sabrina was introduced at a very young age to the knowledge and care that nurses offer their patients daily. She decided then that she wanted to pay that care forward to her own patients one day, and that day has come. She chose URI for the strong reputation we've developed through our work with local hospitals and healthcare facilities, plus clinical experiences and classes that made her feel "URI was going to offer me an optimal educational experience compared to others."

Sabrina says she learns best visually and by doing hands-on work. She's gotten plenty of both in strong labs that correspond with lecture courses and clinical settings that have allowed her to put theory to practice and "broadened my knowledge of the nursing world greatly," she says. "URI starts clinical experience during our sophomore year, as opposed to some schools that start during junior year. The multiple tools used during lab hours and the extensive number of open lab hours available are things I didn't expect. These allow for extra practice and the most productive classes. URI has prepared me to be self-sufficient when it comes to caring for my patients, to handle difficult situations on my own. I think my peers would say the same."

Simone Tessier, Class of 2013

Simone Tessier

Hometown: Cranston, Rhode Island

A career in medicine was always in Simone's big plans, but it was the personal connections that nurses make with their patients that led her to choose nursing. She saw it when she was volunteering at Women & Infants Hospital as a high schooler, and now she's experiencing it firsthand from the appreciation expressed by the patients she's cared for while at URI.

"Nothing puts a smile on my face more than a patient's 'thank you' at the end of a clinic day," she said. She's also been experiencing those close connections with faculty and classmates in a nursing school environment she says "feels like home. The faculty really care about students. They dedicate their time to help us success and start off our careers on the right foot. I've never come across a professor here who was unwilling to give as much as was needed," she said.

Besides the personal attention she gets from her faculty, Simone believes the strong theoretical foundation she gets at URI has led to the best possible clinical experiences. She chose URI over other programs because of the variety of courses, the variety of clinical experiences, and the combination of expert faculty and solid curriculum.

Now, her big idea is to become a Certified Nurse Midwife and offer quality health care in countries that don't enjoy the quality health system we have in the United States. "If I can make a difference in someone's life on the other side of the world, I will have fulfilled my life's goal."

Other Areas of Study

Online Programs

URI currently offers the below online program in addition to the RN to BS in Nursing program:

Master's of Science (MS) in Dietetics

The MS in dietetics is a 100% online program for students currently completing ACEND-accredited dietetic internship programs. Registered dietitians who have completed an ACEND-accredited dietetic internship program within the past 7 years may also apply.
Please check here to see if this program is offered in your state.

Online Graduate Certificates

For working professionals who currently have a four-year undergraduate degree, but are not interested in pursuing a full Master's degree at this time.

Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics

The graduate certificate in Digital Forensics offers a completely online tech-oriented degree integrated with digital forensics practice.
Please check here to see if this program is offered in your state.

Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security

The graduate certificate in Cyber Security offers a completely online tech-oriented degree integrated with cyber security practice.
Please check here to see if this program is offered in your state.

Graduate Certificate in Digital Literacy

For graduate students, educators, librarians, and media professionals with interests in the intersection of communication, media studies, literacy, education, and technology.
Please check here to see if this program is offered in your state.

Online Professional Certificates

For working professionals who wish to enroll in a focused set of classes, but do not currently have a four-year undergraduate degree at this time.

Professional Certificate in Digital Forensics

The professional certificate in Digital Forensics offers a completely online tech-oriented certificate integrated with digital forensics practice.
Please check here to see if this program is offered in your state.

Professional Certificate in Cyber Security

The professional certificate in Cyber Security offers a completely online tech-oriented certificate integrated with cyber security practice.
Please check here to see if this program is offered in your state.

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