Nursing Schools in Cleveland, Ohio with Degree Program Overviews

There are seven schools within 25 miles of Cleveland that have nursing degree programs. Read an overview of the programs, requirements and admission info at three schools that are no more than five miles from downtown and find out which school is the right one for you.

Cleveland, Ohio, Nursing Schools

Schools with nursing programs in the Cleveland, Ohio, area offer options ranging from 1-year certificates through to dual doctoral programs. Many programs prepare graduates for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for becoming either a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Registered Nurse (RN).

This article looks at three schools, none more than 15 minutes from the city center, and the programs they offer. It includes a table of information such as school size, tuition, graduation rate and percentage of first-year students who receive financial aid. At the end of the article is a listing of a few other area schools offering nursing studies.

  • At the Cuyahoga Community College District (CCCD), just a mile from downtown, students can earn a practical nursing certificate. The school offers an associate's degree program for LPNs who want to become RNs, as well as an associate's program for beginning students.
  • About five miles from downtown Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University offers a bachelor's degree and two types of master's degrees in nursing. It also offers Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing degrees.
  • A bachelor's and master's degree program in nursing is offered at Cleveland State University , around a mile from the heart of Cleveland. The bachelor's degree program is available in an accelerated format as well.

Comparison of Schools

Cuyahoga Community College District Case Western Reserve University Cleveland State University
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 27,084* 10,771* 16,936*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $3,136 in-district, $3,953 in-state, $7,648 out-of-state* $44,560* $9,696 in-state, $12,938 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2014) 75%* 86%* 89%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) N/A - open admission 38%* 84%*
Retention Rate (2014) 55% for full-time students, 38% for part-time students* 93%* 70% for full-time students, 57% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (2014) 5%* 81%* 39%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Cuyahoga Community College District

CCCD offers three nursing programs providing pathways for becoming a LPN or an RN. Programs are available at two campuses and the main associate's program is offered at the Metropolitan campus only, which is about one mile from downtown Cleveland. Some programs only begin in the spring or fall semesters.

Certificate of Proficiency in Practical Nursing

Students are admitted to this year-long program for the fall semester only and can chose between a day or evening track. All classes are held at the Metropolitan Campus and only around 100 students are accepted each year. Prerequisite criteria must be met prior to admission and a background check is required. Coursework will cover math and biology, as well as patient care, nursing management and lifespan nursing.


This program is available at the Eastern Campus, which is about 17 miles outside of downtown Cleveland in Highland Hills, OH. The 3-semester program is designed for LPNs who have at least one year of clinical experience. Classes begin in the spring semester and are offered only in the evenings. Prerequisite courses include microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and major requirements cover both general education and nursing subjects. Nursing classes will cover health care and management, community and home nursing and health deviations.


There are two tracks for this program, a generic one and an accelerated one for applicants who already have a bachelor's degree in another area. In either track, applicants must complete prerequisite courses with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and pass an entrance test and background check. Once admitted, students attend classes at the Metropolitan Campus where they take lecture, lab and clinical coursework covering health assessment and deviations, self-care needs and health management. A total of 71 credits are required for graduation. A collaborative program with Parma Community General Hospital is also offered on-site for Parma employees.

Case Western Reserve University

Case's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing hosts a World Health Organization Collaborating Center, and its students provide over 20,000 service hours to the local community each year. Case was the first college in the nation to offer a doctoral degree program in nursing practice, and its students continually exceed national averages for passage of the NCLEX-RN.


This program requires a minimum of 126 hours of coursework in nursing and science courses. Students begin taking nursing courses the first semester of freshman year. Over the course of the 4-year program, nursing students will take a combination of lecture, lab and clinical coursework, including anatomy and physiology, molecular and chemical biology, nursing care for children, adults and the elderly, nursing management and community health.

Master of Nursing (MN)

The MN program is a graduate-entry program for students who have non-nursing baccalaureate degrees. Students in the program begin with the pre-licensure curriculum, taking courses in pharmacology, aging, health assessment and nursing practice. Acceptance to the MN program also admits the candidate to the MSN and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs, should he or she wish to pursue those degrees. Up to 15 credits from the MN program can apply to an MSN program. To progress to earning the MSN, students will also need to pass the NCLEX-RN.


Case offers its MSN program in several formats, including online, intensive and weekend options. Majors within the program include nurse midwifery, flight nursing, informatics and adult-gerontology, and there's also the option of creating a major by blending specializations. Most majors require 40 hours of credit and around 500 clinical hours, which usually takes three or four years to complete. All students, regardless of major, take ten core courses covering topics such as research, evidence-based nursing practice, professionalism in advanced practice and ethics.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

DNP students choose a major and a leadership sequence in either educational or practice leadership. Most classes are held in intensive format, meeting for a few days and then following up online. Required core coursework includes classes in statistics, nursing theory, research principles and methods and health policy planning. Leadership elective courses might include curriculum and instruction or management for advanced practice. Degree candidates will produce a proposal to address a practice-based research problem and then investigate the problem and produce a written report of findings as a final project.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing

Graduates of this program can pursue work in research or as faculty at a university. The program requires 57 semester hours, including dissertation research and production. Core classes cover research methods, statistics, epistemology, strategies for theory development and health care policy. Students will need to prepare a written candidacy proposal and pass an oral exam prior to becoming doctoral candidates. To graduate, candidates must successfully produce and defend their dissertation. Students can also pursue a dual doctorate resulting in a DNP and PhD in nursing.

Cleveland State University (CSU)

CSU offers many of its graduate programs at least partially, if not fully, online and offers a doctoral program in urban education with a specialization in nursing education. Students are required to comply with background checks, health immunization and dress code requirements.


BSN students receive a liberal arts base along with nursing coursework and practicum experiences. Students begin in a pre-nursing program and must complete prerequisite courses covering subjects such as microbiology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry and psychology. Upon completion of these courses, students apply to the nursing program and if they're accepted, they take classroom and lab courses covering nursing practice, health assessment and nursing specializations, such as medical surgical, pediatric and community health. Students who have earned an LPN or an RN license may test out of some skill portions of the curriculum. CSU hosts an RN/BSN online program that admits RNs as juniors and allows for completion of a BSN over three semesters.

Accelerated BSN

The 4-semester program is designed for students with a non-nursing bachelor's degree. Prerequisite coursework includes anatomy and physiology, chemistry and microbiology. Degree coursework will include nursing theory and practice, pathophysiology, health assessment and research. Clinical rotations are required in areas such as maternal/newborn nursing, medical surgical nursing and psychiatric/mental health nursing.


Areas of concentration for this program include specialized populations, nursing education, clinical nurse leader or forensic nursing. Students have the option of producing a thesis or a capstone practicum. Coursework will cover topics such as population health nursing, theory development and evidence-based practice. CSU also offers an online MSN/MBA combination and graduate certificates in gerontological studies, school nursing and nursing education.

Other School Options

Roughly 22 miles outside of Cleveland in nearby Kirtland, Lakeland Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program with an advanced placement option for LPNs who wish to work toward an RN. In Pepper Pike, Ohio, about 22 miles from Cleveland, Ursuline College offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in nursing. Other schools with nursing programs include Notre Dame College and Lorain County Community College, which are a respective nine and 26 miles from downtown Cleveland.

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