How to Become a Registered Nurse in Oklahoma
Nursing is a time honored tradition with its history dating back several centuries. Nursing is a challenging endeavor and certainly not for the faint of heart, but it comes with a great many rewards.
The Oklahoma Board of Nursing requires registered nurse (RN) candidates to complete an approved nursing program that includes class work and clinical training. Candidates are required to earn at least an Associate’s degree and take the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). RNs are required to be licensed before being allowed to practice nursing in the state.
After the educational requirements are completed, the graduate will take the NCLEX-RN. The applicant must be at least 18 years of age to take the exam and apply to take the exam within two years of completing the program. The application is submitted to the OBON and includes verification of citizen status. Ohio State law requires RN candidates be a US citizen, nationals or legal permanent resident aliens. The application also includes a criminal background check and a fingerprint card and verification of a high school diploma, along with a 2”x2” passport type of photograph. As soon as the graduate submits an application to test, registration with Pearson VUE Testing Services is required. Pearson VUE is the exam administrator. Once the Board has reviewed and approved the application to test, the applicant will receive an authorization to test (ATT). The ATT allows the applicant to schedule the exam with Pearson VUE. Applicants must take the NCLEX-RN within 90 days of the issuance of the ATT.
After the exam, the applicant will be notified of the exam results and the results are reported as pass or fail. Graduates who pass the exam will be issued an RN license while graduates who fail will be issued an application to take the test again. Applicants will receive the results of the exam within six weeks of taking the exam. Graduates can check the unofficial exam results by logging into the Pearson VUE Quick Results Service website. Payment of a nominal fee is required to access the Quick Results website.
RN licenses expire on the last day of the licensee’s birth month in odd numbered years following the date of issuance. RNs are required to complete 24 contact hours of approved continuing education hours in regards to nursing. When renewing a license, RNs will be required to sign an affidavit attesting to the completion of the required hours. The OBON randomly audits RNs periodically and selected RNs will be required to provide actual documentation of the completion of the hours.
Nursing opportunities for qualified RNs are increasing and will continue to expand at a rapid rate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics project opportunities will expand at a rate of 20% through the year 2022, making nursing the fastest expanding field in the healthcare industry. RNs will find employment in a variety of facilities including hospitals and nursing homes, occupational and rehabilitative healthcare facilities, home care and private duty options, clinics, doctor’s offices, schools and government facilities, seasonal vacation venues, visiting nurse and hospice organizations and RN call centers.
The average RN annual salary in Oklahoma is $59,000. Entry level RNs can expect an average starting salary of $42,000 and senior level RNs, including those in a position of administration or supervision, will earn an average salary of $90,000. The actual salary will depend on the level of education, years of experience, nursing specialty and geographic location, along with the type of facility where employed. RN’s employed in high risk areas such as Emergency Rooms will often command a slightly higher salary.
The duties of an RN are varied and challenging. The actual duties will vary depending on facility where employed, but include medication dispensing, performing emergency procedures, monitoring patient progress, performing diagnostic testing, preparing and implementing patient care and treatment plans, supervising the nursing staff, including certified nursing assistants (CNA), training entry level nurses and CNAs and managing the nursing staff or care unit.
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