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Rhode Island Occupational Therapist School

How to Become an Occupational Therapist in Rhode Island

A person is designated as an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR) or a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) after completing an accredited OT program and passing the National Certification Exam for their respective titles.  However, to practice as either an OTR or COTA in Rhode Island, a person must also have a license granted by the RI Department of Health Office of Health Professional Regulations.

Rhode Island mandates that OTR and COTA applicants be at least 18 years of age, have good moral characters and be legally permitted to work in the United States.  U.S. citizens must present a birth certificate or naturalization documents.  Non-U.S. citizens must present immigration papers, resident alien card or other documents acceptable to the director.

Applicants must have graduated from one of the online or campus based Rhode Island occupational therapy schools approved by the board, typically one that is accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy.  The educational program must include coursework and supervised fieldwork.  OTR fieldwork is at least 24 weeks and COTA fieldwork is at least 12 weeks.

Graduating from an accredited OT program makes a person eligible to sit for the
National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapists, Registered or the National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapy Assistants of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). 
Note: A felony conviction can affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification or attain a state license.
After completing the above requirements, those interested in becoming OTRs or COTAs, can apply for a license by completing and submitting a notarized application form, proof of ability to work in the U.S., a passport photo of applicant, results of the written exam, and an application fee of $90.

Licenses are valid for two years and must be renewed by March 31 of even numbered years.  The administrator of the division will mail a renewal application to all license holders by March 1 of even numbered years.  The license holder is responsible for completing and returning the renewal form, paying the $90 renewal fee, and giving proof of participation in at least 20 hours of continuing education contact hours.

Through campus based and online programs, aspiring Occupational Therapists in Providence, Warwick, Cranston and Pawtucket, Rhode Island may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including the Rhode Island Hospital, Kent Hospital, Our Lady of Fatima Hospital and The Miriam Hospital.

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