Whether you’ve already decided on pursuing a nursing career or are still exploring whether that direction would make a good fit, it will benefit you to have a solid understanding of what will be required of you should you enter nursing school.
The nursing field is wide and multi-faceted. The advantage this presents is that there are multiple ways to enter it.
The difficulty it creates is that the process can get complicated – it’s advantageous to do your homework before choosing a route to avoid running into issues later.
This article will outline the requirements to enter nursing school if you are based in Ohio.
Requirements for Completing Nursing School
A set of criteria are important to be aware of when considering pursuing a nursing career in the state of Ohio:
Basic Qualifications: Grades and Resources
Entering the nursing profession will require completing post-high school education in the form of either a Bachelor of Nursing degree or a certification program through a community or technical college.
These types of programs often have a certain grade or GPA requirements to enter them.
These requirements will vary from program to program, so it’s important to check the requirements for the program(s) you are interested in attending during the consideration and application process to make sure the grades you earned during high school will be adequate for admission.
Another consideration you should keep in mind while determining where you will study and how you will pursue the nursing degree of your choice, is the number of resources it will require.
Obtaining a nursing degree requires investments of time, energy, and money. The amounts for each will vary depending on what type of program you pursue.
It’s important to think about what your unique life situation will allow and how prepared you are to make those investments.
Ohio-Specific Requirements for Entering Nursing
Each state has specific requirements for practicing nursing within its borders.
Some nursing students unknowingly attend a program in a state they weren’t interested in practicing in only to find that the credentials they completed might not actually apply or be accepted in the location they hoped to practice.
If you plan on applying to a nurse practitioner program in Ohio, ensure that the degree you enroll in will provide the prerequisites you need to obtain licensure in Ohio upon completion.
Some degrees are only valid for the state in which they operate. Other degree programs, particularly online nursing programs, may be accredited in other states as well if you plan to complete that program and then get licensed in another state.
To become licensed in the state of Ohio, you must apply for your initial RN license through the Ohio Board of Nursing after completing an eligible nursing program.
The nursing degree you choose will be able to verify whether or not their program meets Ohio licensing requirements before you enroll.
After completing all your coursework, your nursing degree program will send a “Program Completion Letter” to the Ohio Board of Nursing to enable you to complete the license application and RN exam process.
Natural Proficiencies and Soft Skills
Last but not least, a set of natural aptitudes or skills are important to every nursing student.
Though a variety of nursing career types exist that can vary significantly with regard to best-suited temperaments and aptitudes, a few core skills commonly benefit any nursing career.
Use this list to assess yourself and see how you measure up. This is not a make-or-break determination but can provide an additional metric to help you make your career decision. These skills often include:
Strong Performance in Stressful Situations
Nurses regularly operate in conditions or environments that involve life or death situations, time-critical decision-making, anxious or angry loved ones, patients in extreme pain or discomfort, and medical colleagues that are under similar pressure.
Nurses must be able to stay calm and unaffected by the chaos. Individuals who can do this well will usually find they adapt well to nursing environments and roles.
Conversely, without this skill, it is very difficult for individuals to perform well as a nurse.
Good Decision-Making Capabilities
Nurses are partially, and sometimes wholly, responsible for making patient care decisions. Especially in some types of nursing roles, nurses are expected to assess patient cases and ensure they are receiving adequate care and treatment.
Nurses should have strong decision-making skills that involve analyzing an amount of information regarding a patient’s condition, medical history, needs, preferences, and more and producing an appropriate care plan.
Additionally, sometimes nurses are required to make decisions quickly. This can be especially prevalent or necessary for nurses who are entering the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Emergency Room (ER).
However, every nurse should feel confident making care or treatment decisions quickly when necessary for the patient’s wellbeing.
Strong Sense of Compassion and Empathy
Very often, nurses have to engage with situations that are difficult or painful to navigate. Patients, family members and friends, and other medical personnel can all experience great amounts of stress because of their situations.
Nurses provide a vital cog in the care process. Whether in acute emergency settings or other types of medical needs, those who perform well as nurses are often highly empathetic and caring.
They are able to interact effectively with people in emotionally heightened states or who are experiencing high levels of pain (both physical and emotional).
They are able to listen well and empathize with people who need to make difficult decisions or are facing hard situations.
And they are able to emotionally support their fellow nurses and medical colleagues in what can be long, difficult shifts. These skills are a vital asset to the care provision process.
Strong Communication Skills
Nurses interact with a wide variety of people in their profession. This ranges from their medical colleagues – doctors, physicians, other nurses, and more – to a wide variety of patient types which can range widely across ease of communication.
From the elderly to non-English speakers to people with medical conditions that limit their communicative abilities, nurses need to be able to effectively communicate with all who come through the door and need care. Thus, being able to practice clear, effective communication is critical.
Entering the field of nursing in Ohio takes a bit of planning and investment. It requires soft skills and diligence.
However, as long as you do your research and choose the nursing program or entrance route that suits your particular needs and interests, going to school for nursing in Ohio can be the first step to an incredibly fulfilling career.