Ohio Nursing Schools and Programs

March 4, 2022 , Updated on August 8, 2022 · 6 Min Read

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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Ohio Nursing Schools and Programs
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Ohio is home to some of the nation's top nursing schools and hospitals, making the state a great place to pursue a nursing degree and launch your career. Graduates who live and work in Ohio also enjoy a relatively low cost of living and above-average projected employment growth.

This guide details how to become a nurse in the Buckeye State, along with the salary and employment outlook for graduates, and some of the best nursing programs in Ohio.

Keep reading to learn more about the top nursing schools and programs in Ohio.

The Best Nursing Schools in Ohio

Learn more about Ohio's top nursing schools.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing schools 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.

#1

Cedarville University

School Information
Location Cedarville, Ohio
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 75%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A Christian nursing school in Ohio, Cedarville offers both a traditional and a three-year bachelor's degree in nursing. Students begin clinical experiences in their first year. 

Learners participate in simulations and take advantage of medical missions opportunities. Post-bachelor's students may pursue a master's degree or a medical Spanish certificate at Cedarville.

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#2

Franciscan University of Steubenville

School Information
Location Steubenville, Ohio
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 77%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Franciscan offers one of the few distinctly Catholic nursing programs in Ohio. The school's bachelor's degree in nursing includes a service-learning component, along with a recommended study abroad experience in Austria. 

Students take advantage of a technologically advanced human patient simulator lab. The program features a 90% job placement rate.

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#3

Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences

School Information
Location Canton, Ohio
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 100%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 67% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The only one on our list of top nursing schools in Ohio to feature an associate degree, Aultman College prepares registered nurse candidates in just five semesters. 

Course topics include anatomy, pharmacology, microbiology, and medical language. Students must take at least 41 of the 73 required credits through Aultman College.

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#4

Case Western Reserve University

School Information
Location Cleveland, Ohio
Admission Rate 27%
Graduation Rate 84%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

CWRU offers a post-master's certificate in 10 major areas. Acute care majors may add flight nursing to their degrees. The school can customize each program to meet the needs of individual learners. 

Students enrolled in any of CWRU's post-master's nursing programs in Ohio take classes through a hybrid model — online courses supplemented by on-campus learning.

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#5

Mount Vernon Nazarene University

School Information
Location Mount Vernon, Ohio
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

MVNU offers an RN-to-BSN online program with 12 start dates each year. This 43-credit degree offers five-week courses over 18 months. New learners may transfer up to 13 credits toward program completion. 

Students take courses using video-conference technology. As one of the Christian nursing programs in Ohio, MVNU requires a course in biblical perspectives on healthcare.

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#6

Ohio Northern University

School Information
Location Ada, Ohio
Admission Rate 70%
Graduation Rate 77%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

ONU's bachelor of science in nursing provides direct admission for first-year applicants. Students in this nursing program in Ohio can begin clinical rotations as second-year students. 

Courses include medical surgical nursing, community health nursing, and nursing research, along with a capstone. Enrollees may also experience international nursing through a program in the Dominican Republic.

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#7

Otterbein University

School Information
Location Westerville, Ohio
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 66%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Otterbein's bachelor's degree in nursing is distinct among nursing programs in Ohio because it features a 100% job placement rate for graduates who achieve licensure. 

This degree can include medical mission trips and a service-learning component. Graduates may choose to pursue one of Otterbein's graduate programs in nursing.

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#8

University of Mount Union

School Information
Location Alliance, Ohio
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 66%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 13% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Mount Union offers a 128-credit bachelor's degree in nursing rooted in the liberal arts tradition. Distinct among many nursing schools in Ohio, Mount Union also offers an accelerated, second-degree BSN. 

Courses include human nutrition, statistics for health science, and community health nursing along with a senior capstone.

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#9

Capital University

School Information
Location Columbus, Ohio
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 62%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Capital offers a master's degree in nursing for future nurse educators, nurse administrators, or legal nurse consultants. Students complete 360 hours of field experience and complete courses in either eight- or 16-week blocks. 

This program offers full- and part-time options. Students may pursue a JD or an MBA with their MSN.

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#10

Mercy College of Ohio

School Information
Location Toledo, Ohio
Admission Rate 60%
Graduation Rate 53%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Mercy offers a master's degree in nursing, one of the distinctly Catholic nursing programs in Ohio. Students take one three-credit course at a time over each seven-week session. 

Courses may include population-based healthcare, informatics and healthcare technologies, and evaluation methods in nursing education. The program concludes with a capstone.

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Best Ohio Nurse Practitioner Programs

#1

Case Western Reserve University

School Information
Location Cleveland, Ohio
Admission Rate 27%
Graduation Rate 84%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Case Western Reserve University’s graduate program is administered on the private college’s Cleveland, Ohio, campus. Bachelor’s degree-holders have ample opportunity for upward mobility with the institution’s 96 master's degrees. These programs provide advanced skills and training delivered by qualified faculty committed to student success.

For people interested in being a nurse practitioner, the school offers a top-ranked master of science in nursing program on campus. Because of the program's many available nurse practitioner majors, graduates are prepared for a variety of careers as specialists in this field. Students immerse in intensive academic training and have support systems, such as career services, to prepare for life after college.

