If you’re the type of person that can empathize with the pains and hurts of other people and you enjoy helping them, a career in nursing may be of interest to you.

Most Affordable Nursing Schools in Ohio

This is a growing profession – but that’s been true for most of the past few decades. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), indicates a 16% jobs growth for registered nurses alone, for the period 2014 to 2024 – which is higher than the average for all types of careers in the United States.

In Ohio, there are 126,270 registered nurses (data valid as of May 2015), also according to the BLS. The hourly mean wage for registered nurses working in the state is $30.19 ($62,800/ year).

Related: Most Affordable Online Schools

If you are interested in a career in nursing in Ohio (or elsewhere), there are two things to know before you search for a suitable college / nursing school. One, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has an initiative that recommends 80% of more of registered nurses in the U.S. obtain the bachelor’s of nursing degree, or higher, by 2020 — to increase from the 40% level when the initiative was launched. Two, the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) database listed 42 colleges / universities as offering bachelor’s-level nursing programs in Ohio.

What are the most affordable nursing degrees in Ohio?

Whether you are planning an upgrade to your nursing education, or want to enter the profession, this article can aid in your search. It lists the top 10 most affordable bachelor’s of nursing programs in the state of Ohio, by average in-state tuition, as listed in the NCES database. (Note that some programs have been suspended or dropped, and some nursing schools may have closed since NCES published their most recently available data. However, the programs listed below are active at time of publication.)

1

Miami University-Hamilton

Average Tuition: $5,173

Program Website

Miami University-Hamilton is part of the public Miami University System, and gets institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Nursing programs are offered through the Department of Nursing, and the bachelor’s programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Note: The Dept of Nursing spans the Miami University Regionals campuses of Hamilton and Middletown (see next entry). This campus offers a child care center and a glass conservatory housing 4200 square feet of exotic plants/ botanical displays, as well as other amenities and exhibits.

MU Hamilton offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. The Traditional track is for pre-licensure nursing students. If you have an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and current Registered Nurse licensure, apply to the RN completion track. The latter can be take entirely online or in a hybrid format. These programs are the same as for the Miami University Middletown campus.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN, Traditional)
  • RN-BSN Completion Program (hybrid or fully online)

Students in the Traditional track of this BSN will, after graduation, be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN professional licensing exam and, upon success, be designated a Registered Nurse. This is a competitive program, despite MU’s open admission policy, and as such, students should pay attention to application deadlines and complete necessary prerequisite courses. Resources available in the Nursing Resource Centers (NRCs) include low-fidelity mannequins, medical equipment and more, which students will access for clinical preparation. The university also has partnerships with various hospitals and clinical facilities where nursing students can gain clinical experience. The program includes experiences in acute care, healthcare systems, long-term care, pediatrics, rehabilitation and more. Meanwhile, the RN track provides scheduling flexibility to currently working nurses.

This BSN degree requires a total of 129-130 credits, regardless of track. Students in the RN track will receive transfer credits for prior associate’s degree coursework and for maintaining an RN license. Clinical experiences are part of the curriculum and take up one or two days per week, depending on study level. RN track students take 12 courses, two of which are clinical (one project, one in a health care facility).

Sample courses include:

  • Therapeutic Communication in Nursing
  • Foundations of Professional Nursing
  • Health and Physical Assessment
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Nursing Care of Childbearing Family

Campus or HQ: Hamilton, Ohio.

2

Miami University-Middletown

Average Tuition: $5,173

Program Website

Miami University-Middletown (MUM) is part of public Miami University System. It is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Bachelor’s level nursing programs at MUM are offered by the Department of Nursing (co-hosted by the MU Hamilton campus; see entry above) and additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students can balance the demands of an intense course of study with the peaceful, heavily forested surroundings of the campus. Students with children may be interested in the YMCA Children’s Center at the Middletown campus.

MUM offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. New nursing students should apply for the traditional Pre-licensure BSN track. Students who hold an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and have a current Registered Nurse license have the RN completion track.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (pre-licensure)
  • RN-BSN (completion)

As indicated in the MU Hamilton entry, above, students in the pre-licensure track are prepared for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Towards that goal, students learn through a combination of course, a Nursing Resource Center complete with mannequins, and clinical experience at partnered health care facilities.

These BSN tracks are offered through the MU Department of Nursing, which is split over this campus (Middletown) and the Hamilton campus. See the Hamilton campus entry, above, for more information.

