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Steps to Becoming an APRN in Oklahoma

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Get your Graduate Degree in Oklahoma
Earn your National Certification in Oklahoma
Apply for your APRN License in Oklahoma
Renewing your License in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Board of Nursing (phone: 405-962-1800) regulates and licenses advanced practice registered nurses in four practice roles:

  • Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

To be approved to work as an APRN in Oklahoma, you must hold a valid, unencumbered Oklahoma RN license. If you do not hold an active RN license in Oklahoma, you can obtain one by completing one of the following steps:

Oklahoma Job Statistics

  • 2015 mean salary for NPs in OK: $81,750
  • 2015 NCLEX-RN pass rate for Oklahoma: 85.7%
  • 2016 APRN licensure in OK: 3239
    • CNPs: 2182
    • CNMs: 75
    • CNS: 275
    • CRNAs: 707
  • 2016 APRNs with Prescriptive Authority in OK: 2520 (78% of total APRNs)

You may also apply for your RN license, either by examination or endorsement, through the Oklahoma Board of Nursing License/Certification/Recognition Applications online system.

With an active RN license, follow these steps to become an APRN in Oklahoma.


Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

To work toward your APRN license in Oklahoma, you must complete an advanced practice nursing program that prepares you for one of the four recognized advanced practice registered nurse roles: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Certified Nurse Midwife, Clinical Nurse Specialist or Certified Nurse Practitioner. Your education must include at least two semesters of coursework specific to your clinical specialty track or pathway.

The foundation of your APRN education must include the three, graduate-level core competency courses:

  • Advanced physiology/pathophysiology
  • Health/physical assessment
  • Pharmacology

Qualified Programs

Effective January 1, 2016, all APRNs must complete an accredited, graduate-level APRN program from a university accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education or the Council or Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in at least one of the following population foci: family/individual across the lifespan, adult-gerontology, neonatal, pediatrics, women’s health/gender-related, or psychiatric/mental health.

The accredited program must either hold candidacy or pre-accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the American College of Nurse-Midwives Division on Accreditation, or the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

CNS – If you want to pursue a CNS license, you must obtain a master’s degree or higher from a nursing program that is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Your education must include at least two semesters of coursework that focuses on a clinical nurse specialist track or pathway.

CNM – If you want to pursue a CNM license, you must complete an educational program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education that meets the requirements of the American College of Nurse Midwives so that you are prepared for certification as a nurse midwife.

CRNA – If you want to pursue a CRNA license, you must complete a program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.

CNP – If you want to pursue a CNP license, you must obtain a master’s degree or higher from a nursing program that is accredited by the National League for Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Prescriptive Authority Education Requirements

If you want to obtain prescriptive authority with your APRN license in Oklahoma, you must complete at least 45 contact hours or 3 academic credit hours of education in:

  • Pharmacotherapeutics in a clinical application
  • The use of pharmacological agents in the prevention of illness
  • The use of pharmacological agents in the restoration and maintenance of health

You must show evidence that you completed the above contact hours or academic credits within 3 years of applying for prescriptive authority. All APRNs applying for prescriptive authority must complete a master’s degree in a clinical nurse specialty.

Additional CNS Pharmacology Requirements

In addition to the above prescriptive authority education requirements, if you are a CNS who wants prescriptive authority in Oklahoma, you must also:

  • Complete at least two credit hours or 30 contact hours in pharmacotherapeutic management applicable to your CNS specialty area
  • Complete at least 320 clock hours of preceptorial experience with a qualified preceptor in an academic program (all of your didactic coursework in pharmacotherapeutics must be a prerequisite or corequisite to the preceptorial experience)

Additional CRNA Pharmacology Requirements

In addition to the above prescriptive authority education requirements, if you are a CRNA who wants prescriptive authority in Oklahoma, you must also:

  • Complete at least 15 units of continuing education in pharmacology related to the administration of anesthesia as recognized by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists within the two years preceding your application for prescriptive authority


Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

To earn your APRN license in Oklahoma, you must become certified through a national credentialing body that is consistent with your APRN educational program. The following national certifying bodies are recognized by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing:

A complete list of certifying bodies, national certification examinations and national certification credentials recognized by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing are located on this document describing Advanced Practice Registered Nurses Certification Examinations Approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.


Step 3. Apply for your APRN License

To apply for your APRN license in Oklahoma, you can either print and complete the Application for Licensure as an Advanced Practice Nurse or apply using the Oklahoma Board of Nursing License/Certification/Recognition Applications online system. You can apply for initial licensure if you have not previously been recognized as an APRN in Oklahoma or if you want to apply for an additional APRN category or an additional specialty area.

