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Top Online Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Programs in Ohio

Online ADN programs in Ohio offer an accessible and affordable entryway into a nursing career. Keep reading to learn about top programs, licensure requirements, and more.

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The nursing field has a wide range of paths you can follow. If you’re looking for an accessible, affordable fast track to a full-fledged career in nursing, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) could be the right path for you. Want to earn your degree in a flexible format? An online program will allow you to go at your own pace and take courses from the comfort of your own home.

Over the course of just two years, these associate degrees provide the knowledge and skills students need to enter the workforce as fully prepared RNs. Better yet, these programs are often designed to accommodate students of all ages and backgrounds, including busy working professionals. In fact, many Ohio schools even provide accelerated ADN programs for those looking to enter the workforce even more quickly.

Ohio is filled with reputable nursing programs that combine flexible online coursework with practical in-person training. In this guide, we’ll highlight key features of top programs, detail the steps to certification, and answer your questions about available programs. Keep reading to get started.

Looking for an online ADN program in Ohio is all about balancing flexibility and quality. Above all, you want your school to have a strong academic reputation. We’ve researched and profiled three programs that check all these boxes, combining hands-on training with digital coursework.

Take a look at the following top-tier online ADN programs to kickstart your search for the perfect program for you.

Columbus State Community College

Columbus State Community College offers a hybrid ADN program that includes both digital and hands-on training. Most courses are taught online while labs must be attended one to two days per week in person at one of the Central Ohio campuses.

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Prospective students can apply for a spring or fall start date and must attend an information session before being fully accepted into the program. Applicants must also have a high school diploma or GED and a GPA of at least 2.6.

Columbus State Community College offers affordable tuition, particularly for in-state residents. The cost breaks down to $177 per credit hour, on average, or $5,338 for a full academic year. Out-of-state residents pay more than double per credit, at $363.92 for each credit hour.

Eastern Gateway Community College

An Associate Degree in Nursing from Eastern Gateway Community College also provides a hybrid learning experience. The degree prepares students to become RNs in hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, and other healthcare settings.

Some online courses are incorporated into the curriculum, but you’ll need to be available for hands-on clinical experiences at local hospitals and other community health offices. This in-person training is vital to Eastern Gateway’s program objectives, which involve preparing students to enter their community workforce immediately after graduation.

The program is approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), an integral part of becoming a qualified RN.

As a community college, Eastern Gateway provides an affordable education experience. Most in-state residents pay $137 per credit hour. Jefferson County residents receive even more of a discount at $131 per credit hour. Even out-of-state residents get a good deal, spending just $138 per credit hour.

Hondros College of Nursing

Hondros College of Nursing takes a more traditional approach to the associate degree in nursing, requiring students to complete most of their coursework on the Ohio campus. Some ADN courses are offered online, but an in-person element is also required for clinical work. You’ll work in hospitals, clinics, elder-care facilities, and other healthcare settings. Students must complete 1,530 clinical placement hours in one of these settings to earn their degree.

Most students complete the program in five quarters or 55 weeks, after which graduates are registered with the Ohio Board of Nursing and are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN. Students are also eligible to apply to an RN-BSN completion program, which would take another two years to complete at most universities.

Admission requirements for Hondros College of Nursing are straightforward. Applicants must provide evidence of having earned a high school diploma or GED, complete the student online readiness survey, and pay all necessary program fees.

Key Features of Top Ohio ADN Programs Online

An associate degree in nursing looks different from school to school. While the basic curriculum is typically the same, each program offers a different level of flexibility and variety of features. Finding the right program for you will mean determining which features you value most. Whether you want a program with a greater emphasis on clinical training or one that offers fully asynchronous online classes, you’ll want to guarantee that your ADN program in Ohio also has the following:


Accreditation means the program you’re looking at is certified by a professional board, such as the Ohio Board of Nursing. Most employers, particularly those in the medical field, hire exclusively from among a pool of graduates of accredited universities or programs. This stamp of approval shows that your program met certain standards and taught you the skills necessary for you to perform your job effectively.

Clinical Placement Opportunities

All nursing programs require you to complete clinical hours at an approved medical facility. This gives you the hands-on experience necessary to do your future job well. Most universities have placement opportunities in hospitals and other large medical clinics, but many also offers students interested in smaller healthcare settings the opportunity to complete placements in long-term care facilities or elder-care homes. Look closely at a university’s community partnerships and clinical placement programs to determine which program is right for you.

Graduation & Job Placement Rates

Job placement rates and graduation rates show how successful a school is at graduating students and preparing them for employment — the higher the rates the better. Reputable schools usually list these numbers proudly rather than hiding them in the fine print.

Licensure Approval

The three programs listed above offer all graduates the chance to take the NCLEX-RN, an exam nurses must pass to work in any clinical setting. It can also be beneficial to make sure the credits you earn in your ADN will transfer easily should you choose to pursue a BSN in nursing.

