That’s should come as no surprise, since Ohio is home to some of the leading programs in medical education. If you’re the type of person that can empathize with the hurts and pangs of other people and you enjoy helping them, then a career in nursing may be of interest to you. If you hail from the Buckeye State, then pay close attention. Below you’ll find the 10 Most Affordable Nursing Schools in Ohio.
What kind of Nursing degree in Ohio should you get?
If you are interested in a career in nursing in Ohio (or elsewhere), there are two things to know before you search for a nursing program.
First, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently started 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.
Second, the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) database listed 42 colleges and universities as offering bachelor’s-level nursing programs in Ohio.
That means 1) you’ll have 42 options to find a program, and that 2) you’ll have an easier time pursuing more education. We’ve done you a favor and narrowed this list down to just the top 10 programs that offer the most affordable tuition.
If you’re still on the fence about nursing, but interested in the possibilities of online (and affordable) learning, check out our list of the Most Affordable Online Schools.
How much money can you make with a Nursing degree in Ohio?
According to the most recent Ohio Workforce Summary Report, there are 297,000 registered nurses. The hourly mean wage for registered nurses working in the state is $30.19. This roughly translates to $62,800 per year. This number, of course, could increase depending on where and in what capacity you work.
Nursing 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.
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.
Our data and information for the methodology comes from college and university websites, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, and U.S. News and World Report.
See our rankings methodology page.
Average Tuition: $5,173
Miami University-Hamilton is part of the public Miami University System. The 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). This campus offers a child care center and a glass conservatory housing 4,200 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. Sample courses include:
- Therapeutic Communication in Nursing
- Foundations of Professional Nursing
- Health and Physical Assessment
- Community Health Nursing
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. The BSN degree requires a total of 129-130 credits, regardless of track. Clinical experiences are part of the curriculum and take up one or two days per week, depending on study level.
Average Tuition: $5,173
Miami University-Middletown (MUM) is part of public Miami University System. 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. Sample courses include:
- Nursing Care of Children
- Nursing Care of Clients Experiencing Mental Health Disorders
- Health Care Informatics
- Introduction to Nursing Research
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.
Wright State University-Lake Campus
Average Tuition: $5,842
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. Undergraduate nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
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. This BSN degree requires a total of 120 credits for completion and the basic track takes four academic years. Sample courses include:
- Intro to Clinical Nursing
- Family Diversity
- Mental Health
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.
Shawnee State University
Average Tuition: $7,364
Shawnee State University (SSU) offers nursing programs through the Department of Nursing (DON), which is part of the College of Professional Studies. 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. 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
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 receive some financial aid, making some nursing students eligible as well.
Youngstown State University
Average Tuition: $8,317
Youngstown State University (YSU) is institutionally-accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. YUS boasts distribution of over $125 million in yearly financial aid, including over $7.4 million 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 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. Sample courses include:
- Contemporary Nursing
- Health Assessment and Health Assessment Laboratory
- Nursing in the Community
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.
Wright State University-Main Campus
Average Tuition: $8,730
Wright State University (WSU) is part of the public University System of Ohio. Undergraduate nursing programs are offered through WSU’s Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health (CNH). 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 in early 2017.
WSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with three 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. Sample courses include:
- Foundations of Evidence-Based Practice
- Public Health
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.
Cleveland State University
Average Tuition: $9,696
Cleveland State University (CSU), which is part of the University System of Ohio, offers nursing programs through its School of Nursing. The university runs its own TEDx Salon events, which covers various issues. Some in the past have included the importance of hospitals in metropolitan revival and access to quality health care. Other events of interest to nursing students may be the periodic free invite-only professional 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. Sample courses include:
- Fundamentals of Nursing Practice
- Nursing Pharmacology
- Pathophysiology for Nurses
- Medical Surgical Nursing
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
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 second year.
Kent State University at Kent
Average Tuition: $10,012
Kent State University (Kent State) is part of the public University System of Ohio. The university has a number of achievements, including ranking in U.S. News & World Report‘s 2016 Top 100 best national public universities list. It has also been designated a Tree Campus USA winner for nine consecutive years from the Arbor Day Foundation, thanks to its 860+ acres of campus.
Kent State offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with three completion paths. The first is a traditional four-year program for new nursing students. The second is a partially-online accelerated track for second-degree students holding a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. 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. 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
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.
Ohio State University-Main Campus
Average Tuition: $10,037
Ohio State University is part of the University System of Ohio, and is home to the College of Nursing. The university ranked #16 in the 2015 edition of U.S. News & World Report‘s “America’s Best Colleges” list of public universities. In addition, 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.
OSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two 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. Sample courses include:
- 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
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. The campus also boasts a half dozen other health and medicine related clinics, wellness centers, etc. Students who complete either BSN track may be interested in CON’s highly-regarded MSN or DNP graduate nursing programs.
University of Akron Main Campus
Average Tuition: $10,509
University of Akron offers nursing programs through its School of Nursing, which is hosted by the College of Health Professions. 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 completion paths. Track 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. Sample courses include:
- Foundations of Nursing Practice
- Health Assessment
- Nursing Pharmacology
- Nursing of the Childbearing Family
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, while the 2nd-degree track is expected to take four semesters. 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.