Top Ohio Nursing Schools and Programs

by NurseJournal Staff

The Buckeye State houses some of the country's top nursing programs and offers plenty of opportunities for graduates. Check out our list of the best nursing schools in Ohio.

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NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Top Ohio Nursing Schools and Programs
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Graduates of nursing schools in Ohio can look forward to job growth and healthy paychecks. Positions for registered nurses (RNs) are projected to increase by nearly 10% over the next decade, and almost 26% for nurse practitioners (NPs).

While salaries for nurses in the state fall slightly below the national average, Ohio's cost of living ranks in the top 15 for affordability.

Although Ohio is not a right-to-work state, nurses can unionize under the Ohio Nurses Collective Bargaining Program.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing programs in Ohio, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more about the best BSN programs in Ohio, or go straight to our list of the best NP programs in Ohio.

Featured Online Programs

The Best Nursing Schools in Ohio for RN-to-BSN Programs

Mount Carmel College of Nursing true View School Profile Columbus and Lancaster, OH

The Mount Carmel College of Nursing has been recognized as an industry leader for many years. They are focused on excellence in academic practice and fully support their students through their educational journey. This is why they now offer their RN to BSN program online, to allow students to continue to work and meet their other responsibilities while studying at the same time.

• Campus: Columbus and Lancaster, Ohio
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: ACEN
• Tuition: $17,398
• Minimum time commitment: Four semesters
• Online availability: Yes
• Degree requirements: College transcripts, WES evaluation if applicable, visa if applicable
• Programs: Online RN-BSN Completion Program

Ohio State University true View School Profile Columbus, OH

The Ohio State University College of Nursing offers an RN to BSN program that is delivered almost entirely online, with certain classes and practical experience being held in the local community of the student.

• Campus: Columbus, Ohio
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: ACEN
• Tuition: Varies, please inquire
• Minimum time commitment: 120 credit hours
• Online availability: Yes
• Degree requirements: ACEN accredited ADN, prerequisite courses, GPA of 2.75 minimum, RN license
• Programs: RN to BSN

University of Akron true View School Profile Akron, OH

The University of Akron wants to make sure every health professional is able to achieve a BSN as a minimum. Hence, they offer their courses in a range of different settings across the state, as well as online. Additionally, they encourage students to be committed to their further education, offering an RN to BSN to MSN program as well.

• Campus: Akron, Ohio
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: Varies, please inquire
• Minimum time commitment: One year
• Online availability: Yes
• Degree requirements: RN license, prerequisite courses, GPA of 2.75 minimum
• Programs: RN to BSN and RN to BSN to MSN programs

Hondros College true View School Profile Columbus, OH

The RN to BSN completion program at Hondros College has been designed for students who flexibly want to achieve their BSN degree. The degree can be completed as and when students see fit, including through online studying. Special preference is given to Hondros alumni.

• Campus: Columbus, Ohio
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: $220 per credit hour, discounted rates for Hondros alumni
• Minimum time commitment: 12 months
• Online availability: Yes
• Degree requirements: ADN degree
• Programs: RN to BSN Completion Program

Ohio University true View School Profile Athens, OH

Ohio University has gone all out to make sure they have created a fantastic virtual learning environment for all of their students. Indeed, although the community is fully online, it feels as if you are interacting with fellow students and faculty in person. Additionally, the school has partnered with many community organizations where you can take part in further classes.

• Campus: Athens, Ohio
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: $240 per credit hour for Ohio residents, $243 for non-residents
• Minimum time commitment: Blocks of five week courses
• Online availability: Yes
• Degree requirements: Prerequisite courses, residency restrictions, ADN, GPA of 2.0 minimum, RN license
• Programs: RN to BSN online

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Ohio

The Ohio Board of Nursing licenses RNs, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) through its comprehensive online eLicense system. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) become certified by the Ohio Department of Health's Nurse Aide Registry.

Ohio enacted legislation to join the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) in July 2021. The NLC allows RNs and LPNs to practice under a multistate license in any compact member state, which creates more employment options and facilitates telehealth services. Nurses with a multistate license can practice in more than one state and do not have to pay multiple licensing and renewal fees. Currently, 30 states have joined the NLC, including Ohio's neighbors, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Nearby Pennsylvania's membership is pending.

