Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Oklahoma

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Oklahoma is currently home to nearly 50,000 registered nurses and approximately 2,000 advanced practice nurses, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The industry is robust, yet still has room to grow. Nursing schools in Oklahoma produced 1,260 graduates, across degree levels, in 2014. These graduates are poised to take up both recently vacated and newly created jobs in a variety of health care settings. The following guide provides interested individuals with information on what it takes to become a registered nurse in Oklahoma and how to find the best educational program.

Top 10 Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Oklahoma 4-Year Colleges

#1 Oklahoma City University Oklahoma City, OK
#2 Oklahoma Baptist University Shawnee, OK
#3 University of Tulsa Tulsa, OK
#4 Southern Nazarene University Bethany, OK
#5 Oklahoma Wesleyan University Bartlesville, OK
#6 Oklahoma Christian University Edmond, OK
#7 Northeastern State University Tahlequah, OK
#8 Northwestern Oklahoma State University Alva, OK
#9 Bacone College Muskogee, OK
#10 Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City Oklahoma City, OK

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Methodology + BEST 2-YEAR NURSING SCHOOLS

The top nursing programs listed in this state's ranking were determined by comparison of three primary, equally-weighted criteria including

  • Student-to-faculty ration
  • In-state tuition
  • Graduation rate

Additional details for each school were included:

  • Count of programs available
  • Public and not-for-profit schools
  • Normalized on a 100 percent curve

The methodology used for tie-break is as follows...

  • Ties are broken based on lowest average net price for full-time, first-time undergraduates paying in-state tuition (average cost of tuition and expenses after grants and scholarships).
  • If necessary, the lowest in-state tuition rate is used as a second tie-break

Top Nursing Schools in Oklahoma

Oklahoma City University View School Profile Oklahoma City, OK 59%
Oklahoma Baptist University View School Profile Shawnee, OK 51%
University of Tulsa View School Profile Tulsa, OK 70%
Southern Nazarene University View School Profile Bethany, OK 46%
Oklahoma Wesleyan University View School Profile Bartlesville, OK 37%
Oklahoma Christian University View School Profile Edmond, OK 47%
Northeastern State University View School Profile Tahlequah, OK 31%
Northwestern Oklahoma State University View School Profile Alva, OK 34%
Bacone College View School Profile Muskogee, OK 13%
Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City View School Profile Oklahoma City, OK 4%
Southwestern Oklahoma State University View School Profile Weatherford, OK 34%
East Central University View School Profile Ada, OK 34%
Rogers State University View School Profile Claremore, OK 19%
Oral Roberts University View School Profile Tulsa, OK 53%
Langston University View School Profile Langston, OK 4%
University of Central Oklahoma View School Profile Edmond, OK 37%
Oklahoma Panhandle State University View School Profile Goodwell, OK 17%

Top 10 Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Oklahoma 2-Year Colleges

#1 Western Oklahoma State College Altus, OK
#2 Carl Albert State College Poteau, OK
#3 Tulsa Community College Tulsa, OK
#4 Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa, OK
#5 Seminole State College Seminole, OK
#6 Murray State College Tishomingo, OK
#7 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Miami, OK
#8 Redlands Community College El Reno, OK
#9 Rose State College Midwest City, OK
#10 Eastern Oklahoma State College Wilburton, OK

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Western Oklahoma State College View School Profile Altus, OK 18%
Carl Albert State College View School Profile Poteau, OK 24%
Tulsa Community College View School Profile Tulsa, OK 13%
Northern Oklahoma College View School Profile Tonkawa, OK 20%
Seminole State College View School Profile Seminole, OK 28%
Murray State College View School Profile Tishomingo, OK 21%
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College View School Profile Miami, OK 23%
Redlands Community College View School Profile El Reno, OK 23%
Rose State College View School Profile Midwest City, OK 12%
Eastern Oklahoma State College View School Profile Wilburton, OK 20%
Connors State College View School Profile Warner, OK 13%
Oklahoma City Community College View School Profile Oklahoma City, OK 12%

Search Nursing Schools in Oklahoma

As of 2014, the Oklahoma Board of Nursing has approved 21 associate-level programs and 14 bachelor’s degrees in nursing throughout the state. As the Board works to combat the shortage of nursing faculty, these numbers are set to grow in the coming years. The search tool below helps prospective students find and filter through academic options to find the best match.

Getting an RN License in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Board of Nursing is the government agency charged with overseeing professional certification and licensing requirements in the state, ensuring all nurses are qualified and competent professionals. Information on how to obtain an initial nursing license, along with details on license renewal, is provided below.

