How We Rank the Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Rhode Island

Choosing a nursing program requires more than a glance at the school’s reputation or curriculum. By encompassing a broad spectrum of factors such as tuition costs, student/faculty ratio, programs offered, NCLEX passing rates, 3rd party rankings and accreditation, you can refine your starting point about what program best suits your career aspirations.

This is our comprehensive evaluation approach, which empowers you to make a strategic decision for the nursing program you decide to attend. First, we assemble a list of all accredited nursing schools offering MBA programs in Rhode Island, and then rank them based on our methodology and the following factors:

  • Program quality and desirability: tuition costs, student/faculty ratio, programs offered, NCLEX passing rates, 3rd party rankings and accreditation CCNE or ACEN accreditation: 50%
  •’s editorial ranking of the nursing school’s reputation: 10%
  • The affordability of the programs offered by the nursing school: 20%
  • The NCLEX passing rate as it reflects on the overall program quality: 20%

Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Rhode Island

#1 in Rhode Island

Rhode Island College

School of Nursing

  • Pin1
    600 Mount Pleasant Ave, Providence, RI - 02908
  • Tel1
    (401) 456-8000
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN, RN to BSN
Nurse Admin: Justin DiLibero, DNR APRN CCRN-K, CCNS, ACCNS-AG, FCNS
Title: Interim Dean

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 319
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $10,702
  • Book Book and Supplies: $1,200
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 93%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $5,674
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 81%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 21%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 46%

Highlights for NP Students

  • Cutting-Edge Facilities: Students gain access to the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center – a state-of-the-art facility that houses advanced classrooms and an extensive simulation suite for hands-on experiences.
  • Esteemed Faculty: The Zvart Onanian School of Nursing at RIC has a team of dedicated faculty members who excel both in classroom teaching and clinical settings.
  • Comprehensive Simulation-Based Learning: Gain confidence in delivering top-tier care through realistic clinical scenarios. This uses a range of patient simulators that create lifelike environments.
  • Holistic Support: Beyond academic assistance, students can make full use of RIC’s range of support services, from the library and instructional technology to recreational centers and student events.
  • Strong Emphasis on Diversity: The School of Nursing values and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. This equips students to drive systemic change in healthcare to benefit all communities.

About Rhode Island College's Nursing School

The second-oldest college in Rhode Island, Rhode Island College (RIC), was founded in 1854 and is located in Providence. Its Zvart Onanian School of Nursing provides nursing education excellence, innovation, and leadership. The school's programs span from a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Such a range of programs prepares graduates for the multifaceted challenges of modern healthcare landscapes. Students are fully equipped thanks to cutting-edge technology, simulated clinical scenarios, and hands-on clinical experience.

RIC's School of Nursing consistently garners recognition for offering top-tier nursing education at an affordable cost. This quality assurance stems from a faculty deeply rooted in pedagogical and clinical expertise. In addition to nursing skills, the school promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion, preparing graduates to fight systemic inequalities.  The Rhode Island Nursing Education Center reflects RIC's focus on hands-on learning. As part of South Street Landing, this 133,000-square-foot center has cutting-edge classrooms, labs, and offices. It fosters experiential learning that puts Rhode Island at the forefront of nursing education. Hence, Rhode Island College's Zvart Onanian School of Nursing promises NP students a transformative experience backed by rigorous academics, constant support, and a dedication to social change.

About Rhode Island College's NP Programs

Nursing Graduate Certificate Programs


The 18-credit Certificate of Graduate Studies in Adult/Gerontology Acute Care for Nurse Practitioners is a top program for master's-degreed nurses. Nurse practitioners can expand their skills with this curriculum. In terms of admission requirements, although certain prerequisites like advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and advanced health assessment are requisites, those already certified as APRNs can be exempted.  No Miller Analogies Test or GRE is required, simplifying the entrance procedure. Candidates should have acute care experience for a year. The enrollment window for this program remains open, allowing prospective students flexibility in application submission. After degree completion, graduates can take the American Nurses Credentialing Center Adult Acute exam, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses exam, and the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP exam.


Master of Science in Nursing


  • Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

This certification program guarantees top-tier quality because it has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Key program outcomes ensure students grasp the Essentials of Education in Nursing and AACN skills across several nursing domains. Graduates of this program are prepared to undertake a range of certification exams.

