A registered nurse (RN) plans and implements nursing care for assigned patients in her work location, such as a hospital floor or an emergency room. She assists doctors during examinations and procedures, takes patient vital signs, performs tests and administers oral medications and injections. An RN in Ohio makes a lower salary on average than the national average for this occupation.
Like all other states, Ohio requires RNs to be licensed to practice. A prospective nurse typically completes an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor of science in nursing to qualify to take the National Council Licensure Examination-RN exam. Less commonly, he qualifies by obtaining a diploma from an approved hospital-sponsored training program. Ohio has 69 programs in 40 cities leading to an ADN or BSN, advises NurseGroups.com. Obtaining a BSN may not have a large impact on salary at first, but it provides more job opportunities and is important for advancement into leadership positions. A BSN is also necessary for a nurse who wants to return to school for a master's degree to become a nurse practitioner.
The average nationwide salary for RNs as of January 2011 was about $65,500 per year, finds CBSalary.com. Those in the middle 50 percent of the earnings scale were making $45,300 to $90,700. The average salary for RNs in Ohio, in contrast, was $58,400 per year, with the middle 50 percent range at $40,400 to $80,800.
Average salaries for RNs in Ohio vary by city. Those in Chillicothe, for example, were making about $55,600 on average as of January 2011, while the average salary for RNs in Columbus was $61,700. RNs in Toledo had an average annual salary of $56,100, in Cleveland $59,400, in Dayton $59,800 and in Cincinnati $60,400.
RNs have excellent job opportunities due to several factors. Both the general population and the elderly population are increasing, and elderly people tend to have more illnesses and injuries than younger people do. In addition, a large percentage of RNs are approaching retirement age. Employers in some regions and in certain work settings report difficulty attracting and retaining enough RNs to fill positions, as noted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For networking and other benefits, consider joining the Ohio Nurses Association.