University of Rhode Island Nursing School Review

The University of Rhode Island (URI), founded in 1888, is the flagship school in the Rhode Island higher education system. It has four campuses: the main campus is located in Kingston, the Center for Continuing Education is located in Providence, the renowned School of Oceanography is located in Narragansett, and the National Center for Environmental Education is located in West Greenwich. Over 16,000 students take classes at URI, and among these students, the most popular major is nursing. URI’s College of Nursing offers baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, all of which are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The College of Nursing accepts about 850 students each year in its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BS in Nursing) program. Incoming students do not need any prior nursing experience. To complete the program, a student must earn 121 credits. Of these, sixty credits are for nursing classes and the rest are for general education requirements, electives, and nursing prerequisites. Students in the program spend most of the first year taking general education courses and prerequisites, starting their first nursing class in the spring of their first year. Clinical rotations start in the second year. After completing 121 credits and earning the BS in Nursing degree, a student is eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). If successful, he may begin working as a Registered Nurse (RN).

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BS

An RN who has completed an associate-degree program or a diploma program may opt to complete a bachelor’s degree through the RN to BS accelerated program. The incoming RN will receive thirty-two credits toward the lower level nursing courses, in recognition of her previous nursing education and her nursing experience. If she has completed any college-level courses that fulfill URI’s general education requirements, she may transfer in those credits as well. In total, including the advanced placement credits for the lower-level nursing courses and the transferred credits for the general education courses, she must earn 120 credits to graduate. This includes eighteen credits of upper-level nursing courses.  The length of the program will vary, depending on the incoming RN’s transcript.

Master of Science in Nursing

A bachelor’s-prepared RN who wishes to continue his education can do so through the Master of Science in Nursing (MS in Nursing) program. This program can be completed on either a part-time or full-time basis, and students may begin in either the fall or the spring. The majority of the classes are offered on the Kingston campus, although some may also be available at the Center for Continuing Education in Providence. Students in the MS in Nursing program take fourteen credits of core graduate nursing classes, and an additional twenty-seven or twenty-eight credits in a chosen area of specialization. URI’s MS in Nursing program offers the following areas of specialization: Nursing Administration, Nursing Education, Clinical Specialist in Psychiatric/Mental Health, Family Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Post-master’s Certificate

A nurse who has already earned a master’s degree in one area of specialization may work toward certification in an additional area of specialization without completing core graduate nursing courses. Students on the post-master’s certificate track need to complete between twelve credits and twenty-eight credits, depending on the chosen certification. URI offers post-master’s certificates in four different areas: Psychiatric Mental Health, Family Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, and Nursing Education.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

A master’s-prepared nurse who wishes to specialize in research may complete a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD in Nursing) degree through URI. This will take two years on a full-time basis or up to five years on a part-time basis. The curriculum consists of forty-three credits of graduate nursing classes and eighteen credits toward a dissertation.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is designed for nurses who have already earned a master’s degree and have earned advanced practice certification. Students may opt to complete the program on a full-time basis, which will take two-and-a-half years, or on a part-time basis, which can take up to five years. The program consists of forty-two credits, and includes 510 clinical hours. 

Thanatology (Loss, Death, and Grief)

Training in thanatological issues is included as part of the post-graduate and undergraduate curriculums. Those nursing students who want a more detailed study of thanatology may opt to take more intensive classes on the subject. A student can choose either to take an interdisciplinary minor in thanatology or the  post-baccalaureate Thanatolgy Certificate Program (currently suspended and under review). This second option alows one to pursue a professional career as a thanatologist while preparing the student for national certification in thanatology if desired.

The University of Rhode Island
45 Upper College Road,
Kingston, RI 02881

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