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Best RN to BSN Programs in Oklahoma – 2024

Registered nurses in Oklahoma are finding more support during the global nursing shortage, and the state is investing millions into expanding the state’s nursing education system. Check out top Oklahoma RN to BSN programs and how affordable they can be.

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WRITTEN BY: Angela Myers
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REVIEWED BY: Edumed Editing Staff

Last Updated: 09/06/2023

Editorial Values and Practices

No matter where you work as an RN in Oklahoma, you’re vulnerable to the same challenges that burden all nurses during the nursing shortage: dangerous working conditions, low pay, and burnout. But the rewards are plentiful. You advocate for patients, care for them, and save and change lives. If this describes you, as it describes so many of today’s nurses, pursuing a bachelor’s in an RN to BSN program has likely entered your mind.

Now may be the best time to enroll in an RN to BSN program in Oklahoma to invest in your education and professional future. Not only does the state house fantastic and affordable programs, but the state government has just invested $55 million of Oklahoma’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to create grant programs that will fund 21 higher education and technology centers to alleviate the nursing shortage.

In this guide, we’ll review the best online and hybrid RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma, answer some of the most frequently asked questions about getting your BSN in an accelerated program and explore the state’s financial aid options. We’ll also discuss the salary and employment opportunities after graduating.

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About the ranking

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Base Methodology for EduMed’s Best Online College Rankings for the ’23-’24 school year.

One: Create list of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on data pulled from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which was self-reported by the schools themselves.

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least 1 online component in a program within the ranking-subject area.

Two: Assign Weighting

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of metrics, which were all self-reported by the schools themselves to the U.S. Department of Education and IPEDS. 

The metrics are listed below in order of most- to least-heavily weighted. 

Online Programs – Number of online programs in the relevant subject area.

Online Student % – Number of total students who are enrolled in at least 1 distance-learning course in the relevant subject area.

Tuition – The average in-state tuition for undergraduate students studying full-time, as self-reported by the school.

Institutional Aid – Percent of full-time undergraduate students who are awarded institutional grant aid, as self-reported by the school.

Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Career Placement Services – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Student/Faculty Ratio

About Our DataEduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2023

# School Name Type Tuition Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Oklahoma Panhandle State UniversityGoodwell, OK Public $ 1

Oklahoma Panhandle State University has various healthcare-related programs for those interested in fire protection and emergency medical services. It also offers an RN to BSN Program that is designed for practicing nurses juggling family, work, and other obligations. This program can be completed completely online either full-time or part-time. Students are also provided with a degree plan that best suits their needs. The program focuses on certain values such as rural nursing, community, leadership, and professionalism.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN Program

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Cost: $160 per credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: ACEN
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
70%
2 Northeastern State UniversityTahlequah, OK Public $ 1

The fully-online, accelerated RN to BSN program at Northeastern State University can be completed in as little as ten months. This program is designed to build upon your previous education while preparing you for your future nursing career. You must hold a current RN license and an associate degree or diploma in nursing to apply. Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and no grades below a "C" in previous nursing-related classes. Students may be eligible for membership in nursing honor societies.

Program Highlights:

Accelerated Online RN to BSN Program

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: $9,165
  • Cost: $9,165
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
79%
3 Southwestern Oklahoma State UniversityWeatherford, OK Public $ 1

Southwestern Oklahoma State University's online RN to BSN program offers admission to those with an unencumbered RN license or within three months of earning an RN license. This program can be completed in as little as one year. The program is entirely online, but there will be practical elements, including a teaching-learning project component. The project must be completed outside of the program in your own time. Applicants should have a minimum GPA of 2.5. If you do not hold a RN license, you may be eligible for admission via exam.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN Program

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 1 Year
  • Cost: $10,400
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
Online
Student %
70%
4 Oklahoma State University-Main CampusStillwater, OK Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
52%
5 Oklahoma Wesleyan UniversityBartlesville, OK Private not-for-profit $$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
Online
Student %
63%
6 University of Central OklahomaEdmond, OK Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
53%
7 Oklahoma Christian UniversityEdmond, OK Private not-for-profit $$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
44%

Featured Nursing Schools: Popular RN to BSN Programs in Oklahoma

Every RN to BSN program is different. No single program is best for everyone. But some in Oklahoma are popular for a reason. To help you find those programs, we’ve researched RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma and spotlighted the two below based on their affordability, high-quality education, student support, and flexibility.

The University of Oklahoma

For a flexible, high-quality RN to BSN program, check out the University of Oklahoma. This program is outstanding and offers more networking opportunities and clinical hours than other programs. Students practice what they’ve learned in the classroom.

This RN to BSN program is designed for nurses working in Oklahoma. So students’ work hours can count as clinical hours. Aside from clinical hours, which students must complete in person, the program is delivered in synchronous online sessions. The program also offers virtual resources and sessions to help students prepare for the NCLEX, and the University of Oklahoma boasts a 93% pass rate on the exam.

The curriculum includes 30 credit hours, and the nursing school offers a couple of course schedule options that allow students to graduate in two to six semesters, depending on how many courses students can fit into their schedule.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Northwestern Oklahoma State University offers one of the state’s most flexible and affordable online RN to BSN programs. Students can complete the program entirely online, and no clinical hours are required to graduate. Usually, students complete this program in two semesters, but the program design is flexible, and students can take as many or as few credit hours as their schedules allow.

The RN to BSN online program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University is so optimal for working nurses that its motto is “learn while you earn.” Learning is a top priority here.

