Top 10 Best Nursing Schools in Ohio

16 Min Read Published May 29, 2024
Lighthouse overlooking the lake in Ohio

Looking to become a nurse in Ohio? Nurse.org put together a list of the top nursing schools in Ohio to help you choose the right program for you.

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Top 10 Nursing Schools in Ohio 

Not only will these schools satisfy the requirements to become a registered nurse in Ohio, but they also have connections with local hospitals, increasing your chances of finding a job right out of college.

This is a nurse panel-reviewed selection based on a number of factors, including,

  • Reputation
  • NCLEX pass rate
  • Tuition
  • Acceptance rate, when available
  • Only ACEN or CCNE accredited schools are eligible 

Our selection panel includes 5 Registered Nurses with over 55 years of combined nursing experience and 7 nursing degrees.

  • Tracy Everhart, MSN, RN, CNS
  • Tyler Faust, MSN, RN
  • Chaunie Brusie, BSN, RN
  • Kathleen Gaines MSN, RN, BA, CBC
  • Leah Helmbrecht, BSN, RN

Because nursing careers take different forms, the top 10 Ohio nursing schools are ranked in no particular order.

In-State Tuition
$61,040 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$61,040 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Not only is this one of the top BSN programs in the nation, but Case Western Reserve University also puts students on a nursing fast track. Nursing classes and clinicals begin in the first month of freshman year for nursing students, so you’ll get exposed to nursing very early on.

The price is steep, but Case’s nurses graduate with over 1,300 clinical hours, an exceptionally high NCLEX pass rate, and an excellent undergraduate education. Case Western also offers a wide variety of MSN/NP programs that students interested in advancing their degrees will find impressive. Oh, and you’ll get to enjoy living in Cleveland, one of the biggest cities in Ohio. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 27%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 5%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $2,544
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $2,544
Contact Information:
  • Address: 10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 93%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $60,045

 

In-State Tuition
$36,390 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$36,390 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
Yes

Ursuline is a small, private school in Pepper Pike that specializes in liberal arts programs, business, and, most importantly, nursing. The traditional BSN matches the quality of other great schools, but Ursuline prepares their students for life after college by sending them to national conferences for networking and real-world nursing education while also focusing on holistic, value-based education.

After finishing their degree and passing the NCLEX, 100% of their nurses find work – a great prospect for anyone worried about finding a job after college. Nursing program graduates are recruited into top positions at research hospitals in Cleveland. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 6%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,213
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,213
Contact Information:
  • Address: 2550 Lander Rd, Pepper Pike, OH
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 69%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $55,964

 

In-State Tuition
$13,352 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$23,720 per year
Accreditation
CCNE, ACEN
Online?
Yes

Ohio University* may be a public school, but its 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio can make it feel much more like a small, private college. This means that extra attention is paid to students, a huge bonus for students interested in earning a BSN.

The tuition rate for Ohio residents is great, but a major downside is that clinicals aren’t available in Athens, where Ohio University is located. This means you’ll need to commute to different cities for clinicals; fortunately, they aren’t too far away.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 87%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 26%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $630
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,139
Contact Information:
  • Address: 020 Chubb Hall, Athens, OH
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $62,463

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

In-State Tuition
$11,498 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$26,862 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
Yes

Nothing beats tradition and history, and the University of Cincinnati has both. As one of the first ever schools in the US to offer a BSN*, Cincinnati has one of the most established nursing programs in the nation.

The university offers one of the best BSN programs in Ohio, all at a very reasonable in-state cost. This is an excellent school for students interested in a career related to pediatrics or trauma. It partners with a Level I trauma center, Level III obstetric unit, the nation's No. 3 pediatric hospital, and multiple outpatient surgery centers and community hospitals for clinical rotations.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 86%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 21%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $444
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,083
Contact Information:
  • Address: 2624 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 86%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $57,318

 

In-State Tuition
$33,400 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$33,400 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

The University of Mount Union, often referred to as Mount, takes a lot of the stress out of applying to colleges and nursing schools. Students will find out if they’ve been accepted into the nursing school upon being accepted into Mount, making the process of picking the right school that much easier. Mount’s first-ever nurses graduated in 2017, so this program is relatively new.

That being said, all of their graduates have passed the NCLEX (some on the second attempt), something that not every school can boast. Also, the University of Mount Union’s direct-entry Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program was recently ranked as the best prelicensure BSN program in Ohio for 2021 by Nursing Schools Almanac.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 3%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,440
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,440
Contact Information:
  • Address: 1972 Clark Ave., Alliance, OH
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: N/A

 

In-State Tuition
$15,345 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$15,345 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences is exactly what it sounds like – a nursing and health sciences school. They’re among the best at their specialty, too. The traditional BSN program has affordable tuition for students from across the nation.

Despite the tuition already being very affordable, 100% of students in 2021 received some financial aid. The final year of clinicals can be intense, but the outcome is a nationally recognized nursing school degree. For current RNs, their RN-BSN program can be completed in just three semesters, which can be as little as one year if you choose to study during the summer.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 71%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 16%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $462
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $462
Contact Information:
  • Address: 2139 Auburn Avenue, Cincinnati, OH
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 68%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $60,265

 

In-State Tuition
$33,824 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$33,824 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
Yes

Founded by the Church of the United Brethren, Otterbein University has always been one of the most inclusive schools in the nation. While inclusivity doesn’t directly affect the quality of their BSN program, the culture permeates through all of Otterbein’s programs.

