Physician Assistant Guide to Locum Tenens Jobs in Rhode Island

Imagine for a moment that you are stuck in traffic on your way to work, bored of the same monotonous routine, and looking to experience new scenery and culture. Then, your phone vibrates. It’s your Barton recruiter with the answer. They share a new listing with great pay, your dream schedule, and it will start at a time that fits your current life. The only problem is that it is in Rhode Island which you know very little about. That’s where Barton comes in!

Sunset over Newport Bridge

What You Need to Know About Rhode Island as a Locum Tenens Physician Assistant?

Our recruiters and staffing specialists do not expect you, the provider, to know ins-and-outs of every state in the country. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled information from TripAdvisor, state government pages, and tourist information sources to give you a glimpse into life in Rhode Island.

Click here for open physician assistant jobs in Rhode Island!

Rhode Island: A Brief History

Rhode Island, though small in size, has played a significant role in American history. Founded by Roger Williams on the principles of religious tolerance, it became a sanctuary for diverse faiths and independent thinkers.  The colony’s defiant spirit sparked the earliest flames of the American Revolution. Later,  Newport’s Gilded Age splendor left a legacy of opulent mansions. Today, Rhode Island balances its rich historical heritage with beautiful coastal landscapes, a vibrant arts scene, and a strong sense of community.

From its revolutionary origins to its modern-day charm, Rhode Island’s history is a microcosm of the American experience. It’s a place where the fight for liberty, the ambition of industry, and the beauty of the natural world all converge, creating a unique and enduring legacy within the tapestry of the United States.

What is there to do and see in Rhode Island?

  • Newport Mansions & Coastal Charm:
    Embark on a journey through time as you explore the opulent Gilded Age mansions of Newport. Admire the architectural splendor of The Breakers, Marble House, and Rosecliff, each a testament to the wealth and extravagance of the era. Stroll along the iconic Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile paved path that hugs the coastline, offering breathtaking ocean views, crashing waves, and glimpses of the mansions from a unique perspective.
  • Providence Exploration:
    Immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Providence, Rhode Island’s capital city. Discover the city’s rich history in its well-preserved colonial neighborhoods, including the East Side and College Hill. Explore the renowned Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum, home to an impressive collection of art and design from around the world. Indulge in the city’s thriving culinary scene, with a diverse range of restaurants serving everything from fresh seafood to international cuisine.
  • Block Island Escape:
    Escape to the tranquility of Block Island, a secluded getaway just a short ferry ride from the mainland. Spend your days relaxing on pristine beaches, such as Crescent Beach and Mansion Beach, or exploring the island’s rugged coastline. Visit the iconic Southeast Lighthouse, which offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Take advantage of the island’s biking trails to explore its charming villages and unspoiled natural beauty.
  • Foodie Delights:
    Rhode Island is known for its unique culinary specialties that reflect its coastal heritage and New England influences. Sample the state’s signature dish, clam cakes and chowder, a hearty and flavorful combination. Refresh yourself with Del’s Frozen Lemonade, a beloved local institution that has been serving its famous frozen lemonade since 1948. Don’t forget to try coffee milk, the state’s official drink, a creamy and slightly sweet concoction that perfectly captures Rhode Island’s dairy farming traditions.

How close is Rhode Island to other cities and states?

  • Connecticut: Rhode Island shares its entire western border with Connecticut. The distance from central Rhode Island to the Connecticut border is negligible. 
  • Massachusetts: Rhode Island’s northern and eastern border connects with Massachusetts. The distance from central Rhode Island to the Massachusetts border is roughly 15 miles. 
  • New York (Maritime Border):  While not directly touching, Rhode Island shares a small maritime border with New York, east of Long Island. 

Physician Assistant Scope of Practice In Rhode Island

What is the Scope of Practice for Physician Assistants in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, physician assistants (PAs) enjoy full practice authority, which grants them significant autonomy and flexibility in providing patient care. This means that PAs are authorized to practice medicine without the direct supervision of a physician, allowing them to diagnose and treat patients, prescribe medications, and order and interpret tests. The full practice authority model in Rhode Island recognizes the valuable contributions of PAs to the healthcare system and empowers them to utilize their skills and knowledge to the fullest extent. Overall, the full practice authority granted to PAs in Rhode Island promotes efficient and effective patient care, enhances interprofessional collaboration, and improves healthcare delivery in the state.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Death Certificates in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, physician assistants (PAs) are authorized to sign death certificates. When signing a death certificate, PAs must follow the same procedures as physicians, including completing the form in its entirety and providing all the required information. The authority of PAs to sign death certificates is a vital part of the healthcare system in Rhode Island, allowing PAs to provide essential services to patients and families in a timely and efficient manner.

