The wide-open spaces of Oklahoma are the Sooner State’s trademark, but they also have a real impact on healthcare. With many small, rural communities far from cities and hospitals, Oklahoma has a great need for nurses who can serve these populations. That, in turn, creates a challenge for working registered nurses throughout Oklahoma who want to go back to school and develop their skills and add credentials – it’s tough to go back to school when there’s no school in commuting distance.
That’s why online nursing programs in Oklahoma has proliferated. Online RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma provide Sooner nurses with the ability to learn new skills, advance in their career, and earn higher pay without leaving home. With programs offered by all kinds of schools – public universities, private religious institutions, and everything in between – anyone looking for RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma have a reputable, trustworthy option.
How We Ranked the Best Online Nursing Programs in Oklahoma
TopRNtoBSN editors are concerned with leading prospective nursing students to programs that will make a real impact on their careers. That’s why our ranking of the best online RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma begins with accredited, legitimate institutions that have a real track record of quality. From our initial research, we ranked programs according to three criteria that have real-world value: Tuition Rate, Reputation, and Potential Salary, using data from IPEDS, College Scorecard, and Niche.
1. University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center – Oklahoma City, OK
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center’s Ziegler College of Nursing offers an RN to BSn degree program that can be completed entirely online. The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center’s RN to BSN degree program has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and is recognized widely among the online nursing programs in Oklahoma. The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center’s online RN to BSN program can be attended as a full-time or part-time student.
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center was established in 1971 as the health care extension of the University of Oklahoma (which was established in 1890). The school operates with seven professional schools/colleges — one of four healthcare facilities with seven colleges in the nation. The school’s urban campus in Oklahoma City is home to more 3,900 students. The school’s campus is located only several blocks from the state capitol of Oklahoma.
2. East Central University – Ada, OK
East Central University’s RN to BSN degree program can be completed online. East Central University is one of the online nursing programs in Oklahoma that has received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). East Central University’s online RN to BSN degree program prepares graduates to become involved in nursing management or to ready themselves to more advanced nursing degrees. East Central University is recognized among the best institutions of higher education in the state of Oklahoma.
East Central University was founded as a public institution of higher learning in 1909. The school operates with available courses in Ada, Ardmore, McAlester, Durant, and Shawnee, OK. East Central University is a member school of Oklahoma’s Regional University system.
3. Southwestern Oklahoma State University – Weatherford, OK
Southwestern Oklahoma State University offers an online RN to BSN degree program that can be completed in about a year; however, students have up to 60 months to finish Southwestern Oklahoma State University’ online RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s RN to BSN online degree programs. SWOSU’s program does not require on-campus visits but offers online students full access to the school’s many resources.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University was established in 1901 before Oklahoma was adopted as a state in 1907. The school’s rural campuses are home to more than 5,100 students. The student to faculty ratio at SWOSU is 20 to 1. The school offers online learning options and a veteran’s assistance program. Southwestern Oklahoma State University has been recognized among the Best Schools for MSN degrees.
4. Northeastern State University – Tahlequa, OK
Northeastern State University provides an online RN to BSN degree program that has been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). NSU’s online RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma requires the completion of 30 upper-level credit units. For those students who wish to complete the program quickly, NSU’s program can be completed in about ten months. Coursework includes leadership, research, family nursing, and community health. NSU holds the distinction of being the first of the many RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma.
Northeastern State University was established in 1909. The school operates with three campuses, one in Tahlequah, Broken Arrow, and Muskogee, OK. The school’s main campus in Tahlequah is the capital of the Cherokee Nation. Northeastern State University holds the distinction of being the oldest institution of higher education in the Sooner State of Oklahoma.
5. Northwestern Oklahoma State University – Alva, OK
Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s School of Professional Studies offers an RN to BSN degree program that can be completed entirely online. NWOSU’s RN to BSN program is one of a few online nursing programs in Oklahoma that does not require traditional clinical hours to graduate. Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s RN to BSN programs have received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Core nursing classes include Holistic Assessment, Nursing Leadership, Nutrition, and Research Utilization, among others.
Northwestern Oklahoma State University was established in 1897 as a normal school. The school’s main campus is located in Alva; with two additional campuses in Woodward and Enid, OK. NWOSU is home to more than 2,300 students studying from the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Professional Studies.
6. Oklahoma Baptist University – Shawnee, OK
The Oklahoma Baptist University’s RN to BSN or MSN degree program can be completed entirely online. Students are required to complete 30 credit units in the following courses — Advance Health Assessment, Collaborative Practices, Nursing Leadership, and Health Policy, among others. The Oklahoma Baptist University online RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma have received accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). OBU’s online nursing degree programs offer two specialty tracks — Global-Public Health and Nurse Educator.
Oklahoma Baptist University was established as a private school in 1910. The school is owned and affiliated by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Oklahoma Baptist University’s 200+-acres campus is home to nearly 2,000 students studying from one of the school’s six schools/colleges. New students attending classes on campus wear a gold & green beanie during the welcome week at OBU.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
7. Oklahoma Wesleyan University – Bartlesville, OK
Oklahoma Wesleyan University offers an online RN to BSN degree program that has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). OKWU online nursing programs in Oklahoma required the completion of 42 credit units. Classes are offered in 5-7 week formats. Each class is offered one at a time to allow working students to continue working unimpeded. Degree applicants must hold an unencumbered Oklahoma Registered Nursing license.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University is a private institution of higher learning is home to more than 1,200 students. Oklahoma Wesleyan University was established in 1909 and is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church. The school operates with five schools/colleges that offer more than 60 majors. According to US News, OKWU was recognized among the top 100 universities in the western US region.