Regardless, this is an excellent nursing program. Admission can be tough, but some high school applicants can gain guaranteed admission into the nursing school. Guaranteed admittance comes with its own set of requirements. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 84%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 2%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $608
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $608
Contact Information:
  • Address: 1 South Grove Street, Westerville, OH
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $59,858

 

In-State Tuition
$12,600 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$12,600 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
Yes

Mount Carmel College of Nursing is a private school, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at their nursing program. Over 1,000 undergraduate nurses currently study at Mount Carmel, which means it can be easier to get into than more restrictive programs.

Despite the high attendance, the BSN is still among the best in Ohio, and they have connections with local health systems that nursing students can take advantage of. As a private school, no in-state tuition is available, but 80% of students receive some form of financial aid.  Students also get to utilize Mount Carmel Health System’s state-of-the-art $1.1 million Center of Innovative Learning to practice real-life skills on computer-driven, high-fidelity human patient simulators. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 63%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 36%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $812
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $812
Contact Information:
  • Address: 127 So. Davis Ave, Columbus, OH
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 68%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $60,630

 

In-State Tuition
$11,525 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$35,762 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Ohio State University is consistently ranked as one of the best public schools in the nation and is often considered the best all-around school in Ohio. Unsurprisingly, the quality of OSU extends to their traditional BSN degree. While they aren’t perfectly clear with their acceptance rate, the majority of applicants from last year’s pre-nursing track were admitted into the school of nursing.

Ohio residents also get to take advantage of a low tuition rate – but it’s safe to say that anyone living in Ohio has already seriously considered OSU. OSU also offers its global experience initiatives to nursing students allowing them to study abroad in either Cyprus, Honduras, Norway, or the United Kingdom while still staying on track towards their nursing degree.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 6%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $480
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,490
Contact Information:
  • Address: 190 N. Oval Mall, Columbus, OH
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 93%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $60,399

 

In-State Tuition
$16,200 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$16,200 per year
Accreditation
CCNE, ACEN
Online?
No

The Toledo-based Mercy College of Ohio is currently experiencing growth, and they’ve been increasing the number of students they admit into their pre-licensure nursing program. This is excellent news for any applicants who are worried about tight admission standards. Mercy College is also a private Catholic school, so students can take advantage of smaller class sizes. One great aspect of Mercy College is that they have a relatively low tuition rate despite being a private school.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 46%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 39%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $540
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $540
Contact Information:
  • Address: 2221 Madison Avenue, Toledo, OH
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 77%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $60,585

Nurse Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

  • Nurses employed in Ohio make an annual mean wage of $71,640
  • Ohio employs 24.85 nurses for every 1,000 residents

Next Steps

The first step to beginning nursing school is to create a short list of schools that meet your criteria. After, you’ll want to:

  • Get in touch with admissions offices. Every school has an admissions office, and their job is to help you get into their school. The admissions office will tell you what materials are needed to apply, as well as the minimum requirements for both the university and the nursing program. This step could further narrow your list of potential schools.

  • Prepare to apply. Most schools are going to require that you take the ACT, SAT, or both. Many schools also require that you submit at least one letter of recommendation, as well as a personalized college entrance essay. And, of course, you’ll need to submit your high school grades.

  • Submit your applications. Yes, you should be submitting multiple applications to different schools, just in case one school offers you a deal you can’t pass up. Keep in mind that some schools have strict application deadlines. Also, some schools use the Common App, which can be a huge time saver.

Important Considerations When Comparing Schools 

Public or private, large or small, rural or urban, in-state or out-of-state - there are plenty of things you’ll want to consider when picking which school to attend.

If choosing the right nursing school came down to one factor, then nobody would care about the rest. With that in mind, you shouldn’t choose a nursing school just because it has a high NCLEX pass rate or a high acceptance rate. Consider multiple factors prior to choosing your school, including:

  • Annual tuition and nursing program cost
  • Financial aid, scholarships, and grants offered
  • Cost of living on-campus or in the area
  • Distance from hospitals
  • Distance from home
  • School and nursing program acceptance rate
  • Length and type of program
  • Program outcomes (NCLEX pass rate and job placement)
  • School’s accreditation (regional and national)

You should also check to see that schools are offering exactly what you’re looking for. Remember, the program you choose could alter the trajectory of your future nursing career. 

Why you should care about the nursing program’s accreditation

Nursing students who complete their studies at a non-accredited university will not be able to sit for the NCLEX. Therefore, they will face immense challenges in securing stable, well-paying jobs. Why? Because students who do not take the NCLEX are not eligible to work as Registered Nurses. 

The two nursing program accrediting organizations are,

These accrediting bodies ensure that all accredited nursing programs adhere to the same standards and criteria.

Every school on our list is accredited by one of these, as are dozens of other Ohio schools. If you’re unsure whether a school is accredited or not, ask an admissions counselor or contact either of the accrediting institutions. 

Getting a License in Ohio

Ohio isn’t as strict as other states when it comes to getting licensed, and you’ll be able to satisfy most of your needs when you earn a BSN in Ohio.  Ohio is also part of the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC), meaning a nursing license in Ohio is sufficient to be a nurse in 37 other states.

Requirements include:

  • Taking the NCLEX-RN (you’ll be eligible after earning your BSN)
  • Completing a criminal background check
  • Submitting your fingerprints (this step can sometimes be waived)

After passing the NCLEX and submitting your information, you’ll be ready to start your nursing career in the great state of Ohio!

Conclusion 

Ohio is a top employer for nurses, making it an excellent place to begin your nursing career. Ohio is also rich with nursing schools, some of which are among the top in the nation. To become a nurse in Ohio, the best thing to do is earn your BSN through a school in the state. From there, you just need to pass the NCLEX and then find the best place to start working!

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

References:

BLS

Common App

Nursinglicensure.org

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