Ohio Nursing Schools
In 2010, Ohio -- like many other states -- was grappling with how to fend off a statewide nursing shortage. According to a report from The Cleveland Foundation that year, 40 percent of Ohio's nurses were expected to leave the workforce between 2010 and 2020. Ohio worked to attract more students to nursing programs in the state. Other states followed suit, and by 2012, Bloomberg reported that for the most part, the national nursing shortage was over. Well, sort of. According to the report, experts fear states will struggle to meet new health care demand as more Baby Boomers enter the system. Douglas Staiger, an economics professor at Dartmouth College, said that by 2020 and beyond, the U.S. could face a larger nursing shortage than ever before.
Whatever is happening in the national nursing market, prospects remain promising for nurses in Ohio. In 2012, the Ohio Department of Family and Job Services published the Buckeye Top Fifty, a list of some of the state's highest-wage, most in-demand occupations for the period between 2010 and 2020. Registered nurses (RNs) made the cut. Registered nurses also topped another ODFJS list published the same year, which disclosed the careers that ranked above the 75th percentile for average earnings, growth and job openings. Licensed practical nurses, meanwhile, ranked among the occupations in Ohio offering the highest annual projected job openings for the same decade. Ohio, it seems, needs nurses after all -- and that means it needs more nursing school graduates.
Nursing schools in Ohio
Ohio nursing schools offer a number of different types of programs and credentials. Which programs students choose can depend on a number of factors, including their personal career goals, and any prior education or experience. The following represent some of the most common types of nursing programs in Ohio. Students may be able to complete some of their nursing training online, though due to the hands-on nature of the field, they should expect to complete some lab or clinical work on campus or through a participating teaching hospital. The Ohio Board of Nursing offers additional information about nursing programs in the state. Below are some examples of nursing degree and diploma programs offered in Ohio and elsewhere in the nation:
Nursing Diploma: Some Ohio nursing schools offer specialized diploma programs specifically for LPNs or RNs; while LPN diplomas usually require a year of study, RN diplomas require about two. Some programs even allow students to begin taking courses while concurrently enrolled in high school. Classes cover a number of practical nursing topics plus additional courses in areas like anatomy, physiology or human biology.
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN): Many LPN and RN schools in Ohio offer career-oriented ADN programs. These programs usually take two years or so to complete. Classes combine clinical and classroom training, and cover subjects like anatomy, nursing and nutrition. Future RNs must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN, while LPNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-PN.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): Many nursing students who want to become RNs choose to earn a BSN, which not only exceeds the minimum education requirement for RN licensure, but might also give candidates an edge over lesser-trained career competition. These programs typically take about four years to complete, and include both classroom-based and clinical courses in subjects like biology, anatomy and chemistry. Some schools offer accelerated RN-to-BSN bridge programs designed for students already working as RNs, but who want to advance their educations.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): RNs who have earned BSN degrees, but want to improve their odds of advancement or becoming a clinical nurse leader (CNL) may enroll in an MSN program. These programs usually require at least two years of study, and may ask students to choose a specialty, like neurology or cardiology. Some schools offer BSN to MSN bridge programs for those who have already earned their BSN degrees. According to the Ohio Board of Nursing, MSN Direct Entry MSN Programs are designed specifically for students who want to enter the nursing field, but whose bachelor's degrees are in an unrelated field. As of 2013, a handful of nursing schools in Ohio offer online MSN degrees.
Nursing careers in Ohio
There is a good reason why Ohio offers so many different types of nursing programs: Ohio residents can pursue many different types of nursing careers. Here are a few of the most common.
LPN: Licensed practical nurses usually work under the direction of an RN to provide basic nursing care. They may take and record patient vitals, help patients bathe and dress, monitor patients' progress, and change bandages and other dressings. LPNs usually work full-time in hospitals, physicians' offices, nursing homes or outpatient care centers.
RN: Registered nurses must complete more education before entering the field, so tend to have more responsibility than LPNs. For instance, RNs can often administer medications or other treatments, coordinate patient care and educate patients and their families. Like LPNs, RNs usually work full-time. Most work in hospitals, but some work in physicians' offices, outpatient centers or extended living homes.
CNL: According to The Ohio State University, clinical nurse leaders are generalists who provide and manage comprehensive patient care. Most specialize in a specific area of health care, like medical-surgical nursing, obstetrics or pediatrics. CLNs must be licensed by the Commission on Nurse Certification to practice.
The employment outlook for nurses is faster than the national average. LPN employment nationally is expected to grow by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Similarly, RNs have a projected growth rate of 26 percent during this same time period.
Nursing salaries vary according to the specific position and required level of education. For example, the BLS reports that licensed practical nurses had a mean annual wage of $42,400 in 2012, while registered nurses earned a mean annual wage of $67,930 during the same year. Nurse practitioners earned an average yearly salary of $91,450 in 2012.
"Cleveland Foundation Receives Grant to Address Nursing Shortage in Ohio," The Cleveland Foundation, August, 2010
"Nursing Shortage Is Over in U.S. Until Retirement Glut Hits," Bloomberg, May, 2012
"Buckeye Top Fifty: 2010 -2020," Ohio Department of Family and Job Services, 2012
"2010-2020 Occupational Trends," Ohio Department of Family and Job Services, 2012
"Registered Nursing Education Programs," Ohio Board of Nursing, May, 2013
"Practical Nursing Education Programs," Ohio Board of Nursing, May 2013
"Clinical Nurse Leader," The Ohio State University
"Commission on Nurse Certification," American Association of Colleges of Nursing
"Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses," Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
"Registered Nurses," Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
"Occupational Employment Statistics: Registered Nurses," Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
"Occupational Employment Statistics: Licensed Practical Nurses," Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
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