Oklahoma provides prospective nursing students with ample opportunities to study nursing throughout this state. The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, however, is the only program in this state that offers a doctoral degree. They also offer a BSN and an MSN in over fifteen specialty areas including acute care, gerontology, neonatal and pediatric nurse practice. Despite this lack of doctoral programs in this state, Oklahoma provides numerous opportunities to earn a joint degree, BSN, MSN, associate degree or diplomas for LPN and/or RN in a wide variety of environments. Oral Roberts University, based in Tulsa, for instance, provides the ability to earn a BSN in a Christian environment. If you’d prefer a suburban environment on the edge of rural, then you can earn your BSN at Northeaster State University in Tahlequah outside Tulsa. Oklahoma City University offers a joint degree, among other degrees, in a busy urban environment. Their MSN/MBA is a collaborative program between the Kramer School of Nursing and Meinders School of Business which prepares nurses for management roles, including executive leadership. In all cases, most learning environments are located near some of the largest employers in this state – hospitals and medical centers.
Statewide, the average salaries for LPN, RN and specialty nurses range between $13,000 and $73,000 annually, depending upon degree earned, years in the field, expertise and size of the health facility. Some of the largest employers in Oklahoma include: Woodward Regional Hospital; Valley View Regional Hospital in Ada, which services a ten-county area; Shawnee Medical Center Clinic, which serves Pottawatomie, Lincoln and Seminole counties; St. John Health System in Tulsa, one of the largest and more respected health care providers in this state; Saint Frances Health System in northeastern Oklahoma, which is one of the area’s most preferred employers with a full employee staff over over 7,000; Norman Regional Hospital in Cleveland County and Muskogee Regional Medical Center, founded in 1893. Integris Health is Oklahoma’s largest nonprofit health organization, with corporate headquarters located on the Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City. Integris employs nearly 10,000 individuals state-wide. Mercy Health System of Oklahoma is this state’s only magnet hospital, and the Bone and Joint Hospital in Oklahoma City represents just one of many specialty health care facilities in the state. The Bone and Joint Hospital is a 102-bed facility that provides medical, surgical and comprehensive rehabilitative care for all orthopedic health care needs, and it is recognized as one of the top orthopedic hospitals in the U.S. These institutions represent just a handful of the many health care opportunities that graduates can discover in Oklahoma.