How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Oklahoma

So, what is a Nurse Administrator?

Let’s say you’re a registered nurse (RN), and you’ve taken on more and more responsibilities over the years. You’ve become someone that people seek out for advice, guidance, or general business savvy. Or, perhaps you’re ambitious and want to further your professional reach at your place of work. Becoming a Nurse Administrator might be in your future.

Nurse Administrators marry business skills and clinical knowledge to lead nurses and healthcare staff in administering the best comprehensive care for their patients. As a Nurse Administrator, you can expect to manage budgets, hire and evaluate other nurses and work to improve business strategy in various healthcare settings. Nurse Administrators hold advanced positions in their field that require managerial experience and vast clinical knowledge.

How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Oklahoma

The annual mean salary of a nurse administrator in Oklahoma is $99,920, which is about $48.04 an hour. Depending on where you live in the state, you could make anywhere from $83,380 in the non-metropolitan areas to $106,440 in bigger cities like Tulsa. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the nurse manager profession will grow by 32% by 2030, which means there will be plenty of jobs to choose from if you stay within the field. If you’re an RN with a track record of leadership experience and skills, you have the potential to become a Nurse Administrator without pursuing a higher degree. However, if you’re interested in broadening your professional know-how, you should consider a degree in nurse administration or leadership.

You may already possess a wealth of clinical knowledge but need support when balancing a budget or streamlining business processes. A graduate degree can help you identify your growth areas and make you a more competitive candidate in the job market. Graduate study is also an excellent place for networking. The clinical practicums that are often a part of the curriculum can provide unique experiences and connections that you wouldn’t necessarily have access to otherwise. Discovering the best program for you is essential, and you’ll want to consider your current work life, if you’d like to go to school full or part-time and how you’ll want to finance your educational journey. Check out the programs below to better understand your options in Oklahoma.

Best Nursing Administration and Leadership Programs in Oklahoma

1. Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OWU) is a small private university associated with the Wesleyan church in Bartlesville with a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. The school is unapologetically Christ-centered, and students can find faith-based organizations and activities all over campus. Bartlesville is in what’s known as Oklahoma’s beautiful “green country” in the northeastern corner of the state, 45 minutes from Tulsa. OWU provides a small-town atmosphere while still being close to all the exciting events and cultural experiences that the surrounding major cities have available.

The online MSN in Nursing Administration at OWU was designed with seasoned nurses in mind and encourages students to explore leadership skills from a Christian perspective. The university has offered online coursework for over 15 years and has worked hard to perfect the virtual education experience. Students can complete the program in 33 credit hours, and the total cost of tuition is $20,340. You can move through one class at a time as you continue to work, and tuition costs remain fixed whether you attend in-person classes or do your entire degree online. OWU offers financial aid to eligible candidates and makes applying to the nursing program easy with this simple online application.

2. Southern Nazarene University

Southern Nazarene University (SNU) is a private Nazarene university in Bethany just outside Oklahoma City whose aim is to “foster Christlike living for all its students.” The school’s desire is to create an environment that feels welcoming and connective, where students can discover their passions and pursue them with excellence. SNU’s graduate school programs were designed with working adults in mind so that students can adjust their degree path to fit their schedule.

SNU offers a unique MBA in Healthcare Administration that allows students to focus on the intersection of business and healthcare. The program requires 34 total credit hours and as few as 18 months to graduate. Students can choose to take courses online or meet once a week in person on campus. The coursework for the program includes classes on business strategy, ethics, law, healthcare systems, accounting and a capstone course on leading healthcare teams. Additionally, SNU operates on a cohort model wherein students are a part of the same small group as they make their way through the program. This model builds a system of supportive individuals working toward similar goals. SNU’s commitment to community also plays out in its promotion of diversity, equity and justice through the lens of God’s all-inclusive love.

Students can apply to the program on a rolling basis through SNU’s online application. Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll also complete your FAFSA and send in your official transcripts. SNU will reach out to you if they need supplementary materials.

3. University of Central Oklahoma

The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) is a public university in Edmond, the third-largest university in the state. The school offers 80 graduate degree programs and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1. UCO’s mission is to provide an academic environment that nurtures creative, ethical and engaged students.

UCO has an online MSN with a specialty nursing concentration that allows students to tailor their program to their interests in leadership or administration. The coursework can be completed in 34 credit hours and features core classes like Innovation in Nursing, Leadership in Healthcare Organizations and a graduate project and thesis. The program also has elective courses for students on topics like ethics, pharmacology, health assessment and finance.

The MSN is available to those with a BSN or an associate degree in nursing who wish to pursue a master’s degree. Students can submit an online application, official transcripts and a written statement of purpose to get into the program. Additionally, students should hold a BSN with a 3.0 GPA and have completed an undergraduate statistics course. You get admissions preference if you currently have an active RN license.

4. University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma (OU) is a public university in Norman, the third-largest city 20 minutes south of Oklahoma City. The university was founded in 1890 and currently serves over 20,000 undergraduate students. OU is also well known for its rich athletics programs that draw people from far and wide to cheer on their famous mascot, the Sooner Schooner. The mascot is a covered wagon pulled by two white horses named Boomer and Sooner. As this is also a school close to major metropolitan areas with a far-reaching reputation, this could also be a great place to broaden your career and expand your capacity for quality networking.

OU offers a robust online curriculum that caters to adults who want to pursue graduate study. Students can complete the MSN in Nursing Administration in 33 credit hours over two years. The program features courses on leadership, innovation, technology, safety and finance and the total cost of tuition runs around $24,000. The degree also requires students to take a practicum in Nursing Administration/Management to apply. OU boasts expert faculty and has been a leader in nursing since 1911.

To apply, prospective students need a BSN with at least a 3.0 GPA, a current RN license, and complete research and statistics classes. In addition, students should submit their applications through the NursingCAS platform, pay the $75 fee, send in their official transcripts and complete the online supplemental application.

5. Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University (OSU) is a public land-grant research university in Stillwater that serves over 34,000 students while maintaining a student-to-faculty ratio of 20:1. While OSU’s classes are on the bigger side, it does offer 124 graduate degrees. In addition, it is acknowledged as “America’s Healthiest Campus,” prioritizing student wellness and becoming a leader in healthcare research. Close to major cities like Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OSU is a great place to begin networking if you want to work in those higher-paying areas.

OSU’s online MS in Healthcare Administration is among the top five programs in the U.S. Students can finish the degree in 32 credit hours and features core courses like Leadership Methods & Styles, Legal Issues & Compliance and General Survey of Healthcare Industry. Students can also seek out internship opportunities for credit and take classes in flexible 8- and 16-week schedules. Additionally, OSU’s tuition is slightly more affordable, coming in at around $15,520 for non-residents and $11,360 for residents.

Students can apply by submitting an online application, sending in official transcripts and a written goal statement that answers several prompts. Those prompts include a description of your current employment and healthcare experience, goals and reasons for applying to OSU’s program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but OSU urges students to submit their materials at least six weeks before the start of the semester.