The nursing field is distinct in that it includes scientific knowledge, technical expertise, and a seasoned intuition. Current registered nurses who are seeking to expand their practice may want to consider a bachelor of science in nursing degree. The RN programs in Ohio are expanding and offering a seamless route towards advanced practice nursing. There has been an ongoing debate and proposed legislation that would require all registered nurses to seek out higher education and obtain an RN or BSN. The Institute of Medicine has requested that the nursing profession achieves 80% baccalaureate preparation by the year 2020. There are many benefits that can be gained from earning a BSN degree in terms of long-term success and security in the nursing industry.

In our Ohio RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Ohio RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of Ohio, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Ohio RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs4941
Average NCLEX Passing Rate80.58%85.82%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range39.07% to 94.77%76.11% to 97.59%
Average Net Price$13,001.21$19,337.28
Average Net Price Range$3,137.00 to $32,312.00$8,419.00 to $28,182.00
Average Student Loan$12,735.56$20,380.20
Average Student Loan Range$4,666.00 to $23,500.00$10,500.00 to $27,000.00
See Additional DetailADN Rankings for Ohio StateBSN Rankings for Ohio State

Best Ranked RN Programs in Ohio

Best Ranked RN Programs in OhioTo help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Ohio and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 40 ADN degree programs and 33 BSN degree programs in Ohio. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Ohio to provide our state rankings. View our methodology

OH Rank
US Rank
Offered As:
97.77 ADNWashington State Community College144 MariettaPublicCampusSee School Details
97.66 ADNAultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences249 CantonPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusACEN, CCNESee School Details
95.73 ADNEdison State Community College3120 PiquaPublicCampusACENSee School Details
94.43 ADNNorthwest State Community College4173 Archbold

Northwest State Community College is located in Archbold, Ohio.  They offer an RN program and an LPN to RN program.  While the RN program is available only at the Archbold campus, the LPN to RN program can be found at both the Archbold campus and the Van Wert campus.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.43 ADNOhio Valley College of Technology5224 East LiverpoolPrivate For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
93.05 ADNCentral Ohio Technical College6238 NewarkPublicCampusACENSee School Details
92.70 ADNGalen College of Nursing7259 CincinnatiPrivate For-ProfitCampusACENSee School Details
92.48 ADNLakeland Community College8269 KirtlandPublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.01 ADNOwens Community College9321 PerrysburgPublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.54 ADNCuyahoga Community College District10339 ClevelandPublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.42 ADNOhio University-Main Campus (Athens)11344 AthensPublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
90.15 ADNColumbus State Community College12356 ColumbusPublicCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
88.20 ADNLorain County Community College13426 ElyriaPublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.92 ADNJames A Rhodes State College15479 LimaPublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.80 ADNBelmont College16483 Saint ClairsvillePublicCampusSee School Details
85.65 ADNMercy College of Northwest Ohio17514 Toledo

Mercy College is located in Toledo, Ohio.  They are a college that educates strictly healthcare professionals.  They offer various nursing options – they have both a day and an evening/weekend ADN program, a pre-licensure BSN program and an RN to BSN program, which is offered online.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
85.54 ADNHerzing University - Akron Campus18517 AkronPrivate For-ProfitCampusACEN, CCNESee School Details
84.61 ADNSinclair Community College19535 DaytonPublicCampusACENSee School Details
83.81 ADNTerra State Community College20559 FremontPublicCampusACENSee School Details
83.81 ADNUniversity of Cincinnati-Blue Ash College20559 Blue AshPublicCampusACENSee School Details
83.19 ADNUniversity of Rio Grande21574 Rio GrandePrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
82.45 ADNMarion Technical College22589 Marion

Marion Technical College is located in Marion, Ohio.  They offer an RN program and an LPN to RN program.  They also offer dual degree programs, where the students completes requirements for both their ADN and BSN subsequently; they can choose to complete the dual degree option in conjunction with Ohio State University – Marion or Ohio University.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
82.33 ADNGood Samaritan College of Nursing23592 CincinnatiPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
81.69 ADNThe Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences24603 CincinnatiPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
81.37 ADNNorth Central State College25610 MansfieldPublicCampusACENSee School Details
80.78 ADNFortis College-Cincinnati26616 Cincinnati

Fortis College is located in Cincinnati, although they have many campuses nationwide.  Fortis offers an online RN to BSN option, in addition to practical nursing and ADN degrees at its campuses.  LPNs can also gain entrance into their ADN programs.

