Becoming a Nurse in Ohio
To become a nurse in Ohio, you need to study nursing and prove your knowledge to the Ohio Board of Nursing. This agency governs licenses for all nursing professions, including licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). The Department of Health regulates State-Tested Nurse Aides (STNAs), commonly called certified nursing assistants or certified nurse aides (CNAs) in other states.
Ohio joined the Nursing Licensure Compact in 2023. This agreement makes it easier for nurses to receive multistate licenses to practice in other Compact states.
COVID-19 and a lack of qualified educators has left Ohio with too few nurses to meet the state's healthcare needs, a situation shared with most U.S. states. Federal lawmakers are taking steps to increase the number of nursing instructors, but graduates will likely face a job market with plenty of opportunities in the short term. However, working conditions may be stressful because individuals will often be expected to do more than in the past.
Read on for licensure requirements regarding each type of nurse and assistant in the Buckeye State.
To learn about online nursing programs and requirements in other states, explore our list of accredited nursing degrees by state below:
Nursing Degrees by State
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
How To Get Nursing Assistant Certification in Ohio
STNA applicants in Ohio must complete the Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP). The training portion consists of both classroom and hands-on skills work, while the evaluation has both written and skills tests.
STNA applicants do not have to have a criminal background check performed as part of the application process, but employers 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.
STNAs need to maintain their certification by meeting ongoing work requirements. This involves having an approved person from their place of employment submit a form on the STNA's behalf.
How To Get a Practical Nurse License in Ohio
Many LPN applicants use the licensure-by-examination path. This requires applicants to complete a board-approved LPN education program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for practical nursing, called the NCLEX-PN. Testers who don't pass must wait at least 45 days before trying again.
LPNs can also receive licensure by endorsement. This involves verifying that they have an LPN license in good standing from another state.
LPNs must renew their licenses between June 1 and October 31 every even-numbered year. Renewal requires verification of 24 hours of continuing education credits.
How To Get a Registered Nursing License in Ohio
The first step to becoming an RN in Ohio is by earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited school. Licensure-by-examination candidates must then pass the NCLEX-RN, while endorsement applicants submit proof of licensure in another state. Both sets of candidates then complete a background check.
RNs need to renew their licenses every odd-numbered year between June and October. They must take at least 24 hours of continuing education to qualify for renewal.
How To Get an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse License in Ohio
An APRN applicant must be a licensed RN in Ohio with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The Ohio nursing board recognizes four APRN specialties: nurse practitioner (NP), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and certified nurse midwife (CNM). Aspiring APRNs must submit proof of a nursing certification in their specialty as part of the application process.
Each specialization has different requirements for licensure. For example, CNSs, NPs, and CNMs must have completed 45 contact hours of training in advanced pharmacology within the past five years. CRNAs don't don't require this ongoing education because they don't have prescriptive authority in Ohio.
Renewal for APRNs in Ohio occurs every odd-numbered year. All APRNs have to complete 24 hours of continuing education in order to renew. Twelve of these hours must be in advanced pharmacology topics for each specialty other than CRNAs.
APRN hopefuls can read Guide to Online Nurse Practitioner Degrees, How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist, or 2023 Best Online Nurse Practitioner Degree Programs if they're considering these specialties in Ohio.
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