Once admitted, enrollees pay a tuition rate of $46,524 per year. Degree-seekers can help afford the degree with aid, such as loans and scholarships, awarded to 89% of learners. The college has an overall 84% degree completion rate.

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#2

The University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

School Information
Location Cincinnati, Ohio
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Cincinnati offers a master of science in nursing (MSN) program for degree-seekers with a bachelor's degree in nursing. Learners receive a rigorous education in one of many available nurse practitioner specialties ranking among the nation’s best, qualifying them for an array of job opportunities. Graduates leave the program equipped for management, development, and research careers.

The Cincinnati, Ohio-based institution is a public school. The academic catalog here includes the MSN program from a graduate school offering 113 master's degrees. Enrollees benefit from strong academic instruction and access to resources that enhance student success.

Students should consider the institution’s overall admissions rate, which stands at 77% of applicants and may vary across graduate programs. In addition to required courses, enrollees can probably use elective credits for subjects of interest. The school provides resources like tutoring and career advisors, and learners can contact the financial aid department for ways to help pay for tuition.

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#3

Xavier University

School Information
Location Cincinnati, Ohio
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 73%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Master's students should explore the master of science in nursing (MSN) degree at Xavier University. The institution, situated in Cincinnati, Ohio, develops a highly ranked family nurse practitioner program. Graduate education is a strong feature at the school, which currently offers 45 master's degrees.

Qualifying candidates have a bachelor's degree in nursing or a related field, but the program may also admit other applicants. The MSN program builds on concepts learned in the bachelor’s degree to prepare professionals with specialist knowledge and training. Learners with a master's degree may find it easier to secure jobs in a tightening job market, such as a recession.

Students can expect to pay $12,060 in graduate tuition whether they live in Ohio or elsewhere. Applicants can use grants and scholarships to help lower the cost of tuition. The institution’s comprehensive aid includes loan packages for eligible enrollees. Learners may also qualify for loans to foot the bill for their education.

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#4

The University of Toledo

School Information
Location Toledo, Ohio
Admission Rate 96%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Toledo provides degree-seekers, like those with a bachelor's degree in nursing, with an affordable top-notch education. The master of science in nursing (MSN) program, delivered on campus in Toledo, Ohio, features a strong curriculum and a rich graduate school experience. 

A master’s degree builds on bachelor’s-level knowledge, producing more advanced professionals in many nurse practitioner specialties. Learners can pursue leadership roles after they graduate, while others change careers or do research. A terminal degree like a doctorate is one avenue that graduates may pursue.

Financial aid helps make the MSN degree accessible to those without the means to pay out of pocket. The state of Ohio’s residents pay about $14,047 per year in graduate tuition. About 95% of students lower the cost of tuition by using scholarships and other forms of financial aid. School data show that about 46% of enrollees choose to take out loans to help fund their program.

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#5

Youngstown State University

School Information
Location Youngstown, Ohio
Admission Rate 67%
Graduation Rate 41%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Youngstown State University, located in Youngstown, Ohio, is a public college recognized for its graduate degrees. The institution enrolls learners in 58 master's programs, giving bachelor’s degree-holders the opportunity to enhance their education and skills in various fields. Faculty teach a rigorous and accredited curriculum that ensures students receive advanced career preparation.

People who want to advance their nursing careers may want to explore the nurse practitioner majors in the master of science in nursing program. Graduates are prepared for a variety of careers as different nurse practitioner specialists. Learners take courses covering a variety of topics in the field.

People living in Ohio pay $6,058 a year, and those living elsewhere pay $9,058. A big concern for many students is how to pay for tuition, and many can pursue loans and other forms of financial aid awarded to 98% of enrollees. The college has an overall 41% degree completion rate.

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#6

Malone University

School Information
Location Canton, Ohio
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 54%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Anyone who holds a bachelor's degree in nursing and is looking for an affordable master's degree opportunity should consider Malone University. The master of science in nursing program, delivered on campus in Canton, Ohio, features a strong curriculum and a rich graduate school experience. 

The program prepares learners for more advanced jobs than a bachelor's program typically allows, in two different nurse practitioner specialties. Degree completers qualify for a variety of positions in management and other areas. Graduates interested in higher education and research positions may choose to pursue a doctorate.

Various financial aid programs make this degree more affordable. The institution charges an average graduate tuition rate of $10,980 per year for students who live in Ohio. An average of 100% of degree-seekers reduce tuition by using scholarships and other financial aid awards. Loans help about 72% of enrollees pay tuition.

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#7

Mount Carmel College of Nursing

School Information
Location Columbus, Ohio
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 74%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Mount Carmel College of Nursing is a private college in Columbus, Ohio. With four master's degrees offered by the graduate program, the institution gives bachelor’s degree-holders ample opportunity for upward mobility in various fields. Students receive a rigorous and accredited education from top-notch faculty.

The school’s master of science in nursing program is worth consideration for people interested in different nurse practitioner specialties. Coursework builds on the undergraduate experience to prepare participants for managerial and leadership roles. In addition to lectures and assignments, real-world skill building is an important part of the curriculum.

