How to Become a Registered Nurse in Ohio
Nursing is one of the fastest growing fields in the healthcare industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing will continue to accelerate by 18% through the year 2020. That means there will be more opportunities for qualified nurses and additional nursing positions due to the advancement of medical technology and the increased healthcare options such advancements bring. Factor in an aging population living longer and the need for continued healthcare will expand.
Choosing to become a registered nurse (RN) is an ideal choice for someone who is looking for a fast paced career that offers a great deal of challenge while maintaining the ability to render care and comfort to patients. Being a nurse takes a great deal of commitment and dedication, but that commitment and dedication brings personal satisfaction of a job well done.
RN candidates must complete a nursing program approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing (OBON) and take the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and pass with a score of at least 75%. RN candidates are required to earn a minimum of an Associate’s degree in nursing to be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN. The approved nursing program, which is designed to prepare the student to take the NCLEX-RN, will include class work and clinical training. RNs with degrees higher than an Associate’s degree may find employment opportunities with higher salaries.
Once the educational requirements have been met, the nursing graduate is required to register with Pearson VUE Testing Services, the exam administrator and submit an application to test to the OBON. The application will include a criminal background check and fingerprint card, a 2”x2” passport type photograph taken within six months of application submission. The applicant must request a letter of program completion degree earned be sent directly from the nursing school to the OBON. Once the application has been reviewed by the Board, the applicant will receive an authorization to test (ATT), which permits them to schedule the NCLEX-RN. Applicants will be notified of the exam results by the OBON approximately four weeks after the exam. If the applicant passes the exam an RN license will be issued and the license number will be posted on the OBON website within three days of the exam. If the applicant fails, an application to take the test again will be sent. The OBON no longer issues hard copy licenses. RN licenses can be verified online at the OBON website.
RNs are required to renew their license every two years and beginning with the 2014 renewal period, licenses can only be renewed online. RN licenses expire on 31 August of odd number years. RNs are required to complete 24 hours of continuing education hours. At least one continuing hour must be related to Chapter 4723 of the Ohio nurse practice code and rules.
The annual average RN salary in Ohio is $65,000 and the annual average RN entry level salary is $42,000. RN salaries for those in position of responsibility or administration will see an average salary of $93,000. In addition to salary, the compensation package for an RN may include healthcare benefits, life insurance and disability coverage, tuition reimbursement and retirement contribution. RNs can maximize their salary by earning higher degrees, pursing nursing specialties and taking on greater levels of responsibility.
RNs will find employment opportunities in hospitals and nursing homes, rehabilitative and occupational healthcare centers, visiting nurse and hospice organizations, blood collection centers, dialysis units and educational and government facilities. RNs will also find employment opportunities with temporary staffing agencies, traveling nurse agencies, RN call in help centers and insurance companies evaluating medical claims.
Tasks undertaken by an RN are varied and depend on the facility where the RN is employed. Typical RN duties include establishing patient care and treatment plans, observe and record patient behavior, perform diagnostic tests, treat medical emergencies, dispense medication and monitor reaction and progress while on medication and supervise the nursing staff including certified nursing assistants (CNA).
RN Training Programs in Ohio
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