10 Best RN to BSN Programs in Ohio (Online & Campus) – 2024 Rankings

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Due to the increased demand for well-educated nurses and better patient outcomes across the state of Ohio, many registered nurses with ADN degrees or diplomas are going back to school. RN to BSN programs in Ohio give you credit for courses you have already taken as well as your work experience, allowing you to earn your degree more quickly – and often at your own pace. We have analyzed 29 different online, on-campus, and hybrid options in OH based on NCLEX pass rates, cost, student to faculty ratio, and graduation rates to bring you a detailed list of the top 10 RN to BSN options in the state.

Online RN to BSN Programs in Ohio: What You Need to Know?

If you are working full-time as an RN in Ohio, going back to school may seem difficult and time-consuming. For this reason, you should consider an online RN to BSN program due to its flexibility. You can access your courses from just about anywhere and earn your degree at your own pace, whether you can study just one hour a day or several.

ACEN/CCNE Accredited & Approved by Ohio Board of Nursing: The first thing to consider when choosing where to earn your RN to BSN degree is the school’s accreditation and approval. It should be approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing, and it should also be accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Each of these groups sets very high standards for nursing education.

Coursework: RN to BSN courses in OH build upon what you already learned during your ADN or diploma program but provide more focused and specialized information. For example, you will take courses focused on family, community, and gerontologic nursing. You will also take courses to provide you with foundations in leadership and management.

Sample Courses
Professional Nursing Practice, Health Assessment and Promotion, Family Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, Gerontologic Nursing Care, Diversity, Leadership in Nursing, and Nursing Excellence

Clinical Training: If you are currently employed as an RN in the state, you will likely not be required to participate in unpaid clinicals. Any practicum or clinical experience required in an online RN to BSN program in Ohio can typically be completed via class projects or through your existing employer while you are at work.

Program Length: The length of time it will take you to complete your RN to BSN degree varies based on your school, the program type, and your own personal needs. You may be able to complete it in as little as a year, but some schools in Ohio will allow you three years or more to finish.

Common Admission Requirements: Admission requirements vary, but the more competitive the school, the stricter the requirements will be. For example, at Kent State University, which offers one of Ohio’s best online RN to BSN programs, you will need:

• Proof that you have graduated from an ADN or diploma nursing program approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing;

• Transcripts showing a minimum GPA for that program of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale;
• Completion of required science courses (Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry, and Microbiology) with at least a 2.0 GPA;
• A clear drug screen and background check; and
• An active and unrestricted Ohio registered nurse license.

What are the 10 Best Accredited RN to BSN Programs in Ohio for 2024?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 10 best RN-to-BSN programs in Ohio (Online & Campus).)

1) Kent State University, Kent

Type: Online

Program Overview: Kent University’s RN to BSN degree is known as the “Nursing for Registered Nurses” program, and it’s designed to make it as simple and quick as possible for you to earn your bachelor’s degree. You can choose from full-time or part-time participation, and you never have to visit the school’s campus to graduate. The Kent State name is nationally recognized by some of the biggest and best employers, and you’ll get plenty of individualized attention from their experienced and dedicated advisors, too.

Key Highlights

• This is one of the most flexible programs available in Ohio with start dates every seven weeks through the spring, summer, and fall.
• The National League for Nursing has designated Kent State a Center for Excellence in Nursing Education in the “Advancing the Science of Nursing Education” category. This is proof that Kent State’s teaching is based on evidence and innovation, two things that are necessary for a lifelong career in nursing.

2) Ohio University, Athens

Type: Online

Program Overview: Ohio University at Athens’s School of Nursing offers yet another exciting online program that is designed specifically to help you further your career. Above all else, Ohio University works hard to ensure its programs are accessible, flexible, and innovative. Among your core nursing courses, you will find options like Diversity, Family Nursing, Nursing Excellence, and others that will help you build a solid foundation for a specialization or leadership position. There are eight start dates each year, giving you the opportunity to make the choice that best suits your needs.

Key Highlights

• The program at Ohio University was ranked by Best College Reviews in 2015 as one of the Top 5 Online Nursing programs in the nation.
• Ohio University offers a unique RN to BSN Knowledge Center, which is an online portal that puts everything you need – including access to academic advisors and course facilitators – in one easy-to-access location.

