The Best Ohio Online Nurse Practitioner Programs and Requirements

By NurseJournal.org staff


Table of Contents


Students can explore a variety of nurse practitioner programs in Ohio across degree-levels. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses (RNs) who hold higher education and training in a specific area. NPs need a master's or doctoral degree in nursing along with board certification in their chosen specialty. Advanced nurses who hold a master's degree in nursing boast in-depth knowledge and training in specialized areas like midwifery, pediatrics, or geriatrics.

Earning a master of science in nursing (MSN) exposes nurses to the field's business side, teaching them about the management, leadership, finance, and policies of nursing. NPs with an MSN can diagnose and treat acute illnesses, infections, and injuries. They can also write prescriptions for medications. During MSN programs, learners focus on how to talk to patients to manage their health and design effective treatment plans.

Students can explore a variety of online opportunities across nurse practitioner schools in Ohio. Some NP programs in Ohio feature specialization opportunities, allowing degree-seekers to tailor their program to fit their specific goals and interests. The time it takes to complete a degree depends on students' educational and experience backgrounds.

Read on to discover the best nurse practitioner programs in Ohio, including the steps to becoming an NP in the Buckeye State.

Read about our ranking methodology here.

Best Ohio Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

1. The Ohio State University - Main Campus - Columbus, OH
2. Cedarville University - Cedarville, OH
3. Walsh University - North Canton, OH
4. University of Cincinnati - Main Campus - Cincinnati, OH
5. University of Toledo - Toledo, OH
6. Kent State University - Kent, OH
7. Wright State University - Main Campus - Dayton, OH

The Ohio State University - Main Campus

The Ohio State University offers a 61-credit online master of science in nursing (MSN) with a family nurse practitioner (NP) track. Although distance learners complete most coursework online, they visit campus for two days to practice their clinical skills. In addition, students must fulfill 675 supervised hours during three clinical practicum courses. Distance learners work at healthcare facilities in their local areas to complete these requirements.

Courses include health promotion and disease prevention across the lifespan, pathophysiology of altered health states, and quality improvement and health informatics. Curriculum prepares students to sit for national family NP certification exams, which candidates later need for nursing licensure.

Campus Columbus, Ohio
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition $1,245/credit for Ohio residents; $2,719/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; three professional recommendations; personal essay
Minimum Time Commitment 21 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family NP
School site Tuition | Financial aid

Cedarville University

The accredited master of science in nursing (MSN) at the private Cedarville University includes a family nurse practitioner (NP) concentration, which students can pursue full time or part time. Cedarville incorporates its Christian affiliation into curriculum, prioritizing ethical decision-making and biblical thinking for advanced practice nursing.

The program comprises 41-44 credits, depending on what core courses students take. Distance learners complete coursework online. However, they must also participate in 600 supervised clinical practicum hours. During those semesters, the program requires students to travel to campus four times for clinical orientation. These on-campus experiences last 2-3 days and feature face-to-face instruction and clinical simulations.

Campus Cedarville, Ohio
Type Private
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition $623/credit
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; recommendations from Christian leader and professional connection
Minimum Time Commitment 24 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family NP
School site Tuition | Financial aid

Walsh University

A private school affiliated with the Catholic church, Walsh University offers a master of science in nursing (MSN) with a family nurse practitioner (NP) track that full-time students can complete fully online. The 58-credit program includes courses like advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology, epidemiology, and care of people across the lifespan. Curriculum focuses on ethical issues in the nursing profession.

Distance-learners must participate in onsite supervised clinical work. The program requires 650 clinical hours that students can fulfill at healthcare facilities within their local communities. Courses come in 8- and 16-week terms. Full-time students can complete the degree in 2.5 years.

