Oklahoma’s population is located mainly in its large urban centers, such as Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Lawton. Of these, Oklahoma City is the largest city and has the most nursing school opportunities.
The College of Nursing at the University of Oklahoma is one of the major nursing schools in the state, as is the Southern Nazarene University – and both of these schools should catch the attention of prospective nursing students.
Students looking to become RNs generally have excellent educational prospects in Oklahoma. RNs are being licensed and educated at record rates: over 53,000 RNs were licensed in 2011, which is an increase of 17 percent over the five years before that.
Also. any LPNs looking to train for an RN position will find that Oklahoma’s schools offer plentiful choices, with over 12 schools offering LPN-to-RN programs and many of them offering online classes for working nurses.
Generally, any education for nursing up to the BSN level is well-covered by Oklahoma’s schooling opportunities. After that, master’s programs are less plentiful, but still available at the larger schools, which are mostly centered in Oklahoma City.
But even though master’s programs aren’t common in the area of Oklahoma, the demand for MSN-prepared nurses and nurse practitioners couldn’t be higher. Oklahoma’s in something of a healthcare crisis, with fewer doctors per residents than they ought to have. Physicians are especially scarce in the rural areas, which further increases the demand for nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses. So to draw in and support MSN-prepared nurses, Oklahoma has put in place an Advanced Practice Advisory Committee to provide support for advanced practice nurses.
Although most of Oklahoma’s industrial activity is focused natural gas, oil, and agriculture, biotechnology has increasingly become a prominent industry as well, which may provide growth to the nursing industry.
Finding Additional Funding for Nursing School in OK:
Students looking for extra cash to get into nursing school will have no problem finding it in Oklahoma, a state that boasts some of the most comprehensive student aid choices in the country.
State-wide scholarships in Oklahoma include the Academic Scholars Program, the Regional University Baccalaureate Scholarship and the Robert C Byrd Scholarship Program. These scholarships can be pursued by all students, and potential nursing students are encouraged to apply.
Nursing-specific scholarships are plentiful in Oklahoma to a degree rarely seen in other states. The University of Oklahoma – one of the biggest, if not the biggest nursing school in the state – offers the Deborah Booton-Hiser Scholarship, the Elizabeth Little Scofield Scholarship, and the Jean Haught Scholarship, just to name a few.
Southern Nazarene University also offers its own lineup of student aid for nurses, including the McBride Foundation Scholarship, the Pamela J. Krohe Memorial Scholarship, and several others.
Job Outlook for Nurses in Oklahoma:
Nursing jobs in Oklahoma are plentiful, but not as well paid as in some areas of the country. This downside is offset by a low cost of living and cheap property prices throughout the state. But overall, the state of the nursing job market in Oklahoma is healthy.
The number of nurses employed in Oklahoma is over 40,000, most of them working in hospitals, with other major areas of employment including home health, long-term care, and public health. The majority of nurses are spread out at about 100 hospitals and 50 clinics across the state, and about half of the nurses in Oklahoma are working in rural areas. Considering these trends will help nurses find a job in Oklahoma.
And as mentioned earlier, nurse practitioners have excellent job prospects in Oklahoma. NPs provide skill sets that are valued all over the country, but Oklahoma’s under-served rural population spikes demand for NPs far more than in other areas.
Licensing for Nurses in Oklahoma
Nurses in Oklahoma need to pass the NCLEX to work in the state, as with anywhere in the rest of the country. Oklahoma currently doesn’t require any other licensing.
Up-to-date information on licensing in Oklahoma can be found at Oklahoma’s nursing website, as well as information on how to find a testing center, take the NCLEX, and register one’s license.
Average Salaries for Nurses in Oklahoma
|Data from BLS 2011||10th Percentile||50th Percentile||90th Percentile|
|Licensed Practical Nurses||$26,180.00||$35,030.00||$46,040.00|