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Best Online LPN Programs in Oklahoma for 2024

Explore your options for launching your practical nursing career through one of the best online LPN programs in Oklahoma.

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A vibrant urban scene at dusk, showcasing a narrow waterway lined with colorful buildings and string lights. People are dining at outdoor patios with tables and umbrellas, and trees and shrubs add greenery. In the background, a tall modern building rises into the sky.

Nursing is a great career choice for many reasons. First, it offers a solid, stable income with great benefits that often include quality retirement plans and – not surprisingly – excellent healthcare. Job security is another big plus. The continuing shortage of qualified professionals makes nursing one of the most in-demand careers today, particularly in Oklahoma. That demand is expected to remain strong for many years to come.

Entering the practical nursing profession requires completing formal postsecondary education and training, most often in the form of an LPN diploma or associate degree program. This guide introduces you to the world of online LPN programs in Oklahoma: where they are, what you’ll learn, what they cost, how long they take (just six months in some cases), and more. Plus, we’ve included lots of valuable information on LPN salaries and job growth outlook as well.

Ready to take a deeper dive into becoming a licensed practical nurse? Then read on to discover how you can launch your LPN career through one of the best online LPN programs in Oklahoma in 2024.

A Closer Look at Online LPN Programs in Oklahoma

LPN students in Oklahoma have a number of programs to choose from that include online components. Each offers its own mix of admissions requirements, program outcomes, time commitments, costs, support services, and more. Below we’ve spotlighted two online LPN programs in Oklahoma to give you a solid idea of what to expect.

ATA College

ATA College is a private, accredited school offering a variety of allied health degree and diploma programs, including this partially online Associate Degree in Practical Nursing available through its Tulsa campus. The 15-month program combines online coursework and synchronous daytime classes with campus-based labs and clinical experiences in local healthcare facilities. Graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam leading to LPN licensure in Oklahoma and other states. Student support services include job placement assistance through ATA’s Career Services program.

Admission into ATA’s practical nurse associate degree program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Applicants must also pass a drug test and criminal background check and provide immunization documentation for several communicable diseases. An entrance exam is not required. The current estimated total program cost (including textbooks, materials, and laptop) is just under $40,000. Qualifying students are eligible for a range of financial aid resources such as federal student loans and state scholarships and grants.

Meridian Technology Center

Adult students in the Stillwater area seeking a fast and affordable way to qualify for NCLEX-PN eligibility and start their practical nursing career will want to consider the Practical Nursing (Adult-Only) program at the public Meridian Technology Center (MTC). This practical nursing program’s curriculum consists of online nursing theory coursework, on-campus hands-on labs, and clinical practice hours completed at healthcare facilities within a 65-mile radius of the Stillwater campus. Online coursework is delivered asynchronously, allowing students to access and complete their studies at any time. Program completion requires approximately 12 months of full-time study. Starts are offered each March and September.

A major feature of MTC’s practical nursing program is affordability. The current estimated total program cost (including tuition, books, uniforms, supplies, background check, drug screenings, and more) is $6,230 for in-district residents and $10,830 for out-of-district residents. The program is ACEN-accredited and approved by the Oklahoma State Board of Nursing (BON).

Oklahoma Licensing Information and Requirements

Becoming an LPN in Oklahoma requires state licensure which, in turn, requires completion of several licensing steps. Below is a review of the five major steps you’ll take in obtaining your initial LPN license as well as the requirements you’ll need to meet to maintain your license.

Background Check

Oklahoma state law requires all applicants for nurse licensure in the state to complete a criminal background check. The background check involves fingerprint and name-indexed searches of the FBI and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation databases of criminal history records. To complete the background check requirement, you must first submit your nurse license application online via the Oklahoma BON Nurse Portal. The application itself includes questions regarding any criminal charges, discipline, and/or competency issues you have incurred. Following that, you’ll receive instructions through the message center of your nurse portal account for obtaining your fingerprint-based background check.

Education and Training

LPN licensure in Oklahoma requires graduation from a state board–approved practical nursing education program. Online LPN programs in Oklahoma include nursing theory coursework, hands-on lab training, and in-person clinical practice hours, all of which are needed to qualify for taking the NCLEX-PN exam and obtaining your Oklahoma LPN license. Oklahoma law specifically requires students to receive theory and clinical experience in adult care, childcare, and maternal-newborn nursing. Theory coursework is also required in psychiatric-mental health nursing. Once your program is completed, an official transcript from the nursing program must be submitted to the Oklahoma BON.