Campus North Canton, Ohio
Type Private
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition $705/credit
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; two professional recommendations; personal essay
Minimum Time Commitment 30 months
On-Campus Requirements No
Program MSN - Family NP
School site Tuition | Financial aid

University of Cincinnati - Main Campus

University of Cincinnati runs a master of science in nursing (MSN) with a family nurse practitioner (NP) track. Students can complete coursework entirely online. Curriculum comprises 50 credits, which focuses on teaching students how to diagnose and care for medical conditions for patients of all ages.

This NP program in Ohio includes 672 clinical hours. Students can complete this requirement by working supervised shifts at various healthcare facilities, as long as they fall into the family NP scope. For many courses -- including clinical practicums -- distance learners must earn at least a "B-" to graduate.

Campus Cincinnati, Ohio
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition $724/credit for Ohio residents; $739/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; one year of professional nursing experience; three reference letters; personal statement
Minimum Time Commitment 24 months
On-Campus Requirements No
Program MSN - Family NP
School site Tuition | Financial aid

University of Toledo

At the University of Toledo, students can complete a master of science in nursing (MSN) with a family nurse practitioner (NP) concentration. This program functions in a hybrid format, which means students engage in a mix of on-campus and online courses.

The program comprises 55 credits. Students enroll in advanced nursing courses, such as pharmacotherapeutics and health assessment. Learners must also participate in supervised clinical experience onsite at healthcare facilities. Curriculum prepares students for national certification exams in the family NP specialization.

Distance learners need at least a "B" grade in all nursing courses to qualify for graduation. The university offers scholarships specifically for nursing students to help curb tuition costs.

Campus Toledo, Ohio
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition $585/credit for Ohio residents; $1,027/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; three reference letters; personal statement
Minimum Time Commitment 33 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family NP
School site Tuition | Financial aid

Kent State University

For students who live far from campus, Kent State University offers an online master of science in nursing (MSN) without any required campus visits. This nurse practitioner (NP) program in Ohio focuses on providing healthcare to women with acute and chronic conditions. Course material covers gynecological and reproductive health, in addition to care of premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

Distance learners must complete 42 credits of coursework, including 675 clinical hours during practicum courses. Students can fulfill these clinical requirements onsite at women's and reproductive health facilities. Incoming students can begin the program either in the spring or fall. Learners typically take two years to complete.

Campus Kent, Ohio
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition $536/credit for Ohio residents; $999/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; three reference letters; personal statement
Minimum Time Commitment 21 months
On-Campus Requirements No
Program MSN - Women's health practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial aid

Wright State University - Main Campus

Dayton-based Wright State University offers several degrees through its nursing school, including a master of science in nursing (MSN) with a family nurse practitioner (NP) concentration. This degree comprises 49 credits, which distance learners can complete part time or full time.

Although students can complete most coursework online, they must attend campus sessions five times during the orientation course. They also must commute to campus at the end of each term for examinations. Courses cover topics in information technology in healthcare and caring for individuals across the lifespan. Students should also complete clinical hours during practicum courses.

Campus Dayton, Ohio
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Tuition $660/hour for Ohio residents; $1,125/hour for nonresidents
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; two reference letters; personal statement
Minimum Time Commitment Varies
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family NP
School site Tuition | Financial aid

Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Ohio

To become a nurse practitioner in Ohio, individuals must satisfy these requirements:

  • Earn a graduate degree in a nursing specialty that meets the requirements to sit for a certification examination from a national certifying body. To become a licensed NP in Ohio, individuals can complete a master's or doctoral program in nursing.


    Students can review the programmatic, institutional, and specialized accrediting bodies listed in the U.S. Department of Education database before enrolling in a program to confirm their degree meets accreditation standards.


    The Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN) maintains educational requirements that align with the national APRN Consensus Model for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Abiding by the model, advanced practice nursing programs must include core courses in advanced pharmacology, advanced health assessment, and advanced pathophysiology/physiology. The model requires program curricula to focus on pediatrics, family/individual health across the lifespan, neonatology, adult health and gerontology, psychiatric mental health, and women's health and gender-related health.


