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Nursing Schools in Columbus, Ohio: Top Online & Campus Programs

From traditional associate degree programs to advanced online PhD programs, find Columbus nursing schools that can help you achieve your career goals.

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More and more nurses are needed to meet the rising demand for medical services from a population that’s getting older and has greater access to healthcare. This growth of the nursing profession is especially notable in Columbus, Ohio, and many schools in the area offer a variety of quality nursing programs to help meet this demand.

Columbus, Ohio nursing schools offer a range of nursing degree tracks to accommodate incoming students with differing levels of training and experience. This guide identifies these programs and tells you how to find the right one for you. You’ll also learn about ways to pay for your education, how online nursing programs work, and what to expect after you graduate. Get started on your Columbus nursing school search below.

Best Nursing Schools in Columbus, Ohio for 2024

Those interested in earning a nursing degree from one of the many nursing schools in Columbus, Ohio have many high-quality and accredited programs to choose from. But it can sometimes be challenging to figure out which school is best. To help prospective nursing students find and choose the right school, we’ve identified the best nursing schools in Columbus, Ohio for 2023. These programs have been chosen because they stand out in terms of education quality, program selection, and affordability. These are factors that most future nursing students will find important in their nursing program selection, regardless of their prior nurse training and professional aspirations.

The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University’s College of Nursing offers undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, post-doctoral, certificate, and continuing education programs. Undergraduate programs are especially notable with both online and traditional delivery options available. These programs include:

  • RN-to-BSN
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness Innovation in Healthcare
  • ADN to BSN completion option

The RN to BSN track is for students who already have an ADN. The online delivery option is especially helpful for students wishing to continue working while in school. The ADN to BSN program differs from the RN to BSN track in that it’s for students who already have an ADN but are not registered nurses. Instead, immediately after earning an ADN at a local community college, they transition seamlessly into OSU’s RN to BSN program.

Columbus State Community College

Columbus State Community College offers an excellent nursing education with plenty of programs. Those interested in becoming registered nurses quickly can enroll in the Registered Nurse Associate Degree program. It lasts five months, and students complete coursework online or on-campus. Regardless of track, labs and clinicals are still in-person. Incoming students with prior medical training can also take the Advanced Standing Nursing program.

Those not interested in becoming an RN have other program options to choose from. Those include the Licensed Practical Nurse or the Nurse Aide Certificate programs as well as various nursing certificates. To facilitate professional opportunities after graduation, CSCC has a robust alumni network and provides current students the chance to join the Student Nurses’ Association.

Walsh University

When it comes to online nursing schools in Columbus, Ohio, Walsh University is an academic leader. Individuals wanting to earn a nursing degree online can choose from these programs:

  • MSN – Family Nurse PractitionerBachelor of Science in Nursing
  • MSN – Nurse EducatorADN to BSN completion option
  • Post-Master’s DNP
  • DNP – Family Nurse Practitioner
  • DNP – Nurse Educator

Those wanting to work in the Columbus area can select the Walsh University Columbus, Ohio MSN – FNP online program. Like many of the online programs through Walsh University, most of the curriculum can be completed online. However, the MSN – FNP takes a hybrid approach with its 61 credits with classroom instruction online and intensives on campus. To accommodate the busy schedules of students in this program, classes are offered full-time with program completion in six to seven semesters or part-time with graduation after 10 semesters. The tuition is an affordable $685 per credit hour.

Types of Nursing Programs Available In Columbus, Ohio

As one of the major metropolitan centers of Ohio, Columbus has many online and traditional nursing schools offering a variety of nursing degrees. This wide selection is ideal given how the personal and professional goals of prospective nursing students can vary. Below are the more common nursing degree programs in or near Columbus, OH and why a student my choose one particular program over another.

Pre-Licensure Nursing Programs in Columbus

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

The ADN is the minimum degree necessary to become a registered nurse. Many nursing schools in Columbus provide this degree program, which takes about two years. It’s ideal for those interested in becoming registered nurses as quickly as possible.

Examples of Columbus Nursing Schools with this Program

Columbus State Community College
Felbry College

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (Traditional BSN)

The Bachelor of Science in nursing is a popular RN path that usually takes four years to earn. It offers great potential for professional growth for RNs and is especially helpful to those wanting to specialize in a specific clinical practice.

Examples of Columbus Nursing Schools with this Program

Mount Carmel College of Nursing

Accelerated BSN Programs

Accelerated BSN programs are for those interested in a career in nursing who already have bachelor’s degrees in a non-nursing field. Because students will already have a four-year degree, these academic pathways can omit many of the general education requirements, allowing students to earn a BSN in less than two years.

