A Look at Nurses in Rhode Island

Nursing is an occupation that requires licensing and the completion of a degree program. Nurses benefit from earning a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing because it enables them to improve their chances of finding employment in the competitive medical field.

Nurses are responsible for documenting a patient's medical history, providing patient care, educating patients about health conditions and preventive strategies, working collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams, and monitoring treatment outcomes.

Employment for Rhode Island Nurses

Nurses in Rhode Island can find employment in a variety of healthcare industries such as:

  • Hospitals.
  • Nursing homes.
  • Adult daycare programs.
  • Home care agencies.
  • Corrections facilities.

Hospitals employ nurses to take care of injured or sick patients. Hospital departments include emergency services, cardiology, endocrinology, obstetrics/gynecology, internal medicine and infectious disease.

Nursing homes provide 24-hour inpatient healthcare services. Nurses give constant care to residents in the form of restorative therapies and preventive techniques.

Adult daycare programs are non-residential. The programs assist adults with medical, psychological and social concerns. The environment is nurturing and supportive while encouraging adults to participate in therapeutic activities. Many adult daycare programs allow home caregivers respite.

Home care agencies offer two types of services: Nurses can provide medical care to a patient in their home, or they may supervise other healthcare professionals such as speech pathologists, audiologists or respiratory therapists.

Nurses at correctional facilities diagnose and treat chronic medical conditions.

Healthcare Industries for Nurses in Rhode Island

A study conducted by the Rhode Island Department of Health shows the number of nurses on staff for each healthcare industry. Here are the results from the 2014 surveys:

  • 13 Hospitals – 473 total nurses employed, 36.3 nurses per facility.
  • 90 Nursing Homes – 1,246 total nurses employed, 17 nurses per facility.
  • 26 Adult Day Care Programs – 88% of staff are registered nurses.
  • 65 Home Care Agencies – Average 11 nurses full time equivalent (FTEs) per staff.
  • Two Corrections Facilities – 47 nurses with four nursing supervisors.

Vacancies, Wages and Employment Outlook for Registered Nurses

The need for nurses in Rhode Island and across the country persists because of an aging population and the introduction of new technologies and medical procedures. Many older people suffer from one or more chronic illnesses that require ongoing care. These health conditions may include arthritis, diabetes, obesity and dementia. Furthermore, reforms in health insurance have resulted in more people having access to medical services.

In May 2018 data for Rhode Island, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports an average hourly wage for registered nurses of $37.70, a mean annual wage of $78,420, and 12,630 nurses working in the state.

The BLS predicts a 12% growth in employment for registered nurses nationwide between 2018 and 2028 — more than twice the average growth rate for all job categories in the same time period.

The number of nurses employed nationally in 2018 was 3,059,800. The top three highest paying sectors for nurses are typically hospitals, physicians' offices, and home healthcare services.

University of Rhode Island (URI) Online RN to BSN Program

Medical procedures and technology keep evolving. With cutting-edge equipment and innovative ways to detect and treat diseases, nurses must stay abreast of the latest medical trends. The URI program prepares nurses to make clinical decisions informed by current evidence to ensure superior care in a safe environment.

The program focuses on research, science and academic coursework. The professors are prominent educators and researchers. They teach both the online and on-campus courses. The online RN to BSN program typically takes 15 months to complete, and URI offers multiple start dates. For admission into the program, URI requires:

  • Online application.
  • Proof of RN License.
  • Minimum 2.6 grade point average (GPA).
  • Nursing diploma or degree from an ACEN-accredited nursing program.

Due to new medical developments, a growing population and retiring RNs, the job market for nursing continues to expand nationally and in Rhode Island. Additionally, a variety of healthcare service organizations exist to help nurses find employment. For nurses who want to advance in their careers, obtaining a BS in nursing can help.

Learn more about the URI online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.


Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training: Nursing - A Career to Consider

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016 - Registered Nurses

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2016 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Rhode Island

Rhode Island Department of Health: 2015 Statewide Health Inventory - Utilization and Capacity Study

American Nurses Association: The Nursing Workforce 2014: Growth, Salaries, Education, Demographics & Trends

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