5 Best RN to BSN Programs in Oklahoma (Online & Campus) – 2024 Rankings

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

If you are an RN interested in taking your career further, considering one of the several quality RN to BSN programs in Oklahoma is a great idea. These programs build upon your previous ADN or diploma education and prepare you for a career in nursing leadership, research, and more. You can choose from online, hybrid, and on-campus programs across the state to fit your busy schedule, as well. There are nine nursing schools offering RN to BSN courses, and of these, we have ranked the top five to help you find the best one for your individual needs.

Online RN to BSN Programs in Oklahoma: What You Need to Know?

Most of the RNs across Oklahoma work full-time in hospitals, and that means they live very busy lives. Online RN to BSN programs in OK are incredibly popular because they allow RNs to complete their coursework on their own time and at their own pace. Though you may have to visit a campus for orientation, testing, labs, or simulations, much of the program occurs online from the comfort of your own home.

ACEN/CCNE Accredited & Approved by Oklahoma Board of Nursing: When choosing any program – online or otherwise – it should be approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing and accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Both bodies set high standards in nursing education to which individual programs are held. Employers prefer to hire nurses who have the best possible education in order to improve patient outcomes.

Coursework: RN to BSN courses are designed to improve upon previous ADN or diploma coursework and provide more specialized knowledge. Many courses focus on pharmacology and mental health, for example, while others focus on leadership, management, and professionalism. Some courses are accompanied by labs or simulations which provide hands-on opportunities to solidify information gleaned from lectures and individual coursework, as well.

Sample Courses
Introduction to Nursing Care and Skills, Holistic Assessment, Nursing Care of the Adult, Pharmacology and Nursing Care, Nursing Care of the Family, Nursing Care in Mental Health, Research Utilization, Nursing Care in the Community, Professional Issues in Nursing, and Nursing Leadership

Clinical Training: Though the state of Oklahoma does not require a specific number of clinical hours for RN to BSN program completion, individual schools may require it. In some cases, the work you do for your employer can fill in for these requirements, so be sure to speak to your individual program representatives for your chosen school to find out.

Program Length: RN to BSN programs in the state of Oklahoma vary in length depending on your program of choice and your needs. An online program may take anywhere from one to three years depending on the amount of time you can dedicate to it, while a campus program takes roughly two years. On average, it will take 16 months to earn your RN to BSN in this state from start to finish.

Typical Admission Requirements: Admission requirements will vary from one school to the next, and online programs have many of the same requirements as their campus-based counterparts. As an example, at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, which offers one of the most popular programs in the state, you will need:

• A cumulative postsecondary GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale;
• Proof of legal US residency status;
• Proof of graduation from (or enrollment in) an ACEN- or CCNE-accredited ADN program; and
• Proof of residency of one of the SARA-approved states.

What are the 5 Best Accredited RN to BSN Programs in Oklahoma for 2024?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 5 best RN-to-BSN programs in Oklahoma (Online & Campus).)

1) Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford

Type: Online

Program Overview: Established in 1976, SWOSU’s nursing school offers a fine blend of theory and practical experiences. Its programs are offered with more clinical hours than usual, thereby preparing students with job ready skills. This RN to BSN program is a 100% online program that expands your ADN knowledge by providing training in nursing leadership, community health and research. Although campus visits are not required, you are welcome to use the resources of the nursing school whenever you want. This program starts five times in one calendar year (twice each in spring and fall and once in summer), allowing students considerable flexibility to enter anytime of the year. Once enrolled, courses are offered in 8-week terms and this online program follows the same academic calendar as an on-campus in terms of holidays and breaks.

Key Highlights

• Out of the total 10 nursing courses you are required to take, the order of two courses cannot be changed. You must start the program with Bridging Nursing Paradigms in the first semester and end it with Issues and concepts in the last. For taking the other 8 courses, following the numerical order is not a must, however it is recommended.
• The college allows ADN graduates to enter the program without a nurse license, provided you obtain it within the first semester.

2) University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond

Type: Campus

Program Overview: UCO School of Nursing’s 3500 strong alumni are transforming lives by playing vital roles in the healthcare industry. Ever since its first program in 1969, the school has stayed abreast with changes in the field of nursing.If you are a registered nurse who is keen on advancing career prospects in a short span, then this RN to BSN course in Oklahoma can be just apt. With this online program you can earn your BSN in just nine months of full-time study. For busy professionals, the part-time schedule, where you complete the coursework in 21 months, works better. Classes are offered in an eight-week format, so full-timers are required to take two nursing courses each eight-week term and complete the program sooner.