Sample courses include:

  • Nursing Care of Children
  • Nursing Care of Clients Experiencing Mental Health Disorders
  • Nursing Care of Older Adults
  • Health Care Informatics
  • Introduction to Nursing Research

Campus or HQ: Middletown, Ohio.

3

Wright State University-Lake Campus

Average Tuition: $5,842

Program Website

Wright State University-Lake Campus (WSULC) is home to the College of Nursing and Health, and is part of the public University System of Ohio. Institutional accreditation is granted by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Nursing programs are offered in collaboration with WSU’s Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health (main campus). Undergrad nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). (See the WSU main campus entry, further below, for additional nursing program details.)

WSULC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with one entry/ completion path. This is a full four-year pre-licensure track for undergrad students new to nursing. The program is small and has limited enrollment, so apply early.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (pre-licensure)

Students take and complete a Nurse’s Aide training course before having access to the first nursing course in the curriculum. The BSN program prepares students to sit for the NCLEX-RN professional Registered Nurse licensing exam after graduation. Eager students can be admitted “directly from high school,” provided that they satisfy specific academic and personal requirements. Note that BSN program in general at WSULC is a small and therefore competitive program. As such, students should apply as early as possible.

This BSN degree requires a total of 120 credits for completion and the basic track takes four academic years. Required nursing courses start in the second year of study and take up 62 credits. Core (general education) courses take up 40 credits, with remaining credits covered Support courses and Electives. This program’s first cohort is expected to graduate in 2019.

Sample courses include:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Intro to Clinical Nursing
  • Family Diversity
  • Mental Health
  • Care of Adults

Campus or HQ: Celina, Ohio.

4

Shawnee State University

Average Tuition: $7,364

Program Website

Shawnee State University (SSU) offers nursing programs through the Department of Nursing (DON), which is part of the College of Professional Studies. Institutional accreditation is provided by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, while the undergrad nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Amenities on campus include a ballroom, cafe, book store, performing arts center and planetarium, amongst others.

SSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. This includes a full pre-licensure track for new nursing students, and an RN degree-completion track for licensed Registered Nurses who hold an associate’s degree in nursing.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (pre-licensure)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN)

The DON’s philosophy of nursing emphasizes the individual as an integrated whole that also includes “family, group, community, or population.” The program is run by faculty who coach and facilitate students in the learning process. Graduates of the pre-licensure track are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN professional Registered Nurse licensing exam. SSU claims that around 95% of students (all disciplines) receive some financial aid, making some nursing students eligible as well. Over over 80% of all SSU students find relevant employment in six months or less after graduation.

Students need to complete 127 credits for graduation. This consists of 65 credits of Required Nursing courses and 40 credits of General Educationi courses. The remaining credits are covered by General Education courses (40 credits) and Electives (three credits).

Sample courses include:

  • Fundamentals of Professional Nursing Practice
  • Pharmacology in Professional Nursing
  • Adult I: Nursing Management of the Adult with Acute Illness
  • Professional Nursing Care of the Child and Family
  • Professional Nursing Care of Childbearing Families

Campus or HQ: Portsmouth, Ohio.

5

Youngstown State University

Average Tuition: $8,317

Program Website

Youngstown State University (YSU) is institutionally-accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Undergraduate nursing programs are offered by the Department of Nursing (DON), which is housed by Bitonte College of Health and Human Services (BCHHS). These programs are additionally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). YUS boasts distribution of over $125M in yearly financial aid, including over $7.4M in annual scholarship assistance. The campus itself, which is in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, claims to be one of the safest in the state, based on the latest Fire and Safety report.

YSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. One track is an entry-level program for new nursing students, while the other track is for those with current Registered Nurse (RN) status and who have already earned an associate’s degree in nursing. An additional option for students who have completed their BSN is the School Nurse Licensure Program, which requires 15-17 credits (four courses and 300 practicum hours). Additional requirements apply. See site for details or contact YSU.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN, entry level non-RN students)
  • Nursing RN-to-BSN (online degree completion program)

Students learn the essentials of the nursing profession through a combination of coursework, clinical experiences and access to the high tech nursing simulation lab. Entry-level BSN program graduates have consistently passed at a higher rate on the NCLEX-RN licensing exam, on average, than the Ohio state and U.S. national averages for the years 2013-2015, with a high of 93.94% pass rate in 2013. Students in the RN track have the flexibility of online courses.