Becoming a Registered Nurse in Ohio

Graduates of nursing schools in Ohio become eligible for RN licensure through either an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Nursing program admission criteria and state licensing requirements vary, but Ohio's nursing board and common program requirements are listed here.

RN Program Requirements:

Ohio Licensure Requirements:

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner in Ohio

NPs need either a master of science in nursing (MSN) or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree to earn their credentials. School and state requirements vary, but criteria for Ohio licensure and typical admission requirements for nursing programs in Ohio are listed below.

NP Program Requirements:

Ohio Licensure Requirements:

The Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Ohio

Ohio State University - Main Campus true View School Profile Columbus, OH

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 true View School Profile Cedarville, OH

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 true View School Profile North Canton, OH

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 true View School Profile Cincinnati, OH

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 true View School Profile Toledo, OH

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 View School Profile Kent, OH

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 View School Profile Dayton, OH

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

Other Nursing License Options in Ohio

Becoming a CNA or LPN in Ohio

Aspiring nurses might consider becoming a CNA or an LPN prior to pursuing their RN license. The advantages of this strategy include exploring the nursing profession while investing less time and money, earning credits toward an ADN or BSN degree, and gaining healthcare experience.

Ohio CNA Requirements:

  • Education: Nurse aide training and Competency evaluation program completion
  • Exams: State Tested Nurse Aide (STNA) exam
  • Renewal Frequency: Two years
  • Continued Education: 7.5 consecutive hours or eight hours in a 40-hour period of nursing-related services

Ohio LPN Licensure Requirements:

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in Ohio

This section lists the median salaries and projected job growth for Ohio RNs and NPs, along with the five highest-paying metropolitan areas in the state for each profession.

When looking at salaries, consider the state's cost of living index, which is 92 in Ohio, according to 2021 numbers. By comparison, the national cost-of-living value is 100. Ohio ranks as the 13th most affordable state in the United States.

According to Projections Central, the projected job growth for Ohio RNs stands at a promising 9.6% from 2018-2028. NPs can look forward to an even stronger 24.6% increase in positions during the same time period.

Nursing Role Median Salary Projected Job Growth
Registered Nurse $67,580 9.6%
Nurse Practitioner $105,420 24.6%
Source: BLS

Highest Paying Cities for Nurses in Ohio

Top Paying Metropolitan Area (RN)
Top Paying Metropolitan Area Median Salary for RNs
Springfield $74,370
Cleveland-Elyria $72,100
Lima $71,930
Cincinnati $69,260
Akron $69,010
Source: BLS
Top Paying Metropolitan Area (NP)
Top Paying Metropolitan Area Median Salary for NPs
Akron $113,360
Toledo $111,890
Dayton $107,450
Cleveland-Elyria $104,680
Mansfield $104,410
Source: BLS

Frequently Asked Questions


How many nursing programs are in Ohio?

Students interested in earning their ADN can choose from more than 40 options. BSN programs number around 45, and MSN program-seekers have five choices of graduate nursing programs in Ohio. The state approves hundreds of CNA and LPN training programs at technical colleges, community colleges, and healthcare facilities.

How long does it take to become a nurse in Ohio?

CNA training can be completed in 6-15 weeks, and LPNs can earn their certification in 12-18 months. Degrees require more time, with ADN programs typically taking two years to finish and BSN programs around four years. Graduate students usually complete their MSN in 2-3 years and their DNP in 3-4 years. Accelerated and bridge programs can shorten these time frames.

What is a nurse’s starting salary in Ohio?

According to the BLS, the top and bottom percentile of earners among registered nurses in Ohio makes roughly $91,000 and $53,000 a year, respectively. New registered nurses can expect annual salaries closer to the $53,000 range, but this varies by location. Registered nurses who earn their BSN can also increase their earning potential.

Can you become an RN in two years in Ohio?

Students can become eligible for their RN licenses with an ADN, which typically takes two years to complete. An ADN qualifies graduates to take the NCLEX-RN exam and apply for licensure from the state's nursing board. Some programs may offer accelerated options, allowing learners to graduate sooner than two years.


Nursing in Surrounding States

State

NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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