Are you looking to know about the licensing requirements to be a nurse in the state of Ohio? Well, you are on the right page!
Being a nurse is an honorable but challenging profession. On the one hand, you get the satisfaction of helping people and great pay, but on the other is years of study and a lot of hard work afterwards.
Nursing is a broad profession, branching into many different sub-sectors and specializations. In many cases, dealing with a patient’s mental and physical wellbeing comes with the job description of being a nurse.
It stands to reason why there are stringent regulations around licensing and qualifications to work in nursing. But starting from scratch can be daunting, and the plethora of complicated licensing criteria could discourage a young potential nurse from entering this rewarding career.
Luckily, this guide will unpack the requirements and set you on your way to being a nurse in the state of Ohio, whether you want to practice in Columbus or Cincinnati.
State Tested Nursing Assistants (STNAs)
The easiest way to begin a career in nursing is to become a State Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA). STNAs can provide basic care to patients and are typically utilized in nursing homes, hospitals and rehab centers.
STNAs in Ohio must complete 75 hours of training through the Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP). While a background check is not required for the NATCEP exam, some testing sites still may request it. Students must pass a physical and a state-administered competency evaluation test with a passing grade of above 80%. Once you have completed this, you will be placed on the Ohio Nurse Aide Registry.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)
Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) will allow you to do more complex tasks than STNAs. Duties often include:
- Checking blood pressure and inserting catheters.
- Ensuring patients’ comfort by helping them bathe or dress.
- Discussing health care with patients.
- Reporting status of patients to registered nurses and doctors.
You must complete a one-year training course at an approved school in Ohio and pass the NCLEX-PN examination. You will also need a valid CPR card to become licensed and you must submit your fingerprints and pass a criminal background check. Fees are required for both testing and licensure.
Ohio splits LPNs into three categories depending on what jobs they are qualified to perform:
- LPN – This is an LPN who is not authorized to administer medications or perform intravenous (IV) therapy.
- LPN Meds – This is an LPN that can administer medication but not IV therapy.
- LPN M-IV – This is an LPN who has completed the required training and can administer medications and perform limited IV therapy.
Registered nurse (RN)
Registered Nurses (RNs) can oversee the work of STNAs and LPNs with a few years of additional training. RNs can perform many more duties such as administering medication and treatment to patients, coordinating plans for patient care, performing diagnostic tests and analyzing results, and instructing patients on managing illnesses after treatment.
A Registered Nurse (RN) in Ohio must graduate from a program approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN) or the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The candidate will usually complete a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, which has been specially designed to cover various topics such as anatomy, nutrition and chemistry.
At graduation, the school will notify the OBN that the candidate has met the educational requirements and will subsequently sit a National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Candidates must pass the NCLEX-RN, submit fingerprints electronically and pass a criminal background check. You will need to pay separate fees to sit the exam and get your license.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
By this point, you should have a general idea of what path you would like to pursue, and you may consider continuing your nursing journey into specialist areas. Also known as Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs), Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) can typically perform all the duties of a registered nurse as well as jobs that are specific to their specialization. Many go on to run their own clinics and employ RNs and LPNs.
APRNs must have at least a master’s degree to sit for one of the APRN specialization exams. Below are three specialist paths you could take that would result in you becoming an APRN.
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): An FNP works with patients of all ages, primarily focusing on family health.
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP): An AGACNP provides primary care for adults that are experiencing common or chronic conditions and those in acute care situations. You will need your Post-Master’s Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate to practice in Ohio.
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): A PMHNP works with patients experiencing mental illnesses, helping them manage their health through therapy options and prescribing medications.
To practice as an APRN in Ohio, nurses must obtain a Certificate of Authority (COA) from the Ohio Board of Nursing and are required to hold a current, unencumbered RN license in the state. While there will be different requirements depending on your specialization, you can usually get certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Get registered nurse’s insurance Ohio
Nurses may benefit from having many types of nurse’s insurance in Ohio, whether you are an RN employed through a company or an APRN that has opened your own clinic. One of the most common risks that nurses face in the workplace is being named in a malpractice lawsuit. A claim like this can not only be devastating to your professional reputation, but it could also devastate your personal finances.
Malpractice Liability insurance, also known as Professional Liability insurance for nurses, proves coverage for nurse beyond what may be provided by your employer. Your employer’s liability policies may not fully protect you from claims and lawsuits.
Unfortunately, many nurses have found themselves without enough coverage after a malpractice liability claim has been filed against them. An individual Nurse Practitioner Malpractice insurance policy could provide more complete coverage while you work.
Malpractice Liability insurance can help protect you from events such as:
- Misinterpreting a doctor’s instructions and administering incorrect medicines
- Mixing up patient files and administering the incorrect procedure or medicinal treatment as a result
- Leaving a patients alone or unattended for long periods of time
- Giving incorrect patient information during a shift change
BizInsure’s Miscellaneous Medical Liability package is tailored to cover the specific insurance needs of nursing professionals. The package includes Malpractice Liability as well as General Liability, Products and Completed Operations Liability, and Cyber Liability. Each of these types of insurance offers some form of protection against common risk in your profession, providing you with important peace of mind and thorough coverage.
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