Registered nurses in Rhode Island who are interested in furthering their career by earning their Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree have at least two in-state schooling options. RNs who have completed a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree can choose from traditional on-campus BSN to MSN programs at Rhode Island College in Providence and University of Rhode Island in Kingston. Both schools offer specialization tracks that put a variety of advanced nursing careers within reach for Rhode Island's nurses.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in Rhode Island

Nurses considering applying to an MSN program in Rhode Island will likely encounter the following admissions requirements:

  • Rhode Island College and University of Rhode Island require students to have completed a BSN degree and have completed prerequisite courses in statistics
  • Must hold an unencumbered RN license, or be eligible for RN licensure
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate work
  • Submission of resume which documents clinical experience, and/or professional letters of recommendation
  • Application forms that may include a personal statement or essay
  • At Rhode Island College and University of Rhode Island, applicants must also submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) taken within the last five years

RN to MSN Courses

The University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College both offer on-campus programs with full-time and part-time options for nurses who have completed their BSN degree. RN applicants with non-nursing baccalaureate degrees will be evaluated on an individual basis for the MSN program at the University of Rhode Island. MSN students in both schools have the opportunity to move into specialized tracks that leads to a specific advanced nursing career once they complete their general education courses. These specialties include Nursing Education, Family Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner among others.

As part of their MSN program, Rhode Island College, for example, offers the following nursing courses:

  • Advanced Nursing Research
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Genetics & Genomics in Health Care
  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Health Care Systems
  • Advanced Pathophysiology

Online RN to MSN Programs in Rhode Island

The two primary in-state MSN programs are traditional on-campus programs. However, for RNs looking for the convenience of an online MSN program, there are a number of nationally accredited online MSN programs at schools based outside of their home state. These programs, while primarily completed online, also usually include a clinical requirement that is completed in-person on campus or in the student's local area.

Admissions and Program Length

The length of an RN to MSN program varies depending on both the school and the student. Full-time or part-time study and specialization chosen all impact how quickly the coursework can be completed. For instance, the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner track at Rhode Island College is offered in a full-time option that takes four semesters and one summer session to complete, or a part-time option that takes six semesters and one summer session to complete. At the University of Rhode Island, students can also choose from 1-2 courses per semester for part-time and three courses for full-time. The program can be completed in a two-and-a-half to five-year time frame.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

The cost of tuition for an RN to MSN program in Rhode Island varies depending on school and program selected. For instance, the cost of tuition at University of Rhode Island is currently around $11,796 per year for in-state graduate students. The current cost for in-state graduate tuition at Rhode Island College is currently $399 per credit hour. It is important to keep in mind that these tuition costs do not include additional course or testing fees, or out-of-pocket expenses like books. Tuition costs are subject to change at any time, so make sure to check on the latest costs with your school of choice at the time of application.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in Rhode Island

For Rhode Island's registered nurses, there are many career advancement opportunities available once you've completed your MSN degree. From leadership positions and educator roles to direct patient care positions, the MSN-educated nurse has a number of career paths to choose from. The following are just a few nursing careers that require an MSN:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse Educator
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

In addition to career advancement opportunities, completing an MSN degree delivers increased earning potential for Rhode Island-based nurses. The mean annual wage for MSN-educated nurse practitioners in Rhode Island is around $110,000. That is a significant increase over the mean annual wage for a registered nurse in Rhode Island: around $76,000. In addition to nurse practitioner, there are dozens of other pathways for MSN-educated registered nurses, all with salaries that are significantly higher than an ADN- or BSN-educated RN position.

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