Requirements

  • Submit a completed license application approximately two months before graduation along with an $85 fee
  • If completing the application online, pay an additional $3.50 online processing fee
  • Graduate from a program in registered nursing education approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. Students, regardless of whether they graduate from a program based in Oklahoma or outside the state, must show proof that the program provided theoretical and clinical experience related to care of the adult, care of children, maternal-newborn nursing, and psychiatric-mental health nursing
  • Request an official transcript be sent from the graduating institution to the Board
  • Submit proof of citizenship or permanent legal status
  • Sign up for the NCLEX examination via Pearson VUE and pay a $200 testing fee
  • Provide fingerprints for a criminal background check
  • Applicants who already hold a license in another state can apply for an Oklahoma license by endorsement

Renewal in Oklahoma

Registered nurses in Oklahoma must renew their licenses by the last day of their birth month in even-numbered years. Nurses are able to renew their licenses up to three months before expiration, and all must complete one or more of the following continuing qualifications requirements:

  • Employment that requires verification of at least 520 work hours
  • Completion of at least 24 contact hours of continuing education in nursing practice
  • Certification in a specialty area
  • Completion of a Board-approved refresher course
  • Completion of six or more semester hours of nursing coursework

Costs of renewal vary depending on the type of nurse:

  • RN renewal fee: $75
  • APRN renewal fee: $40
  • Prescription authority recognition renewal fee: $40

Nurses with inactive licenses are not eligible for renewal; instead, they will need to fill out a Return to Active License form and provide necessary supporting documentation. These documents may include proof of completed continuing education hours that would have been required had their license been active.

Requirements for Advanced Practice Nurses

Advanced practice nurses will need to meet further qualifications because they serve in a specialized area. Registered nurses who wish to take their education a step further can qualify to work as an APRN. To practice in Oklahoma, APRNs must hold a current state RN license. Other requirements for becoming a fully licensed APRN include:

  • Submit official transcripts verifying completion of an advanced practice nursing education program (graduate level or above) in a specialty area recognized by the Board of Nursing
  • Submit evidence of national certification in the specialty area
  • Complete an application for licensure and submit a nonrefundable $80 fee

More information about advanced practice nursing specifically in Oklahoma, as well as required forms for APRNs, can be found at the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.

Nursing Wages in Oklahoma

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more Oklahoma residents than ever before now have access to health care. With 79 areas of the state currently classified as medically underserved by the US Department of Health and Human Services, more qualified nursing professionals are needed to meet the state’s patient population demands. The following numbers offer an overview of salary and employment projections for RNs and APRNs in Oklahoma.

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Oklahoma

AreaHourly Median WageAnnual Median Wage
Tulsa$28.40$59,070
Oklahoma City$28.08$58,420
Northeastern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area$27.44$57,070
Lawton$26.39$54,900
Southeastern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area$26.38$54,860
Northwestern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area$26.16$54,410
Southwestern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area$25.92$53,920

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Oklahoma vs. National Numbers

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Salary

YearAnnual salary(25th percentile)Annual salary(median)Annual salary(75th percentile)Annual salary(25th percentile)Annual salary(median)Annual salary(75th percentile)
Registered Nurse$48,110$57,330$67,790$0$54,620$66,640$81,080
Certified Nurse Midwife$0$0$0$0$82,580$96,970$114,090
Nurse Anesthetist$147,720$170,200$0$0$132,380$153,780$181,860
Nurse Practitioner$64,090$87,720$102,530$0$82,720$95,350$113,470

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 

Employment

TOTAL EMPLOYMENT (2014)

TypeOklahomaNational
Registered Nurse26,3902,687,310
Certified Nurse Midwife05,110
Nurse Anesthetist26036,590
Nurse Practitioner1,010122,050

2022 OCCUPATIONAL OUTLOOK

TypeOklahomaNational
Registered Nurse37,6703,238,400
Certified Nurse Midwife07,700
Nurse Anesthetist33043,900
Nurse Practitioner1,080147,300

AVG. ANNUAL OPENINGS (2012 – 2022)

TypeOklahomaNational
Registered Nurse1,180105,260
Certified Nurse Midwife0290
Nurse Anesthetist101,560
Nurse Practitioner405,850

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central

Oklahoma Resources for Nurses

Association of Oklahoma Nurse Practitioners

AONP organizes and advocates for nurse practitioners at the state level, supporting changes in legislation that advance the role of the nurse practitioner. It also offers networking opportunities and resources for nurse practitioners.

Oklahoma Nurses Association

The Oklahoma Nurses Association is the professional organization for all registered nurses in Oklahoma. Nurse-force numbers, workplace safety, standards of care, scope of practice, patient safety, and political advocacy are some of the concerns of the ONA.

Oklahoma’s Nursing Times

First published in 1999, this weekly newspaper provides the latest news for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and other health care professionals in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas.

Oklahoma Organization of Nurse Executives

Part of the Oklahoma Hospital Association, the OONE encourages effective administration of nursing service and aims to help enhance the quality of patient care in hospitals. Membership is open to practicing registered nurses and RNs who hold administrative and management roles.

Oklahoma Student Nursing Association

The Oklahoma Student Nursing Association provides networking opportunities and other resources to nursing students in the state of Oklahoma.

Popular Resources

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