The BSN program has different credit requirements dependent on selected track. The full pre-licensure (non-RN) BSN requires 127 credits for graduation, of which 71 credits are for nursing courses. Clinical hours number 960 in total, and on-campus labs take up 90 hours. The timeline is four years at 14-17 credits per semester. Meanwhile. the RN track requires 120 credits and takes a minimum of 16 months. Required nursing courses account for 26 credits. Clinical hours are conducted in the final semester, and a Capstone project is part of the curriculum as well.

Sample courses include:

  • Contemporary Nursing
  • Health Assessment and Health Assessment Laboratory
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Nursing in the Community

Campus or HQ: Youngstown, Ohio.

6

Wright State University-Main Campus

Average Tuition: $8,730

Program Website

Wright State University (WSU) is part of the public University System of Ohio, and receives institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Undergraduate nursing programs are offered through WSU’s Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health (CNH). These programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The university’s main campus, which boasts a “park-llike atmosphere,” recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Amongst the accolades it has received, its master’s of nursing program ranked 115th of 142 schools in a college review list published by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) in early 2017.,

WSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with three entry/ completion paths. One track is a full program for pre-licensure (new) nursing students. An RN track is designed for current Registered Nurses who hold an associate’s degree in nursing. A third track is Accelerated and ideal for military veterans.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Prelicensure BSN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN Online Completion Program)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN, Veterans/ Accelerated Option)

The pre-licensure and military tracks prepare students towards sitting for the NCLEX-RN professional licensing exam. The military track — reputedly the only one of its kind in Ohio, caters to military medics by factoring their training, as well reducing clinical hours, if necessary, as well shortening the timeline to 20 months. For clinical experiences, WSU has partnerships with 200+ agencies of all kinds (county health departments, day care centers, hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers and more), giving students a wide range of opportunities, as available.

WSU BSN students need to 120 credits to graduate. Credit for prior nursing coursework and licensure will be granted for RN track students. This is an online program requiring 30 credits of upper-division nursing courses and a minimum timeline of 15 months. Students in the prelicensure track will complete around 900 hours of clinical practice and simulation labs.

Sample courses include:

  • Obstetrics
  • Pediatrics
  • Foundations of Evidence Based Practice
  • Critically Ill
  • Public Health

Campus or HQ: Dayton, Ohio.

7

Cleveland State University

Average Tuition: $9,696

Program Website

Cleveland State University (CSU), which is part of the University System of Ohio, offers nursing programs through its School of Nursing. CSU is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The bachelor-level nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).The university runs its own TEDx Salon events, which cover various issues, including the March 31st, 2017, event discussing the importance of hospitals and other “anchor institutions” have in metropolitant revival, plus access to quality health care, etc. Other events of interest to nursing students may be the periodic free invite-only interprofessional health workshops.

CSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with three entry/ completion paths. The first track is a Basic (traditional) program for new nursing students. The second track is an accelerated program for students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. The third track is an online completion program for currently licensed Registered Nurses holding an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Basic/ Traditional BSN)
  • Accelerated BSN (second bachelor’s)
  • RN to BSN (online)

The Basic and Accelerated tracks prepare students to sit for the NCLEX-RN professional licensing exam, and to find roles in nursing as a generalist. Meanwhile, students graduating from the RN track may find advanced career roles, or enter into a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program.

The Basic BSN track runs a typical eight semesters (full-time), while the Accelerated track can be completed in four semesters. The RN track has a one year/ three-semester timeline. In the Basic track, students must complete prerequisites before applying to the School of Nursing. In this track, students take a total of 69 credits of Nursing courses, starting in their Sophomore year.

Sample courses include:

  • Fundamentals of Nursing Practice
  • Nursing Pharmacology
  • Pathophysiology for Nurses
  • Medical Surgical Nursing
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

Campus or HQ: Cleveland, Ohio.

8

Kent State University at Kent

Average Tuition: $10,012

Program Website

Kent State University (Kent State) is part of the public University System of Ohio. It receives institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Nursing programs are offered through the College of Nursing (CON), which are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The university has a number of achievements, including ranking in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Top 100 best national public universities list – for the fifth time in six years. It has also been designated a Tree Campus USA winner for nine conseccutive years, from the Arbor Day Foundation, thanks to its 860+ acres that sport trees and lakes.

Kent State offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with three entry/ completion paths. The first track is a traditional four-year program for new nursing students. The second track is a partially-online Accelerated track for second-degree students holding a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. It is has three cohort options: Daytime, Evening/ Weekend and Weekend. The third track is a completion program for currently registered nurses holding an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. This track can be taken either 100% online, 100% on-campus, or in a hybrid combination.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Accelerated or Second-Degree BSN
  • BSN for Registered Nurses (online RN-to-BSN)

Kent State’s student-to-faculty ratio for undergrad nursing is a relatively low 8-to-1. The BSN program graduates 400+ students each year, and 99.6% of grads find relevant employment in six months or less. The CON has established 350-plus clinical partners, and over 40% of nurses in the workforce in Northeast Ohio graduate from this program.

