Nurse practitioner programs are typically offered at the graduate level. Prerequisites for admission to nurse practitioner (NP) master's degree programs generally include a registered nurse (RN) license with a bachelor's degree in nursing. Some schools, however, offer programs that allow RNs with associate's degrees to pursue the master's degree in nursing. Applicants may be required to have a minimum number of years of experience prior to enrollment.
Post-master's certificate programs are also available to licensed RNs who hold a master's degree in an advanced nursing practice specialty from an accredited nursing school and who want to add another specialty. Curriculum varies by program, but courses typically cover nursing theory and practice, pharmacology, pathology, and primary care. Most schools require a clinical element or internship.
Ohio requires nurse practitioners to be licensed. Licensing requirements include that the applicant be a registered nurse, have earned a graduate degree in the field for which he or she is seeking licensure and have passed a national certification examination from an approved certifying organization. The programs described below prepare graduates to pass national certification examinations in their respective nurse practitioner specialties.
Case Western Reserve University
The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing is situated on the Cleveland campus of Case Western Reserve University. The nursing school offers a flexible array of master's degree and post-master certificate programs in nursing that allow students to specialize in NP specialties, such as pediatric, neonatal, family and adult-gerontology, among others. Some of programs also break down into cardiovascular and flight nursing subspecialties. Students can blend specialties into dual advanced-nursing degrees. Case Western also offers nontraditional course formats, including weekend and Web-based courses for working professionals. Some courses are offered in a semi-distance format, requiring only limited campus appearances.
Kent State University
Located in Kent, this university offers numerous master's degree and post-master's certificate options leading to careers as nurse practitioners. Aspiring NPs can chose master's degree programs that specialize in adult gerontology primary care, psychiatric and mental health, family, pediatric and other specialties. Corresponding post-master's certificate programs are available in the same areas except for adult/gerontology primary care. Students are generally required to perform 500 to 600 clinical hours. Nurse practitioners interested in earning a doctoral degree can go on to pursue the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.
Malone University (MU) is a private, Christian university in Canton. MU offers a master's degree program in nursing for those who wish to become family nurse practitioners. This 24-month program covers advanced nursing practice, nursing theory, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, nursing and health assessments. The program also provides clinical internships. Family nurse practitioner graduates will be qualified to treat patients of all ages.
Otterbein University in Westerville offers several paths to becoming a family nurse practitioner. Registered nurses with associate's degrees in nursing can pursue the ADN to MSN program to earn the Master of Science in Nursing, with family nurse practitioner one of the three available options. RNs who already have a bachelor's degree can purse the MSN program, which offers five concentrations, including family nurse practitioner. The family nurse practitioner post-master's certificate program is for RNs with a master's degree. As a prerequisite, applicants to these programs must have two years of nursing experience. The school offers distance-learning options that include print, audio and computer distance courses. The school also offers interactive video courses with live TV broadcasts led by the faculty.
University of Akron
This university's School of Nursing is situated at the main campus in Akron. The nursing school provides master's degree programs in several NP specialties treating adults, the elderly, children, adolescents and families. Students can choose to specialize in physical or psychiatric care. Depending on the specialty, students earn between 48 and 57 credits. A post-master's certificate program for prospective adult/gerontological nurse practitioners is also offered.
University of Cincinnati
At the main campus in Cincinnati, this university provides two learning options for students in master's degree nurse practitioner programs. Campus-centered programs offer instruction in nurse practitioner specialties that include adult or pediatric acute care, as well as other NP programs covering family, pediatric and psychiatric care. Programs generally run from 45 to 52 credit hours, with 500 to 600 hours of clinical experience required. Accelerated programs are also available for those who want to complete the program earlier.
Master's degree programs offering 100% online instruction are available in NP adult gerontology primary care, family and women's health. Students complete their clinical hours in their own communities.
University of Toledo
Situated in Toledo, this university provides advanced nursing education in NP family medicine and NP pediatrics. Training in each specialty can be obtained through a master's degree program or through a post-master's certificate program. All nurse practitioner programs are available in traditional classroom formats or fully online courses. In addition to classroom work, students are required to perform 500 to 600 clinical hours to fulfill graduation requirements.
Pepper Pike is the home of Ursuline College, a private college that offers adult and family nurse practitioner master's degree programs. The 43-credit family nurse practitioner program builds upon the 39-credit adult NP program curriculum. These programs are also available as post-master's certificate programs for registered nurses who already have a master's degree in advanced practice nursing.
Wright State University
The College of Nursing and Health is situated at Wright State University's main campus in Dayton. Wright State offers master's degree nurse practitioner programs in family, adult-gerontological acute care, pediatric acute care and pediatric primary care. These programs are between 44 and 50 semester hours in length. The adult/gerontological NP program offers an optional cardiac specialty. Students can also enroll in a nurse practitioner master's degree specialty program in psychiatric and mental health.
Located in Cincinnati, Xavier University offers family nurse practitioner programs at the master's degree and post-master's certificate levels. Students complete 47 credits to earn the master's degree. Students in the post-master's program earn the certificate in somewhere between three and seven semesters, depending on whether or not certain nursing prerequisite courses have been met. Students in both programs must perform 600 clinical hours as part of the graduation requirement.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Nurse Practitioner Degrees Offered||Graduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Case Western Reserve University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Practitioner,
Post-Master Certificate - Nurse Practitioner
|Kent State University||4-year, public; large suburb|| Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Practitioner
Nurse Practitioner Post-Master's Certificate
|$11,536 in-state, $21,524 out-of-state*|
|Malone University||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city||Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner||$10,710*|
|Otterbein University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| ADN to MSN in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner,
Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner,
Post-Masters Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate
|$22,000 Post Masters Family Nurse Practitioner**|
|University of Akron||4-year, public; midsize city|| Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Practitioner,
Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Post-Master's Certificate
|$9,363 in-state, $14,869 out-of-state*|
|University of Cincinnati||4-year, public; large city||Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Practitioner||$14,468 in-state, $26,210 out-of-state*|
|University of Toledo||4-year, public; large city|| Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Practitioner,
Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate
|$15,427 in-state, $25,771 out-of-state*|
|Ursuline College||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Practitioner,
Nurse Practitioner Post-Master's Certificate
|Wright State University||4-year, public; large suburb||Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Practitioner||$14,298 in-state, $24,286 out-of-state*|
|Xavier University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner,
Family Nurse Practitioner Post Master's Certificate
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Otterbein University.