Key Highlights

• You are required to complete a clinical practicum in nursing leadership and community health closer to home. This prepares you with hands on experience for your career advancement.
• You can transfer 35 credit hours from your nursing associate and licensure towards the BSN.

3) Oral Roberts University, Tulsa

Type: Online

Program Overview: If faith-based nursing education is your calling than you should look no further than Oral Roberts, a leading Christian university in the nation. Ideally designed for a nursing associate graduate who is a registered nurse, this RN to BSN education in Oklahoma can broaden professional skills and knowledge and give your career a major boost. All the courses are offered online and require completing a total of 131 credits. While you can transfer up to 90 credits that includes 33 in general education, 25 in pre-requisite courses and 32 from your associate and nurse license, you must complete at least 38 credit hours through Oral Roberts in core nursing courses to earn your degree.

Key Highlights

• The faculty is consistent with Christian values of community service and this reflects in their teaching outcome that prepares graduates to be competent both professionally and spiritually. This churns out holistic healers rather than just nurses.
• The nursing school has consistently won many accolades for the innovative and holistic student centric education it offers.
• The generous transfer of credits allowed, cuts short the program length and tuition costs.

4) Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee

Type: Online

Program Overview: Oklahoma Baptist University offers student-centric nursing education that mainly focuses on leadership development. Students are provided with hands on learning opportunities where they hone professional skills. The RN to BSN /MSN program offers all courses online, except for the clinical practicum that requires attendance in a real-world setting. In just two years you can advance your education from an associate to an MSN by taking this bridge program. This works well for working individuals who are keen on pursuing an advanced nursing specialty without compromising on their current work schedules. Alternatively, you can exit this program with a BSN and explore leadership positions in nursing. Out of the total 130 credit hours required to earn a BSN, 30 credit hours must be in BSN courses. Nine credit hours from these courses can be transferred towards your MSN. A clinical practicum course must be completed, before you opt to exit with a BSN degree.

Key Highlights

• The BSN coursework includes a course in Biblical Ethics, creating a perfect foundation for a flourishing nursing career rooted in professional ethics.
• You will be allowed to design your own clinical practice experience. This helps in bringing a personalized experience, while you understand issues to be addressed in the global healthcare sector.

5) University of Tulsa, Tulsa

Type: Online

Program Overview: The 1,400 strong BSN graduates of University of Tulsa are sought after in the healthcare field. With a BSN, employment opportunities open up in supervisory and leadership roles. This RN to BSN program in the Sooner State requires completing a total of 125 credits. You can use your past academic and professional knowledge as a registered nurse and transfer up to 72 credits. You must complete 35 credits in core nursing courses such as advanced nursing assessment, professional nursing, community nursing, technology in nursing, health care research and quality across heath systems. The curriculum entails completing three credit hours in a nursing leadership clinical. You can complete this program in 12 months of full-time study.

Key Highlights

• You can personalize your study experience and enjoy maximum flexibility with scheduling and tuition costs.
• Registered nurses holding a license from any state in the United States can enter this program.



Update on Oklahoma’s Push for 80 Percent BSN

Oklahoma’s drive to fulfill the Institute of Medicine’s push to have 80% of all RNs educated at the baccalaureate level is tremendous. The Governor’s Council on Workforce & Economic Development’s Healthcare Workforce Subcommittee has produced the Nursing Professions Workgroup, which focuses solely on the nursing industry across the state. In 2018, Oklahoma had only 700 RNs for every 100,000 residents, which is well below the national average of 1,150 RNs per 100,000 residents. Despite this, the push for more (and higher-quality) education is paying off.

Though the 2018 report from Oklahoma Works that focuses on the nursing workforce in the state does not detail the percentage of RNs who have BSN education versus ADN or diploma education, it does show that BSN-educated RNs have many more opportunities available to them across the state thanks to their wide variety of professional competencies. According to a 2011 report, 13,922 RNs held BSN degrees compared to 22,485 with ADN degrees or diplomas.

How to pay Your RN to BSN in Oklahoma

If funding is a concern that holds you back from applying to one of the many excellent RN to BSN programs in "The Sooner State", there are a few different ways to obtain financial aid.