The program’s curriculum allows students to deepen their knowledge in the areas of nursing they’re most passionate about and take the foundational courses they need to succeed. Northwestern Oklahoma also provides extra resources to help students pass the NCLEX exam, for which they have a 70% pass rate.

FAQs: RN to BSN Programs in Oklahoma

What additional nursing skills and knowledge will I gain in an RN to BSN program in Oklahoma?

Earning an RN license gives you the foundational knowledge needed to serve patients well. But earning your BSN deepens your knowledge of the healthcare field and allows you to provide even better care for your patients.

A good RN to BSN program in Oklahoma should provide you with the knowledge you need to succeed and experiences that allow you to apply that knowledge. While most programs in Oklahoma provide experiential learning opportunities, the University of Oklahoma is a leader in this area. Their program integrates clinical hours into each semester, and students reflect on challenges and lessons from their clinical experiences in class.

In Oklahoma, how long does it take to complete an RN to BSN program?

The beauty of many RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma, whether online or on campus, is that you control how long they take. While many are designed to be taken in nine months, such as the program at Oklahoma City University, you can take many programs part-time.

One program that offers the most flexibility is the online RN to BSN program at the University of Oklahoma, which offers the ability to graduate in two semesters as a full-time student or three or four semesters as a part-time student.

In Oklahoma, how much do RN to BSN programs cost?

Program costs vary greatly. If you’re an Oklahoma resident, you’ll find the costs more affordable than for non-residents.

Some schools like Oklahoma State University offer block tuition rates, which makes it more affordable to attend full-time because you pay the same per semester whether you take 12 or 18 credit hours.

To help you get a better idea of how much an online or hybrid RN to BSN program might cost you, check out the cost per credit for three high-quality programs:

Can I get financial aid to help pay for my RN to BSN program in Oklahoma?

As discussed earlier, Oklahoma invests greatly in financial aid for nursing students. The State of Oklahoma has partnered with Oklahoma State University to provide an additional $55 million in nursing scholarships. Students must agree to work in rural communities upon graduating.

But this new state-funded program isn’t the only way to fund your nursing education. Financial aid comes in a variety of forms, from loans to grants to scholarships. To learn more about which forms of financial aid are right for you, check out EduMed’s financial aid guide. There are also many scholarships specifically designed for nursing students, such as the ones in our nursing scholarship guide.

In Oklahoma, what are the admission requirements for RN to BSN programs?

The main requirement for every RN to BSN program in Oklahoma, whether online or on campus, is to have an RN license in that state. Some programs have additional requirements that vary between programs. These include:

  • A certain GPA requirement in all previous coursework
  • A certain number of hours worked in the field
  • An associate’s degree in a related field
  • Filling out application questions and essays
  • Paying an application fee

If in doubt, check out a specific program’s requirements, as they can vary wildly. For example, Oklahoma City University has no prerequisite courses, while Northwestern Oklahoma State University does.

What should I look for in an RN to BSN degree program in Oklahoma?

When researching RN to BSN programs, you’ll benefit from looking at indicators of quality programming. For one, your program must be approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing so you can practice in your state.

Ensure, too, that the program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Make sure you’re also on the lookout for a program with a higher-than-average NCLEX-RN pass rate and resources available to help students pass.

Inside Look at Online RN to BSN Programs in Oklahoma

Online or hybrid RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma are convenient, especially if you have a busy life or want to work full-time while learning. While a typical day can look different from program to program, most online and hybrid programs offer flexible courses that fit around your work schedule.

Hybrid programs, like the University of Oklahoma, usually require clinical hours, so as a hybrid student, you must learn to juggle online and in-person obligations.

In an online program, like the ones from Oklahoma City University and Northwestern Oklahoma State University, you will only have to juggle online coursework and possibly online clinicals, depending on which program you choose. Check out our online RN to BSN guide for a better idea of a typical online RN to BSN program.

What is the Path to Becoming an RN with a BSN Degree in Oklahoma?

To become a BSN nurse, you must take the NCLEX exam and earn your degree. The NCLEX is a national nursing exam for people who want to become licensed nurses. The Oklahoma Board of Nursing list the following requirements for becoming a BSN nurse:

  • Graduate from a program approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing
  • Pass the NCLEX national nursing exam to become a licensed nurse
  • Submit the nursing license application form through the state’s portal
  • Submit a transcript from all coursework in your BSN and RN programs

Once you have been granted licensure, you must reapply every two years. When you reapply, there could be additional courses or requirements you need to fulfill, though these change often.

RN to BSN Career Outlook for Oklahoma

Now that we’ve discussed the academic requirements and some of the best RN to BSN programs, let’s look at how getting your BSN can impact your career. In Oklahoma, having a BSN increases employment opportunities and salaries. But don’t take our word for it—here are the official stats.

How much more can I make going from an RN to BSN in Oklahoma?

Those with a BSN in Oklahoma make over $13,000 more a year than those who are just RNs. In August 2022, nurses with BSN degrees made $80,806 on average, while RNs without bachelor’s made $67,313 on average. While these numbers are below the national average earnings, Oklahoma also has one of the lowest living costs. And if you want to move to another state with higher nursing salaries, a BSN can make you a more competitive candidate.

Location 10th Percentile Median 90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

What is the job outlook for BSN nurses in Oklahoma?

Over 39,000 nurses work in Oklahoma. But that number is expected to rise rapidly as more nursing students earn their degrees and more roles open up. By 2030, there will be an 11.9% increase in nursing jobs available, and it’s projected that the state will need more than 43,000 new nurses.