Demands on today’s nursing workforce have increased consistently throughout the years and will continue to do so. These greater demands have resulted in the need for more highly educated nurses.
The state of Ohio has put together the Ohio Nursing Action Coalition to address future nursing needs in the state. The Ohio Board of Nursing reports that currently only 34% of nurses in Ohio have a BSN. The Action Coalition was created to find solutions to the current issues plaguing today’s nursing students, finding ways to make BSN programs more accessible and more affordable.
Educational goals have been established to address the need for BSNs in Ohio including a nursing competency based education model being implemented across the state. The Ohio Action Coalition is poised to receive $150,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of the Future of Nursing State Implementation Program to help ensure the most competent nursing students have access to affordable pre-licensure BSN programs.
RNs are now finding it more difficult to obtain employment in Ohio without a BSN. The BSN has now become the preferred pathway to earning an RN license in order to meet the new standards.
Online and On-Campus BSN Programs in Ohio
While the new BSN standards might seem to be putting stress on today’s current and future nurses, new advancements in education have helped to simplify the educational process. Today’s student nurses now have the ability to choose from online and on-campus programs or choosing a hybrid program that includes both. These choices allow students to have more flexibility in scheduling coursework especially around personal demands and work schedules.
For the student who enjoys a more personal school experience, BSN programs are available on-campus in cities across Ohio, including but not limited to:
- Bowling Green
- West Chester
Prerequisites of BSN Programs in Ohio
Admission requirements for BSN programs vary from school to school but all will require a graduation from an accredited high school or equivalent test out. The programs are highly competitive and require a minimum grade of C+ on all prerequisite coursework and a 3.2 GPA on all collegiate level coursework.
BSN programs in Ohio are typically comprised of general education and nursing specific coursework totaling 121 credit hours. General education courses include the following:
- Human Anatomy
- Introduction to Biology
- General Chemistry
- English Composition
- Introduction to Sociology
- Human Physiology
During the second half of the BSN program students will be taking the nursing specific coursework. These courses typically include the following type courses:
- Introduction to Professional Nursing
- Nursing Care of Adults and Older Adults
- Concepts in Community Health Nursing
- Transition to Professional Nursing
- Introductory to Pharmacology for Nurses
- Nursing Care of Children and Their Families
- Health Assessment
- Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Clinical experience is required to complete a BSN program in Ohio and generally takes place during the senior year of the program. Schools offering the BSN program have affiliations with various clinical agencies allowing students to obtain the experience needed to complete the degree. A few of the hospitals in the area that offer these clinical experiences are:
- Akron Children’s Hospital – Akron
- Cleveland Clinic – Cleveland
- Salem Community Hospital – Salem
- Union Hospital – Dover
Licensing and Exam Process for RN Licensure Candidates in Ohio
Ohio requires that nurses be licensed in order to practice in the state. Before receiving RN licensure, the candidate must first pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Steps to complete the exam and apply for licensing include:
- Apply for license from the Ohio Board of Nursing
- Receive eligibility from Ohio Board of Nursing
- Once accepted, register and pay with Pearson VUE
- Receive Receipt of Registration from Pearson VUE
- Schedule NCLEX-RN exam
- Take necessary ID on exam day
- Receive results from Ohio Board of Nursing approximately 4 weeks after exam
Opportunities for BSN Nurses after Licensure
The Ohio Nursing Action Coalition understands the need for nursing residency programs in the state. Increasing residency programs throughout the state is another goal that the Coalition has implemented with the new BSN standards. These programs help bridge the experience gap for students who have recently graduated from a BSN program. Some examples of hospitals in Ohio that offer such programs are:
- Mount Carmel Health System – Columbus
- University Hospitals Case Medical Center – Cleveland
- Ohio State University Medical Center – Columbus
- Grandview Medical Center – Dayton
Anyone desiring to become an RN should consider the BSN path as the most practical choice. The new IOM standards are only a few years away so now is the time to be prepared for the changes that lie ahead.
Clinics and hospitals are already beginning to require the BSN as a way of meeting these guidelines. Nursing jobs currently available in Ohio that require a BSN include:
- Clinical Educator – Mount Carmel Health, Westerville
- Staff Development Coordinator – HCR ManorCare, Dublin
- Nurse Manager I – Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland