Online BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP Programs Available in Ohio

The Institute of Medicine and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation issued a report in 2010 that called for doubling the number of doctorate-prepared nurses in the US by 2022. In addition, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has been petitioning for the DNP to become the new educational minimum for RNs seeking APRN licensure as nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, nurse anesthetists and clinical nurse specialists.

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As far back as 2001, stakeholders in Ohio expressed concern about a looming shortage of healthcare workers in the state, particularly primary care providers. The Ohio legislature established the state’s Workforce Shortage Task Force to address the issue in response to the Health Workforce Information Center reporting that Ohio was one of three states with the largest shortfall of nurses and nursing students. According to the Cleveland Foundation, 40% of Ohio nurses surveyed in 2010 expected to leave the field in the next 10 years, which could create a shortfall of nearly 32,000 registered nurses by 2020.

The Cleveland Foundation was one of nine in the country to receive grant funding from Partners Investing in Nursing Futures (PIN). This national initiative seeks to find innovative ways to create an appropriately sized nursing workforce. In addition, the initiative focuses on Ohio’s nurses having the training to meet the changing demands of the current patient population, which more often requires an advanced degree.

The Cleveland Foundation received a $200,000 grant that is being matched by local funding. The foundation is working in partnership with the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation and several Ohio nursing schools to expand the number of nurse educators.

DNP programs available online and at campus locations in Ohio are open to both BSN and MSN-educated nurses. The AACN reported that 463 students were enrolled in DNP programs in Ohio during the fall of 2015.

A number of Ohio’s doctorate-prepared nurses who hold highly influential positions in the state:

  • Karen Mascolo, DNP, RN, NE-BC, Assistant Professor at Kent State University
  • Jeffrey L. Bevan, DNP – CEO at Sentinel Health of Ohio
  • Sylvain Trepanier, DNP, RN, CENP – System VP & Chief Nursing Officer, Premier Health
  • LaKesha Wyse, NDP, MSN/Ed, RN – Manager of Faculty – Online DNP Program at Chamberlain College of Nursing
  • Joshua Gossett, DNP, MBA, RN, FACHE – Healthcare Quality Improvement Expert – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Cindy Zelleforw, DNP, MSEd, RN, LSN, APHN-BC – Assistant Clinical Faculty at The Ohio State University College of Nursing
  • Renee Diane Pennington, CNP, DNP – CEO at CampusPsych LLC & DNP Consulting LLP
  • Phyllis Kronk, DNP, RN-BC, CHPN – Hospice Manager at UH Hospitals Hospice

Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree in Ohio

Ohio’s DNP programs are designed for nurses who already hold at least a BSN. A number of programs offer the option for BSN-educated nurses to advance to the doctorate level while earning both an MSN and DNP. While BSN students enrolled in DNP programs typically earn an MSN before they earn the terminal DNP, one school in Ohio offers the option of advancing directly from a BSN to a DNP.

Of course, conventional DNP programs are also available that offer MSN-trained nurses the option to advance to a DNP. Several of Ohio’s post-MSN programs are designed specifically for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNS) looking to obtain the highest level of clinical training available by earning their DNP with a Clinical Expert track. Other programs offer a Nurse Executive track for those seeking positions as administrators, educators, clinical nurse leaders, or public health specialists.

Ohio nurses who seek more flexibility in their DNP studies can avail themselves of a number of accredited online DNP programs. Such programs enable both bachelor’s- and master’s-prepared nurses to take their courses while continuing to work in their chosen careers.

In Ohio, nurses enrolled in these online programs would work with their faculty advisor to find placement in an appropriate clinical setting that collaborates with their program. Such settings can range from geriatric sites to occupational health clinics depending on a student’s specialty. Students would then work with their advisor to determine a research focus that complements the studies in their chosen specialty for a final DNP project.

Doctorate-Level Coursework and DNP Projects

Nurses enrolled in DNP programs earn the highest level of education in their chosen area of practice. Nursing schools in Ohio offer an unusually diverse number of tracks for their DNP students. Online with online programs available in Ohio, specialty tracks include:

  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nurse Anesthesia
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Executive Leadership
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Advanced Clinical Practice/Specialization in APRN Roles

Earning a DNP typically involves completing at least 1,000 hours of clinical sequences. Hours from both the students’ masters and doctoral programs count towards this requirement. In some cases, students entering a DNP program may already have post-baccalaureate hours. These hours can count towards a DNP if they are properly documented.

A final requirement to obtain a DNP is to complete a DNP project in the student’s chosen specialty. Nurses will work with a program mentor to identify an appropriate area of research.

