As with most states, the need for nurses in Ohio continues to grow, including licensed practical nurses. Not only does earning your credential from one of the many quality LPN programs in Ohio provide a quick route into the healthcare profession, it also leaves the door open for further advancement down the road. In most cases, students can complete an Ohio LPN program in about one year. For added convenience, many programs now offer part of their curriculums online.
If becoming an LPN in Ohio sounds like the right path for you, this guide has everything you need to get started. You’ll find a list of top, state-approved programs and other key information about what you’ll learn, the job market for LPNs in Ohio, and how to get your license after you graduate.
College Spotlights: Best LPN Programs in Ohio
As a prospective LPN student in Ohio, you have many schools to choose from. We’ve spotlighted three quality schools that stand out in several key areas, including affordability, curriculum quality, student support, and study flexibility. The LPN programs at these schools are also approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing, which is required for licensure in Ohio.
Central Ohio Technical College’s Practical Nursing program lasts one year, and students receive a well-rounded education that includes general education coursework. General education courses can be completed online, but most of the LPN-related courses, clinical labs, and nursing practicums need to be completed in person. Prerequisite coursework needing completed before applying to the LPN program includes biology and anatomy or physiology. Applicants must also complete the ATI TEAS exam before applying.
This practical nursing curriculum consists of 37.5 credits spread out over three semesters. Courses include biology, pharmacology, psychology, and several practical nursing fundamental and health courses. After graduation, students are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN. If they want to become registered nurses, they can enroll in Central Ohio Technical College’s LPN to Associate Degree Nursing transition program.
The Practical Nursing Program offered by the Hondros College of Nursing consists of 48 quarter credits that span 44 weeks and four terms. Not only is the LPN program approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing, but it’s also accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA). Besides learning the necessary nursing theory, concepts, and skills needed to become an LPN, students also receive NCLEX-PN licensure exam preparation and review and learn soft skills like critical thinking, communication, and professional behavior to help them better treat patients and work in a team environment with doctors, registered nurses, and other healthcare professionals.
With no waitlist, approved applicants can begin their LPN education right away. Day or evening and weekend classes give flexibility, and students can graduate in as few as twelve months.
The Practical Nursing program at Lorain County Community College is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing. It has a first-time NCLEX-PN passage rate well above the national and state averages, and students can graduate with a certificate of completion in just one year.
This LPN program consists of completing 42 credits over three semesters. Courses include Body Structure and Function, Medical/Surgical Nursing, Maternity Nursing, Pediatric Nursing, and Management in Geriatrics.
Applicants must meet several admissions requirements. These include possessing state-tested nursing assistant (STNA) status, obtaining a minimum score on the ATI TEAS exam, and meeting the medical requirements like getting a health examination and necessary vaccines.
FAQs About LPN Programs in Ohio
What skills do you learn in LPN programs in Ohio?
Most skills taught in LPN programs in Ohio focus on two sets of learning. The classroom portion incorporates foundational nursing and scientific concepts. Ohio Medical Career College, for example, covers anatomy, physiology, and nutrition. The clinical part of the curriculum lets students apply their classroom skills to the real-world setting. Students also complete on-campus labs where they’re taught through a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises.
Most LPN programs in Ohio also focus on soft skills. At Columbus State Community College, for instance, courses integrate instruction in ethics, communication skills, critical thinking, and principles of professionalism necessary for the nursing profession into nursing lab and classroom instruction.
How much do LPN programs cost in Ohio?
Many on-campus and online LPN programs in Ohio are offered by community colleges, which usually have affordable tuition rates. Since tuition at community colleges is typically determined by the number of credits, and LPN programs usually last about a year, predicting the cost of an LPN degree is typically not difficult. The tuition rates below give you a solid idea of what LPN programs in Ohio cost.
Columbus State Community College
Practical Nurse Program
Total Credits: 39
$167.93/credit (in-state); $343.47/credit (out-of-state)
Northwest State Community College
Practical Nursing Program
Total Credits: 42
$182.33/credit (in-state); $358.66/credit (out-of-state)
Can I get financial aid to help pay for my LPN program in Ohio?
Even though most LPN programs in Ohio last about a year and are offered at community colleges, the cost is still a barrier for many students. Grants, scholarships, and student loans can help make tuition costs manageable.