Does Rhode Island Recognize Physician Assistants as Primary Care Providers? 

The state of Rhode Island recognizes physician assistants (PAs) as primary care providers through its statutes and administrative codes. PAs are qualified to provide a wide range of medical services under a licensed physician’s supervision, including physical examinations, diagnosis, treatment, and prescription of medications. Rhode Island’s recognition of PAs as primary care providers demonstrates its commitment to expanding access to quality healthcare for its residents. PAs play a vital role in the healthcare system by providing high-quality, patient-centered care, particularly in underserved communities.

Can Physician Assistants Prescribe Schedule II Drugs in Rhode Island?

Yes, physician assistants can prescribe schedule II drugs in Rhode Island

Do Physician Assistants Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, physician assistants (PAs) are eligible for medical staff membership, allowing them to hold clinical privileges and responsibilities equivalent to physicians. PAs meet similar requirements to physicians, such as having a valid license and completing an accredited PA program. PAs play a significant role in the state’s healthcare system, providing a variety of medical services. Their inclusion in medical staff membership will improve patient care and ensure access to high-quality healthcare. They are licensed, trained, certified, and required to complete continuing medical education.

Can Physician Assistants Order Physical Therapy in Rhode Island?

Physician assistants (PAs) in Rhode Island possess a broad scope of practice, including the authority to order physical therapy (PT) without a separate physician order. PAs in Rhode Island undergo rigorous training and are authorized to order diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, perform minor surgical procedures, and provide preventive care. The ability to order PT directly facilitates timely access to rehabilitation services, reduces delays in treatment initiation and optimizes patient care. PAs work closely with their patients to identify those who can benefit from PT and collaborate with physical therapists to develop individualized treatment plans. The collaborative relationship between PAs and physical therapists is essential for delivering high-quality PT services. This provision reflects the trust and confidence placed in PAs and aims to improve the overall health and well-being of the individuals they serve.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Handicap Parking Permit Forms in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, physician assistants (PAs) are authorized to certify disability for parking placards. PAs are healthcare professionals with a master’s degree and national certification who provide medical services under physician supervision. PAs are qualified to certify disability because of their education, training, and familiarity with the eligibility criteria. This authorization ensures that individuals with disabilities have access to necessary parking accommodations.

Can Physician Assistants Sign POLST/POST/MOLST/MOST/COLST Forms in Rhode Island? 

In Rhode Island, Physician Assistants are allowed to sign Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) forms. These forms provide guidance for healthcare professionals regarding patients’ preferences for end-of-life care. PAs play a crucial role in assessing the patient’s capacity to make decisions, discussing treatment options, and documenting their wishes on the MOLST form. By signing the MOLST form, physicians take legal responsibility for ensuring that the patient’s wishes are carried out and for communicating those preferences to other healthcare professionals. This authorization promotes patient autonomy and ensures that individuals have a say in their end-of-life care.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, physicians can sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders for patients with terminal illnesses or severe, life-limiting conditions. Before signing a DNR order, physicians must discuss the decision with the patient and their family, reviewing the patient’s medical condition, prognosis, and the potential benefits and risks of CPR. Once the patient has made a decision and signed the DNR order, the physician will document it in the patient’s medical record. DNR orders are an important part of end-of-life care planning, allowing patients to make informed decisions about their care and ensure their wishes are respected.

What are the Continuing Education Requirements for Physician Assistants in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, physician assistants (PAs) must participate in continuing education (CE) to maintain their license and stay current with medical advancements. PAs must complete a minimum of 25 CE hours every two years. CE hours can be earned through various activities, including conferences, workshops, webinars, and online courses. The CE requirement aims to ensure PAs have the knowledge and skills to provide high-quality patient care and promotes lifelong learning and professional development among PAs, ultimately contributing to the quality of healthcare in Rhode Island.

Find Your Next Physician Assistant Job with Barton

Barton coordinates your job search from start to finish!



We’ll schedule a phone consultation with a Barton Associates team member to discuss your interests, goals, and work history in order to get a sense of what you’re looking for in your next job.

Your Barton team will then go to work, compiling a list of open jobs in our extensive network that match your interests and skill set.



Once you’ve had a chance to evaluate your list of opportunities, your Barton rep will submit your information to facility you want to take an assignment at.

If there’s a match, we’ll work with the client manager on next steps.



Don’t worry! Barton Associates will handle licensing, credentialing, and travel arrangements before you arrive.

Your Barton rep will also work with your new facility to ensure you’re set up and ready to go on day one.


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