A Look at Nursing in Ohio

From large urban university hospitals to private practices and rural facilities, there are robust career opportunities for nurses in Ohio. The career outlook for Ohio RNs remains strong, particularly for those committed to pursuing baccalaureate and graduate degree programs.

How Does Ohio RN Job Growth Compare Nationally?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the nationwide demand for RNs is projected to grow much faster than average at 12%, creating 371,500 jobs from 2018-2028. In Ohio, the anticipated rate of growth is even greater. Based on data compiled by Projections Central, the number of RN job openings is expected to increase 14.2% from 2016-2026, resulting in an average of 8,850 job openings per year. Nursing is the most in-demand job in five of the state’s six regions, per the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Factors driving the unprecedented demand include an aging patient population requiring more complex treatment as well as large swaths of experienced RNs nearing retirement age. The Ohio Board of Nursing 2017 Workforce Data Summary Report found that 29% of the state’s active nurses are over age 55. With as many as 73% of the nation’s Baby Boomer nurses planning to leave the workforce by 2020, according to the 2017 AMN Healthcare Survey of Registered Nurses, the demand for qualified RNs will likely remain high.

Where Are Ohio Nurses Employed?

Ohio is home to several healthcare employers, ranging from university and specialty hospitals to clinics and private practices. Depending on your location and education level, you can often find a position geared toward your skills and interests.

Based on research by the Ohio Development Services Agency, six of the top 10 largest employers are healthcare organizations — Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio State University and Medical Center, Bon Secours Mercy Health, University Hospitals Health System, OhioHealth and ProMedica Health System. Together, the six employers account for more than 190,000 jobs.

In addition to hospitals, many organizations have multiple facilities throughout the state that employ RNs such as standalone outpatient clinics, surgery centers and physician offices. Nurses working for insurance companies may also find opportunities in home- and office-based careers like infusion therapy and nurse help lines.

What Are Ohio RN Salaries and Education Levels?

Although pay varies due to many factors, RN salaries are often quite competitive. As of May 2018, the mean annual salary for Ohio RNs was approximately $67,000, according to BLS State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.

As more nurses advance their education, average wages may shift further upward. The Ohio Board of Nursing estimates that only 34% of the state’s nurses currently have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Although this number has risen significantly in recent years — up 10.3% from 2010 to 2017 based on data from the Campaign for Action — Ohio still trails behind the national BSN achievement rate of 56%.</p

The Ohio Nurses Association promotes a BSN in 10 program that encourages RNs to earn the degree within 10 years of initial licensure. The formal position statement highlights the benefits of a BSN-prepared workforce, including improved patient outcomes, reduced healthcare spending and nursing leadership readiness.

Nursing in Ohio

The outlook for nursing in Ohio is promising. With several large healthcare employers and competitive salaries, RNs practicing here will likely benefit from faster-than-average job growth, as nearly one-third of the current nursing workforce nears retirement. Ohio RNs who earn a BSN can maximize their job opportunities and position themselves for future nursing leadership roles while also improving patient care and outcomes.

Learn more about Youngstown State University’s online RN to BSN program.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2018 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Ohio

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Registered Nurses

Campaign for Action: New Resource Highlights Nurses Heeding the Call to Earn Their BSN

Ohio Board of Nursing: Nursing Workforce Data

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: In-Demand Jobs Regional Breakdown

Ohio Development Services Agency: Ohio Business Structure

Ohio Nurses Association: ONA Position on BSN Licensure Within 10 Years of Initial Licensure

PR Newswire: Predicted Retirement Wave of Baby-Boomer Nurses Has Hit, AMN Healthcare Survey Shows

Projections Central – State Occupational Projections: Long-Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026)

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