Registered nurse ranked among the top five occupations with the most annual job openings in Ohio, a 2010 state report found. The “high prospect occupation” was projected to grow by about 21,000 jobs, or 17.7% percent, from 2008-18.
That would take total RN employment statewide to nearly 140,000, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services report.
At the national level, the employment rate for RNs is expected to increase 26% between 2010 and 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in its Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition.
The average salary for RNs in Ohio in 2011 was $52,050, an annual survey by Advance for Nurses found. By comparison, the BLS reported the national average for RNs was $64,690 in 2010.
For several years, advocates and professional associations in the Buckeye State have been highlighting the need for more nurses.
“Ohio, like most states, is facing a shortage of nurses that is predicted to worsen as the population ages and its care needs intensify,” the Ohio Nurses Association noted in a 2008 report. “While demand is on the up-swing the supply of nurses is shrinking.”
Running parallel to an aging patient population is an aging nursing workforce. Nurses age 50 or older were expected to account for more than 40% of Ohio’s RN workforce by 2010, the state nurses association found.
Several other factors have been cited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing as compounding the nursing shortage, including: nursing schools are failing to keep pace with enrollment demand; and federal legislation is likely to swell by millions the number of Americans receiving healthcare services.
The Ohio Nurses Association has suggested a number of strategies to address the state’s RN shortage. Among them: boost the capacity of nursing education programs by developing online courses and other distance learning options.
That mirrors national efforts.
The Institute of Medicine has called for the proportion of nurses with bachelor’s degrees to increase to 80% nationally by 2020. The national institute’s 2011 report pointed to online learning and RN to BSN degree programs as ways to help reach that target.
Ohio Nursing License Requirements
Ohio requires RNs to successfully complete an approved nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to be licensed.
RNs who have a valid and current license in another U.S. state can apply for licensure by endorsement in Ohio if they have completed an approved nursing program and passed the NCLEX-RN or the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE).
RNs must complete 24 contact hours of continuing education (CE) credits during each two-year licensure renewal period. However, nurses licensed by endorsement in Ohio for a year or less must complete 12 CE hours during their first renewal.
For all RNs, at least one hour of CE during each renewal period must be related the Ohio Nurse Practice Act and the rules of the state Board of Nursing.
Ohio Board of Nursing
It’s important to note that nursing licensure requirements and fees can change. For the most up-to-date information contact the Ohio Board of Nursing at:
Mailing address: 17 South High Street, Suite 400, Columbus, OH 43215-3413
Phone: (614) 466-3947