3) Wright State University, Dayton

Type: Online

Program Overview: Wright State University’s completely online RN to BSN program is known across the state of Ohio for providing its distance-learning students with a high level of individualized attention. Here, you can participate in your courses and complete assignments online any time. You can complete the program in as few as 15 months, or you can participate part-time to give yourself plenty of time for your career and your family. The university prides itself on a user-friendly interface that makes accessing courses, assignments, and data as simple as possible.

Key Highlights

• Students who display superior academic capability can participate in an Honors version of the program, which can provide more focused education and the opportunity for further advancement in the future.
• According to RegisteredNursing.org, Wright State University offered one of the “Best RN Programs in Ohio” in 2017.
• Wright State University faculty work to deliver education based on your nursing experience.

4) Cleveland State University, Cleveland

Type: Online, Hybrid

Program Overview: The RN to BSN courses at Cleveland State University is available completely or partially online. The online program can be completed in three semesters thanks to its flexible schedule, and graduates of the program are held in high regard by employers throughout Ohio. You can also take the RN to BSN “Blended Delivery” option via Cleveland Clinic, which requires a 90-hour Role Practicum as you work alongside a mentor to apply the skills obtained during lectures and coursework, some of which are available online.

Key Highlights

• The CSU School of Nursing was founded in 1973 and offers some of the most innovative and cutting-edge research in the country.
• You will be encouraged to become active in the community by joining student organizations, and you may also participate in the school’s annual trip to the Dominican Republic to provide healthcare in underserved areas there.

5) University of Toledo, Toledo

Type: Online

Program Overview: At the University of Toledo, the RN to BSN Program for Registered Nurses takes place completely online. Here, you will be encouraged to learn more about and practice theory-based nursing, which is an innovative approach to promoting better overall healthcare, and you will also take unique courses in US Diversity, Non-Western Diversity, and social sciences. You will have access to four unique study options ranging from one to 2.5 years in length.

Key Highlights

• The University of Toledo School of Nursing enjoys an exclusive partnership with ProMedica, which is a not-for-profit healthcare organization providing services in more than 30 states. This partnership allows for a combined focus on excellence in nursing education and challenges within the industry.
• The University of Toledo was the very first school in Northwest Ohio to offer a baccalaureate nursing program in 1970.

6) Ashland University, Mansfield

Type: Online

Program Overview: Ashland University’s RN to BSN degree focuses on preparing you to further your career as an RN with courses geared toward leadership and management as well as ethics and even politics in nursing. The school is also known for providing a solid foundation for RNs who may later pursue MSN or doctoral degrees. The program is 100% online, and you can enroll either full-time or part-time to suit your busy schedule. It is one of the only programs flexible enough to allow you to take more courses when you have time and fewer courses when you do not.

Key Highlights

• Ashland University’s professors are not only academically prepared for their roles as nursing educators; they are also experienced in real-world nursing settings.
• The school balances both evidence- and theory-based nursing principles to provide you with advanced critical thinking and decision-making skills.

7) Youngstown State University, Youngstown

Type: Online

Program Overview: Youngstown State University offers its RN to BSN Completion Program completely online in a format designed specifically for hard-working nurses. You will complete your coursework, participate in discussions with faculty and classmates, and even complete clinicals via the internet. Modules and objectives are delivered on a weekly basis, and you’ll also work directly with the nursing faculty once each week to ensure your success. You can complete the program in as little as 16 months.

Key Highlights

• You will need to participate in a practicum to graduate the completion program at Youngstown State University. This occurs during your final semester, and you can choose your own location and preceptor.
• You will also participate in a senior capstone project, which you can develop on your own based on a current clinical issue that sparks your interest.
• Graduates of the RN to BSN Completion Program go on to work for Mercy Health, OhioHealth, Akron Children’s Hospital, and Cleveland Clinic.

