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About ONA

What is the Ohio Nurses Association?
The Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) is a member-driven, multi-purpose professional assocation for Registered Nurses in the state of Ohio that offers RNs continuing education opportunities, nursing practice information and standards of care, legislative advocacy and collective bargaining. ONA's focus is on advancing the nursing profession in the service of quality health care.

What is the Ohio Nurses Foundation?  
The Ohio Nurses Foundation (ONF) is the charitable giving arm of the Ohio Nurses Association. ONF has distributed tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships and grants to worthy students and nurses. ONF exists solely on donations from ONA members, the nursing community and outside partners. The Nurses Choice Awards and Scholarship Luncheon is ONF's scholarship and appreciation luncheon and is held annually in Columbus.


I am moving to another state. How do I apply for licensure there?  
You will need to contact the licensing board in the state in which you intend to practice.  The easiest way to find contact information for a board of nursing is to visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) web site at www.ncsbn.org.  Click on State Boards of Nursing to locate contact information for the state of interest.

I am starting my own nursing agency. What additional licensure do I need?  
No additional nursing licensure is required; however, there may be other requirements to be met regarding business operations, accreditation, or reimbursement for services.  Contact your local Small Business Association for assistance.

What is the difference between the licensing board and the Ohio Nurses Association?
The Ohio Board of Nursing is a part of the state government and derives its duties and powers from state law. Its job is to promote and protect the health of the citizens of Ohio through the safe and effective practice of nursing.  The Board accomplishes this by establishing educational criteria for schools of nursing, issuing licenses, promulgating rules to regulate the practice of nursing, and disciplining licensees who fail to follow the law and rules regulating nursing practice, among other functions. The Board of Nursing derives its funding from the licensing fees submitted by applicants for licensure or re-licensure within the state of Ohio. All questions regarding licensure, licensure verification, certificates of authority, prescriptive authority, dialysis certification, and community health workers should be directed to the Ohio Board of Nursing.

A professional association such as the Ohio Nurses Association is a voluntary membership association.ONA is the professional organization for registered nurses living or practicing within the state of Ohio.  Unlike specialty nursing associations, the ONA directs its efforts to promoting the practice of all registered nurses. ONA carries out its mission to advance professional nursing in Ohio by providing legislative, educational, practice, membership, and collective bargaining services for its members. Additional directives for ONA are determined by members at ONA's biennial convention. ONA derives its operational funds from membership dues.

Malpractice Insurance

Should I have my own malpractice insurance? My employer says that as long as I follow policy and procedure, I will be covered.  
YES! YES! YES!  Employers that must pay damages or fines because of nurse practice errors are not likely to let the situation rest.  Employers can and do try to recover those monies through counter-suits. Also, make sure that your liability coverage is occurrence-based.  Occurrence-based policies cover incidents that happened during the effective dates of the policy whether or not you are still employed with the provider.  Claims-based coverage, on the other hand, provides you with liability protection only as long as you remain employed in the same facility.  If you change employers during the course of a claims-based policy, your coverage becomes ineffective.  And, remember that lawsuits may arise months and years after an incident occurred.  How likely is it that you will still be employed by the same institution in which the incident occurred? Employer-provided policies seldom include legal representation for disciplinary hearings or challenges to one's nursing license. Often, it is the employer that initiates these kinds of challenges. Additional coverage, including replacement of lost wages due to court appearances, liability protection beyond the workplace, and license protection can only be had in personal professional insurance policies.

Nurse Practice Act

What is the Nurse Practice Act and where can I get a copy?  
Nurses are accountable for knowing the law and rules regarding nursing practice in their state. The Nurse Practice Act is the law regarding nursing practice. All Ohio law is codified in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC).  The scope of practice of the registered nurse and licensed practical nurse are located in the law, Chapter 4723. The rules regarding nursing practice (Ohio Administrative Code or OAC) "fill out" the law by outlining the processes developed by the Board of Nursing to carry out the law.  Rules are promulgated by the Board and are reviewed at least every five years.  Rules hearings are an open process, including an annual public hearing each November in which nurses are encouraged to participate.  Standards of safe nursing practice, continuing education requirements, and principles of delegation are some of the topics outlined in the rules. The complete law and rules regarding nursing practice are available for download at the Ohio Board of Nursing web site: www.nursing.ohio.gov

Standards of Practice 

Where can I find the standards of nursing practice?  
Standards of practice are developed by professional organizations, usually at the national level, to establish norms relative to the average practitioner.  All levels of expertise, from novice to nurse expert, should be able to meet these expectations for nursing practice.

If standards of practice are published by professional organizations, are they really legal requirements of practice? 
Standards of practice that are not included in state law are, nevertheless, important guidelines for the nurse in determining the minimum expectations for the practice of professional nursing. Standards assume a "quasi" legal status because they are used by expert nurse witnesses to determine the minimally expected behaviors of the "average nurse."  Testimony regarding standards of practice may be presented during malpractice cases or disciplinary hearings before a licensing board. 

The American Nurses Association (ANA) develops standards for a variety of nursing specialties, including gerontological, pediatric, psych-mental health, neonatal, and medical-surgical nursing…to name but a few. To find a complete list of ANA standards publications, visit the ANA web site at www.nursingworld.org.

Specialty nursing organizations may also publish their own standards.  Visit their web sites for more information on purchasing a copy of the nursing standards relative to a specific area of practice.

Standards of safe nursing practice may also be included in state law and rule.  These standards apply to all areas of practice, whether the nurse is working in home health or an intensive care unit. Generally, nursing standards found in state law and rule address the ethical and legal behaviors expected of the licensed nurse. Nurses who breach those standards outlined in law or rule may face criminal prosecution and/or discipline from the regulatory board.


How do I get permission to reprint an article in the Ohio Nurses Review or the Ohio Nurse?   
In order to use copyrighted materials developed by the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA), a person (including individuals as well as business entities and educational institutions) must have permission to do so.  Permission will be granted under the conditions set forth below.  If these conditions are not as described, the permission is not valid.

  • The materials will be used solely for educational purposes.

  • Citation and/or credit will be given to the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) or the Ohio Nurses Foundation (ONF), whichever is applicable, for all materials used.

  • The material is not used for an entity or individual’s own independent study.  Persons wishing to award continuing education credit for the material must go through ONA or ONF.

Please email ONA's Director of Communication at mackley@ohnurses.org with "Permission to Reprint" in the subject line and include the following information:

  • Identify the publication, volume, issue and title of the article you want permission to reprint,

  • Identify yourself and your employer,

  • Describe how you will use the publication.

ONA or ONF will evaluate your request and respond within 7-10 business days. Requests that do not include all of the above information will not be considered.


Is ONA a union?  
ONA is the recognized leader and advocate for Ohio's nurses, regardless of work environment. 

ONA is a multi-pupose professional association that serves collective-bargaining nurses as well as non-collective-bargaining nurses. Thousands of our dynamic members are nurses at collective-bargaining facilities that have chosen ONA as their union, and ONA provides them with labor relations services in addition to the other programs offered by ONA. Thousands of ONA members, however, are not collective-bargaining nurses and take advantage of ONA's continuing education opportunities, nursing practice information, standards of care, legislative advocacy and member-only discounts.

© 2014 Ohio Nurses Association All rights reserved.