Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Requirements in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education regulates Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in three categories: Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, and Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Nurse midwives are state-regulated but have a different authority, the Advisory Committee on Midwifery. They are not included in the state definition of “APRN”.

Laws and regulations change periodically. An amended version of the nursing rules and regulations was published in 2014. New standards went into place in 2015.

Select a Rhode Island Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Topic:

NP, CNS, and CRNA Requirements

An APRN must hold a Rhode Island RN license or have RN practice privilege in Rhode Island; this may be granted based on licensure in another state.

The nurse must complete an APRN preparation program at the graduate or post-graduate level. The program must be accredited by an accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Educational and clinical content will vary, dependent on population focus as well as advanced practice role (Nurse Practitioner programs in Rhode Island).

The graduate will need to pursue a national certification appropriate to his or her role and population focus. Rhode Island recognizes the following nurse practitioner and clinical nurse population foci:

  • Adult/gerontology (NP or CNS)
  • Family and individual across the lifespan (NP or CNS)
  • Neonatal (NP or CNS)
  • Pediatric (NP or CNS)
  • Psychiatric/mental health (NP or CNS)
  • Women’s health/gender related (NP or CNS)

Nurse anesthetists are considered to have family/ individual across the lifespan as a population focus.

APRNs must display good moral character. They can be barred from licensure on the basis of encumbered licenses in other jurisdictions.

Some APRNs will need to apply for Controlled Substances Act Registration (CSR).

Licenses are renewed biennially.

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The APRN Application Process

Application materials are available from the Rhode Island Department of Health ( Nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialist use the same application packet.

The applicant will need a recent passport-style photo.

The licensing agency will require a letter verifying certification. This is to come from the certifying agency.

The applicant will also need to request a transcript from his or her school.

An applicant who has held out-of-state credentialing as an APRN will be required to provide verification from each state. A form is included in the application packet.

An applicant who answers “yes” to criminal history or disciplinary questions will need to provide explanatory materials.

The application requires notarization.

There is a nonrefundable $145 application fee. Nurses applying for CSR pay an additional $200.

Applications are to be mailed to the following address:

Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education
Room 103, Three Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908-5097

A standard application may take eight or more weeks for processing.

Out-of-State and International Applicants

An out-of-state nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse anesthetist may be granted a 90 day temporary license. An APRN who seeks the temporary credential should include a copy of the out-of-state license with his or her application package.

An internationally educated APRN can be licensed in Rhode Island if the Board determines that education is equivalent and other requirements have been met. The international applicant will need to go through a Board-approved credential evaluation process.

Nurse Midwife Requirements and Application Process

State regulations allow for individuals without nursing training to be licensed as midwives. However, they will not have the title “Certified Nurse Midwife” unless they meet national certification standards for nurse midwives.

All midwives must complete approved programs. State regulations mandate that the program be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) or the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC). ACME is the national accrediting agency for nurse midwife programs.

A graduate will then pursue national certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) or the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). AMCB is the credentialing board for nurse midwives. AMCB has provided a chart, comparing the two midwife credentialing agencies (

Nurse Midwives are eligible to apply for controlled substances prescriptive authority.

Applications can be downloaded from the Department of Health ( The applicant will request an original transcript and a letter of certification. The application fee is $80.

The application is to be sent to the following address:

Rhode Island Department of Healthbr/>
Advisory Council on Midwifery
Room 103, 3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908-5097

Licenses are renewed every other year. The nurse midwife must meet a continuing education requirement.

Out-of-State and International Midwives

An applicant who has been licensed as a midwife in another state will need to provide verification.

A midwife who is licensed in another U.S. state (or the District of Columbia) can be issued temporary authorization, valid for 90 days.

Nurse midwives who were educated internationally can be licensed in Rhode Island. According to state regulation, they must attain national certification ( They must also meet educational standards set by the International Confederation of Midwifery (ICM). Candidates must have their education approved by the AMCB before they can sit for CNM examination.

Additional Information

Information about nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, and clinical nurse specialist credentialing is available from the Rhode Island Department of Health/ Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education ( The website includes a document outlining recent changes in APRN licensing; it includes email addresses for contact persons.

Information about nurse midwife licensure is available from the Department of Health/ Advisory Committee on Midwifery (

The Department of Health can be reached at (401) 222-5700.

Advanced practice professional associations include the following:

Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Rhode Island

Rhode Island Association of Nurse Anesthetists

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