Nurse practitioners (NPs) are registered nurses with advanced education and clinical experience who are able to perform many of the duties and functions traditionally reserved for physicians, including treating and diagnosing illnesses, prescribing most drugs, assisting with or performing minor surgeries and performing wellness and preventative care duties. Each state has its own, slightly different, requirements for the licensing of nurse practitioners. Most states, including Ohio, require that candidates earn at least a Master of Science in Nursing degree and be board certified in a particular medical specialty. To become an Ohio nurse practitioner, a candidate must also pass the licensing exam.
Nurse Practitioner vs. Physician Assistant: What’s the Difference
Nurse practitioners and physicians assistants (PAs) both work directly with patients and can perform some of the tasks and duties of a physician. However, nurse practitioners differ from PAs in that most nurse practitioners have years of nursing experience before they ever start training to be an NP. The average NP candidate has ten years of nursing experience prior to enrolling in the program. This brings a depth of practical knowledge that can’t be found in someone just out of college.
Ohio: Nurse Practitioners at a Glance
Nurse practitioners are a vital part of the Ohio health care system. If you are considering pursuing a career as an NP in the Buckeye State, here is a little of what you need to know:
Number of NPs in Ohio: 5,440
NPs per 100,000 populations: 47
Who governs/grants licenses to NPs: The Ohio State Board of Nursing regulates and licenses nurse practitioners in the state of Ohio.
Do you need to be an RN? Yes
Do you need a Master of Science in Nursing to become a NP? Yes, Ohio law requires that NPs in Ohio have an earned graduate degree in nursing.
Are there other requirements? In addition to a nursing license and an advanced degree, Ohio law requires NPs to be board certified in their specialty and have a collaborating physician or podiatrist.
How much does a Nurse Practitioner earn in Ohio? Nurse practitioners in Ohio make an average salary of $82,000. (Salaries vary based on the employment setting, geographic location, educational background and years of experience.)
Do NPs need a physician’s supervision for diagnosis and treatment? Yes, NPs in Ohio are required to collaborate with a licensed physician or podiatrist.
Do NPs need a physician’s supervision to prescribe medication? In most cases, no.
Are there drug classifications that NPs cannot prescribe? If so, provide details: NPs in Ohio may only prescribe a 24-hour supply of Schedule II drugs.
Ohio: Nurse Practitioner Outlook
According to Community Catalyst, a health care advocacy group, Ohio missed the mark in holding down the cost of health care, in part because of the state’s hesitancy to embrace and make use of nurse practitioners. This group credits NPs with reducing health care costs, as well as patient admissions and complications.
Slowly, United States health organizations and hospitals are making more use of nurse practitioners. Like the general demand for registered nurses, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates will rise by twenty-six percent over the next eight years, more and more opportunities will continue to be created for NPs in the Buckeye State and beyond.