Professional Nursing Examination

Once all other requirements for Oklahoma LPN licensure are met, applicants are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN). Registration for the exam is completed online or by phone. Once you’ve registered and paid the exam fee with Pearson VUE, you’ll receive your Authorization to Test (ATT) and schedule your exam. The exam is taken in person at any of Pearson’s NCLEX Test Centers located throughout the U.S. and the world.

The exam is a computerized adaptive test in which the total number of questions, question difficulty, and total exam length is adjusted according to the test-taker’s performance. Question formats include multiple response, ordered response, and fill-in-the-blank. Results notification times vary, but you’ll likely receive your results from the BON within six weeks (often much sooner).

Renewal of Licensure & Continuing Education

Oklahoma LPN licenses must be renewed every two years. Renewal requires meeting one of the following requirements during the immediate two-year period prior to the current license expiration date:

  • Employment requiring a practical nurse license and verification of at least 520 work hours.
  • Completion of a minimum of 24 contact hours of nursing continuing education.
  • Current certification in a nursing specialty.
  • Completion of a BON-approved refresher course.
  • Completion of at least six academic semester hours of nursing coursework at or higher than the licensee’s current licensure level.

The license holder is responsible for providing verification that they have met the requirements at the time of renewal.

Career and Earning Potential for Oklahoma LPNs

Two of the most valuable benefits to a career as a practical nurse in Oklahoma are job security and solid earnings. We’ve listed the most recent LPN job growth figures for Oklahoma and the U.S. in the table below, taken from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Projections Central website. Note that Oklahoma’s LPN job growth rate is substantially higher than the 10.4% estimated growth rate for all jobs in Oklahoma between 2020 and 2030 and impressively higher than the 7.7% estimated growth rate for all jobs in the U.S. for the same period.

As for those solid earnings, May 2022 salary figures for LPNs employed in Oklahoma overall and for several of the state’s largest metropolitan areas show that Oklahoma LPN earnings run somewhat below the national average. It’s important to remember though that the cost of living for Oklahoma residents is also lower than national averages. Earnings are impacted by geographic location, as indicated in the second table, as well as your specific employer, job duties, and level of professional nursing experience.

AreaEmployment
(2020)
New Jobs
(2020-2030)
Job Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings
(’20-’30)
Oklahoma13,6201,67012.3%1,260
U.S.688,10063,8009.3%60,700

Source: Projections Central

Location10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
Oklahoma$ 38,270$ 47,860$ 58,000
Enid, OK$ 37,820$ 47,940$ 55,850
Lawton, OK$ 38,190$ 45,640$ 64,060
Oklahoma City, OK$ 38,550$ 48,510$ 59,340
Tulsa, OK$ 38,650$ 49,460$ 58,970

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Resources for Oklahoma LPN Students and Professionals

  • Admissions Guide for Aspiring Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs): You can’t earn your LPN degree or diploma without first getting into an LPN program. This guide from EduMed offers valuable information and advice on the LPN program admissions process to better your chances of getting accepted into the program you want.
  • Important Skills for LPN Students: This EduMed guide looks at the hard and soft skills you’ll want to master to help you succeed as an LPN student and working professional. For more great advice on nursing skills, check out EduMed’s 10 Essential Skills for Nurses in 2024 blog post.
  • Oklahoma BON: The Oklahoma BON is the state agency that regulates the licensing and practice of nursing within the state. Specific BON functions include the establishment of standards for nursing education programs, administering the NCLEX exam for both registered and practical nurses, and providing initial nursing licensure and license renewal.
  • Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP): The OCAP provides a variety of services designed to encourage and support college access for Oklahoma students in all academic and career fields. OCAP initiatives include UCanGo2, which helps students and their families prepare for education after high school, and Ready Set Repay, which works with students to make better borrowing decisions so they can successfully pay back their student loans.
  • Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (Oklahoma Career Tech): This state agency provides education and career support that connects prospective employees with the employers that need them. Its Career and Technology Education System offers a range of educational services and opportunities for Oklahoma residents (including prospective nursing professionals) through middle, junior, and senior high school and at its 29 technology centers statewide.
  • Oklahoma Health Care Workforce Training Commission (HWTC): The Oklahoma HWTC is a state government agency whose mission is to “increase access to health care workers in the rural and underserved areas of Oklahoma.” This includes LPNs and other nursing professionals on all levels. Visitors to the site can access information on nursing-related services, including nursing scholarships and the Commission’s Nursing Student Assistance Program.