Examples of Columbus Nursing Schools with this Program

Chamberlain University
Capital University

Direct-Entry MSN Programs (Master of Science in Nursing)

Students with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees who plan on becoming advanced practice registered nurses can consider direct-entry MSN programs. These programs can lead to careers as nurse anesthetists, nursing midwives, or clinical nurse specialists without having to first earn a BSN.

Examples of Columbus Nursing Schools with this Program

The Ohio State University

Nursing Bridge Programs in Columbus, Ohio for Current Nurses

LPN to RN and LPN to BSN Programs

Licensed vocational nurses, sometimes known as licensed practical nurses, provide basic nursing care. LPNs who want additional responsibility can complete a bridge program to earn an ASN or BSN in less time by leveraging prior coursework and nursing experience.

Examples of Columbus Nursing Schools with this Program

Clark State College

RN to BSN Programs

RNs who want a bachelor’s degree can complete an RN to BSN bridge program. These programs are often fully online and allow you to earn your bachelor’s degree in about two years.

Examples of Columbus Nursing Schools with this Program

Felbry College
Franklin University

RN to MSN Programs

An MSN is typically needed to become an advanced practice registered nurse, a nursing instructor, or administrator. The key feature of the RN to MSN bridge program is that it doesn’t require a BSN for enrollment, just RN credentials.

Examples of Columbus Nursing Schools with this Program

Franklin University
Kent State University

Advanced Nursing Programs in Columbus, Ohio

Traditional MSN Programs (Master of Science in Nursing)

Traditional MSN programs accept students who are already RNs and have BSN degrees. For students with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees, there are direct-entry MSN programs. Typically taking around two years to complete, the traditional MSN pathway is ideal for RNs wanting additional responsibilities as advanced practice registered nurses.

Examples of Columbus Nursing Schools with This Program

Walsh University
Mount Carmel College of Nursing

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PhD Doctoral Programs

Doctoral nursing programs are for nurses seeking the highest level of nursing practice, both clinical and non-clinical. The DNP degree is the recommended route for becoming a nurse practitioner. For nurses looking to shift gears into teaching or research, the PhD is the ideal degree pathway.

Examples of Columbus Nursing Schools with This Program
Walsh University

Post-Graduate Nursing Certificates

Post-graduate training allows nurses to move into a particular specialization of nursing practice. For those who already have MSN degrees, post-graduate nursing certificates provide advanced training in a compressed timeframe.

Examples of Columbus Nursing Schools with This Program

Mount Carmel College of Nursing
Columbus State Community College

Inside Look at Online Nursing Programs in Columbus, Ohio

Nursing skills develop through real-world experience and training. That means most online nursing programs in Columbus and throughout the country have both online and in-person learning components. Classroom portions of curriculums are completed online, but labs and clinicals are taken in-person at designated or approved medical facilities. In many nursing schools, labs are completed on campus. For some graduate-level nursing programs, a fully online degree is possible, especially those with a leadership or management emphasis. The nursing schools highlighted below offer some type of online nursing programs in Columbus, Ohio and serve as examples of what to expect in online education.

Best Online Nursing Programs in Columbus, Ohio

Chamberlain University

Chamberlain University prides itself on being flexible and accommodating. Chamberlain University’s online nursing program offers a BSN degree achievable in just three years. However, students need to take classes year round to earn the 122 credits needed to graduate. The NCLEX-RN passage rate for first-time test takers exceeds 95% at Chamberlain University.

Classes begin three times a year, and students can choose among 23 locations across the United States, including Columbus. Chamberlain University’s transfer process makes getting academic credit for prior learning as easy as possible. Almost all the general education requirements for the BSN can be completed online.

Capital University

Capital University offers nursing students a range of academic degrees. The undergraduate level has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with several tracks available. Graduate level offerings include a Master of Science in nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Many of Capital’s nursing programs are offered in hybrid formats, including the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Accelerated BSN program consists of two tracks, both of which can be finished in less than 2 years. The traditional daytime track includes 12-15 credits each semester and graduation in five semesters. The online/hybrid track allows students to earn BSNs at the same pace as the traditional daytime program. Many classes offer online lectures with a few classes still requiring in-person attendance. Many also involve hands-on learning in labs. Despite the accelerated nature of the hybrid program, students can still work full-time since clinicals are scheduled to accommodate working nurses.

Mount Carmel College of Nursing

Whether you want a BSN, a DNP, or something in between, Mount Carmel College of Nursing has a program for you. The BSN, MSN, and DNP programs each have at least one online program option available with most of the coursework in the MSN program, Nursing Leadership-Clinical Operations, and DNP programs offered online. Students still complete practicums and immersions in person.

