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Ultimate Guide to RN Salary in Rhode Island [2024]

To strategically plan your professional future as a registered nurse (RN), inform your thoughts and goals with data on RN pay in Rhode Island: how it compares with the cost of living and how to find high-paid RI registered nursing jobs. All this information and more is at your fingertips in this resource guide on Rhode Island registered nurse income.

The average annual RN wage in Rhode Island is $88,250, close to the national average. The table below compares the average RN wage in Rhode Island with the mean pay in other New England States, neighboring New York, and the nation.

Table 1: Average RN Wages and Difference with RI Mean Wage 

State Mean Annual RN Wage Difference with Mean Annual RN Wage in Rhode Island
Massachusetts $104,150 +$15,900
New York $100,140 +$11,890
Connecticut $94,260 +$6,010
National Average $89,110 +$860
New Hampshire $83,420 -$4,830
Vermont $79,990 -$8,260
Maine $77,410 -$10,840

The average RN pay in Rhode Island is lower than in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the neighboring state of New York but higher than in the northern New England States of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

This resource provides publicly available information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the MIT Living Wage Calculator about average RN salaries, employment, location quotient, and living wage in Rhode Island (most recent information as of December 2023). While Nursa currently offers independent contractor RNs in Rhode Island the opportunity to access per diem jobs that pay on an hourly basis rather than access to salaried or wage-based employment opportunities, this information may be a helpful frame of reference for you as you assess the market landscape both in regard to per diem jobs and employment opportunities.

What’s the Average RN Salary in Rhode Island?

The average registered nurse wage in Rhode Island typically ranges from $65,260 to $104,790.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes percentile wage estimates for nurses and other professionals, showing the percentage of workers with a wage below a certain amount. For example, 90 percent of registered nurses earn under $104,790, and 10 percent earn that amount or more. The bottom of the range corresponds to the 10th percentile, where 10 percent earn under $65,260, and 90 percent earn more. 

The following list shows the typical range of RN wages in Rhode Island by percentile.

  • 90th percentile: $104,790
  • 75th percentile: $101,870
  • 50th percentile: $85,960
  • 25th percentile: $76,430
  • 10th percentile: $65,260

These wages offer a framework to evaluate your income within the spectrum of RN pay in the state. Learn more about factors influencing nurse pay.

How Much Do RNs Make per Hour in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island is the smallest of all the states in the US and has only two statistical areas, each combining part of Rhode Island with part of another state. These two areas and their average hourly RN wages are as follows:

  • Providence-Warwick (extending into Connecticut): $42.39 per hour
  • Norwich-New London-Westerley (including part of Maine): $45.07 per hour

The state average hourly wage for registered nurses is $42.43.

Which Are the Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Rhode Island?

As mentioned, the highest-paying area of Rhode Island is Norwich-New London-Westerley. However, with per diem jobs, any city can offer opportunities to earn high hourly pay. Browse per diem shifts with competitive pay in the following cities:

Nursa’s open healthcare market can lead you directly to jobs in these cities and other parts of Rhode Island. Click on the links above to check out RN job opportunities.

In addition to pay, the cost of living is an essential factor in your financial well-being.

How High Is the Cost of Living in Rhode Island?

As you can see in the table below, the estimated living wage for one adult in Rhode Island is $36,400 annually, and for one adult with one child, it goes up to $74,069. 

Of course, the cost of living varies from household to household, depending on the number of working adults and dependents.

Table 2: Cost of Living Compared to the Average RN Wage

State Average RN Wage Living Wage for One Adult Living Wage for One Adult with One Child Difference between RN Wage & Living Wage for One Adult Difference between RN Wage & Living Wage for One Adult with One Child
Massachussettes $104,150 $44,408 $94,786 $59,742 $9,364
New York $100,130 $44,637 $86,320 $55,493 $13,810
Connecticut $94,260 $36,816 $78,478 $57,444 $15,782
Rhode Island $88,250 $36,400 $74,069 $51,850 $14,181
New Hampshire $83,420 $35,838 $74,838 $47,582 $8,582
Vermont $79,990 $34,986 $73,382 $45,004 $6,608
Maine $77,410 $34,382 $72,446 $43,028 $4,964

You can see that although RI is in the middle in terms of average RN wage, it is the second highest in terms of the funds you have after covering the annual living wage.

Educate yourself on RN salaries and annual wages to understand how much you can make as a nurse in Rhode Island.

RN Employment in Rhode Island

Knowing how much you can earn in RI may help you choose the best option when considering independent contractor work or applying for salaried or wage-based employment. Another interesting point regarding RI nursing jobs is the state's RN employment and location quotient—the concentration of RNs. RI has around 11,200 employed RNs with a location quotient of 1.12, a higher concentration of RNs than in the nation at large.

RNs in Rhode Island can enjoy stunning beaches on their days off work.

How to Become an RN in Rhode Island

Various RN programs are available to become a registered nurse in RI, including associate, bachelor, or diploma-level options. However, it’s important to note that RI’s nursing schools are in high demand, so applying to multiple schools is advisable due to potential waiting lists. 

Among the top colleges offering nursing degrees in RI are the following:

  • Rhode Island College has a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and graduate students may choose between a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), or a certificate in nursing management or healthcare quality and patient safety.
  • The New England Institute of Technology offers an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and an online RN-to-BSN program. For those interested in pursuing a higher level of licensure, this school also offers a fully online MSN with a family practitioner program concentration.
  • Salve Regina University offers an online RN-to-BSN program, various graduate courses, and a preparatory course for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

After completing an RN program, you must pass the NCLEX for registered nurses and apply for your Rhode Island RN license (with certain considerations). 

Already an RN? Check the status of your RN license with the State of Rhode Island Department of Health license lookup tool.

How Can I Find Per Diem Independent Contractor Jobs?

In today’s world, open healthcare platforms like Nursa make it easy to find per diem jobs for RNs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in Rhode Island. Check out Nursa to find an RN job close to home.

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