Certified by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, Oklahoma nurse practitioners hold advanced educational accreditation that sets them apart from traditional Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Registered Nurses (RNs), and nurses with standard Bachelor of Science (BSN) or Master of Science (MSN) degrees. Like all Oklahoma nurses, nurse practitioners are represented professionally by the Oklahoma Nurses Association.
Oklahoma NP Workforce Update
The state Oklahoma is home to an abundance of rural areas that could benefit significantly from increased medical options and overall levels of healthcare coverage. With medical doctors in short supply, Oklahoma nurse practitioners possess the specialized education necessary to fill this gap and assist families who currently lack the wherewithal and financial means to secure quality care. However, Oklahoma currently supports relatively few active nurse practitioners. According to an official report by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), only 750 nurse practitioners were working within the state of Oklahoma as of 2012.
Average Salaries for Oklahoma Nurse Practitioners
At the time of the BLS’ 2012 report, the mean salary of a nurse practitioner in Oklahoma was $83,870 per year. The independent online employment authority Indeed.com has tracked a steady rise in pay for Oklahoma nurse practitioners since the 2012 BLS assessment. On July 21, 2014, Indeed.com estimated that the average nurse practitioner in the state of Oklahoma was taking home an annual salary of roughly $88,000.
Nurse Practitioner Educational Programs in Oklahoma
Although there are several online and brick-and-mortar institutions that offer nursing master’s degrees for Oklahoma residents, only two Oklahoma universities currently allow students to graduate with full nurse practitioner credentials.
•Oklahoma City University (OKCU) – OKCU’s Kramer School of Nursing offers two different routes to official nurse practitioner degrees. Its Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program allows students to obtain a full Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree after they complete a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). To accommodate nurses who already hold national certification plus a current Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), the OKCU also provides a DNP-completion option with either a clinical or administrative focus. To enter into medical practice, all new nurse practitioners graduating in 2015 or later will be required to obtain a doctoral-level degree. Full-time students can expect to complete these OKCU programs in an average of two to three years, while part-time students typically finish within four years.
•The University of Oklahoma (OU) – Through its Health Sciences Center College of Nursing, OU prepares nurse practitioners for work in a wide variety of public and private medical and institutional facilities through its Master of Science in Nursing: Nurse Practitioner Pathway program. This master’s-level program allows students to build upon their traditional BSNs or non-nursing bachelor’s degrees to become a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP), or an Adult Gerontologic Nurse Practitioner (AGNP). Available only at OU’s Tulsa campus, these programs are typically completed within two years by full-time students and within three years by part-time students.