One of the more popular online programs at Mount Carmel is the CCNE-accredited Online RN-BSN Completion Program. Offered in both full-time and part-time formats, students earn their BSNs in as little as two semesters. To maintain the highest level of learning and attention, classes are capped at 30 students. Additionally, all RN-BSN courses have Quality Matters Certification.

FAQs About Online Nursing Programs in Columbus, Ohio

Can I earn my nursing degree in Columbus completely online?

Maybe. Students who are not yet registered nurses must take in-person clinicals, meaning their programs are either on campus or hybrid. Those who have already earned their RN licenses can find 100% online programs, especially at the master or doctoral levels. However, some of the graduate nursing programs for those seeking clinical training will usually have a practicum requirement.

Will my online Columbus nursing degree be considered less valuable by employers?

It’s unlikely. As long as you earn your degree from an accredited nursing program, the fact that part of your nursing curriculum was online will not matter to employers. In fact, an employer will probably assume at least some of your coursework was completed online.

Are online nursing programs in Columbus more affordable than campus programs?

It’s possible to save money by earning your nursing degree online. Online nursing programs in Columbus Ohio do not usually have lower tuition costs, although online tuition rates are comparable to traditional nursing school programs. Attending an online nursing school can, however, save a lot of money in other ways such as not having travel expenses to and from campus. It can also make it easier to work while in school, providing an additional source of income to help pay for education costs.

Financial Aid Opportunities for Nursing Students in Columbus, Ohio

There are a variety of scholarships, grants, and loans to help pay for a nursing education. These come from a variety of sources like charitable organizations, corporations, and Columbus, OH nursing programs themselves. One of the best places to find financial support comes from the state of Ohio. The Ohio Board of Nursing lists several financial aid opportunities, including the Nursing Education Assistance Loan Program, the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program, and grants and scholarships from the Ohio Nurses Foundation. You can learn about other tuition assistance possibilities by checking out EduMed’s nursing scholarship guide and financial aid guide.

How to Become an RN in Columbus, Ohio: Licensing Requirements

New registered nurses obtain their Ohio RN credentials through the licensure by examination process. This involves graduating from an accredited nursing school and passing an exam. Just before graduation, students apply for their RN credentials with the Ohio Board of Nursing. This includes completing a criminal background check and submitting necessary documentation. They must also register with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX-RN exam. To find out more about the licensing process, see our guide to nursing schools in Ohio.

Job Opportunities for RNs in Columbus, Ohio

According to statewide data from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the demand for RNs in Ohio is predicted to grow 9.6% through 2028. This exceeds growth predictions for registered nurses throughout the United States. As a result, students from nursing schools in Columbus can expect a healthy job market after graduation. Potential employers of registered and advanced practice nurses in Columbus, Ohio include major hospitals and medical centers like OhioHealth, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and the Mount Carmel Health System.

How Much You Could Make as an RN in Columbus, Ohio

Overall earnings potential for registered nurses in Columbus, Ohio is very good, although lower than the national average. O*NET OnLine reports that the average salary for a registered nurse in Columbus is $75,220, just above the state average of $74,080. The national average for registered nurses is $77,600. Because the cost of living in Columbus is about 10% lower than the national average, the real-world wages of registered nurses in Columbus might be a little bit more than the average registered nurse in the United States.

Earnings for Registered Nurses in Columbus, Ohio

Median Hourly Wage Mean Hourly Wage Annual Mean Wage
Columbus, OH $31.59 $33.37 $69,410
Ohio $32.49 $33.53 $69,750
United States $36.22 $38.47 $80,010

Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020

Additional Columbus, Ohio Nursing Resources

Mid-Ohio District Nurses Association

Originally founded to represent the interests of graduates from nine nursing schools in mid-Ohio, the Mid-Ohio District Nurses Association’s mission has expanded to offer mentoring services, professional benefits like insurance, and political and professional advocacy.

Columbus Black Nurses Association

The CBNA represents the professional interest of all nurses in Columbus, Ohio who identify with African-American and other ethnic groups. The CBNA offers a number of services, including nurse education and advancing economic growth.

National Student Nurses’ Association – Local Chapters

The NSNA works on behalf of nursing students around the country. Member benefits include professional growth, collaboration opportunities, and mentorship. The NSNA has local chapters, including several within nursing schools in Columbus.

Central Ohio Association of School Nurses

This professional association’s mission revolves around improving the educational and health interests of local school systems. It also provides professional education and networking opportunities.

Oncology Nursing Society – Columbus Chapter

The ONS helps oncology nurses through developing best practices, offering career and education growth opportunities, and improving the delivery of cancer care.