The Oklahoma Board of Nursing noted in their 2011 annual report [PDF] that applications to nursing education programs in the state have skyrocketed in the past five years. The number of students applying for bachelor’s programs went up 56.9%, and those applying for licensed practical nurse (LPN) training went up 47.5%. It is difficult for traditional nurse education programs to keep up with this explosion in demand, but online programs, or hybrid online and on-campus programs are much easier to scale up as student applications rise. There are now many accredited online nursing programs for every level of nursing education, from LPN diploma programs to Master of Science in Nursing degrees. As long as an online program is accredited, it can qualify any student to take the National Council Licensure Exam and become a registered nurse (RN).
All of the nursing licensure procedures for Oklahoma are handled by the state’s nursing board, which awards licenses for all the standard nursing positions, including:
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), including Nurse Practitioners
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with Prescriptive Authority (APRN-Rx)
Nursing Licensure in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is not a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact, so anyone hoping to practice nursing in the state must apply locally for a license. The basic process for application is outlined below, and more detailed instructions and FAQs are available at the nursing board’s website.
- Complete the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN), administered by the National Council of state boards of nursing (NCSBN).
- Submit all required paperwork, including transcripts from nursing college or training program and any previous licenses you have held.
- Submit to a criminal background check.
- Renew your license every two years using the application instructions available on the Oklahoma state nursing board’s web page.
- Fulfill continuing education requirements every two years, and submit proof of this along with your renewal application. Oklahoma requires nurse practitioners to complete 24 contact hours of continuing education every two years to qualify for license renewal. CRNAs only need to complete 8 units of CE to renew their licenses.
Average Nursing Salaries in Oklahoma
All salary data is as of May 2011.
The mean annual wage for RNs in Oklahoma is $56,130. That number is significantly lower than the national mean, possibly because of the low density of metropolitan areas in the state.
The table below compares the mean annual salaries for RNs in Oklahoma against those in the metropolitan areas of the state, and against the U.S. as a whole. All data has been provided by The Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Area||Registered Nurses||Average Salary|
|Fort Smith, AR-OK||2,010||$50,850|
|Oklahoma City, OK||10,780||$58,640|