Becoming an RN in Ohio

NursingDecember 14, 2013

If you are planning to become a registered nurse, the "Buckeye State" offers many exciting opportunities. The nursing field in general promises job growth well beyond the national average. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing jobs will increase 26 percent nationwide between 2010 and 2020.

Ohio nursing schools

To become an RN in Ohio, you must first identify which school you plan to attend for your training. Fortunately, many schools offer both associate and bachelor's degrees in nursing. The majority of Ohio's community colleges offer an associate program, and programs for a bachelor's degree in nursing are available at many of Ohio's universities. Accredited online nursing programs are also available.

If you are already an RN with an associate's degree, many Ohio schools offer an RN to BSN program. These programs are streamlined to fast track RNs back into the labor force with a bachelor of science in nursing. The nursing school must be accredited by Ohio's nursing board.

State requirements

Ohio requires an associate degree in nursing. If you graduated from an out of state program, you will need to submit a copy of your diploma, and your graduating school must submit your transcript directly to the Ohio Board of Nursing. To obtain a license to practice in Ohio, you must also complete the following:

  • Verify a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN)
  • Submit a copy of your nursing diploma
  • Submit a passport-style, head shot photograph
  • Pay a non-refundable $75 application fee
  • Pass a criminal background check

If you are already an RN and plan to relocate to Ohio, you can obtain a license by endorsement. To do this, along with your application and fee, you must also submit proof of having completed a registered nursing program and the appropriate amount of continuing education credits, as well as your license from the state that you are leaving.

Employment prospects

Your chance of finding employment as an RN in Ohio is excellent, especially if you have a bachelor of science degree in nursing. The BLS reports that the southern non-metropolitan area of Ohio is among the top five locations in the nation with the highest concentration of nursing jobs. It also reports that Lima, Ohio, is one of nation's top ten cities with the highest concentrations of jobs in a metropolitan area. Salaries vary depending on a variety of factors, including years of experience, educational background and location.

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