Grants: Grants are available at the federal and state level to help you pay for your education. They do not have to be repaid, and they are awarded to applicants based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of these. You can learn more about federal grants online and apply for them by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Loans: Loans are alternatives to grants that must be repaid. You can obtain loans from the federal government or from a private bank. The State of Oklahoma Physician Manpower Training Commission also offers a unique “matching” scholarship loan that may benefit you.

Scholarships: Scholarships are available from numerous Oklahoma schools and employers, and you can even find them online in various sources. The Oklahoma City Community Foundation offers one such scholarship especially for RNs pursing BSN degrees.

Employer Assistance Programs: Employer Assistance Programs in OK vary. In some cases, your employer may cover most (or even all) of the cost of your program in exchange for your agreement to work in an underserved part of the state for two to four years. In other cases, you may be able to receive tuition reimbursement or even a scholarship. Check with your employer’s human resources department to learn more about what it may offer.

6 Benefits of Pursuing an RN to BSN in Oklahoma

Though the number one advantage of pursuing an RN to BSN degree in OK is a sense of personal accomplishment, there are plenty of others, too.

1. Expand Your Knowledge and Skills: Simply put, the more you know, the more valuable you become to your employer – especially in a state where ADN degrees and diplomas are still preferred among most RNs. Above all else, you will be trained to take on leadership, management, and research positions – something that many RNs in this state lack. You will have a significant advantage in OK if you choose to go the extra mile and expand your knowledge, skills, and abilities in a BSN program.

2. Salary Bump: Of course, as you take on new roles in the workplace and become more valuable to your employer and the industry, you can also expect a handsome increase in your salary, especially if you work in more populated areas like Oklahoma City. RNs who have yet to earn BSN degrees in OK earn an average annual salary of $67,940, but after completing the RN to BSN, they earn $77,960 – a difference of $10,020 a year. Over a 35-year career, that’s a difference of nearly $350,000.

Before RN To BSN After RN to BSN How Much More Will I Earn
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

3. More Job Openings: As employers continue to discover the incredible benefits associated with hiring BSN-educated RNs, the number of job openings for ADN graduates will decrease and make way for BSN graduates. As an example, across the state of OK, there are 770 new and replacement jobs available for ADN graduates each year compared to the 1,390 openings for BSN graduates. Many of these openings are in high-demand facilities and positions that offer excellent hours and benefits like low-cost health insurance and paid vacations, too.

Oklahoma Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
Annual Openings for BSN Graduates 1,390
Annual Openings for ADN Graduates 770
(Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org)

4. Brighter Outlook: While job security is higher than average for all nurses in all states, RNs who choose to complete RN to BSN education in the state of Oklahoma will enjoy even more job security. Between 2020 and 2030, the employment of RNs with ADNs will climb 10.09% with 1,180 new jobs. However, in that same timeframe, the employment of RNs with BSNs will climb by a whopping 13.02% with the addition of 2,670 new jobs. The more education you have, and the more you know how to do, the more secure you can feel in your nursing position.

10 Year (2020-2030) Job Outlook
Employment New Job Growth
2020 2030 Number %
(Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org)

5. Advance Your Career: In Oklahoma, especially, nursing educators and managers are very scarce. Fortunately, after earning your BSN degree, you will be able to fill these roles in hospitals, nursing homes, and community colleges across the state. Charge Nurses and Nurse Supervisors are crucial to the overall success of any healthcare facility – and to the wellbeing of its patients. By completing your baccalaureate education, you will be a prime candidate to fill these positions.

Advancement Opportunities
Charge Nurse Director of Nursing
Chief Nursing Officer Nurse Educator
Clinical Nurse Specialist Nurse Manager
Clinical Research Nurse Nurse Supervisor

6. Post-RN to BSN Higher Education Options: The good news is that your BSN degree also sets up the framework for future education that can lead you through many new doors. If you choose to earn an MSN or MS degree, for example, you could become a Nurse Practitioner or Certified Nurse Midwife in just two additional years and earn a salary of up to $135,140. If you push a little harder and earn a PhD or DNP in an additional four to six years, you could become an APRN (in huge demand in OK and across the country) or a Senior Policy Analyst and earn as much as $157,770 a year.

Type of Degree Length Roles and Responsibilities Salary
Master’s Degree (MSN/MS)Up to 2 yearsAdministrator, Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Clinical Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist & Nurse Practitioner$85,910 - $135,140
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree4 to 6 yearsAdvanced Practice Registered Nurse, College Faculty, Nursing School Dean, Health System Executive, Researcher, & Senior Policy Analyst$85,910 - $157,770

RN to BSN Programs in Nearby States
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