Thinking of Rhody for your doctorate? Our guide & directory contains rankings of the most affordable DNP programs in Rhode Island, details on hybrid RI doctorates, and advice on BSN to DNP options. Have a certain school in mind? Jump ahead to our listings.
Top Rhode Island DNP Programs
There are only 3 schools that offer a nursing doctorate in Rhode Island: URI’s DNP, RIC’s post-master’s DNP and COA-accredited Nurse Anesthesia offering with St. Joseph Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia, and Salve Regina’s post-master’s DNP. You’ll find full details on each one in our listings.
We decided not to rank them for a number of reasons. Each school was offering different pathways, with different criteria. Reviews on the DNP programs were scant or non-existent. And only URI made U.S. News & World Report’s national rankings for the DNP (it often appears in the top 120). In the end, we felt we didn’t have enough data to make an evaluation.
To decide if Rhode Island is right for you, have a look at the program websites, talk to recent DNP alumni, and ask to see examples of capstone projects. Once you have a university in mind, you may want to compare it to top schools in neighboring states (e.g. Massachusetts).
Most Affordable DNP Programs in Rhode Island
To find the cheapest DNP programs in Rhode Island, we ranked each school by the lowest per credit tuition rate for the doctorate. In the case of URI and RIC, this was the in-state rate.
1. Rhode Island College
Even when you include mandatory fees, the DNP tuition rate at RIC is very low for Rhode Island residents. Students who qualify for the Northeast Neighbors tuition break pay around $200 more per credit for the DNP. The out-of-state rate is almost double the resident rate. Keep in mind that there’s a separate per credit tuition rate & substantial program fees for the Nurse Anesthesia program.
2. University of Rhode Island
URI’s part-time graduate tuition rate for Rhode Island residents is substantially higher than RIC, but the university is willing to offer BSN to DNP tracks. The regional rate can be over $1,000 per credit. The out-of-state rate is comparable to expensive private universities.
3. Salve Regina University
Salve Regina is a private university in Newport, so the DNP tuition rate is the same for all students, regardless of their state of residency. The program carries some additional fees (e.g. registration, graduation, etc.).
Online DNP Programs in Rhode Island
Rhode Island universities have yet to jump on the online bandwagon. The programs in our state listings are primarily hybrid, with campus expectations. For example:
- Hybrid BSN to DNP Programs in RI: URI’s BSN to DNP includes day & evening classes that are offered at the Nursing Education Center in Providence. You will need to check with the DNP program coordinator about campus expectations & online elements.
- Hybrid Post-Master’s DNP Programs in RI: The same principle holds true for URI, RIC, and Salve Regina’s MSN to DNP tracks. There will always be some on-campus coursework.
Note: Want to expand your search to DNPs in neighboring areas? See our directory of Online DNP Programs. They are organized by state.
BSN to DNP Programs in Rhode Island
We’ve listed individual BSN to DNP tracks under each school in the Rhode Island listings. As you might expect, your options are fairly limited.
- FNP & AGNP: URI has the FNP and separate tracks for aspiring AGACNPs and AGPCNPs. If you’re intrigued by the program description, ask the DNP program coordinator for recent certification pass rates and details on clinical placements. Do you have to organize your own preceptors and practicum sites?
- Nurse Anesthesia: The joint program between RIC and St. Joseph Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia is COA-accredited. As of 2020, it was transitioning from a master’s degree to a DNP. Check the program website to make sure its accreditation status is up-to-date.
Rhode Island Nursing Organizations
- Rhode Island Department of Health: Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education
- NP Alliance of Rhode Island
- Rhode Island Association of Nurse Anesthetists (RIANA)
- Massachusetts/Rhode Island League for Nursing (MARILN)
- Organization of Nurse Leaders (ONL)
Below you'll find a list of all of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs available in Rhode Island.