Private For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
80.72 ADNStark State College27617 North CantonPublicCampusACENSee School Details
79.26 ADNClark State Community College29637 SpringfieldPublicCampusACENSee School Details
78.48 ADNShawnee State University Dept of Nursing30644 PortsmouthPublicCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
78.27 ADNSouthern State Community College31646 HillsboroPublicCampusACENSee School Details
78.26 ADNHocking College32647 Nelsonville

Hocking College is located in Nelsonville, Ohio.  They offer an LPN program, an RN program and a “PN2RN” option- a nursing transition option.  This allows the LPN entrance into the RN program after a “transition” semester, then joins the RN students for the final 2 semesters.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
74.11 ADNBryant and Stratton College-Akron33674 CopleyPrivate For-ProfitCampusACENSee School Details
69.94 ADNFortis College-Westerville34697 WestervillePrivate For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
69.17 ADNHondros College35698 WestervillePrivate For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
63.70 ADNFortis College-Centerville36705 CentervillePrivate For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
100.00 BSNMuskingum University11 New ConcordPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
97.62 BSNOhio Northern University248 Ada

Ohio Northern University is located in Ada, Ohio.  They offer a BSN program and an RN to BSN completion program.  Their RN to BSN program is just 12 months; students meet once weekly for 4 12-week terms, in addition to two clinical experiences.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
97.57 BSNChamberlain College of Nursing352 ColumbusPrivate For-ProfitCampus, OnlineSee School Details
96.30 BSNMalone University596 CantonPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
95.95 BSNOhio University-Main Campus (Athens)6108 AthensPublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
95.63 BSNOtterbein Nursing Program (Otterbein University)7119 WestervillePrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
94.59 BSNCase Western Reserve University8161 ClevelandPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
93.92 BSNWright State University-Lake Campus10193 CelinaPublicCampus, OnlineACME, COASee School Details
93.79 BSNThe Ohio State University-Main Campus (Columbus)11199 Columbus

Ohio State University is located in Columbus, Ohio.  OSU offers a BSN program and an online RN to BSN program for students with a Diploma inn Nursing or an ADN degree.  OSU’s RN to BSN accepts students into their program twice yearly, Spring and Autumn semesters.

PublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
93.76 BSNUniversity of Akron Main Campus12201 AkronPublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
93.47 BSNThe Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences13215 CincinnatiPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
93.16 BSNCleveland State University14232 ClevelandPublicCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
93.06 BSNCapital University15235 ColumbusPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
92.99 BSNWalsh University Gary And Linda Byers School of Nursing16237 North Canton

Walsh University is located in North Canton, Ohio.  The Byers School of Nursing offers a pre-licensure BSN program, an accelerated BSN program and an RN to BSN program.  They also offer an RN to MSN program; this program is offered in a hybrid format.  Students may elect to return to the RN to BSN program at any time.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
92.96 BSNBaldwin Wallace University17239 Berea

Baldwin Wallace University is located in Berea, Ohio.  BWU offers an accelerated BSN program; this program is offered to students with prior college credits.  Their program is designed to be completed in 12 months, 3 semesters.  It is described as intense and students are advised that they will have little time for working during this timeframe.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
92.55 BSNKent State University18249 KentPublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
92.24 BSNUrsuline College19259 Pepper PikePrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
92.09 BSNMount Carmel College of Nursing20267 ColumbusPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
90.85 BSNUniversity of Toledo-Bowling Green State University21307 Bowling GreenPublicCampus, OnlineACME, COASee School Details
89.69 BSNUniversity of Cincinnati-Main Campus23335 CincinnatiPublicCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
88.37 BSNUniversity of Toledo24368 ToledoPublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
88.37 BSNKettering College24368 Kettering

