How to Become a Nurse in Ohio

Becoming a nurse in Ohio is a rewarding career path that interests many potential students. Colleges in Ohio offer a variety of degree options and training programs to help aspiring nurses with their goals of becoming a certified nurse aide (CNA), a registered nurse (RN), a licensed practical nurse (LPN), or an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Nursing schools in Ohio are nationally recognized and provide nursing students with high-quality clinical experience. The Ohio Board of Nursing regulates nursing licensure in the state of Ohio. The board oversees nearly 300,000 nursing licenses every year, including about 14,000 new licensees each year. However, 30 percent of nurses in Ohio are over the age of 55, meaning that a significant demand for new nurses is expected in the coming years. Registered nurses in Ohio average about $31 per hour on average, which is slightly below average compared to other states.

How to Get Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification in Ohio

Becoming a CNA requires a short training program and certification process that enables CNAs to be certified for employment in long-term care facilities like nursing homes. Unlike other nursing licenses, the CNA certification process is not regulated by the Ohio Board of Nursing. Instead, the Ohio Department of Health maintains the Ohio Nurse Aide Registry.

Applicants must complete a CNA training program and pass a written and skills tests to be placed on the registry. Applicants will then need to maintain their certification by meeting ongoing work requirements. Additionally, In order to maintain an active CNA certification, nurse aides must have an approved person from their place of employment submit a nurse aide registration form.

CNA applicants do not have to have a criminal background check performed as part of the application process, but employers of CNAs are required to perform criminal background checks on all employees. The Nurse Aide Registry also tracks nurse aides who have been convicted of abuse, neglect or other crimes.

How to Get a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) License in Ohio

LPN license applicants must complete a board-approved LPN education program and pass the NCLEX-PN in order to be licensed. If an Ohio LPN license applicant fails the NCLEX, their application will be closed temporarily and they will be able to apply for a new examination date when their allotted time passes. A 45-day minimum wait time is required before retaking the NCLEX.

Applicants are required to send their transcripts with the application. Graduates from an Ohio board-approved nursing program will be allowed to send transcripts electronically, while non-Ohio-based nursing program applicants must have official transcripts sent by the postal service to the Board. Ohio nursing license applicants are expected to pay a $75 application fee.

Foreign-educated applicants must pass an English proficiency test and have their test results sent directly to the board. Foreign-educated applicants who attended universities or colleges in specific countries (as outlined by the Ohio Board of Nursing) do not have to take an English proficiency test.

As of 2017, there were more than 14,000 LPNs licensed in Ohio. The average salary for an LPN in Ohio is $53,000.

How to Get a Registered Nursing (RN) License in Ohio

Becoming a registered nurse (RN) is a popular choice for many students in Ohio. The first step to becoming an RN in Ohio is fulfilling the proper education requirements, either by completing an RN or BSN program.

In order to be an approved RN in the state of Ohio, students must first pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) regulated by the Ohio Board of Nursing. Prior to taking the NCLEX, students must submit their licensure application to the Ohio Board of Nursing and must register for the NCLEX. Students must apply online and be ready to submit an official transcript and complete a background check. If the applicant is in state and from an Ohio-approved nursing school, they can electronically send a letter verifying the completion of the nursing program to the Ohio Board of Nursing. Out-of-state nursing schools must send an official signed and sealed copy of their transcript directly to the Ohio Board of Nursing via the postal service. After completing and passing the NCLEX, applicants can receive an RN license.

There are several other steps that may be necessary for potential RNs. Foreign-educated applicants will be required to pass an English proficiency test. Additionally, if any candidates fails the NCLEX, the application will be temporarily closed and the applicant must wait a minimum of 45 days.

RNs will need to renew their license every two years with the Ohio Board of Nursing and should be sure to keep up to date with continuing education requirements.

How to Get an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) License in Ohio

An APRN applicant must first become licensed as an RN in Ohio before becoming licensed as an advanced practice registered nurse. Ohio advanced practice registered nurse licenses fall under one of four specialties: nurse practitioner (NP), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), or certified nurse midwife (CNM). Each specialization may have different requirements for licensure. Proof of successful completion of an approved nursing program (master's or doctoral) and certification from a national accrediting body within their specialty must be submitted as part of the application process. The Ohio nursing license application fee for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) is $150.

Clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives must have completed 45 contact hours in advanced pharmacology within the past five years because they can prescribe medication. CRNAs don’t have prescriptive authority in Ohio so they don’t require this ongoing education. New applicants who have graduated in the past five years should have these contact hours built into their graduate program. Renewal for APRNs in Ohio occurs every two years.

As of 2017, Ohio licensed about 14,000 advanced practice registered nurses. Pay can vary depending on the practice, specialization and experience of the APRN. NPs average about $90,000 annually. CNMs make about $110,000 annually. CNSs make about $100,000 annually, and CRNAs average about $178,000 a year.