OSU announces creation of new, four-year nursing degree program
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Media Contact: Mack Burke | Associate Director of Media Relations | 405-744-5540 | email@example.com
Oklahoma State University will begin offering a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) on the Stillwater campus during the 2023-2024 school year.
The new degree program reflects OSU’s land-grant mission and will help meet workforce demands and improve health care in Oklahoma. The program will be critical for the state, which is facing an ongoing and critical shortage of nurses.
According to the Oklahoma Nurses Association, Oklahoma is ranked No. 46 among all states for the number of registered nurses per capita. In 2021, the national average was 1,100 nurses per 100,000 people; in Oklahoma, there were only about 700. In 2021, 35% of the licensed nurses in Oklahoma were at or near retirement age, exacerbating the issue.
“The shortage of qualified health care providers in Oklahoma is only going to intensify without a focused effort to provide pathways of opportunity for aspiring nurses,” OSU President Kayse Shrum said. “As a physician, I learned firsthand the immense value nurses provide in patient care. You cannot run a hospital or clinic without their expertise. Increasing the number of graduates in critical areas is a key tenant of our land-grant mission, and I’m excited about the impact this new program will have, certainly for students, but also for patients and health care entities across the state.”
OSU is committed to preparing nurses who meet the dynamic health care needs of individuals, families and communities. Housed in the School of Community Health Sciences, Counseling and Counseling Psychology — which is part of the College of Education and Human Sciences — the program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and will offer students the opportunity to focus on underserved and rural populations and to infuse prevention and total wellness practices in health care systems in Oklahoma.
“About one-third of students studying in the College of Education and Human Sciences are pursuing degrees related to nutritional, physical, mental or relational health. In adding this new BSN, we’re strengthening our work to prepare graduates for high-demand jobs in the growing health care sector,” said Dr. Jon Pedersen, College of Education and Human Sciences dean. “I’m excited about new opportunities to collaborate across degree programs and to expand on our existing partnerships with the health care partners.”
This program will provide a framework for collaboration with other health care professions,
as students will have opportunities to participate in clinical experiences with health
care partners in both rural and urban settings. The university is renovating space
on campus to create a new, fully equipped simulation lab for the program, targeted
for completion in 2024.
Dr. Alana Cluck serves as the director of the nursing program.
“We are committed to ensuring this program provides an exceptional learning experience for students, preparing them to be leaders in the complex and challenging health care environment. Students, parents and local health care partners have expressed significant interest in an OSU bachelor’s degree in nursing, and we are excited to welcome our first class of students this fall,” Cluck said.
In the semester prior to completing the required 59 hours of prerequisite coursework, students will submit a competitive application to continue professional coursework toward the nursing degree. In the program’s inaugural year, OSU expects to admit 50 students to continue with nursing laboratories, simulations and clinical experiences. The program will grow the number of professional nursing students to 100 in year two.
Applications for fall 2023 are now open. Learn more about OSU admission requirements and how to apply at https://go.okstate.edu/undergraduate-academics/majors/nursing.html.
OSU also offers an online RN to BSN completion degree program, also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. OSU’s RN to BSN has been ranked among the nation’s best online degree programs by EduMed.org, which highlights programs based on overall quality, affordability and commitment to student success. The program ranked in three EduMed categories, including Best Online Nursing Programs in Oklahoma, Best RN to BSN Programs Online and Best Nursing Programs Online. Just 6% of regionally accredited colleges and universities, and only 8% of nationally accredited institutions, earned a ranking position.