Admitted students will pay a tuition rate of $11,865 a year whether they live in the state or elsewhere. Degree-seekers can fund their education in part or full by using loans, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid that are awarded to about 88% of learners. Once people enroll in the college, roughly 74% of them complete their degrees.

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#8

Ursuline College

School Information
Location Pepper Pike, Ohio
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 53%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Ursuline College offers a master of science in nursing (MSN) program on campus. The different nurse practitioner majors within the MSN program enjoy top rankings for academic rigor. The MSN is delivered on the Pepper Pike, Ohio, campus. The school has a lot of experience with graduate education, offering about 32 master's degrees.

Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in nursing or a related field to qualify for admission to this program, but the department may consider other applicants. The knowledge acquired in a master's program such as the MSN program is usually not available to students in bachelor's programs. A master’s degree qualifies graduates for career advancement and also paves the way for a doctoral program.

Degree-seekers should be prepared to pay $21,132 in  graduate tuition whether they live in Ohio or not. Applicants can use grants and scholarships to help lower the cost of tuition. Federal or private loans are another key source of education funding.

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Featured Online MSN Programs

How to Choose a Nursing Program in Ohio

There are many factors to consider as you explore nursing programs in Ohio, including admission requirements, tuition rates, program length, and specialization options. You can also learn a lot by reviewing each school's National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rate and every nursing program's accreditation status.

Why Become a Nurse in Ohio

Some of the country's best hospitals are located in Ohio, including the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Residents also benefit from the state's low cost of living.

Ohio is also a member of the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC). As a nursing compact state, Ohio maintains a set of rules and procedures that all licensed registered nurses (RNs) must follow. The NLC makes it easier for RNs to qualify for licensure in other participating states.

Beginning in 2023, nurses with an NLC license do not need to pay renewal fees and can provide patients with telehealth care across state lines.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in Ohio

The annual mean wage for Ohio RNs is $71,640, and $112,490 for nurse practitioners in the state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although both figures fall slightly below the respective national averages, Ohio's low cost of living makes the state an affordable option for new graduates.

Over 129,000 RNs work in Ohio, and that number is growing. The BLS projects a 9% job growth rate for RNs from 2020-30, slightly higher than the 8% national rate for all occupations combined.

The following table identifies Ohio's highest-paying metropolitan areas for RNs. Nurses earn the most in highly populated areas around the southeast, central, and northeast parts of Ohio.

Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses in Ohio
Top-Paying Metropolitan Areas Average Salary for RNs
Cleveland-Elyria $74,900
Cincinnati $72,400
Akron $71,340
Lima $68,680
Springfield $68,650
Source: BLS

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Ohio

Prospective nurses in Ohio must graduate from a nursing program approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing. Next, they must pass the NCLEX for RNs (NCLEX-RN) before applying for state licensure.

Once the Ohio Board of Nursing accepts the candidate's application, the individual must complete state-mandated fingerprinting and pass a background check.

RNs are required to fulfill continuing education requirements to maintain their license and work in Ohio.

RN Requirements

To become an RN in Ohio, candidates must complete the following steps:

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Requirements

Prospective APRNs in Ohio must complete the following steps:

  • Applicants must hold an unencumbered RN license before applying for APRN licensure.
  • Candidates should attend an accredited nursing program to earn a master of science in nursing (MSN) or a doctor of nursing practice. Both degrees qualify graduates to take an approved certification exam.
  • RNs must pass a certification exam in a state-recognized specialty before seeking APRN licensure.
  • APRNs should complete 24 continuing education hours every two years for each license held.
  • The Ohio Board of Nursing also requires professionals with certain nursing specialties to complete at least 12 of those continuing education hours in advanced pharmacology.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing in Ohio


How long does it take to become an RN in Ohio?

The amount of time it takes to become an RN in Ohio depends upon the prospective nurse's education path. Most spend two years earning an ADN or four years completing a BSN. Part-time study can extend graduation time lines for both degrees.

Direct-entry graduates are students who hold a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field and want to earn an MSN. They often complete accelerated programs in 15-36 months.

Is Ohio a good state to be a nurse?

While Ohio nurses earn slightly lower salaries compared to their counterparts in the rest of the country, the state's low cost of living makes it an affordable place to live and work.

Ohio is projected to face a significant surplus of nurses over the next decade. However, the state needs APRNs who specialize in areas like midwifery and anesthesia. Nurses who wish to work in Ohio should focus on an in-demand specialty.

How much does nursing school cost in Ohio?

The cost of nursing school in Ohio varies depending on the program and institution. Along with tuition, learners should calculate the potential costs of transportation and/or room and board, books and supplies, and fees.

An RN-to-BSN program at Ohio State University costs around $16,000 for Ohio residents and $17,000 for out-of-state students. An MSN at Kent State University costs between $18,000 and $22,000.

How much does a new RN Make in Ohio?

According to data from the BLS, the bottom 10% of all RNs nationally earn $59,450 a year, while the top 10% of earners make over $120,00 annually. However, Ohio RNs typically fall below national figures.

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