Kettering College is located in Kettering, Ohio.  Kettering College is located at Kettering Medical Center and educates healthcare professionals.  They offer several BSN programs – a prelicensure program, an LPN to BSN program, an online bachelor completion program, which is designed for the working RN who holds their associate’s degree.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineSee School Details
86.57 BSNMount St Joseph University25418 CincinnatiPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
85.68 BSNCedarville University27430 CedarvillePrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
85.35 BSNYoungstown State University28437 YoungstownPublicCampus, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
84.77 BSNFranciscan University of Steubenville29448 Steubenville

Franciscan University of Steubenville is located in Steubenville, Ohio.  Franciscan University is a Catholic university where students integrate Catholic studies with their academic studies.  Their nursing department seeks to educate their nurses to treat the whole patient holistically.  They offer a BSN program, an RN to BSN program, an LPN to BSN program and an RN to MSN program.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
83.98 BSNXavier University30454 CincinnatiPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
82.74 BSNMount Vernon Nazarene University31467 Mount VernonPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
81.06 BSNHiram College33481 HiramPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
80.19 BSNNotre Dame College34487 ClevelandPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
74.90 BSNMercy College of Northwest Ohio35513 Toledo

Mercy College is located in Toledo, Ohio.  They are a college that educates strictly healthcare professionals.  They offer various nursing options – they have both a day and an evening/weekend ADN program, a pre-licensure BSN program and an RN to BSN program, which is offered online.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
74.42 BSNLourdes University (Lourdes College)36515 SylvaniaPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details

Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Ohio

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Ohio

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Ohio offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties: Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Ohio  RN Licensing Requirements

Ohio State Board of Nursing 17 South High Street, Suite 400 Columbus, OH 43215 (614) 466-6940 Fees: Initial licensing fee, RN: $75 License renewal: Not listed on web site Continuing Education Requirements: RNs and LPNs: 24 contact hours per renewal period

RN Licensure by Exams

At the conclusion of a nursing program, the director or dean will send a letter to the Ohio Board to verify that the educational requirements have been met. The candidate will be required to pass a licensing exam and submit a criminal background check. Candidates are required to have their fingerprints completed through the approved vendor, Webcheck. There is a $75 application fee that will accompany the $200 fee that is required to register with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX exam. When the candidate has received authorization to test (ATT) he/she can schedule the computer-based test.

RN Licensure by Endorsement

Candidates who have been licensed in one of the other fifty states can apply for Ohio licensure by endorsement. There will be a background check required and may request fingerprint cards if he/she lives outside of Ohio. Official license verification must be sent to the Ohio Board.

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

Candidates who were educated outside of the United States and are seeking licensure must first submit a credential evaluation from CGFNS. If not in English, a transcript must be translated. International candidates are required to show evidence of completing an English proficiency exam unless the school was in an English speaking country. The only exception to this rule is graduates from the providence of Quebec, Canada.

RN Salaries in Ohio

There are many schools for nurses to attend in order to obtain higher education. Schools are designed to meet the need of busy, working nurses. Registered nurses who seek out higher education are often picked over nurses who have not obtained a bachelors degree. This is because they are better prepared to work in the constantly evolving industry. Nurses are commonly employed in clinics, schools, laboratories, and hospitals and form a large section of the health care industry. The state employed approximately 124,400 registered nurses and the mean salary is $61,750.

Ohio Registered Nursing Salaries

There are more registered nurses employed in Cleveland than any other metropolitan area in Ohio. Cleveland also has the highest hourly mean wage and annual median wage.
Area nameEmploymentHourly mean wageAnnual median wage
Akron, OH7,400$30.38$63,940
Canton-Massillon, OH3,950$28.27$57,440
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN23,570$30.45$61,820
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH29,080$31.46$65,270
Columbus, OH23,390$31.29$62,440
Dayton, OH10,210$29.22$59,360
Lima, OH1,760(8)-(8)-
Mansfield, OH1,160$28.59$58,580
Sandusky, OH740$27.81$57,170
Springfield, OH980$28.29$59,330
Steubenville-Weirton, OH-WV1,360$30.23$62,290
Toledo, OH7,870$28.73$58,650
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA4,670$26.94$55,550
West Northwestern Ohio nonmetropolitan area3,140$26.45$55,070
Other Ohio nonmetropolitan area4,840$27.85$57,570
Eastern Ohio nonmetropolitan area2,480$26.76$55,050
Southern Ohio nonmetropolitan area4,400$27.46$5,595
Source:, 2014 Data