With an RN license in your back pocket, you can take your nursing career in an entirely new direction. And thanks to an increasing number of LPN-BSN programs — specially designed programs that recognize and credit LPNs for their previous education and experience — getting there could be easier and more affordable than you might think.
What does this mean for you? The ability to complete a BSN and qualify for your RN license with an above-standard credential in less time—and for less money! And because these programs are designed specifically for the working LPN, many are offered in a fully online format, thereby offering you the convenience, flexibility, and accessibility you need to juggle both professional and educational demands.
You can earn an RN license in Oklahoma through an associate’s degree program, but choosing a BSN program over an associate’s degree can grant you more and varied professional opportunities, a larger paycheck, and the ability to transition into nursing management and leadership positions.
The Oklahoma Nurses Association details job opportunities at each educational level, noting that RNs with an associate degree are eligible for clinical nursing positions and mid-level manager positions at some smaller hospitals. However, with a BSN degree, Oklahoma nurses often hold positions as acute care nurses, patient educators, clinical nurse educators, managers, and nurse administrators. According to the Oklahoma Nurses Association, a BSN also opens the doors to positions in academia and quality/case management.
In short, while you can earn your RN license through an associate’s degree program, the varied professional opportunities and the greater earning power that come with a BSN may make the choice an easy one.
What to Expect from LPN to BSN Programs in Oklahoma
LPN-BSN programs are structured like a traditional, four-year BSN. They both require a total of about 120 credits and both include classroom theory and practical experiences with a variety of populations in a variety of settings.
However, LPN-BSN programs award licensed LPNs advanced standing through either the transfer of credits or through the successful completion of proficiency examinations in select courses. While transfer policies tend to differ between programs, most grant between 10-25 transfer credits, leaving LPNs to complete just 95-110 credits to earn their BSN.
In addition to a current and valid LPN license, you may also need to complete a general skills assessment prior to being admitted in an LPN-BSN program. Often times, this examination is used to determine your eligibility or placement in the program.
Before you can begin the BSN’s core courses, you must complete between 50-60 prerequisite courses in subjects that often include:
- S. History
- English Composition
- Human Anatomy
- Intro to Psychology
- Intro to Sociology
- General Chemistry
The BSN core consists of courses and clinical experiences in areas like:
- Fundamentals in Nursing Practice
- Health Assessment
- Advanced Adult Health
- Psychosocial Nursing
- Childbearing Family Nursing
- Nursing Leadership/Management
While many LPN-BSN programs offer a partially or fully online course delivery, you’ll still need to complete the program’s clinical requirements at sites close to home. It’s likely you’ll be able to complete many of your clinical hours at your current place of employment.
Just some of the clinical sites in Oklahoma that partner with online schools include:
- Oklahoma Surgical Hospital, Tulsa
- Surgical Hospital of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City
- Stroud Regional Medical Center, Stroud
- Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Ardmore
- AMG Specialty Hospital, Edmond
How to Become an RN in Oklahoma After Completing an LPN to BSN Program
Once you’ve completed the LPN-BSN program, you can apply for your Oklahoma’s RN license through the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. You must complete an online application and then apply with Pearson VUE for the NCLEX-RN.
Once the Board approves your application, Pearson VUE will send you an Authorization to Test. You’ll then have 90 days to schedule and take the NCLEX-RN at a Pearson testing site close to you.
Once you pass the NCLEC-RN, the Board will issue you an Oklahoma RN license.
Incentives Being Offered to Oklahoma LPNs that Pursue a BSN
Your ability to offset some of the costs associated with earning your BSN may be easier than you think. That’s because many Oklahoma healthcare employers offer financial incentives to nurses who are returning to school to advance their education.
For example, Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton offers an education reimbursement of up to $3,000 for new graduates who recently received certification or licensure in a high need area. They also offer an Education Incentive Program, which is designed to help students with the expense of tuition and book fees by providing funds up to $8,000.
Contact your employer’s human resources office to learn more about financial incentives that may be available to you for earning your RN license and BSN degree.