How To Become A Nurse In Oklahoma

Hospitals and other nursing employers in Oklahoma are being forced to recruit nurses from foreign countries because the state’s nursing shortage is one of the worst in the country.

Now is a good time for someone interested in a nursing career in Oklahoma to look into educational opportunities in the state that is crying for nurses. The economy is robust in Oklahoma, outpacing the rest of the nation, and nursing salaries are competitive. Registered nurses (RNs) make up to $62,000 a year in Oklahoma City and the average salary in the state for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) is $26,000.

The Sooner State now ranks 46th in the country in the ratio of nurses to the population, with 635 nurses per 100,000 people in the state of 7.3 million. Local health care workers report seeing a trend in the nursing shortage and the state will need 3,000 more nurses in the next five years, according to the non-profit Oklahoma Healthcare Workforce Center.

Oklahoma is Looking for Younger Nurses

Oklahoma has 37 accredited nursing programs, but state colleges say they can’t place students fast enough. And the number of senior citizens is doubling and this is starting to take a toll on the state’s nursing shortage.

The number of students entering nursing school is on the decline, according to a report by a state task force created by the Oklahoma Legislature to study the problem. A large part of the problem is that the overall number of young people entering college is shrinking, the report said, and that most people think the only place nurses work is in a hospital, while there are many other options in health care.

The Oklahoma Board of Nursing maintains a list of accredited nursing programs in the state and approves candidates for nursing licenses. Oklahoma requires RN candidates to complete a nursing program that includes clinical experience in maternal and newborn nursing, care of children, caring for adults and psychiatric mental health.

Those seeking RN and LPN licenses then must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which can be scheduled through the nursing board. The Board’s purpose is to safeguard the public’s health by ensuring that licensed nurses are qualified and competent to practice.

The state is seeking to attract younger people the nursing profession because only 12 percent of the nurses in the state are under the age of 30. The average Oklahoma nurse is 42 years years old, 95 percent are married and more than half have children at home.

One area the state task force studied was the problem of how to deal with nurse retention. Oklahoma had 600 professional nurses come into the state to work last year, according to the report, but during the same time 1,500 left the profession. In addition it is believed that about 10 percent of nursing graduates leave the state after graduation to practice in other places.

Nursing Schools in Oklahoma

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Pursue your education with Platt College (Oklahoma). We offer hands-on training programs in the culinary arts, allied health, and nursing fields.

*Programs vary by location.

*High school diploma or GED required.

*Licensed by OBPVS.

Programs:

  • Practical Nursing-(AOS) [LPN]
Locations: Lawton

Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

Programs:

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With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

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  • RNs, ready to take your nursing career to the next level? Earn your BSN online with GCU.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
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  • Gain a comprehensive view of patient care principles to strengthen your ability to care for patients and take on hospital responsibilities with your BSN.
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  • Programs include Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration, Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness, Master of Health Care Administration, and more.

Programs:

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  • Medical Assisting

CTU can help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional network, faculty who are real-world professionals and innovative technology. And now several CTU degree programs are ranked by U.S. News Best Online Programs for 2015.  Are you in?

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Nursing School Locations

Platt College & Tulsa Campus
3801 South Sheridan Road
Tulsa, OK 74145
(918) 663-9000

Tulsa Community College
3727 East Apache Street
Tulsa, OK 74115
(918) 595-7000

University of Central Oklahoma
100 North University Drive
Edmond, OK 73034
(405) 974-2000

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
1100 North Lindsay Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

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