8) Mount Carmel College of Nursing, Columbus

Type: Online

Program Overview: The Mount Carmel College of Nursing is one of few schools in Ohio dedicated solely to the nursing profession. Its RN to BSN degree can be completed 100% online. The full-time program can be completed in four semesters over the course of 16 months, and there are two part-time programs. Program A lasts five semesters, or 20 months, and Program B lasts seven semesters, or 28 months.

Key Highlights

• Numerous courses in this program have received Quality Matters (QM) certification. This certification is based on a peer-review process and demonstrates that a course meets the organization’s research-based standards.
• Mount Carmel School of Nursing earned the 2018 Best Online Colleges award from BestColleges.com for its RN to BSN program.
• The school is known for its outstanding student support, which includes low student-to-faculty ratios and opportunities for individual guidance.

9) Capital University, Columbus

Type: Campus

Program Overview: Capital University’s campus-based Bachelor of Nursing in Science Completion (BSN-C) option is built around providing adults with a safe and familiar back-to-school experience that fits their busy schedules. Though campus-based, you will be able to choose a flexible schedule with the help of an advisor who will see you through from start to finish. You can expect evidence-based learning with a holistic approach to healthcare with a focus on effective communication, professional practice, and the ability to facilitate transitions.

Key Highlights

• Capital University is unique in that it is an independent university with a Lutheran background and places a great deal of focus on Columbus’s arts and culture scene – even for BSN-C students.
• Columbus, Ohio has been ranked as one of the 10 Best Cities to Start a Career by Time, which means you are likely to find gainful, high-paying employment immediately after graduation.

10) Mercy College of Ohio, Toledo

Type: Online

Program Overview: The RN-BSN Nursing Online Completion Program at Mercy College of Ohio gives you the education you need to provide top-notch healthcare in an ever-changing medical industry. With rolling admissions throughout the year in fall, spring, and summer, and with 100% online course delivery, it will fit your busy schedule. If you opt for full-time enrollment, you could have your bachelor’s degree in a single year, but part-time enrollment is also available. Mercy College balances both arts and sciences in its educational model, training you to make sound clinical choices for people with many different health concerns.

Key Highlights

• Mercy College of Ohio focuses on current issues, challenges, and cutting-edge technology that impacts the medical industry today and will continue to do so in the future.
• The school works to help you better understand the way evidence, research, theory, and practice go hand-in-hand to provide the best possible outcomes.



Latest on Ohio’s Push Towards 80% BSN

The Institute of Medicine has challenged nursing boards in all 50 states to have at least 80% of all its RNs educated at the BSN level by 2020, and while some states have truly taken great strides, Ohio’s percentage of BSN-educated RNs remains quite low. In the 2011 Workforce Memo, only 31% of RNs in the state were educated at the BSN level compared to 46% with ADNs or diplomas. By 2017, 34% of RNs had baccalaureate degrees in nursing, representing a slight increase, but 57% were still educated at either the ADN or diploma program level.

Numerous Ohio schools have begun offering RN-BSN completion programs that are affordable, quick, and flexible, but fewer RNs in the state are taking advantage of them than in other states. If you are considering increasing your education, now is a great time to do so. The demand for BSN-educated RNs here is especially high since studies have proven that RNs with higher education are directly linked to better patient outcomes.

Options to Fund Your RN to BSN in Ohio

Many schools offering RN to BSN courses do so at discounted rates to entice more RNs to participate. Nonetheless, for many nurses, funds are tight and financial assistance is important.

Grants: Federal grants are available to help you pay for your education, and of these, the Pell Grant is by far the most common. It is given to students who display financial need and who can maintain a minimum GPA and attendance record throughout each academic year they receive the grant. To learn more, visit the Pell Grant website, and to see if you qualify, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

Loans: Loans are another excellent choice. You may choose to look into loans available directly from the federal government, such as Sallie Mae loans, and you can check for other options through the US Department of Education. There are loans specific to the state of Ohio, as well, including the Nurse Education Assistance Loan Program, or NEALP, which is funded by the Ohio Board of Regents.

Scholarships: Scholarships are abundant, and some are available directly from Ohio universities offering RN to BSN degrees. Though many are small and pay only about $500, you can apply for and receive more than one. Examples include the Service League Nursing Scholarship funded by the Akron General Medical Center, the Joyce Beatty Scholarship geared toward minority students living in central OH, and the Mary Beth Hayward Scholarship for RNs who are interested in becoming nurse educators. These and others can be found through the Ohio Nurses Foundation website.

