Online FNP Programs in Ohio

Ohio is home to six institutions that offer online degree programs for students interested in specializing as family nurse practitioners (FNPs). Cedarville University, Ohio University, the University of Cincinnati, and Wright State University each have Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs designed for registered nurses (RNs) who possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and want to pursue APRN certification as an FNP. Ashland University offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in the specialty, which is open to students with a BSN and active RN licensure. Finally, The Ohio State University offers three different program tracks for aspiring FNPs: an MSN degree, a post-master’s certificate option, and a BSN to DNP program.

The FNP programs at all six of these schools are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). While each program features fully online coursework, students are still required to complete clinical practice hours at a local health care facility, and may also need to visit campus several times for on-site orientations or training sessions. To learn more about online FNP programs in Ohio, as well as state licensing requirements for this APRN specialty, check out the detailed information below.

Program Information: Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs in Ohio

Ashland University has several campus sites throughout Ohio, including centers in Cleveland and Columbus, a College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Mansfield, and a main campus in Ashland. Their online BSN to DNP Family Nurse Practitioner program is comprised of 77 credits, and requires the completion of 1,000 clinical hours. Coursework is delivered through primarily asynchronous instruction; however, some lectures may take place at set times which students must attend live online. Ashland’s online FNP program is only available part-time, and can be completed in four years (12 semesters) of study. Students are required to visit campus six times throughout the entire program.

The online MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program at Cedarville University is open to licensed RNs who have earned their BSN, and is available on either a full- or part-time basis. Students must complete 45 credits and 600 clinical practice hours in order to graduate with their master’s in the specialty. Those pursuing the degree full-time can expect to finish the program in two years (five terms), while the part-time track is designed to be completed in three years (eight terms). Both enrollment options require students to make four campus visits, each lasting two to three days. These include a Clinical Orientation prior to students’ first FNP clinical specialty course, followed by three on-campus intensives that combine face-to-face instruction and simulation experiences.

One of the largest universities in the United States, The Ohio State University (OSU) offers a wide range of online degree options, including three FNP program tracks. Their online MSN program is open to RNs who possess either a BSN or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, and requires 62 credits and 650 clinical hours to graduate. Students can pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time basis, with the five-semester full-time program taking 20 months to complete, and the seven-semester part-time program taking 32 months. OSU’s post-master’s FNP certificate consists of roughly 48 credits (depending on how many core MSN courses students completed in their previous graduate program) and 650 clinical practice hours. The program is only available part-time, and may span anywhere from 20 to 32 months. For students looking to earn their doctorate in the FNP specialty, OSU offers an online BSN to DNP program that requires 87 to 88 credits and approximately 1,150 clinical hours. The DNP degree can be completed in 44 months of full-time study, or 56 months of part-time study. While the MSN and post-master’s tracks do not require any campus visits, DNP students must travel to OSU five to six times over the course of their program.

Ohio University in Athens has an online MSN program for BSN-prepared nurses who want to earn their master’s and gain certification in the FNP specialty. Offered only on a full-time basis, their BSN to MSN program requires 41 credits and 650 clinical practice hours. Students can complete the degree in two years, making three mandatory campus visits over the six-semester course of study. Apart from these on-campus intensives and the clinical hour requirements, coursework in Ohio University’s MSN FNP program is delivered entirely online through asynchronous instruction.

The University of Cincinnati also offers an online BSN to MSN program for RNs looking to specialize as family nurse practitioners. The full-time program takes approximately 24 months (or six terms) to complete, and consists of 50 course credits. Online MSN FNP students are not required to visit campus at any point during the program; however, they must fulfill 672 clinical practice hours at a local hospital or health care clinic. Curriculum in the University of Cincinnati’s online MSN program is delivered using asynchronous instruction, meaning students do not have to log in at any specific time to view lectures or access course materials.

Located in Dayton, the Wright State University (WSU) – Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health has an online MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program that can be pursued on either a full- or part-time basis. The program, designed for licensed RNs who have earned their BSN, includes 49 course credits, and requires 616 clinical practicum hours. Full-time students can complete WSU’s FNP program in two years over six semesters, while the part-time track is spread over nine semesters, and takes three years to complete. WSU requires online MSN students in the FNP specialty to visit campus five times during their entire program.

