Graduates of online nursing degree programs pursue fulfilling careers helping others. An online nursing degree opens doors to a variety of career options; graduates become registered nurses, nurse educators, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners. Professionals who want to expand their career opportunities in the nursing field can continue their education, earning up to a doctoral degree in nursing.
The healthcare field is growing nationwide, but in Ohio, healthcare has been the top industry since 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for registered nurses to increase 15%. Because of the public health challenges facing the state, including a high rate of chronic disease, nurses are in high demand in Ohio.
In 2016, the BLS reported the average annual salary for a registered nurse to be $61,750. Nurses with specialized training or professional experience can make substantially more. Ohio needs more nursing professionals, making now an excellent time to earn your online nursing degree from one of the nursing schools in Ohio.
How to Become a Nurse in Ohio
The process of earning licensure and an online nursing degree in Ohio is similar to the processes in other states. However, some details are unique to nursing in Ohio, including the licensing process for advanced practice nurses. To become a practicing nurse in Ohio, you must earn a nursing degree and pass the NCLEX. Advanced practice nurses complete additional steps, including becoming nationally certified in a specialization and obtaining a certificate of authority from the Ohio Board of Nursing.
Choose the Path That's Right for You
Consider your career aspirations when choosing an online nursing degree. At minimum, you will need to complete a one-year LPN diploma program, but becoming a registered nurse opens better salary and career opportunities. To become an RN, you must complete a two-year ADN program or a four-year BSN program. When considering online BSN programs in Ohio, current RNs may look at online RN to BSN programs in Ohio.
Nurses with a BSN may pursue a master’s of science in nursing (MSN) to advance their career. The online MSN programs in Ohio are some of the best in the country. Those who want to teach nursing at the college level or pursue top leadership positions will need a DNP.
Earn Your Nursing Degree
The numerous nursing schools in Ohio offer a variety of options for nursing degree seekers. When choosing from the nursing schools in Ohio, note any required prerequisites, such as undergraduate courses in medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology. Most nursing programs require a clinical internship, which provides hands-on experience. Degree completion time depends on the specific degree; online RN programs in Ohio usually take two years to complete. Students hoping to earn their degree as quickly as possible may explore accelerated nursing programs in Ohio.
Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License
The final step to becoming a nurse in Ohio is passing the licensing exam. You must pass the NCLEX-PN to work as an LPN and the NCLEX-RN to work as an RN. Advanced practice nurses must also have a certificate of authority from the Ohio Board of Nursing. The amount of studying required varies by individual, but licensing exams are rigorous. Test takers have up to five hours to complete the PN exam and up to six hours for the RN exam. Nursing schools in Ohio prepare students to take the licensing exam, which is an important step to beginning a career in the nursing field.
Nursing Licensure in Ohio
To earn a nursing license in Ohio, professionals must follow the process established by the Ohio Board of Nursing. Before working as an entry-level registered nurse, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses, or the NCLEX-RN. The exam determines whether individuals can safely work with patients as entry-level nurses. To take this exam, you must hold an RN degree earned through an ADN or BSN program. Nurses licensed in Ohio may obtain a temporary permit to practice nursing in another state while undergoing the state’s licensing process. Ohio is not part of the Nursing Licensure Compact, an agreement among 34 states that allows nurses to earn one license to practice in multiple states.
Licensed advanced practice nurses in Ohio must have a graduate degree in nursing, must be nationally certified in one of four recognized areas of specialization, and must have a current certificate of authority.
Nursing Licensing Costs in Ohio
App Fee $75
Career Outlook for Nurses in Ohio
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare and social assistance is the dominant industry in Ohio. The highly populated state has large hospital and healthcare systems that employ tens of thousands of nurses. Additionally, Ohio’s population faces numerous health issues, including high rates of obesity and chronic disease, which demand increased nursing care.
Becoming an RN is the most popular option for graduates of nursing schools in Ohio; the BLS reports there were more than 128,000 registered nurses in Ohio in 2016. Nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, and licensed practical nurses are also common in Ohio. Nurse anesthetists in Ohio average salaries of $156,820 per year, making the specialization a lucrative option for professionals considering further education.
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Biggest Hospitals in Ohio
A state with many large hospitals, such as Ohio, is likely to have a great number of job openings for nurses. States with high demand for nurses are ideal for recent nursing graduates. Ohio’s hospitals also provide fellowship and internship opportunities for nursing students.
- Cleveland Clinic: The Cleveland Clinic is the second-largest employer in Ohio, with 49,050 workers, nearly 12,000 of whom are nurses. The academic hospital is one of the largest and best-known in the country. The Cleveland Clinic combines clinical care with research and education, and in 2016, it served 7.14 million patients.
- Mercy Health: A Catholic hospital serving numerous communities in Ohio and Kentucky, Mercy employs more than 34,000 people. It is one of the largest healthcare systems in the country and serves all patients, regardless of financial situation. Mercy offers nurses competitive salaries, full benefits, and a tuition reimbursement program. In 2013, the hospital had 3,233,080 outpatient visits and 664,551 emergency visits.
Additional Nursing Resources in Ohio
Ohio Nurses Association (ONA)
ONA represents registered nurses in Ohio, who total more than 170,000. The member-driven organization protects, promotes, and advances the nursing profession. ONA’s website provides resources for Ohio nurses, including newsletters, information regarding current issues in Ohio nursing, and nursing practice documents.
Ohio Association of School Nurses (OASN)
OASN provides leadership, education, and support for professional school nurses. The website offers resources for school nurses, such as employment, professional, and practice tools, as well as advice about gaining licensure and a discussion group for school nurses.
Ohio Chapter of National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
The Ohio chapter promotes and supports pediatric advanced practice nurses, with the goal of improving children’s healthcare. Nurses benefit from the organization’s advocacy work and professional development resources. The website lists grants and scholarships available to Ohio nurses and student nurses.
Ohio Student Nurses’ Association (OhSNA)
OhSNA helps graduates of with online nursing degrees begin careers. The association contributes to nursing education and provides programs relevant to current issues in nursing. Resources include links to scholarships and financial aid opportunities, information about events, and publications relevant to nursing in Ohio.
Ohio State Association of Nurse Anesthetists
This association supports its members and advances the art and science of nurse anesthesia in Ohio. The statewide organization represents more than 2,200 nurses and student nurses specializing in anesthesia. The website includes a section for students, with videos, programs, and student board updates.
Accredited Online Nursing Programs in Ohio
Nursing schools in Ohio offer a variety of degree options. Before applying to one of the nursing colleges in Ohio, explore the database below to determine the best online nursing degree to fit your career goals. The database includes all accredited ADN, BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP online nursing programs in Ohio.