Rhode Island has an increasing demand for nurses. This expanding demand stems mainly from the COVID-19 pandemic. In December 2020, the state earned the lamentable distinction of being the nation’s leader in COVID cases and deaths per 100,000 people.
This means the state has a crucial need for hiring new nurses and ensuring current nurses keep their nursing licenses active.
However, it is not the responsibility of the state’s board of nursing to ensure all nurses keep an active nursing license; this responsibility lies in each nurse’s hands.
But what exactly are the requirements to keep a nursing license active in Rhode Island? Keep reading to learn all about continuing education unit (CEU) requirements for nurses.
What Are the CEU Requirements for Rhode Island Nurses?
All nurses in Rhode Island must earn 10 CEU hours every two years before renewing licensure to keep it active; two of these 10 hours must directly relate to substance abuse. It’s important to note that these CEU requirements apply to RNs and LPNs. Other requirements must be met in addition to these CEU requirements for advanced-level nurses to keep licensure active.
What Are the APRN CEU Requirements in Rhode Island?
In addition to earning 10 CEU hours every two years before renewing a license, all APRNs must maintain national certification. Like RNs and LPNs, two of the 10 CEU hours must be in substance abuse.
Furthermore, every six years, APRNs with authority to prescribe medications must show proof of earning at least 30 CEU hours in pharmacology. Those who prescribe Schedule II opioids have an additional one-time CEU requirement which mandates eight CEU hours of Category I CME training, with any or all of the hours directly relating to one or more of the following topics:
- The appropriate prescribing of opioids for pain
- Potential for dependence
- Substance Use Disorder; and/or
- Adverse events
- Alternatives to opioids for pain management
Are Licensure Renewal Reminders Sent to Rhode Island Nurses?
Licensure renewal reminders are typically sent out 60 days before a nurse’s current license is set to expire. The state’s nursing board sometimes grants hardship extensions for licensure renewal, but this type of renewal is not guaranteed and requires proof of the hardship. If a nurse is granted a hardship extension, the extension will last no longer than six months.
Where to Find Nurse CEUs for Rhode Island Nurses?
It’s essential to know that CEUs used for licensure renewal must come through an approved entity. The Rhode Island Board of Registration and Nursing Education is the approving agency. Most times, CEUs offered through any of the following entities are approved:
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (or its local chapter)
- Recognized professional nursing organizations
- Schools of nursing
- Labor organizations
- Accrediting agencies
Regardless of the entity or agency that nurses earn CEUs through, they must sign a statement when applying for license renewal; this statement must attest to the completion of the CEU requirements.
Are Background Checks Required for Initial Licensure?
Yes, a background check is conducted when a nursing graduate applies for his or her initial licensure. The background check usually comes in the form of a national criminal background investigation and requires applicants to have their fingerprints done. You can learn more about the background and fingerprinting process by visiting the Attorney General’s page.
Can Out-of-State Nurses Receive Licensure Through Endorsement?
Yes, Rhode Island does allow RNs and LPNs to receive licensure through endorsement so as long as the nurse took and passed the licensing exam.
An official license verification must be provided to receive this type of endorsement. International licensure endorsement is also available and requires a nurse to provide proof of passing an English language proficiency exam.
It’s easy to stay on top of your CEU requirements when you use our free nurse CEU resources. Check out these free nurse CEUs that Rhode Island nurses can use to renew their licensure.
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