How to Get an Associate Degree in Nursing in the Buckeye State

NursingDecember 23, 2013

Ohio is an excellent state to pursue a registered nursing degree. If you have questions about how to get your associate degree in nursing in Ohio, here is a basic overview of what to expect.

Why would you want to get an associate degree in nursing? An associate degree program is typically shorter than the bachelor's program in nursing by about two years. They are also typically less expensive in regard to tuition costs. An associate degree will allow you to take the NCLEX-RN exam sooner, and get your license to begin working as a nurse.

Aspiring nurses in Ohio will need to have a high school diploma or GED before beginning the application process for RN programs.

Then, seek out the programs for you which you would like to apply. Programs vary in length, cost, and application processes, so don't be afraid to be nosy and ask a lot of questions! Many schools will require that you speak to a counselor to help you determine what steps you personally need to take.

When you speak to a counselor,  he or she will let you know what prerequisites you need to complete to be considered for the program. These can include nutrition, basic biology, anatomy, physiology and algebra. Some prerequisites can be fulfilled by your high school courses, so you will need to provide a transcript. With that transcript, some programs have a minimum GPA requirement, usually above a 2.5, to show that you are academically up for the challenge of nursing school.

Also, associate degree programs may require an entrance test. This test is to measure your reading comprehension, math, anatomy and scientific reasoning. A passing score is needed to get into the program. Some tests used by Ohio nursing programs are the HESI, the ACT compass or the TEAS. Find out which test is required by the program of your choice. A good score can mean the difference between attending the program and retesting to get a better score.  

A background check and fingerprinting will also be required for you to attend nursing school, because you will be working with vulnerable populations in your clinical education. Expect to pay about $60 for this service. 

When you have been accepted to your RN program, Ohio has a great program for nurses called the Nurse Education Loan Assistance Program, or NEALP. This program helps to ease some of the costs of attending nursing school. It comes in the form of a loan that is canceled after working as an RN in Ohio for five years. According to the website, in 2012, the award was for $1,500 per academic year. This program will not pay for all of nursing school, but it is significant enough to see if you qualify.

Good luck on your journey to become a registered nurse! There are many associate degree nursing programs in Ohio. Take some time to figure out which one is right for you.

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