NCLEX Pass Rates

The higher the NCLEX-RN pass rate a university has, the more well-prepared their students are. Passing the NCLEX-RN is vital to your career, so look at the resources offered by the school of your choice. Do they offer study sessions? Practice exams regularly?

Certification & Licensure Requirements in Ohio

Getting an associate degree in nursing in Ohio is just the first step in your nursing journey. To enter the workforce, there are a few additional steps you’ll have to take, including taking exams and earning your license. Keep reading to take a closer look at these and other requirements you’ll need to fulfill before you can officially begin your nursing career.

Continuing Education

An ADN is one degree path you can take. Many students opt to continue their education and earn a BSN in Nursing. This provides a more in-depth medical background, helping graduates access more advanced jobs, often with higher salaries. Even if you don’t pursue an additional degree, however, you need to take continuing education units to maintain your RN license.

Nursing provides a path for constant growth. You can even earn up to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, which offers you the ability to teach or take on managerial positions in healthcare settings.

Criminal Background Check

When you work in the medical field, you’re dealing with patients’ medical histories and other extremely sensitive information. Every employer in the healthcare field will require you to pass a criminal background check before you can work with the public.

While things like traffic or parking tickets won’t disqualify you, certain infractions may cause employers to opt for another candidate.

NCLEX-RN Examination

The NCLEX-RN is an exam all nurses must pass before they can practice independently in a clinical setting. It tests entry-level knowledge you’re expected to have acquired through an ADN program. It also tests your ability to provide safe, effective, and equitable care in a real-world healthcare setting. There is a relatively high national pass rate for this exam (70.38%), an indicator that many programs prepare students well.

Registration with the Ohio State Board of Nursing

Many ADN programs help you register with the Ohio State Board of Nursing after you pass your NCLEX-RN. You can register through an online account by filling out an application and sending it to the Ohio State Board. This process shouldn’t take too long.

Answering Your Questions About Online Ohio ADN Programs

As you home in on your online associate degree in nursing program, you’ll want to make sure every one of your questions is answered. Below we answer some of the more specific questions many prospective students have about ADN programs and their features.

How long do Ohio ADN programs take to complete?

Generally, most ADN programs take a full two years to complete. For example, Hondros College of Nursing offers an ADN in 55 weeks. That said, accelerated programs do exist for students interested in entering the field on an even more truncated timeline.

While the length of the degree is similar among across all the programs on our list, clinical hours vary. Some programs require a larger commitment to clinical hours while others place greater emphasis on classroom instruction (supplemented by clinical hours). Hondros students must complete 1,530 hours, for example.

How much do online associate nursing programs cost in Ohio?

Online associate nursing programs in Ohio are often very affordable. These programs are typically offered through community colleges, which already pride themselves on providing a cost-effective education.

Eastern Gateway offers courses for $137 per credit hour for in-state residents; Columbus State Community College has a similar rate of $177 per credit hour for in-state students. Out-of-state students pay more at some universities but can score deals at others. Out-of-state students at Columbus State pay a whopping $364 per credit hour while those at Eastern Gateway pay just $138 per credit hour.

Is financial aid available to help me fund my ADN program in Ohio?

As with any university, the school you choose to pursue your ADN at will recommend you apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This allows you to access federal funding, including lower-interest loans that qualify for federal incentives like forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans.

Outside of the FAFSA, many schools offer grants and scholarships, which you don’t need to pay back. These are often based on financial need or educational merit.

What does the job market look like for graduates of Ohio associate in nursing programs?

Nursing schools offer degrees to lead to lucrative careers, as there’s always a need for nurses in nearly every healthcare setting. The average pay for RNs as of 2022 is $81,220 per year and the job outlook is growing faster than other industries.

Each of the universities we featured above advertise high job placement rates, likely the result of these programs’ commitment to preparing students to enter the faster-paced nursing industry immediately after graduating.

Resources & Support for Ohio ADN Students

As a nursing student in Ohio, you’ll see that there are a plethora of resources available to help you receive tuition assistance, explore your career options, and navigate the state’s health laws.

Here are five resources that can benefit current and prospective nurses in Ohio:

  • Columbus Black Nurses Association (CBNA) – The CBNA is a nonprofit group that provides mentorship and host events for nurses of color. They recently released a book featuring the voices of Black nurses in Ohio.
  • Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) – HPIO is an organization dedicated to helping create equitable policies around health for Ohioans. Those interested in using their degree to pursue public health can find reports and news related to the healthcare sector on the HPIO website.
  • Ohio Board of Nursing Education Programs – The Ohio Board of Nursing’s dashboard provides easy access to essential resources and forms for nursing students and ADN graduates. They also feature tuition assistance and grant programs for nursing students.
  • Ohio Center for Nursing – The Ohio Center for Nursing site provides informational resources for nurses and prospective nurses. These include tuition assistance, career descriptions, and workforce summary reports.