An accelerated BSN is becoming one of the most popular ways for previous graduates to get into the field of nursing. Instead of having to start from square one, graduates with non nursing degrees can earn a second Bachelor's degree in Nursing in as little as 12 to 18 months. This allows you to get right into a new and fulfilling career path without having to spend years more of your life in school.
In Ohio, you can choose between campus based programs, or a program that allows you to complete much of your coursework online. The end result of both paths is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, which prepares you to work in many different nursing settings.
Accelerated BSN Curriculum in Ohio
Since you completed general education courses during your first Bachelor's degree, you may have many courses already out of the way. While some of your previous credits may apply, there are specific prerequisites for nursing programs, including Anatomy and Physiology, Human Biology, Chemistry and Microbiology. Most accelerated BSN programs in Ohio also require a minimum GPA for entry.
The two parts of an accelerated BSN program—coursework and clinical practice—work together to give you a complete nursing education. In your nursing courses, you learn all about the role of a nurse. This includes your responsibilities and what you legally can and cannot do. You learn nursing skills in classes like health assessment, nursing care planning, maternity and newborn nursing, pharmacology, and nursing health management. These courses are intended to prepare you for a job in almost any nursing specialty after graduation.
Clinical work involves going to an approved clinical site to practice your nursing skills. If you attend an online program, you will have to choose a clinical site that is approved by your school. Many schools have established strategic partnerships with healthcare facilities, resulting in expanded clinical site options across the nation.
During clinical rotations, you learn important skills in working with patients, communicating with coworkers, and how to perform nursing tasks safely, effectively, and with the outcomes patients need. You will be supervised during your clinical rotations, with instructors that can provide feedback, answer questions and offer support in a hands-on learning environment.
Upon completion of your nursing program, you should be prepared for the NCLEX-RN exam. This licensing exam is required of all Ohio nursing applicants. Most schools offer NCLEX prep courses, as well as ancillary in depth study groups on occasion. The critical thinking skills that you should take away from the Baccalaureate education can help you on the exam as well.
Career Outlook issues in Ohio
Working in Ohio may offer you a variety of work settings to choose from. You can work in one of Ohio's major cities, a more rural area, or one of the many suburban areas in Ohio. Most nurses choose to pursue work in a hospital or general clinic after graduation. However, with a BSN, you may be qualified for positions in expanded settings that require a Bachelor's degree. Some of the largest nursing employers in Ohio include Lee Memorial Health System, Ohioans Home Healthcare, Maxim Healthcare, and Harbor Light Hospice.
O*Net reports rapid growth in the state's need for registered nurses. Between 2010 and 2020, O*Net predicts a 21% increase in nursing jobs in Ohio. Ohio also has a competitive salary range for registered nurses, from $46,200 per year to $77,000 per year, with a median salary Ohio nursing salary of $60,000 per year (O*Net, 2012).
Licensing Considerations in Ohio
The Ohio Board of Nursing administers licenses to qualified individuals. Prior to obtaining your license, you have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Once you have successfully passed the NCLEX exam, you are eligible to apply for licensure. After receiving your license, you must remember to renew it every two years. The Ohio Board of Nursing also offers information on recent legislature, like the recent law that authorizes registered nurses to determine cause of death in certain circumstances.
In order to be on top of what is happening in the nursing field in Ohio, nurses can join the Ohio Nurses Association. This association maintains Facebook and LinkedIn profiles for members, shares updates on the Nurse Practice Act, and offers job search help for nurses.