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Ohio APRNs

A master's degree from an accredited program is the minimum level of education required to practice as an APRN in Ohio.  A growing number of APRNs have a doctoral degree, as the national movement is to obtain a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.  Some APRNs have other doctoral degrees, such as a PhD.

APRNs are educationally prepared to meet core competencies.  Their education and training is based on clinical competency achievement and not solely on hours spent in a clinical rotation.  Although educational preparation for APRNs does differ from other similar types of health care providers, there is no evidence to suggest that one is superior to the others in terms of patient outcomes, safety, and quality of care provided.  APRNs have the education and clinical experience in evaluating and managing patients before they attend their APRN program.  This undergraduate education allows APRNs to start at a more advanced level.  Many APRNs have experience working as an RN prior to beginning their APRN program.

APRNs are educated and trained in one of the four APRN roles and in at least one of these population areas:

  • Family or Individual (across the lifespan)
  • Adult-Gerontology
  • Pediatrics
  • Neonatal
  • Women’s Health (or Gender-Related)
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health

View a list of accredited APRN programs in Ohio

View  Ohio nursing education programs accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing ( AACN)


Courtesy of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)

Certification is the formal recognition of the knowledge, skills, and experience demonstrated by the achievement of standards identified by the nursing profession.  Individuals who have the appropriate education, in at least one APRN role and one population focus, can take a national APRN certification examination to assess national competencies.  

In Ohio, APRNs are board certified at the national level.  They must pass a national APRN certification examination before being permitted to practice as an APRN in Ohio.  This national certification examination is in addition to the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) required for RNs.  ​APRN national certification must be maintained by completing certain ongoing requirements, and is one measure to ensure continuing competence.

View a list of national APRN certifying organizations approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing

Commitment to Patient Safety, Quality and Excellence in APRN Practice

Licensure is granting the authority to practice.  Ohio APRNs have a registered nurse (RN) license and an APRN license issued by the Ohio Board of Nursing.  The APRN license authorizes permission to practice and prescribe as an APRN in Ohio.  Both the RN license and APRN license are renewed every two years if certain conditions are met, including a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education as well as 12 hours of advanced pharmacology.  Beginning with the licensure renewal period for 2019-2021, APRNs will be required to have 48 hours of continuing education, which includes 12 hours of advanced pharmacology.

To be eligible to practice as an APRN in Ohio, the following criteria must be met before the Ohio Board of Nursing will issue a license:

  • Be a U.S. citizen (or lawfully admitted into the U.S. or a foreign national not living in the U.S.)
  • Possess a current and valid Ohio RN license
  • Complete an application (includes compliance questions)
  • Pay the required fees
  • ​Pass a criminal background check  

  • Successfully complete a master's or doctoral program with a major in a nursing specialty (or related field that qualifies the applicant to sit for a national APRN certification examination)
  • Successfully pass a national APRN certification exam and maintain national certification from an accredited national certifying organization approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing





 Licensure  |  Accreditation  |  Certification  |  Education 


Accreditation is the formal review and approval by a recognized agency of educational degrees or national certification programs in nursing or nursing-related programs.

APRN educational programs are accredited by an organization that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  The certification programs are nationally accredited by the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) or the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Learn more about accreditation and the APRN Consensus Model​ 

The Consensus Model for APRN Regulation was introduced in 2008 from a national effort (of 48 APRN nursing organizations nationwide) to resolve issues of inconsistent APRN Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education requirements across the United States and its jurisdictions.  The model proposes goals to expand patient access to APRNs and promote a uniform scope of practice in a way that ensures the safety of patients (APRN Joint Dialogue Group, 2008).

Read the full report of the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education.

Learn more about how Ohio compares with other states and their implementation status of the APRN Consensus Model