The BSN program requires a minimum 120 credits, which includes 69 credits for Major (Nursing) required courses in the traditional track. The RN completion track also requires 69 credits in Nursing (upper-division), while the Accelerated track requires 67 credits of Nursing courses. Students in the RN track will receive some credits towards their requirement, for previous nursing coursework and licensure.

Sample courses include:

  • Application of Statistical Findings for Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing
  • Pharmacology and Alternations in Physiological Functioning
  • Foundations of Nursing Intervention
  • Human Growth and Development for Health Professionals
  • Parents and Newborn Nursing

Campus or HQ: Kent, Ohio.

9

Ohio State University-Main Campus

Average Tuition: $10,037

Program Website

Ohio State University (OSU), which is part of the University System of Ohio, is home to the College of Nursing (CON). Institutional accreditation is provided by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, while undergrad nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The university ranked #16 in the 2015 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s (USNWR’s) “America’s Best Colleges” list of public universities.

OSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. One track is for new, pre-licensure nursing students, who first complete lower-division prerequisite courses and apply for the Major. The second track is a completion program for currently-licensed Registered Nurses who have an associate’s degree in nursing.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Students in the BSN program have access to the Wexner Medical Center (WMC) for building their clinical experiences. The center has ranked as one of the best in the country for 21 years, by USNWR, ranking in the 2017 list of Best Hospitals. The campus also boasts a half dozen other health and medicine related clinics, wellness centers, etc. Nearly a dozen of OSU’s graduate programs, including nursing (top 5), ranked in the top 10 of the 2018 edition of USNWR’s list of America’s Best Graduate Schools. Students who complete either BSN track may be interested in CON’s highly-regarded MSN or DNP graduate nursing programs.

For graduation from the BSN program, a minimum of 121 credits are required for the generic BSN. Students will complete one or more years of Pre-Nursing prerequisite courses before entering the generic track, after which they complete 68 credits of required nursing courses. Students in the RN will receive some credit for previously completed nursing coursework and licensure.

Sample courses include:

  • A Nursing Perspective: Life Span Development of Individuals within a Family Context
  • Nursing Care of Adults and Older Adults
  • Introduction to Therapeutic Communication for Health Professionals
  • Cultural Competence in Health Care: US and Global Contexts
  • Concepts in Community Health Nursing

Campus or HQ: Columbus, Ohio.

10

University of Akron Main Campus

Average Tuition: $10,509

Program Website

University of Akron (UA) offers nursing programs through its School of Nursing (SON), which is hosted by the College of Health Professions. The university, part of the public University System of Ohio, receives institutional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Undergrad nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Some of UA’s graduate programs have ranked in 2018 editions of college review lists published by U.S. News & World Report (USNWR). The university recently open a conference with a focus of increasing access to STEM programs for underserved students. As well, the campus is located close to “some of the world’s best medical institutions and medical device companies,” which could have future benefits for students, including for nursing.

Akron offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with four entry/ completion paths. Ttrack one is a traditional four-year BSN for new nursing students. Track two is a completion program (online, or in-person at five locations) for currently-licensed RNs with an associate’s degree in nursing. Track three is for current LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses). Track four is an accelerated 2nd-degree program for students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Second Degree/ Accelerated BSN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (LPN to BSN)

The SON recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and continues to build relationships with health care partners, which benefit nursing students, including for clinical opportunities. Pre-licensure track students (traditional, 2nd degree or LPN) are prepared towards sitting for the NCLEX-RN professional licensing exam, after which they might find nursing roles in health departments, hopsitals and other health care environments.

The traditional BSN track requires 128 credits for graduation and takes four years of full-time study for completion. The LPN track takes up to 2.5 years full-time (excluding prerequisite courses), while the 2nd-degree track is expected to take four semesters (15 months). Students in the RN track can choose part- or full-time study online, or a combination of classroom and distance learning. Credits granted for previous course work and/or licensure vary by track. See site for details or contact UA SON.

Sample courses include:

  • Foundations of Nursing Practice
  • Health Assessment
  • Nursing Pharmacology
  • Nursing of the Childbearing Family
  • Nursing of Adults

Campus or HQ: Akron, Ohio.

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