Examples of DNP projects pursued in Westerville include:

  • Osteoporosis screening at the point of care with screening mammography
  • Promoting oral health care knowledge in African-American college students
  • The feasibility of hypertension management in the retail health facility
  • Improving vaccinations among Amish children in Knox County, Ohio

BSN to DNP Programs for BSN-Prepared Nurses

Most DNP programs for BSN-educated nurses involve obtaining a master’s degree in nursing first before enrolling in the final DNP segment of the program. Such arrangements enable nurses to earn both their master’s and doctoral degrees in one accelerated program at the same educational institution. This provides the most direct educational route for career advancement in the nursing field.

At the master’s level, nurses typically complete 30 core credits and additional coursework based on their chosen concentration.

Once nurses have completed their coursework at the master’s level, their next step is to complete the DNP-level coursework for their chosen track.

CCNE-Accredited BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP Programs Available in Ohio

The following DNP programs have been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) (current as of 2016).

  • Ashland University, Ashland
    • Post-MSN and BSN-DNP
    • Post-MSN designed for advanced practice nurses
      • Specialty in Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland
    • Post-MSN:
      • Educational Leadership
      • Clinical Leadership
  • Mount St. Joseph University, Cincinnati
    • Post-MSN specialty in Health Systems Leadership
  • Otterbein University, Westerville
    • Post-MSN:
      • Advanced practice nurses
      • Nurse executives
  • The Ohio State University, Columbus
    • Post-MSN and BSN-DNP
      • Clinical Expert
      • Nurse Executive
  • University of Akron, Akron
    • Post-MSN designed for advanced practice nurses
  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati
    • Post-MSN and BSN-DNP
      • Adult Gerontology Primary Care
      • Family Nurse Practitioner
      • Nursing Administration
      • Nurse Anesthesia
      • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner—Acute Care
      • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner—Primary Care
  • University of Toledo, Toledo
    • Post-MSN and BSN-DNP
      • Family Nurse Practitioner
      • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Ursuline College, Pepper Pike
    • BSN-DNP
      • Adult Nurse Practitioner
      • Family Nurse Practitioner
      • Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Post-MSN
      • Nursing Education
      • Nursing Administration
      • Nursing Informatics
  • Walsh University, North Canton
    • Post-MSN
      • APRN
      • Aggregate/Sytems/Organizational Focus
  • Wright State University, Dayton
    • Specialties include:
      • Direct care advanced practice nurses:
        • APRNs
        • CNM
        • CRNA
      • Indirect care/leadership
        • Administrators
        • Clinical Nurse Leaders
        • Educators
        • Public Health

A larger selection of CCNE and ACEN (American Commission for Education in Nursing)-accredited DNP programs are available online.

Other DNP programs in the state not shown here may be regionally accredited or hold specialty accreditation through the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs or the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education.

Opportunities Available to Ohio’s DNP-Prepared Nurses

Nurses with a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Ohio have the skills and training to serve as high-level clinical practitioners or in executive leadership positions. Many DNP-prepared nurses continue with their current employer and thus advance to a higher-paying position. This is likely to be the case for students of the many DNP programs in Ohio that are designed to hone the skills of advanced practice registered nurses.

Serving as faculty at nursing colleges is another option for DNP-educated nurses. While such options used to require that applicants for faculty positions possess an MSN, the advent of DNP programs changed the status quo. Many nursing schools now require that their applicants for faculty positions possess a doctoral degree.

With many of Ohio’s nurse educators nearing retirement age, a number of nurse faculty positions have been offered in the state. For example, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reported that Ohio offered 63 faculty positions in 2015. The AACN also reported that the average age of Ohio’s nurse faculty was 53 that year, so many of the faculty members in the state will be retiring soon resulting in vacancies that will need to be filled.

A survey of jobs offered for DNP-educated nurses in April 2016 identified a clinical position along with a number of academic positions. These job listings are shown for informational purposes only and are not meant to represent an assurance of employment:

Nurse Practitioner in Neurology with Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron

  • Doctoral degree in nursing preferred
  • Must be licensed as an RN in Ohio and have national certification as a nurse practitioner
  • Must obtain a certificate to prescribe

Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor of Nursing with Wittenburg University in Springfield

  • DNP or PhD required
  • Individuals completing their DNP project or final PhD dissertation are welcome to apply
  • Must have an active, unrestricted Ohio RN license or the eligibility for one
  • Two years of experience in undergraduate and/or graduate teaching and advising in nursing is required

Director of Nursing Academic Services with Xavier University in Cincinnati

  • DNP, Doctoral degree, or MSN required
  • 7+ years of nursing practice required
  • 3+ years of teaching experience at the baccalaureate level or higher in nursing
  • NLN Certification preferred

Associate Academic Dean with Mercy Health in Toledo

  • Doctoral preparation required
  • Five years of academic program/division leadership required
  • Candidate will provide leadership and assist in setting strategic direction for the college in the areas of Academic Program Review, Effectiveness, and Institutional Assessment

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