Ohio Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2022

AKA: NP License in OH, APRN Licensure

Last Reviewed: October 1st, 2022

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Ohio

Follow below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in Ohio.

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?Skip to the next section

All NPs must have a registered nurse (RN) license in Ohio. If you do not hold an RN license to practice in Ohio already, you must apply to the Ohio Board of Nursing for an RN license by Examination or Endorsement, as it applies to you.

RN by Examination

Graduates of board-approved nursing programs who have never been licensed as registered nurses in Ohio are to apply via this route.

  • The lowest academic qualification for those who intend to become an RN is an associates degree.  Graduates of Ohio-based nursing education programs must have their schools email a letter of program completion to the board stating that they completed such a program. This letter must have identical personal information as is provided in your application such as your name.
  • If you studied outside Ohio, you must have your nursing program send a copy of your transcript to the board. It should include the kind of degree obtained and your date of graduation. A Credential Evaluation Service (CES) Professional Report done by the CGFNS is required for foreign-trained applicants. This report must be sent directly from CGFNS to the Ohio Board of Nursing. Unless you were trained in any of the places mentioned in point 5 of the “application instructions” here, you must complete an English proficiency test. You should have a passing score of 84 or higher and your test scores must be sent directly to the board from the testing service.
  • All applicants who opt for this route must take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). This is a computer-based entry-level test for nurses coming newly into practice in any given state in the US. Applicants are required to register for the test here for $200. If you fail the NCLEX, you will be able to test again 45 days after your last attempt but you will be required to re-apply to the board for licensure and re-register at PearsonVue, all fees included. The board must certify your eligibility for the test before PearsonVue, the test vendor, sends you an Authorization to Test (ATT). This will not be possible unless you have submitted a completed application form online, provided supporting documents, and paid the prescribed application fee of $75. Note that the State of Ohio charges an eLicense Transaction fee also. Without the payment of application fees, your application will not be submitted to or reviewed by the board.

RN by Endorsement

Also referred to as “RN by Reciprocity”, this is the process of converting RN licensure from another state or territory to licensure in Ohio. This means that applicants who choose this route have been licensed to practice as RNs in another state and hold a valid and unencumbered RN license to practice in a state other than Ohio.

  • The most important requirement for this route is verification of licensure. The board requires that verification of your initial license by examination, as well as your current RN license, be sent directly to them. Applicants can apply for this to be sent by Nursys if their NCSBN jurisdiction is a Nursys participant. If not, you must request that the appropriate board sends it by email. The verification document should contain proof of your pre-licensing nursing education, as this is also required by the board in the consideration of an applicant. If such information is absent, an original copy of your transcript must be sent to the board.
  • All applicants via this route are required to provide documentation of having completed two contact hours of “Category A” continuing education that is directly related to the Ohio Nurse Practice Act and the rules of the board. This course must be approved by the board, an OBN provider, or offered by an OBN approved provider unit headquartered in the State of Ohio. You can find some of them here.
  • Finally, foreign-trained applicants except those as specified under point 5 of the “application instructions” here must provide proof of English proficiency.
  • The application process is also completed online for a non-refundable fee of $75.

All payments are non-refundable and can be done online using Master Card, VISA, Discover Credit, or debit cards.

All applicants are also required to participate in a BCI and FBI coordinated, fingerprint-based criminal background check. You can learn more about this here.

You are expected to provide a valid mailing address to where the Ohio Board of Nursing will send all communication to. Your email address is necessary for maintaining your nurse portal account and verifying payments.

Advanced Education Requirement

The Ohio Board of Nursing requires applicants for an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse – Nurse Practitioner (APRN-NP) license to obtain graduate education in line with the national APRN Consensus Model. The program should award successful participants with a minimum of a master’s degree (MSN) upon completion and must prepare them to practice within a given specialty area.

The program sets the tone for one’s practice as an NP; hence, it must prepare participants to take a national certification examination for their chosen specialty area and population focus. You can also find and filter Ohio’s nurse practitioner degree programs here.

The national consensus requires prospective APRNs to be trained on advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, and advanced health assessment. For APRNs who need to hold prescriptive authority, they must have completed 45 contact hours of advanced pharmacology over the last three years. Ideal programs include didactic and clinical aspects of training. For programs within Ohio, 1500 hours of externship with at least 500 hours of supervised clinical attachment is suitable.

National Certification

The second purpose of graduate education for prospective APRN-NPs is preparation for a national certification. Certain national certifying bodies are recognized by the board for assessing the quality of your graduate education and your fitness to practice in Ohio. The certification is usually examination-based which is why prospective applicants should consult the approved agency for the certification of  their intended specialty area (for their chosen population foci).

NPs are required to hold and maintain national certification with a recognized agency for their Ohio NP license to remain valid.

Here is a list of approved national certifying agencies for NPs in Ohio:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • National Certification Corporation (NCC)
  • The National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses
  • Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC)

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner in Ohio

All prospective APRN-NPs must obtain a license to practice in Ohio and you can apply for this online for a fee of $150. You are required to have obtained at least a master’s degree with a major in nursing that equips you to take a national certification examination for NPs by the time you are applying.

All applicants for an APRN-NP license are required to possess a valid RN license to practice in Ohio. Once you fill your form online, you must pay the prescribed fees using Master Card, VISA, Discover credit, or debit cards. Your application will not be submitted to or reviewed by the board unless this requirement is met.

You must also request that a copy of your transcript be sent from the institution where you had your NP preparatory program to the board by mail or email. Your transcript must include your name as presented on your application, your date of graduation, the degree awarded, and proof of completion of at least 45 contact hours of advanced pharmacology.

Additionally, you need to request proof of your valid national certification to be sent to the board. If you already have a license to practice as an APRN-NP in another state, you can apply for an APRN-NP license in Ohio by reciprocity. The board will need to see your transcript for your NP preparatory program and proof of continuing education in Ohio law and the rules governing drugs and prescriptive authority.