Among the states of the USA, Oklahoma is considered or is ranked the worst when it comes to having nurses who are Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) because only about 4.8% of its total nursing population possess a higher degree such as a master’s or above. With this fact, the condition of its nursing workforce can be assumed that it is definitely not healthy. While it is the same for many parts of the United States, Oklahoma is certainly among the areas in the country that is suffering from shortage of nurses. In fact, this situation is projected to get even worse even before it can be resolved.
In Oklahoma, it is expected that within the period of 5 years, there will be an increase in the demand for nurses of about 3,100 more. This figure is only for the nurses who are needed in the hospitals, and the number will grow more if other health care facilities will also be mentioned such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices, schools, home health care and clinics. Aside from these, the need for more nurses arises from the reality that the population as well as the current workforce is going towards their retirement age which is why their health care needs are also increasing.
There are about 63.15% of the population in Oklahoma who reside in medically underserved areas, and this then is another concern that the state needs to address at the soonest time. Oklahoma certainly has a lot of issues that need to be resolved and give attention to because more than attracting new nurses, it also needs to develop community nursing programs that are of high quality, but even this cannot be responded to as it definitely comes with some price to pay.
At the moment, there are about 9 schools of nursing in Oklahoma that are registered with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, but even with this number, the state has turned down some 913 students who would have been potential nurses because these schools lack the number of staff as well as nurse educators to accommodate these hopeful nursing students. Because of the shortage in nurse educators, only about 68% of the applicants were able to enroll and pursue a degree in nursing.
Also among the problems that Oklahoma needs to face is its inability to entice new nurses to be employed both in the health care facilities as well as in the schools of nursing because the average salary of nurses in this state is only $58,000 which is way below the national average. Those nurses though who have higher education such as having a master’s degree are able to experience having better salaries.
Oklahoma is definitely not failing in coming up with initiatives to address the current problem, and although attracting new nurses and nurse educators are rather difficult for them, they are doing their best to entice more students to take up nursing by offering nursing programs online. This way even those who are working and have difficult schedules can still have the chance to study.
Students who would like to avail their nursing education at Oklahoma may choose from a lot of schools of nursing that offer quality education within the state. The top 5 schools in Oklahoma though are as follows:
- Oklahoma City University
2501 N Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106- 1493
(405) 208- 5000
Oklahoma City University has Kramer School of Nursing which guarantees its nursing students high quality of education. Kramer School of Nursing aims to offer a distinctive education as well as service opportunities that will train its nurse professionals to fulfill their responsibility as nurses with integrity, knowledge and also compassion while creating a significant influence to the different health care needs of various communities.
Oklahoma City University’s School of Nursing has its objectives that wishes to see their implementation. One of its goals is to offer a complete program that utilizes a dynamic as well as an active educational experience. Another aim of its School of Nursing is to provide a wide range of educational programs that will prepare its nursing graduates with both knowledge and skills that will respond to the health and illness needs of the community.
Aside from the already mentioned objectives, the Kramer School of Nursing is also aiming to create an initiative that will offer assistance to the community by providing its students with opportunities such as teaching, learning and service. By doing all these, surely Oklahoma City University’s School of Nursing will not be far behind in reaching its goal which is to raise the visibility of Kramer School of Nursing and make it stable financially.
Oklahoma City University’s School of Nursing also wishes to maintain its culture of having a grounded assessment of student and program outcomes by utilizing the standards of the National League for Nurse Accrediting Commission.
This university offers various degrees and programs including baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral.
- University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
College of Nursing
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
1100 N Stonewall Avenue
Oklahoma City OK, 73117
- 271. 2428
Toll free: 877. FOR. OURN
One of the best universities in Oklahoma that has a reliable School of Nursing is the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center which is a nationally recognized college. This university has been providing high quality of education since it was established in 1911 and is also known for having the most comprehensive nursing program in the state.
At University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, students may choose from different programs from bachelor’s to master’s and also doctoral; and is also open to full time students, as well as part time and distance education through Oklahoma City, Lawton and Tulsa which makes learning more accessible.
Its School of Nursing is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, while its Doctor of Nursing Practice is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center’s School of Nursing is among the highest ranked nursing school within the state of Oklahoma as reported by the US News and World Reports.
- University of Central Oklahoma
University of Central Oklahoma
100 N. University Drive
Edmond, OK 73034
(405) 974- 2000
Another academic institution that offers quality nursing programs is the University of Central Oklahoma which acknowledges nursing as both a science as well as an art. Students of nursing can expect high quality of education from this university as its Department of Nursing has been given accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing since 1972, and is also recognized by the Oklahoma State Board of Nursing.
Since University of Central Oklahoma has opened its enrollment both in the spring and also fall semester, more students are able to enroll in its nursing programs. Nursing students at this university can expect to start their clinical nursing courses in the second semester of their sophomore year.
This university is also able to maintain its quality of education as it retains a small class size so that students can have the chance to learn in a much better way. University of Central Oklahoma also has a Career Advancement Program which is created with the practicing nurses in mind so that the program can suit them best. Another great feature of the nursing education at this university is that it offers its courses off- campus to make learning more flexible as well as convenient and accessible to the working students. These courses take place at night time either at the UCO campus or at Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma.
- Oklahoma Wesleyan University
2201 Silver Lake Road
Bartlesville, Oklahoma 74006
Oklahoma Wesleyan University is also one of the good universities in Oklahoma that offers nursing programs. Its School of Nursing aims to train its nursing graduates to become nurse generalists that has knowledge of various aspects such as biological, physical, social and behavioral sciences with a training that also centers in the humanities as well as the Christian faith.
Students of nursing can choose from various programs as it offers progressive nursing majors which includes: Nursing Informatics, Nursing Interculturally, Ethical Decision Making, Spiritual Aspects of Nursing and Leadership in Nursing. Aside from having some exciting nursing programs, Oklahoma Wesleyan University also has a simulation lab where students can experience hands- on training, on top of other forms of clinical experiences that they can engage in while at the university. Students can also go on mission trips both internationally and locally.
In 2013, this university has a 100% pass rate in the licensure examinations.
- Oklahoma Baptist University
500 W University
Shawnee, OK 74804
Oklahoma Baptist University is another good school where students can obtain high quality of education in nursing. The history of this university began in 1906 when the State Baptist Convention in Shawnee created a commission that will pave way to the foundation of a Baptist University. In 1907, the election of the board of trustees took place.
Finally in 1910, the incorporation certificate for the Baptist University of Oklahoma was granted and so the birth of the university. It was in 1911 when the Oklahoma Baptist University was launched and they first held their classes in the basement of the First Baptist Church in the Convention Hall of Shawnee.
The city of Shawnee donated the university’s first 60 acre to build a campus, and so the first building which was the Shawnee Hall was opened in 1915.
Oklahoma Baptist University celebrated its first 100 years in the fall of 2009 until 2010.