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Steps to Becoming an APN in Ohio

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Get your Graduate Degree in Ohio
Earn your National Certification in Ohio
Apply for your Certificate of Authority in Ohio
Renew your Certificate of Authority in Ohio

 

The Ohio Board of Nursing (phone: 614-466-6180, apn@nursing.ohio.gov) regulates and grants certificates of authority to qualified registered nurses in four advanced practice nursing (APN) roles:

  • Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)
  • Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

To be approved to work as an APN in Ohio, you must hold a valid, unencumbered Ohio RN license. If you do not hold an active RN license in Ohio, you can obtain one by completing one of the following steps:

Ohio Job Statistics

  • 2011 base salary for NPs in Ohio: $88,140
  • June of 2012, Ohio Board of Nursing adds Schedule II drugs to APRN prescriptive authority
  • April 2004, Ohio Board of Nursing adds referral of physical therapy to APRN scope of practice
  • Avg. annual openings for RNs in OH: 4,175


 

Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

To work toward your APN certificate of authority in Ohio, you must successfully complete a graduate degree with a major in a nursing specialty or in a related field that qualifies you to sit for a certification examination from a national certifying body. You can review institutional, programmatic, and specialized accrediting agencies listed in the United States Department of Education (USDE) database of recognized accrediting bodies to confirm that your master’s, post-baccalaureate certificate, or doctorate program meets accreditation standards.

Since national certification through a Board-recognized certifying body is a condition for APRN licensure, you may inquire with your certifying body of choice to verify that your advanced practice nursing program of interest meets accreditation standards (see Step 2 for information on Board-recognized certifying bodies).

Course Requirements

The Ohio Board of Nursing maintains education requirements in line with the national APRN Consensus Model. In accordance with the Consensus Model, advanced practice nursing programs must include the following core courses:

  • Advanced pathophysiology/physiology (that includes general principles applicable across the human lifespan)
  • Advanced health assessment (that includes assessment of all systems of the body, advanced assessment methods, techniques, and concepts)
  • Advanced pharmacology (that includes pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics of broad categories of agents)

The Consensus Model also specifies that didactic and clinical study cover the six main population foci:

  • Family/individual health across the lifespan
  • Adult health and gerontology
  • Neonatology
  • Pediatrics
  • Women’s health and gender-related health
  • Psychiatric mental health

Prescriptive Authority

If you intend to hold prescriptive privileges under your Ohio APN authority, you must complete a course of study in advanced pharmacology and related topics, including pharmacokinetic principles and clinical application and the use of drugs and therapeutic devices in illness preventing and maintenance of health, that total at least 45 contact hours.

Of the 45 hours, at least 36 must cover pharmacokinetics, clinical application, and the use of drugs and therapeutic devices, and a minimum of 6 contact hours must be in the fiscal, legal, and ethical implication of prescribing.


 

Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

To obtain an APN certificate of authority in Ohio, you must pass a national certification examination as a generalist or in a specialty area within one of the four general APN roles recognized by the Ohio Board of Nursing:

  • Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)
  • Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

The following list represents the national certification bodies recognized by the Ohio Board of Nursing, along with generalist, population focus, and subspecialty certifications offered by each:

  • National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists
    • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
    • Adult Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
    • Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
    • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Clinical Specialist in Medical-Surgical Nursing
    • Clinical Specialist in Gerontological Nursing
    • Clinical Specialist in Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
    • Clinical Specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
    • Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Adult and Family)


 

Step 3.  Apply for your Certificate of Authority

To apply for a certificate of authority in your advanced practice nursing specialty, you must complete the Certificate of Authority Application Packet. After you have completed the application, you must sign the Affidavit and have it notarized.

In order to be eligible for a certificate of authority (COA) to practice as an APN in Ohio, you must submit the following to the Board of Nursing:

  • A completed application for a Certificate of Authority (complete the application with a pen or typed print)
  • A $100 processing fee in a certified check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the “Treasurer, State of Ohio”
  • A recent, passport-size (2” x 2”) photograph with your name and social security written on the back
  • Verification of your national certification (Form A) sent directly from the certifying organization to the Board
  • Verification of your graduate degree with a major in a nursing specialty (Form B) sent directly from the educational institution to the Board

Send the completed and notarized application, the processing fee and all related documentation to the Ohio Board of Nursing, ATTN: Advanced Practice Unit, 17 South High Street, Suite 400, Columbus, OH 43215-7410.

You can click on the Verify a License or Certificate on the Board’s website to check if your application has been received and reviewed.

Prescriptive Authority

Note: Updated prescriptive authority applications to include authority to prescribe schedule II controlled substances are not currently available, but will be forthcoming.

  • If you are applying for initial prescriptive authority and you do not hold a certificate to prescribe in any other jurisdiction, you must complete the Certificate to Prescribe Externship (CTP-E) form and submit the following:
    • A $50 fee in a certified check, cashier’s check or money order made payable to “Treasurer, State of Ohio”
    • The first and last name of your collaborating physician(s), along with their medical license numbers, addresses and telephone numbers
    • Documentation of the completion of at least 45 contact hours in advanced pharmacology that was completed in the three years preceding your application for prescriptive authority (documentation must include evidence of at least 36 hours from a single provider in pharmacokinetics, clinical application, and the use of drugs and therapeutic devices and a minimum of 6 contact hours specific to the fiscal, legal, and ethical implication of prescribing)
    • The first certificate issued for prescriptive authority is an externship, or CTP-E. All applicants must complete the externship form (Form E, Verification of the Completion of Externship Hours), which details all externship hours completed under direct and indirect supervision. The externship period includes at least 1,500 hours (maximum 1,800 hours) of supervision.