8. Oklahoma Christian University – Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma Christian University’s RN to BSN degree program can be completed online in as little as one year. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits Oklahoma Christian University’s online nursing programs in Oklahoma. Coursework includes Evidence-Based Nursing, Lifesaving Critical Thinking, and Health Care Advocacy, among many other classes. Students, to reduce the time required for completion, can accelerate OCUs online course.
Oklahoma Christian University was established in 1950 as a private institution of higher learning with a Christian Liberal affiliation. The school’s 199+-acre campus in Oklahoma City is home to more than 2,400 students who align with OCU’s values of integrity, stewardship, faith, scholarship, leadership, and liberty. Oklahoma Christian University is the only school in Oklahoma that offers each full-time student a laptop, and a wireless Internet connection across the entire campus.
9. Oklahoma Panhandle State University – Goodwell, OK
Oklahoma Panhandle State University makes their RN to BSN degree program available 100% online. OPSU’s online RN to BSN is designed for working learners who require convenience and flexibility to complete their degree. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits Oklahoma Panhandle State University RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma. Course requirements to graduate from OPSU’s RN to BSN program include the completion of eight nursing classes that total 30 credit units.
Oklahoma Panhandle State University was established in 1909 by the Oklahoma legislature. The school is home to more than 1,700 students studying from the university’s three schools — the College of Agriculture, Science and Nursing, the College of Business and Technology, and the College of Arts and Education. Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s oldest building on campus is among the properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
10. Rogers State University – Claremore, OK
Rogers State University’s online Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree program that has received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). RSU’s is one of the top online nursing programs in Oklahoma that emphasizes the unique conditions of rural nursing care. Coursework includes Contemporary Nursing Practice, Rural Nursing, and Leadership in Nursing, among others — which offer degree graduates an opportunity for self and professional growth.
Rogers State University was established in 1909 as a public institution of higher learning. Rogers State University’s suburban campus is home to more than 4,200 students studying from 17 baccalaureate degree options and thirteen more degrees at the associate’s level. Through the years, Rogers State University has evolved from a prep school to a military school to its current status as a four-year university.
How Do I Become a Nurse in Oklahoma?
When you want to work as a nurse in Oklahoma, it is important to start with identifying the state standards for your education and license. The Oklahoma Nursing Board allows nurses to renew their license and register for a license, but you also want to make sure you qualify for a license before you start the application process.
The first standard to become a nurse in Oklahoma is to obtain the right degree. Nursing schools in Oklahoma offer degree programs that range from an associate’s degree to a doctorate in nursing. You will need an associate’s degree or higher to start working as a nurse. You can also take a Licensed Practical Nurse program; however, an LPN diploma is not enough if you plan to specialize in a specific area of nursing. It allows you to start working in the medical field, but you may need a higher level of education for your long-term goals. Depending on your goals, the level of education you need for specialized areas of nursing may vary.
Oklahoma nursing schools prepare students to take the NCLEX exam. If you complete an undergraduate degree, then you will need to take the NCLEX-RN exam. While the state does allow you to take the NCLEX-PN exam, you should be aware that you will not be a registered nurse. The RN exam requires you to finish an associate’s degree or higher to qualify as a licensed nurse.
After you complete and pass the exam, you qualify for a license. Fill out the appropriate paperwork with the Oklahoma Nursing Board to obtain your license and start working in your field. Keep in mind that you want to double-check your information to avoid mistakes on your paperwork.
How is the Job Market for Nurses in Oklahoma?
When you are looking for nursing jobs in Oklahoma, you will find that the state has a reasonably high demand for professionals with the right degrees and qualifications. It is considered one of the top states for job opportunities and it is expected that nursing jobs will become available as older nurses retire and the demand for professionals in healthcare continue to rise. Due to the high demand for professionals as Baby Boomers start to age, nurses can expect a reasonable number of positions to become available from natural job growth and increased population.
While positions are expected to become available due to nurses who retire, the state does have a relatively small population in comparison to other states. Nurses who are willing to work in more rural environments may find more opportunities when compared to nurses working in the larger urban areas of the state. That goes for travel nurses as well – the demand means nurses willing to move can make a high salary.
How Much Can I Make as a Nurse in Oklahoma?
When it comes to your nursing salary in Oklahoma, you can expect a reasonable rate when compared to the cost of living. The average BSN salary in Oklahoma is around $51,000 per year. In some areas of the state, the Oklahoma nursing salary increases to roughly $60,000 per year. Keep in mind that the new grad RN salary in Oklahoma is likely to be lower than the median salary for the entire state. The starting salary for nurses in Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree may be around $40,000 per year.
Since the cost of living in Oklahoma is relatively low and the median income for the state is around $25,000 per year, nurses in the state make a reasonable salary when compared to the expenses associated with living in the state. You can expect a reasonable income as a nurse when you have completed a bachelor’s degree and have gained enough experience to qualify for leadership roles or promotions. Keep in mind that your salary may change to reflect specialized skills as you gain experience or take measures to obtain a higher level of education in your field. The exact income level for a nurse depends on your experience, education level, and the specialized skills you develop throughout your career.