How to Become a Nurse in Oklahoma

Nursing licensure in Oklahoma is regulated by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. Registered nurses in Oklahoma make an average of $29 per hour (or close to $62,000 annually), which is below average compared to other U.S. states. Currently, the supply of qualified nurses in Oklahoma is low, and the need for qualified RNs and LPNs is only expected to increase in coming years. Data suggests the number of newly licensed RNs and LPN has dropped in Oklahoma when compared to previous years, meaning that the educational system is producing fewer nurses than expected, forcing health care organizations to rely heavily upon out-of-state nurses to fill the workforce. Nursing schools in Oklahoma accepted 1,759 BSN applicants in 2017. In 2017, nursing programs in Oklahoma for AD and LPN nursing students accepted 1,932 and 1,579 applicants respectively for admission. Explore the licensing requirements for CNAs, LPNs, RNs, and APRNs in Oklahoma below.

How to Get Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Certification in Oklahoma

In order to become a certified nurse aide (CNA) in Oklahoma, an applicant needs to be certified by the Oklahoma Department of Health and added to the Nurse Aide Registry. To be placed on the registry, aspiring CNAs must complete a CNA training program approved by the Oklahoma Department of Health and pass both the written and skills tests. Once applicants complete the program and pass their tests, they will automatically be added to the CNA registry.

The CNA certification needs to be renewed every two years. To renew, CNAs should fill out an application and submit it to the Nurse Aide Registry. An Affidavit of Lawful Presence must be completed as part of the application process. CNAs must also provide proof of at least eight hours of work as a CNA in the previous two years, which should be signed by a supervisor or other approved person, along with a pay stub and W-2 form. The certified nurse assistant registry is unable to certify applicants if they have a tax hold. Applicants must get their tax hold lifted to proceed in the application process.

How to Get a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) License in Oklahoma

Aspiring Oklahoma LPNs can apply for a single-state or multistate license depending on personal preference. In either case, LPNs must graduate from an LPN training program approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing and provide proof of graduation. To apply for an LPN license, applicants will need to complete an application form, provide proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency, pass a background check, and register to take the NCLEX-PN exam. When their application is approved by the board, they may take the NCLEX-PN. Applicants will receive their LPN license when they achieve a passing score on the NCLEX. In order to be licensed, Oklahoma nursing license applicants applying for their practical nurse license must pay an $85 application fee.

Oklahoma LPN license applicants who are licensed in another state can apply for licensure by endorsement rather than by examination, which requires getting their out-of-state nursing license verified.

Oklahoma LPN license renewal takes place every two years and requires a $75 renewal fee.

How to Get a Registered Nurse (RN) License in Oklahoma

To become an RN in Oklahoma, applicants need to complete an approved RN education program like an ADN or BSN and must pass the NCLEX-RN. There is a separate application to obtain an Oklahoma RN license if applicants are licensed to practice in another state. There is also the option to apply for a single-state license or a multistate license depending on applicant preference. Applicants will need to pick the application that corresponds to their licensure needs, pay an $85 fee, and complete registration for their National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Licensure requires a passing NCLEX score. The minimum age for applicants is 18 years old. As of 2017, the NCLEX pass rate for Oklahoma nursing students was 86 percent, slightly below the national average.

Applicants must provide proof of U.S. citizenship and verification of successful completion of a nursing program approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. A criminal background check and fingerprinting must also be performed. Licenses must be renewed every two years.

How to Get an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) License in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Board of Nursing recognizes four categories of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN): certified nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, certified nurse specialist, and certified registered nurse anesthetist. In order to apply for an APRN license, applicants must provide proof of successful completion of an approved graduate nursing program in one of the four specialties. Applicants must also hold national certification in their specialty practice, in addition to a valid RN license. To apply for an Oklahoma APRN license, applicants should provide proof of citizenship or legal status, pass a background check, and pay the $70 application fee.

Advanced practice nurses can apply for licensure by endorsement if they hold an advanced practice license in another state.

APRNs should renew their APRN license along with their RN license every other year in even-numbered years.

Applicants must provide proof of U.S. citizenship and verification of successful completion of a nursing program approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. A criminal background check and fingerprinting must also be performed.