    Students planning to hold prescriptive privileges within their advanced practice authority must complete a course of study in advanced pharmacology and related topics, such as pharmacokinetic principles and the use and clinical application of therapeutic devices in illness prevention and health maintenance. Individuals must compile at least 45 contact hours.

  • Earn national certification by passing a national certification exam as a generalist or following a specialty area within one of the four recognized advanced practice nursing roles recognized by the OBN, including clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives, certified nurse practitioners, and certified registered nurse anesthetists.


    The OBN recognizes a variety of national certification bodies, each featuring different population focuses and subspecialty certifications. Approved national certification bodies include the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists, National Certification Corporation, Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation, and the American Midwifery Certification Board. The most in-demand specializations for NPs in Ohio include geriatrics, mental health, and primary care.

  • Apply for a certificate of authority in a particular advanced practice nursing specialty, completing a Certificate of Authority Application Packet. Once professionals complete their application, they must sign the affidavit and have it notarized. To maintain eligibility for a certificate of authority allowing them to practice as an advanced practice nurse in Ohio, individuals must complete an application and pay the $100 fee, provide verification of a graduate degree and national certification, and submit a passport-size photo along with a name and social security number.


    Professionals applying for prescriptive authority must complete additional applications, pay a $50 fee, and provide documentation of at least 45 contact hours in advanced pharmacology.

In-Demand Nursing Specialty Eligibility Requirements in Ohio

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGPCNP-BC)

Years of Experience: None, but professionals need a current and active RN license

Clinical Hours Required: Minimum of 500 clinical hours supervised by an adult-gerontology primary care NP faculty member

Continuing Education: N/A

Other: Graduate-level coursework in advanced health assessment, advanced physiology/pathophysiology, and advanced pharmacology

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP)

Years of Experience: None, but individuals need a current and active RN license

Clinical Hours Required: Minimum of 500 clinical hours supervised by an adult-gerontology primary care NP faculty member

Continuing Education: N/A

Other: Individuals must pass a certification examination that includes 150 questions

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification (PMHP-BC)

Years of Experience: None, but practitioners need a current and active RN license

Clinical Hours Required: Minimum of 500 clinical hours supervised by a psychiatric mental health NP faculty member

Continuing Education: N/A

Other: Graduate-level coursework in advanced pharmacology, advanced health assessment, and advanced physiology/pathophysiology

Salary and Career Information

RNs in Ohio earn mean salary amounts nearly $10,000 less than RNs throughout the United States. In Ohio, RNs earn mean salary amounts of $66,820, compared to the U.S. mean salary of $75,510. Ohio's projected job growth for RNs is almost the same as the occupation's national job growth, with Ohio reporting a projected rate of 14.2% and the U.S. reporting 14.8%.

NPs in Ohio, similar to RNs, earn mean salary amounts nearly $10,000 less than NPs throughout the country. In Ohio, NPs earn mean salary amounts of $101,970, compared to the U.S. mean salary of $110,030. Ohio's job growth for NPs is comparable to the nation's projected job growth, with Ohio reporting a rate of 29.7% and the U.S. reporting 36.1%.

Ohio highlights metropolitan areas with high mean wage amounts. Springfield reports the occupation's highest mean salary at $133,850, with Akron reporting the second-highest mean salary at $110,720.

RN vs. NP Salary and Projected Job Growth in Ohio
  Registered Nurse Nurse Practitioner
Ohio Mean Salary $66,820 $101,970
U.S. Mean Salary $75,510 $110,030
Ohio Job Growth 14.2% 29.7%
U.S. Job Growth 14.8% 36.1%

Source: BLS, Projections Central


Ohio Metropolitan Areas With the Highest Mean NP Wages
  Salary Employment
Springfield, Ohio $133,850 40
Akron, Ohio $110,720 580
Dayton, Ohio $107,840 660
Lima, Ohio $106,680 170
Toledo, Ohio $105,340 320

Source: BLS