Ohio FNP Licensing Requirements

In order to practice as an FNP in the state of Ohio, nurses must apply for and obtain a Certificate of Authority (COA) from the Ohio Board of Nursing. Applicants are required to hold a current, unencumbered RN license in the state, as well as a graduate degree in the FNP specialty from a state-approved nursing program. The Ohio Board of Nursing recognizes master’s degree, post-master’s certificate, or doctorate programs that qualify students to sit for national certification exams administered by either the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This includes FNP programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

The Ohio Board of Nursing maintains educational requirements for prospective FNPs that are in line with the national APRN Consensus Model. This means applicants for state certification must have completed the following three courses as part of their graduate FNP program: advanced pathophysiology/physiology, advanced health assessment, and advanced pharmacology. In addition, students are required to have received training in all six of the APRN population foci: family/individual across lifespan, adult-gerontology, neonatal, pediatrics, women’s health/gender-related, and psychiatric-mental health.

Once students have completed an accredited and approved graduate program, they will need to earn national APRN certification from either the AANP or ANCC. In order to qualify for these examinations, RNs must have fulfilled at least 500 supervised clinical practice hours as part of their degree program. Earning national certification as an FNP qualifies nurses to apply for a Certificate of Authority to practice in Ohio. Applicants will need to submit the following items to the Ohio Board of Nursing as part of the COA application process:

  • A completed online application for the Certificate of Authority
  • Verification of a graduate degree in the FNP specialty
  • Verification of national APRN certification
  • A recent passport size photo
  • A $100 processing fee

The Certificate of Authority must be renewed on a biennial basis through the Ohio eLicense Center website, which entails a fee of $50. RNs in Ohio are required to complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years in order to renew their state licensure.


Universities in Ohio with Online FNP Programs

School Department Program Name Degree Earned Program Structure Number of Campus Visits Required Clinical Hours Required Curriculum Options Program Start Dates Website
Ashland University Dwight Schar College of Nursing & Health Sciences Online Doctor of Nursing Program (BSN to DNP) Program - Family Nurse Practitioner DNP (BSN Required) Online instruction with an on-campus orientation and five additional on-campus visits with clinical hours requirements 6 1000 clinical hours required Part-time only Summer admission only www.ashland.edu
Cedarville University School of Nursing Online Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Pracititioner (FNP) program MSN (BSN Required) Online instruction with four on-campus experiences (each experience is 2-3 days long) with clinical hours requirements 4 600 clinical hours required Full-time and Part-time Fall and Spring admission www.cedarville.edu
Ohio University School of Nursing Online Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner specialty MSN (BSN Required) Online instruction with an on-campus orientation and two on-campus intensives with clinical hours requirements 3 650 clinical hours required Full-time only Fall, Spring and Summer admission onlinemasters.ohio.edu
The Ohio State University College of Nursing Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN to DNP) - Family Nurse Practitioner specialty DNP (BSN Required) Online with on-campus visits required (one orientation visit per year plus a final visit at the end of the program) with clinical hours requirements 5-6 (FT vs. PT) ~1,150 clinical hours required (1000 hours minimum) Full-time and Part-time Autumn semester only nursing.osu.edu
The Ohio State University College of Nursing Online Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner specialty MSN (BSN or Non-Nursing Bachelors accepted) Online instruction with clinical hours requirements 0 650 clinical hours required Full-time and Part-time Autumn semester only nursing.osu.edu
The Ohio State University College of Nursing Online Post-Master's Study Option - Family Nurse Practitioner specialty Post-MSN Online instruction with clinical hours requirements 0 650 clinical hours required Part-time only Autumn semester only nursing.osu.edu
University of Cincinnati College of Nursing Online MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Program MSN (BSN Required) Online instruction with clinical hours requirements 0 672 clinical hours required Full-time only Fall, Spring and Summer admission nursingonline.uc.edu
Wright State University - Miami Valley Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health Online Master of Science (MS) - Family Nurse Practitioner program MSN (BSN Required) Online instruction with 5 on-campus visits and clinical hours requirements 5 616 clinical hours required Full-time and Part-time Fall and Summer admission nursing.wright.edu