Send the completed form, the processing fee and all documentation to the Ohio Board of Nursing, ATTN: Advanced Practice Unit, 17 South High Street, Suite 400, Columbus, OH 43215-7410.

You must also submit the following:

  • A $50 fee in a certified check, cashier’s check or money order made payable to “Treasurer, State of Ohio”
  • Documentation of either (a) a valid authority to prescribe drugs and therapeutic devices, and at least some controlled substances, for a continuous period of at least one year in the past three years, or (b) employment through the federal government for a continuous period of at least one year during the past three years, and the authority to prescribe drugs and therapeutic devices, and at least some controlled substances (Form A)
  • Documentation that the prescribing component was overseen or supervised by a licensed physician in another jurisdiction or employed by the federal government (Form B)
  • Completion of a two-hour, Board-approved course regarding Ohio laws
  • Name and contact information regarding the collaborating physician

Send the completed form, the processing fee and all documentation to the Ohio Board of Nursing, ATTN: Advanced Practice Unit, 17 South High Street, Suite 400, Columbus, OH 43215-7410.

Controlled Substances

Senate Bill 83 was passed by the Ohio legislature and signed by Governor Kasich on March 9, 2012, and will go into effect on June 8, 2012, to expand the authority of certain APNs to prescribe schedule II controlled substances. In order to prescribe controlled substances and receive a Certificate to Prescribe (CTP), all APNs must complete at least 6 hours of continuing education. The Board will give all APNs with a CTP until the end of the renewal cycle on August 31, 2013, to complete their continuing education requirements. For more information on the implementation of Ohio’s CTP and the implementation of prescription privileges for controlled substances, you can contact the Board at board@nursing.ohio.gov

Collaborative Agreement/Standard Care Arrangement

If you are applying for a certificate of authority as a CNM, CNP or a CNS, you must identify all collaborating physicians with whom you have a standard care arrangement.

If you are a CNS with a mental health or psychiatric mental health specialty, you must identify all collaborating physicians, but you are not required to have a standard care arrangement.

All standard care arrangements must include:

  • The signature of each collaborating physician with whom you will collaborate within the standard care arrangement
  • The date when the arrangement is initially executed
  • The dates of the most recent reviews between the physician and the APN
  • A statement of services offered by the CNM, CNP or CNS
  • A description of the scope of prescriptive practice, if applicable
  • A plan for incorporating new technology or procedures


 

Step 4.  Renew your Certificate of Authority

All APN certificates of authority must be renewed on a biennial basis before July 1 on odd numbered years online through the Ohio License Center Verification Site. The biennial renewal fee for all APN certificates of authority is $85. If you fail to renew your certificate of authority before the expiration date, you must pay the renewal fee, plus a late fee of $50. The renewal fee for the certificate to prescribe is $50.

You may place your APN certificate of authority on inactive status by checking the appropriate box on your renewal application. You may also submit a written statement to the Board requesting inactive status at any time.

Continuing Education Requirements

All RNs in Ohio must complete 24 hours of CE every two years for license renewal. As an APN, you can satisfy your RN continuing education hours through your continuing education requirements necessary to maintain your national certification.

If you are a CNS who received your certificate of authority before December 31, 2000, and you are therefore not certified by a national nursing certifying organization, you must obtain 12 contact hours of continuing education in addition to the 24 hours required for your biennial renewal.

If you hold a certificate to prescribe, you must complete additional CE in advanced pharmacology, which includes 12 hours in a full renewal period.

Reinstatement/Reactivation

If you want to reinstate or reactivate your APN license, you must first complete and mail the Request for Application to Reactivate or Reinstate a Nursing License/Certificate form. Do not send any proof of continuing education, fees, or documentation with this form.

The form can be faxed to 614-466-0388, ATTN: Renewal Unit, or mail it to the Ohio Board of Nursing, ATTN: Renewal Unit, 17 South High Street, Suite 400, Columbus, OH 43215-7410.

If your license has been inactive or expired for more than 5 years, you must provide proof of your continued national certification status and meet the following continuing education requirements:

  • 2 contact hours must be approved by an Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN) approver or offered by an OBN approved provider unit headquartered in Ohio (you can find information on OBN Approvers here)
  • 6 contact hours for the application of the nursing process and critical thinking, clinical reasoning or nursing judgment related to patient care
  • 6 contact hours in pharmacology, which may include drug classifications, medication errors and patient safety
  • 2 contact hours in clinical or organizational ethical principles in healthcare, including courses covering end-of-life care, confidentiality and legal medical issues
  • 8 contact hours relevant to your nursing practice

The cost of reinstating a lapsed certificate of authority is $100.

Advanced Practice Nurse Associations in Ohio

There are a number of professional organizations that support APNs in Ohio:

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