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In Ohio, practical nursing programs, typically certificate or diploma programs, can be completed within 2-3 semesters of study. The training is a combination of didactic studies (classroom and lab courses) and clinical rotations in medical settings. Nursing programs typically have specific admission requirements; some requirements must be met prior to admission, while others are required prior to starting clinical education. Requirements may include the following: high school diploma, transcripts, completion of prerequisite courses, adequate assessment scores, criminal background check, drug screening, physical examination, proof of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification, current immunizations (including Hepatitis B) and health or liability insurance.
The following community colleges and technical schools in Ohio offer state-approved practical nursing programs that prepare students to take the national licensure exam.
Central Ohio Technical College
Central Ohio Technical College in Newark has a practical nursing program that can be completed in three semesters. In addition to attending a nursing information meeting and completing pre-admission courses, applicants must be certified nursing assistants in the state of Ohio. The 36-credit hour program includes lectures, lab courses and clinical experiences. While some courses may be strictly lectures, other courses such as fundamentals of practical nursing, health alterations I & II for the practical nurse, and maternal/child nursing for the practical nurse include lectures, labs and clinical rotations. Students who complete this program can take the NCLEX-PN to obtain licensure as an licensed practical nurse.
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
Located in Clifton, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (Cincinnati State) offers a three-semester practical nursing certificate program at its Greater Oaks Career Campuses in Dent, Milford and Scarlet Oaks. Offering both day and evening classes, this program utilizes classroom education and clinical practice to teach students various areas of nursing. Students in this program must be Ohio certified nurse aides prior to starting the clinical portion. Admittance to this selective entry program is based on a point system, with GPAs playing a large part in the point system. The Student Services division at Cincinnati State offers various resources, including career advice, academic advising, tutoring services and a writing center.
Clark State Community College
The practical nursing program at Clark State Community College (CSCC) is offered at its Springfield campus. The program is also offered at the Ohio H-Point Career Center's campuses in Urbana and Bellefontaine through a partnership CSCC has with the Career Center. The practical nursing training is offered as a full-time day program and a part-time weekend program; students can complete the program in 12-21 months, depending on the option chosen. Candidates must have CPR and nurse aide certification. Course topics include anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, nursing care of adults, nursing fundamentals and pharmacology. Students learn through classroom lectures, lab courses and clinical practice.
Columbus State Community College
Columbus State Community College, with locations in Columbus and Delaware, has a full-time practical nursing program that's offered during the evenings and on weekends. The required 39 credits in this three-semester program consist of 24 credits of nursing courses and 15 credits of arts and science courses. During the second semester, students obtain hands-on training working in various medical settings under the supervision of medical professionals. Candidates who successfully complete this program can sit for the NCLEX-PN.
Cuyahoga Community College
Cleveland-based Cuyahoga Community College has a practical nursing program that comes with a day and evening track. Applicants must complete all prerequisites prior to admission. Offered at the Tri-C Metropolitan campus, this program includes two semesters plus a summer semester. The course load includes three math credits and three English credits, with the remaining 35 credits being nursing courses. Upon completion, students receive a certificate of proficiency and are ready to take the NCLEX-PN.
Hocking College, located in Nelsonville, offers a practical nursing diploma program that prepares students to take the licensing exam and work as licensed practical nurses. The three-semester program includes theory-based courses, lab skills and clinical education; students get hands-on training working in the nursing lab before actually working with patients. Clinical rotations are held in hospitals, clinics or extended care facilities. Students learn about medical-surgical nursing, obstetrics, geriatrics and basic nursing fundamentals.
Lorain County Community College
The Allied Health and Nursing department at Lorain County Community College in Elyria has a practical nursing certificate program aimed at preparing students to gain licensure and join the workforce at LPNs. Topics of study in this 42-credit program include medications, medical-surgical nursing, body structure and function, psychology, geriatrics management and maternity/pediatric nursing. Graduates who wish to enroll in the associate degree nursing (ADN) program can get advanced placement in the ADN program.
Northwest State Community College
Northwest State Community College (NSCC) is located in Archbold and offers a one-year practical nursing program that results in students earning a certificate upon completion. Prior to starting the first nursing course, students must meet all admission requirements, including being certified nursing assistants. In addition to lectures and lab courses, the curriculum includes supervised clinical work in various medical settings. An evening practical nursing program is available in Van Wert through a joint agreement between NSCC, Vantage Career Center and Wright State University.
Owens Community College
The practical nursing certificate program at Owens Community College in Perrysburg offers a practical nursing certificate program at its Toledo and Findlay campuses. The 43-credit program has selective admission criteria that must be met to be eligible for this program. Students complete courses in nutrition, nursing trends, nursing care of adults, nursing fundamentals, role of the practical nurse and pharmacology. Clinical experiences are held at various healthcare facilities throughout the area.
Rhodes State College
Lima-based Rhodes State College has a 40-credit hour practical nursing program that can be completed in one year. Through a blended curriculum of classroom assignments, laboratory studies and clinical practice, students develop nursing skills needed to care for patients in medical facilities. Topics of study include growth and development: lifespan, practical nursing fundamentals, nutrition, practical nursing issues and trends, medical-surgical nursing and pharmacology. Students who cannot finish the program in one year may extend it with approval from the nursing division.
An individual interested in a career as a practical nurse in Ohio must complete a formal training program and pass a licensing examination. When the student has completed the program, he or she needs to pass the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses) through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Practical Nursing Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Central Ohio Technical College||Two-year, public; small suburb||Practical Nursing Certificate Program||$4,296 in-state; $7,056 out-of-state*|
|Cincinnati State Technical and Community College||Two-year, public; large city||Practical Nursing Certificate||$3,825 in-state; $7,393 out-of-state*|
|Clark State Community College||Two-year, public; small city||Practical Nursing Certificate||$3,359 in-state; $6,271 out-of-state*|
|Columbus State Community College||Two-year, public; large city||Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Certificate||$3,808 in-state; $8,430 out-of-state*|
|Cuyahoga Community College||Two-year, public; large city||Practical Nursing Certificate||$3,136 in-district; $3,953 in-state; $7,648 out-of-state*|
|Hocking College||Two-year, public; distant town||Practical Nursing Diploma||$4,390 in-state; $8,780 out-of-state*|
|Lorain County Community College||Two-year, public; small city||Certificate of Proficiency in Practical Nursing||$3,077 in-district; $3,679 in-state; $7,302 out-of-state*|
|Northwest State Community College||Two-year, public; distant rural||Practical Nursing Certificate||$3,989 in-state; $7,757 out-of-state*|
|Owens Community College||Two-year, public; large suburb||Practical Nursing Certificate Program||$4,233 in-state; $8,236 out-of-state*|
|Rhodes State College||Two-year, public; small suburb||Practical Nursing Certificate||$4,045 in-state; $8,090 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES School Navigator