Grants and scholarships are often available from corporations, nonprofit organizations like the Ohio Nurses Foundation, and schools themselves. Student loans are typically available from the federal government and private lenders. Another source of financial aid is Ohio’s Department of Higher Education through its Nurse Education Assistance Loan Program (NEALP). This loan for nursing students is eligible for cancellation after serving as a full-time nurse in Ohio for five years.
To see what else is available in terms of financial aid, check out our LPN scholarships guide and main financial aid guide.
How long do LPN programs in Ohio take to finish?
Many Ohio LPN programs are for full-time students, last about one year, consist of 36-42 credits, and require three semesters of study. Central Ohio Technical College is a typical example of LPN programs in Ohio. Some programs are slightly shorter, though, including the LPN program at Stark State College, which takes two semesters. Part-time LPN programs aren’t common. Instead, some programs, like Ohio Medical Career College, hold classes during the evenings to better accommodate working students.
Inside Look at Online LPN Programs in Ohio
Nursing is a hands-on career, so there aren’t any 100% online LPN programs in Ohio. However, some schools, like Fortis Institute in Cuyahoga Falls, do offer hybrid LPN programs that still require in-person labs and clinicals but replace some classroom lectures with online classes. These online courses are typically limited to general education or foundational science classes. Even though remote learning is limited, it does give some flexibility.
LPN Licensing Information and Requirements in Ohio
Getting your practical nursing license in Ohio is like that of most other states, and Ohio’s exact process is detailed by the Ohio Board of Nursing. Its convenient checklist helps you review the requirements as soon as you decide to become an LPN, which is important since part of the licensing process begins during enrollment. The following section gives you an idea of what to expect during the LPN licensing process in Ohio.
Complete Education and Clinical Training
LPN training must be from a program in Ohio that’s approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing. Ideally, the program is also accredited by an organization like ACEN or NLN CNEA. Completing a board-approved LPN program allows you to sit for the NCLEX-PN and apply for licensure as a practical nurse in Ohio.
Pass Professional Nursing Examination
Besides graduating from a board-approved LPN program in Ohio, individuals must also pass the NCLEX-PN. Administered by Pearson VUE, this exam ensures LPN applicants possess sufficient knowledge to work as practical nurses. You’ll want to register for the NCLEX-PN toward the second half of your LPN program.
Apply for an LPN License with the Ohio Board of Nursing
After you finish an approved LPN program in Ohio and pass the NCLEX-PN, you can then apply for your practical nursing license from the Ohio Board of Nursing. The application process usually begins while a student is still in school and must be completed online through the Ohio eLicense 3.0 System. In addition to completing this application and paying the $75 application fee, students must also arrange for their LPN program completion letters to be emailed to the Ohio Board of Nursing.
Pass a Criminal Background Check
During the LPN licensing application process, applicants must also complete two criminal history checks, the first with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the second with the FBI. Background checks require in-state applicants to submit fingerprints electronically through the Webcheck program. Out-of-state applicants need to make arrangements with the law enforcement agency in their areas to have their fingerprints taken.
Meet Continuing Education Requirements and Renew License
Ohio requires its LPNs to renew their licenses every two years in even-numbered years. Renewing an LPN license requires completing the process online through the Ohio eLicense 3.0 System and paying a renewal fee of $65 if renewing between July 1 and September 15 and $115 if renewing between September 16 and October 31.
LPNs must also meet continuing education requirements of at least 24 contact hours every two years. At least one of those contact hours must relate to the laws and rules of the Ohio Nurse Practice Act (Category A).
Salary and Job Outlook for LPNs in Ohio
Even though the demand for and pay of LPNs in Ohio is slightly below the national average, there should still be plenty of openings for recent graduates. This is especially true in larger urban areas thanks to a higher concentration of assisted living and extended-care facilities, the predominant employers for LPNs. Licensed practical nurses in Ohio can expect to see the highest LPN income for the state, usually $46,000 to $62,000, in metropolitan areas like Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Toledo.
Job Outlook for Licensed Practical Nurses in Ohio (2018-2028)
Source: Projections Central
Annual Earnings for Licensed Practical Nurses in Ohio
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020