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Oklahoma Nursing License Requirements

Nurses in Oklahoma are licensed by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, which sets education and qualification requirements for practical nurses, registered nurses, and nurse practitioners who wish to become licensed in the state. All licensed nurses in Oklahoma must begin with an education program in nursing, and nurses at all levels may advance in the profession with additional education and certifications. Continue learning about the steps to becoming a practical nurse, registered nurse, or nurse practitioner in Oklahoma by reading below.

» How to become a licensed practical nurse (requires completion of a training program)
» How to become a registered nurse (requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree)
» How to become a nurse practitioner (requires a master’s degree)

4 Steps to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Oklahoma

1. Earn an Education in Practical Nursing.

To become licensed, practical nurses in Oklahoma must complete an education program in nursing, which may result in a diploma or degree.1 The Oklahoma Board of Nursing approves practical nursing education programs in the state that meet the educational requirements for licensure.1 A list of programs approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing is available on the Board website.2 Statistics such as National Council Licensure Examination pass rates are also available.3 Note that nursing programs located in other states may be acceptable if the program has been approved by the nursing board of that state.4

2. Complete the Oklahoma Fingerprint Background Check.

The Oklahoma Board of Nursing has recently instituted fingerprint background check requirements for all new practical nurse license candidates.4 Note that although the fingerprint background check can be completed prior to submitting an application for licensure, it must be no more than ninety days old at the time a license application is received by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.4

The Oklahoma Board of Nursing has contracted a third party vendor, MorphoTrust, to complete fingerprint impressions for nurse licensure.4 Candidates can look up MorphoTrust locations and make an appointment for fingerprinting through the MorphoTrust website.5 Out of state residents can request a fingerprint card from the Oklahoma Board of Nursing and have fingerprint impressions taken by local law enforcement, but must forward the completed fingerprint card to MorphoTrust.4

3. Submit the Application for Licensure by Examination.

Applicants should be aware that as of December 31, 2013, the Oklahoma Board of Nursing will require that applications be completed through its online application portal, and paper applications will no longer be accepted except where an exception has been requested and granted.4 The online application will be available through the Oklahoma Board of Nursing Registration System.6

The Oklahoma Board of Nursing recommends that applications for licensure be submitted two to four months prior to graduating from a nursing program to expedite licensure after graduation in line with expected processing times.4 Note that the Evidence of Status form included in the application is required of all candidates for licensure.4 Applicants should also be sure to include a recent 2 inch by 2 inch passport style photograph that is signed and dated on the front border with the application.4 In addition, an official graduated transcript must be submitted directly from the school of nursing attended to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.4

4. Register and Sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses.

A passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) is required of all prospective practical nurses in Oklahoma.4 Candidates must register with Pearson VUE, the third party company that is used to administer and score the exam, after submitting an application for licensure to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing; registration can be done through the Pearson VUE website.7 After a review of the application materials the candidate will receive an Authorization to Test to schedule and attempt the NCLEX-PN.4 Note that the NCLEX-PN must be taken and passed within two years of graduating from a nursing program.4

4 Steps to Become a Registered Nurse in Oklahoma

1. Earn an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

Prospective registered nurses must earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing to be eligible for licensure.1 Registered nurses may choose to complete an associate’s degree to become licensed and later pursue study towards a bachelor’s degree.1 The Oklahoma Board of Nursing grants approved status to nursing programs that meet the education requirements for initial licensure.1 A list of such programs is available on the Oklahoma Board of Nursing website.8 Licensure candidates can also view program statistics, such as pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination.3 Nursing programs located in other states that have been approved by another state board of nursing may also be acceptable for licensure.4

2. Complete the Oklahoma Fingerprint Background Check.

As of January 2013, all new requests for registered nurse licensure must be supported by an Oklahoma fingerprint background check.4 Licensure candidates should note that although the fingerprint background check can be completed prior to submitting an application for licensure, it must be no more than ninety days old at the time a license application is received by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.4

The Oklahoma Board of Nursing uses a third party company, MorphoTrust, to take fingerprint impressions for nurse licensure.4 Applicants can locate MorphoTrust offices and make a fingerprinting appointment through the MorphoTrust website.5 Candidates residing outside of Oklahoma may request a fingerprint card from the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, which can then be taken to local law enforcement to have fingerprint impressions done.4 If this method is selected, the completed fingerprint impressions must still be forwarded to MorphoTrust.4

3. Submit the Application for Licensure by Examination.

Note that as of December 31, 2013 the Oklahoma Board of Nursing will no longer accept paper applications for initial licensure for registered nurses unless an exception has been requested and granted.4 Instead, applicants should use the online Oklahoma Board of Nursing Registration System.6

The Oklahoma Board of Nursing recommends that applications for licensure be submitted two to four months prior to graduating from a nursing program to expedite licensure after graduation in line with expected processing times.4 In addition to the completed application, all candidates must complete and submit the Evidence of Status form included in the application.4 All licensure candidates should recent 2 inch by 2 inch passport style photograph, signed and dated on the front border, with the application.4 In addition, applicants must request that the school of nursing attended forward an official graduated transcript directly to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.4

4. Register and Sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

The final steps to registered nurse licensure in Oklahoma are registering for and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), which is required of all candidates for licensure.4 The registration can be completed online through Pearson VUE, a third party test administrator used by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.7 Following review of the application materials, an Authorization to Test to schedule and attempt the NCLEX-RN will be issued.4 Note that the NCLEX-RN must be taken and passed within two years of graduating from a nursing program.4