#2 in Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island

College of Nursing

  • Pin1
    Green Hall, 35 Campus Avenue, Kingston, RI - 02881
  • Tel1
    (401) 874-1000
  • Programs: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, Doctor of Nursing, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to BSN
Nurse Admin: Betty Rambur, PhD, RN FAAN
Title: Interim Dean

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 785
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $15,332
  • Book Book and Supplies: $1,250
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 98%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $11,835
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 76%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 18%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 71%

Highlights for NP Students

  • State-of-the-Art Facilities: The Rhode Island Nursing Education Center, inaugurated in 2017, boasts 133,000 square feet of advanced labs, classrooms, and office spaces. This makes the University of Rhode Island a premier choice for aspiring nurses.
  • Cutting-Edge Research: At URI, groundbreaking discoveries like Professor Judith Mercer's research on umbilical cord clamping have a significant impact on global healthcare practices.
  • Dedicated Faculty: Beyond academic guidance, the faculty at URI ensures each student's unique interests and career aspirations are met with tailored clinical site placements.
  • Integrated Learning Environment: The Living and Learning Community fosters a sense of camaraderie, facilitating academic collaboration and social engagement among nursing students.
  • Extensive Financial Support: Numerous traineeships, graduate assistantships, and loans are available, making quality education affordable for all.

About the University of Rhode Island's Nursing School

The University of Rhode Island, a notable land-grant research university in Kingston, is a premier public research institution in Rhode Island. Renowned for its high research activity, it has an impressive 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio, with 88% of its faculty possessing terminal degrees. The URI College of Nursing has a host of faculty renowned for their research, innovation, and community service. Thus, students are poised for a comprehensive educational experience.

What makes nursing at URI stand out is their brand-new Rhode Island Nursing Education Center, which has been operational since 2017. The said center incorporates the latest technologies and experiential learning approaches. Moreover, groundbreaking research, like that of Professor Judith Mercer, showcases the university's global impact. In addition, faculty dedication is evident, with each playing dual roles as advisors and mentors, ensuring students' aspirations align with clinical experiences. Also, the Living and Learning Community boosts the academic experience, fostering tight-knit connections among peers. Meanwhile, in terms of accreditation, URI's nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

About the University of Rhode Island's NP Programs

Master of Science Degree


The University of Rhode Island's College of Nursing has three specializations for its Master of Science degree. The Family Nurse Practitioner and the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner concentration, both totaling 42 semester credit hours, concludes with a comprehensive examination and paper requirement.  Meanwhile, the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner option comprises of 48-49 semester credit hours. Program completion provides eligibility to sit for the respective licensing exams. In terms of admissions, the university evaluates candidates comprehensively. A few prerequisites include a Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited program, a minimum GPA of 3.0, and eligibility for RN licensure in Rhode Island.

#3 in Rhode Island

Salve Regina University

Department of Nursing

  • Pin1
    100 Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, RI - 02840-4192
  • Tel1
    (401) 847-6650
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, RN to BSN
Nurse Admin: Elizabeth Bloom, PhD, RN
Title: Chair

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 116
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,500
  • Book Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 100%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $23,318
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 75%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 15%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 76%

Highlights for NP Students

  • Rooted in Tradition: Being a private Roman Catholic university, Salve Regina offers a values-based education. This guarantees holistic development in line with the liberal arts tradition.
  • Accredited Excellence: Salve Regina's nursing programs, including the Family Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice, hold accreditations from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the New England Commission of Higher Education.
  • Exceptional Career Readiness: With a 10-year average of 97% of graduates being employed or furthering their studies within six months, you're poised for success.
  • Invaluable Hands-on Experience: Experience unparalleled fieldwork, internship experiences, and hands-on learning, all facilitated through Aquidneck Island's living laboratory.
  • Financial Flexibility: With diverse payment options, tuition reimbursement, student loan eligibility, and special provisions for military personnel and veterans, finance your education with ease.

About Salve Regina University's Nursing School

Salve Regina University is a private Roman Catholic educational institution in Newport, Rhode Island. It was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1934. The university's nursing programs particularly stand out. The baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in nursing, the post-master's certificate in family nurse practitioner, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program all possess accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This assurance, paired with the university's reputation and accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education, makes Salve Regina a top choice for aspiring nurse practitioners.

A 97% employment rate for graduates within six months post-graduation reflects the program's quality. Add to this the unparalleled hands-on learning experiences, fieldwork, and internships available through the "living laboratory" of Aquidneck Island, and it's clear: Salve Regina University's Nursing School offers more than just education; it offers a transformative journey.

About Salve Regina University's NP Programs

Post-Master's Certificate


  • Family Nurse Practitioner

Salve Regina University's post-master's Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner signifies advanced nursing knowledge and practice. This program helps M.S. in nursing graduates become advanced practice family nurse practitioners. The university's unique blend of didactic and experiential study strengthens nursing professionals' readiness for national certification.

Delivery makes this program stand out. Although mostly online, students enjoy a balanced mix of synchronous and asynchronous sessions. The institution requires a 40-hour skills-based colloquium to enhance this rich online experience. This approach enables working professionals to succeed academically while maintaining Salve Regina's close faculty-student relationship. The program can be completed in as few as 24 months, with six annual starts. After completing 39 credits of curriculum and 750 clinical hours, students can take the national Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam. 

See our Ranking Methodology

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