The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of using Multiplex 3, a hand-held canopy fluorescence sensor, to determine rice nitrogen (N) status at different growth stages. In 2013, a paddy rice field experiment with five N fertilizer treatments and two varieties was conducted in Northeast China. Field samples and fluorescence data were collected simultaneously at the panicle initiation (PI), stem elongation (SE), and heading (HE) stages. Four N status indicators, leaf N concentration (LNC), plant N concentration (PNC), plant N uptake (PNU) and N nutrition index (NNI), were determined. The preliminary results indicated that different N application rates significantly affected most of the fluorescence variables, especially the simple fluorescence ratios (SFR_G, SFR_R), flavonoid (FLAV), and N balance indices (NBI_G, NBI_R). These variables were highly correlated with N status indicators. More studies are needed to further evaluate the accuracy of rice N status diagnosis using fluorescence sensing at different growth stages.