Oklahoma Nursing License Requirements

Learn more about the application requirements and process for getting your Oklahoma nursing license.
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  • Oklahoma has different processes for single-state and multi-state RN licenses.
  • You can show your continuing qualifications for practice in one of five ways in Oklahoma.
  • Get your single-state or multi-state RN license with the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.

Interested in becoming a registered nurse (RN) in Oklahoma? Whether you're a new or seasoned nurse, there are a few important requirements you'll need to complete before practicing in this state. Find out everything you need to earn and maintain a single-state RN license in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State Board of Nursing

The Oklahoma Board of Nursing regulates nursing practice, licensure eligibility, and renewal requirements. It issues single-state and multi-state licenses through examination and endorsement, evaluates license and renewal applications, and takes disciplinary actions against nurses who do not follow the Nursing Practice Act.

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Oklahoma Nursing Education Requirements

Oklahoma requires you to graduate from an approved nursing program with classroom instruction and clinical experience in caring for adults and children, psychiatric and mental health nursing, labor and delivery, and newborn nursing. You can fulfill this requirement with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN).

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

An ADN degree offers a faster way to become an RN, requiring two years of full-time study. It focuses on the fundamentals of nursing practice including taking vital signs, updating patient records, communicating with other healthcare professionals, running diagnostic tests, and giving medications and treatment.

Bachelor's in Nursing (BSN)

A BSN degree takes four years to complete and offers a more comprehensive education. Choose a BSN degree if you want to pursue leadership opportunities, higher pay, get an advanced degree, or have more autonomy. A BSN teaches the fundamental nursing skills you need to practice nursing safely, legally, and ethically, but it also prepares you for careers in nursing leadership, research, and informatics.

Applying for a Nursing License in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Board of Nursing provides two ways to get an RN license in Oklahoma: examination or endorsement. Oklahoma also participates in the nursing license compact (NLC) and offers multi-state licenses that allow you to practice in other NLC states, such as Kansas and Texas.

You can apply for a multi-state license in Oklahoma or change your primary state of residence to Oklahoma if you meet the requirements for licensure by endorsement or examination, have a clear criminal record, and pay the $150 multi-state license application fee.

RN Licensure by Examination

Apply for your RN license by examination if you need to apply for your first RN license in Oklahoma. To apply for an RN license by examination, you must graduate from an accredited or approved nursing program. After graduation, you should:

  • Ask your nursing program to submit your final official transcripts directly to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.
  • Verify your U.S. citizenship status.
  • Provide your digital fingerprints for a criminal background check.
  • Complete an application and pay the $85 application fee.
  • Register to take the NCLEX-RN with Pearson VUE and pay the $200 registration fee.
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN.

Your application and fee are valid for one year or one NCLEX attempt. If you do not pass the NCLEX and complete your application within that time, you have to submit a new application and fee.

RN Licensure by Endorsement

If you have a current RN license in another U.S. state or territory and have never held an RN license in Oklahoma, you should apply for your Oklahoma nursing license through endorsement. To get your single-state Oklahoma license, you must:

  • Verify your U.S. citizenship status.
  • Ask your nursing program to submit your final official transcripts directly to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN.
  • Verify your initial RN license through the board of nursing that granted your license by examination.
  • Submit evidence of continuing qualifications for practice through continuing education hours, university credit hours, current employment, or current certification.
  • Complete the application and pay the $85 application fee.
  • Provide your electronic fingerprints for a background check.

How to Maintain Your Nursing License in Oklahoma

After getting your RN license in Oklahoma, you can work in a variety of settings and specialties, including acute care, ambulatory care, nursing education, nursing informatics, or nursing research. You can also pursue certification to further demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in a particular specialty.

You must renew your RN license every two years on even-numbered years by the last day of your birth month. Your initial license may need to be renewed before the two-year period ends because you must always renew in an even-numbered year.

You can renew your license online as long as your license is active, in good standing, and renewed on time. You must pay $75 to renew your nursing license. If your license is inactive or renewed after the expiration date, you must fill out a paper renewal application.

You have several options to renew your RN license in Oklahoma. You can:

  • Verify at least 520 hours of paid employment that requires nursing licensure.
  • Complete six credits of nursing-related coursework at your current license level or higher
  • Hold a current specialty certification.
  • Complete 24 contact hours of continuing education related to nursing practice.
  • Complete a refresher course approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.

Your employment does not need to be in a clinical setting, but the job description you provide the Oklahoma Board of Nursing must require an RN license. You only need to complete one of these requirements each renewal period, and you cannot combine these options in the same renewal period.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing in Oklahoma

Is Oklahoma a compact state for nurses?

Yes, Oklahoma participates in the nursing license compact (NLC), which means you can get or transfer a multi-state RN license to Oklahoma and practice in any NLC state, including surrounding states such as New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, and Arkansas.

How many times can you take the NCLEX in Oklahoma?

You can take the NCLEX-RN once before you have to reapply and pay another application fee to register to take the NCLEX again.

What is the NCLEX-RN pass rate in Oklahoma?

In 2021, 83.6% of the 2,162 candidates that took the NCLEX-RN in Oklahoma passed the first time. The pass rates for both associate degree holders and bachelor's degree holders were at or above the national average pass rate of 82.5%.

What degree is required to become a nurse in Oklahoma?

You can become an RN in Oklahoma with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN). An ADN typically costs less and allows you to start your career sooner because it only takes two years. However, a four-year BSN prepares you to pursue more career opportunities, including leadership positions with more autonomy and higher pay.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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