8 Steps to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Oklahoma

1. Acquire a License As a Registered Nurse in Ohio.

To obtain a license as a nurse practitioner in Ohio, candidates must first acquire a license as a registered nurse in the state.9 Prospective nurse practitioners should therefore pursue an appropriate education for registered nurses and prepare to pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

2. Complete an Education Program for Nurse Practitioners.

Nurse practitioners must successfully complete an education program designed to prepare nurse practitioners for practice to be eligible for licensure in Ohio.9 Effective January 1, 2016, the program completed must consist of at least one year of instruction at the graduate level with at least one population focus approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing.9 The school must be accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.10 Further, the program must establish the candidate’s eligibility to sit for a national certification exam, the passage of which is a prerequisite for licensure.10

3. Obtain National Certification as a Nurse Practitioner.

All nurse practitioners must obtain and maintain certification at the national level.9 Certification must be on the basis of examination, meaning the candidate must be eligible by education and qualifications to take the exam to become licensed as a nurse practitioner.10 A list of certifying associations recognized by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing is available on the Board website.11 Note that certification from an association not recognized by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing will not qualify a candidate for licensure.11

4. Complete an Oklahoma Fingerprint Background Check.

Effective November 1, 2013, all candidates for licensure as a nurse practitioner must submit a fingerprint background check.10 Candidates for nurse practitioner licensure should note that the fingerprint background check may not be more than 90 days old at the time of application for a license.10

MorphoTrust, a third party company, has been contracted by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing to take fingerprint impressions for licensure purposes.10 Applicants may view MorphoTrust office locations and make a fingerprinting appointment through the MorphoTrust website.5 Prospective nurse practitioners who do not live in Oklahoma should request a fingerprint card from the Oklahoma Board of Nursing; this card can be used to have fingerprint impressions taken by local law enforcement.10 If this method is selected, the completed fingerprint impressions must still be forwarded to MorphoTrust.10

5. Submit the Application for Licensure as An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse.

The Oklahoma Board of Nursing provides the Application for Licensure as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse for new nurse practitioner license applications.10 The form should be completed in its entirety using blue or black ink.10

The nurse practitioner program completed must forward official transcripts directly to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing to verify the candidate’s education.10 Candidates must also request that the association from which national certification was obtained send verification of certification directly to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.10

6. Submit the Application for Prescriptive Authority, If Desired.

Nurse practitioners in Oklahoma may only prescribe or dispense drugs if prescriptive authority from the Oklahoma Board of Nursing has been granted.10 To be eligible, nurse practitioners must have completed an academic program in pharmacotherapeutics or 45 contact hours of education or continuing education in pharmacotherapeutics management for advanced practitioners.12 These requirements must have been met within three years of the date of application for prescriptive authority.12 To apply for prescriptive authority, nurse practitioners should use the Application for Prescriptive Authority for the CNP, CNM, And CNS.12 The application must be supported by official transcripts or certificates of completion, as appropriate, for the pharmacotherapeutic education hours completed.12

All nurse practitioners should be aware that no nurse practitioner may prescribe Schedule I or II drugs, even if prescriptive authority has been granted.12 Other exclusionary formularies and restrictions may apply, and nurse practitioners must familiarize themselves with these rules and guidelines.12

7. Submit the Agreement for Physician Supervising Advanced Practice Prescriptive Authority.

Nurse practitioners who have been granted prescriptive authority by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing may only exercise such authority under the supervision of a licensed physician.9 In addition, the supervising relationship must be verified and approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing to be considered effective.9 For this purpose, the Agreement for Physician Supervising Advanced Practice Prescriptive Authority form is provided.13 This form should be completed by the nurse practitioner and supervising physician and forwarded to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing when complete.13

8. Complete Prescriptive Registration with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Control and Federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Prescription of controlled substances requires a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) control number, which can be applied for through the DEA.14 Additionally, Oklahoma nurse practitioners must register with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Control to prescribe controlled substances.12,15 Both registrations must occur after prescriptive authority has been granted by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.

Oklahoma Nursing Associations

Oklahoma nursing associations can provide prospective and current nurses with opportunities for education, networking, and other professional connections.

Association of Oklahoma Nurse Practitioners

Oklahoma Emergency Nurses Association

Oklahoma Nurses Association

Oklahoma Nursing Student Association

Oklahoma Organization of Nurse Executives

Oklahoma Nursing Salary

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Nursing Assistants 18,070 $21,280
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses 12,540 $36,800
Registered Nurses 26,850 $55,980
Nurse Practitioners 750 $83,870

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.

References:
1. Oklahoma Board of Nursing: Types of Nursing Education Programs
2. Oklahoma Board of Nursing: State Approved Nursing Education Programs – Licensed Practical Nursing Programs
3. Oklahoma Board of Nursing: Agency Data – Education
4. Oklahoma Board of Nursing: Licensure By Examination Instructions and Application
5. Oklahoma Board of Nursing Registration System
7. Pearson VUE: Education
9. Oklahoma Board of Nursing: Oklahoma Nursing Practice Act
10. Oklahoma Board of Nursing: Instructions and Application for Licensure as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
11. Oklahoma Board of Nursing: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Certification Examinations Approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing
12. Oklahoma Board of Nursing: Application for Prescriptive Authority for the CNP, CNM, and CNS
13. Oklahoma Board of Nursing: Agreement for Physician Supervising Advanced Practice Prescriptive Authority
14. US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration: Application for Registration Under Controlled Substance Act of 1970
15. Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Control: OBN Registration Forms