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Bring More to the Table: RN to BSN Programs in Oklahoma

Earlier generations practiced professional nursing with a diploma level education. Many nurses still practice very competently with just an ADN. Why then the push to make the BSN the new standard? Why are healthcare organizations supporting legislation that would help, or even require, new RNs to complete their BSN within ten years?

The healthcare system is far more complex than it used to be, from a systems standpoint as well as from a medical standpoint. Moreover, it’s broken. The Institute of Medicine has compiled a significant body of research documenting wasted resources, practitioner errors, and unnecessary deaths. The IOM believes that the healthcare system depends on interdisciplinary teams, skilled at sharing recourses and information. Nursing is a unique discipline with much to bring to the table. However, nurses need an education more on a par with other practitioners.

Typical BSN course offerings include health assessment, nursing informatics, healthcare leadership, and beginning scholarly research. You will also take classes that are geared toward community nursing and public health. You will probably have some courses to complete outside the nursing major. Some schools have a lot of specific requirements or general studies; you may be asked to take professional writing, statistics and/ or American Indian studies. Other schools allow you more freedom when it comes to choosing electives. Oklahoma City University, for example, does not require any math courses, but notes that those planning on going on to graduate school should take statistics as one of their electives.

Oklahoma BSN Career Mobility

Often nurses pursue the higher degree in order to open up more career opportunities for themselves. They may want to stay with their current employer and move into a position of greater responsibility, or they may want to make a lateral move to one of the state’s elite healthcare facilities. Magnet hospitals are generally able to recruit and retain highly educated individuals. Oklahoma has three facilities with magnet recognition, one in Tulsa and two in Oklahoma City. Tulsa’s St John Healthcare System favors candidates with BSN degrees for positions like RN I.

Some positions are more likely to go to baccalaureate nurses, regardless of what institution is doing the hiring. These include case management, care management, and health education. Some Oklahoma healthcare centers compensate BSN nurses at a higher rate even when they’re employed in similar roles.

BSN Program Considerations

Organizations in Oklahoma really value BSN nurses -- therefore they’ve teamed up to make it a little easier for you to climb the career ladder. There is a statewide articulation plan in place. There are also accelerated options that allow you to complete your degree in as little as a year.

RN to BSN courses reward professionals for the learning they already have done. As an ADN or diploma graduate, chances are good that you already have completed well over two years of post-secondary coursework -- you may be further along the degree path than you realize. Policies vary by institution, but you may earn as many as 72 credits of advanced placement just for having that RN license. Some schools will give you additional credit for specialty certifications.

Programs are designed to meet the needs of working professionals. You may attend class one or two evenings a week or you may choose to complete your program through distance learning. An increasing number of schools carry out their programs online using systems like Blackboard or Desire2Learn. This is learning at its most flexible.

RN to BSN Programs in Oklahoma

Bacone College

East Central University

Langston University

Northeastern State University

Oklahoma City University

Oklahoma Panhandle State University

Southern Nazarene University

Southwestern Oklahoma State University

University of Central Oklahoma

University of Oklahoma

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