Employer Assistance Programs: Finally, your employer may provide tuition reimbursement assistance that can compensate you for some of your out-of-pocket expenses. To learn more about this option, talk to your employer. Work-study programs are also available; in this case, your employer may cover the cost of your program if you agree to work in one of its facilities in an underserved part of Ohio for a set period of time.

6 Advantages of Pursuing an RN to BSN in Ohio

Though being better prepared for your career is always a great reason to move from an ADN or diploma to a BSN degree in Ohio, it’s not the only consideration.

1. Expand Your Knowledge, Skills & Abilities: Though you will receive credit for some coursework, you will also be introduced to brand-new concepts during your BSN program. Things like leadership, management, and gerontology are all common across Ohio, and these things can make you far more valuable to your employer. More importantly, they will help you be at the very center of better healthcare and patient outcomes.

2. Salary Bump: Making the transition from an ADN to BSN degree also comes with a handsome increase in your salary. With an ADN in the state of OH, you will earn an average of $70,670 a year; with a BSN, that climbs by $10,430 to $81,100 a year. Over the course of a 30-year career, that’s a difference of $168,000 – enough to buy a house.

Before RN To BSN After RN to BSN How Much More Will I Earn
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

3. More Job Openings: Now more than ever, employers across Ohio are interested in hiring BSN-educated RNs. This is due in part to the Institute of Medicine’s 80% by 2020 challenge, but it also reflects highly on the organization. The more educated a healthcare center’s staff, the better it can serve its patients. Annually, there are 2,350 job openings for ADN-educated nurses compared to 4,230 for BSN-educated RNs across Ohio.

Ohio Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
Annual Openings for BSN Graduates 4,230
Annual Openings for ADN Graduates 2,350
(Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org)

4. The Outlook is Brighter for a BSN Graduate: Continuing to live and work as an RN in Ohio will become much more promising with a BSN degree. Data shows that between 2020 and 2030, 2,100 new jobs for RNs with ADNs will become available across the state, representing growth of 5.34%. During the same timeframe, 5,620 new jobs for RNs with BSNs will become available, representing much larger growth of 8.16%. This is a reflection of employers’ desires to provide the best possible care.

10 Year (2020-2030) Job Outlook
Employment New Job Growth
2020 2030 Number %
BSN 68,85074,4705,6208.16%
ADN 39,29041,3902,1005.34%
(Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org)

5. Career Advancement: Though being an RN in OH can be incredibly rewarding, you may view it as just one of the rungs on your personal career ladder. Nurses of all sorts are in demand in Ohio, and with your BSN degree, you can move on to become a Charge Nurse, a Chief Nursing Officer, a Director of Nursing, or even a Nurse Educator teaching LPNs in community and technical colleges.

Advancement Opportunities
Charge Nurse Director of Nursing
Chief Nursing Officer Nurse Educator
Clinical Nurse Specialist Nurse Manager
Clinical Research Nurse Nurse Supervisor

6. Post-RN to BSN Study Options: If you’d like to go even further than nurse management and associate-degree level teaching, your BSN is the perfect start to a graduate degree. Many schools in Ohio offer accelerated RN to BSN/MSN programs that substitute graduate credits for undergraduate ones while you earn your BSN, making it easier and faster to earn your graduate degree. With a master’s degree, you could work as an administrator, nurse practitioner, or other specialist and earn up to $124,720. If you go on to get your PhD or DNP, you could work as a professor, a dean, a researcher, and more with a salary of up to $145,610 a year.

Type of Degree Length Roles and Responsibilities Salary
Master’s Degree (MSN/MS)Up to 2 yearsAdministrator, Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Clinical Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist & Nurse Practitioner$88,700 - $124,720
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree4 to 6 yearsAdvanced Practice Registered Nurse, College Faculty, Nursing School Dean, Health System Executive, Researcher, & Senior Policy Analyst$88,700 - $145,610

RN to BSN Programs in Nearby States
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

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