In addition to a completed application you must provide the following:

  • An official transcript sent directly from your advanced practice educational program to the Board of Nursing
  • A current national certification in a specialty that is consistent with your advanced practice educational program sent directly from the national certifying body to the Board of Nursing (If you are awaiting the results of your national certifying examination, you may also apply for temporary recognition for an added fee of $10.)
  • An application fee of $70 in a money order, personal check, certified check or cashier’s check made payable to the “Oklahoma Board of Nursing”
  • If you are applying for CNM licensure, you must verify your enrollment in a current cycle of Continuing Competency Assessment (CCA) or Certificate Maintenance Program through the American Midwifery Certification Board.

If you are applying using a paper application, mail the completed application and related fee to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, 2915 North Classen Boulevard, Suite 524, Oklahoma City, OK 73106.

Prescriptive Authority Application Instructions

CNP, CNS and CNM Prescriptive Authority Instructions

If you are a CNP, CNS or CNM applying for initial prescriptive privileges, you can either print and complete the Initial Application for Prescriptive Authority for the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or apply using the Oklahoma Board of Nursing License/Certification/Recognition Applications online system.

In addition to a completed application, you must also submit the following:

  • An official transcript with verification of a graduate degree from an advanced practice program sent directly from the institution to the Board (if your advanced practice education was from a post-master’s certificate program, you must submit an official transcript of your master’s in nursing)
  • An official transcript and the course description verifying your 3 academic credit hours in pharmacotherapeutics beyond basic nursing preparation
  • Verification of the completion of 45 contact hours of onsite seminars, lectures, workshops, or courses, continuing education units, or continuing medical educational units through a recognized continuing education provider
  • If you are applying for prescriptive authority as a CNS, you must provide verification of the completion of a course in pharmacotherapeutics management applicable to your CNS specialty area. Verification must include at least 2 academic credit hours or 30 contact hours of continuing education and the completion of at least 320 clock hours of preceptorial experience in providing direct care, which includes prescribing drugs and medicines.
  • Complete and notarize the Agreement for Physician Supervising Advanced Practice Prescriptive Authority form and submit it with the application.Note: As a CNP, CNS or CNM, you may only prescribe medications under the medical direction of a supervising physician and an Exclusionary Formulary.You must submit a written statement from a physician licensed in Oklahoma detailing:
      • Appropriate referral, consultation and collaboration between the APRN and the physician
      • Availability of communication between the APRN and the physician through direct contact, telecommunications, or appropriate electronic means for consultation, assistance with medical emergencies or patient referral
      • Assistance with medical emergencies
  • If you plan to prescribe Schedule III-V drugs, you must complete the Affidavit included in the application and submit it to the Board of Nursing as soon as you receive your Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drug (OBNDD) registrations.
  • A processing fee of $85 in a personal check, money order or certified check made payable to “Oklahoma Board of Nursing”

If you are applying using a paper application, mail the completed application and related fee to the: Oklahoma Board of Nursing, 2915 North Classen Boulevard, Suite 524, Oklahoma City, OK 73106.

CRNA Prescriptive Authority Instructions

If you are a CRNA applying for initial prescriptive privileges, you can print and complete the CRNA Authority to Select, Order, Obtain and Administer Drugs Initial Application or apply using the Oklahoma Board of Nursing License/Certification/Recognition Applications online system.

In addition to a completed application, you must also submit the following:

  • An official transcript of your nurse anesthetist education program, sent directly from the institution to the Board of Nursing
  • Verification of at least 15 units of continuing education in advanced pharmacology related to the administration of anesthesia that is recognized by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists within 2 the years immediately preceding application for prescriptive authority – Documentation must include copies of all certificates of completion
  • If you plan to prescribe Schedule II-V drugs, you must complete the Affidavit included in the application and submit it to the Board of Nursing as soon as you receive your Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drug (OBNDD) registrations.

Note: As a CRNA, you can only administer anesthesia under the supervision of a medical doctor, osteopathic physician, a podiatric physician or a dentist who is licensed in Oklahoma. Supervision must include timely, on-site consultation is authorized, through an Inclusionary Formulary, to order, select, obtain and administer legend drugs, Schedules II –V controlled substances, devices, and medical gases only when engaged in pre-anesthetic preparation evaluation, anesthesia induction, maintenance and emergence, and post-anesthesia care.

If you are applying using a paper application, mail the completed application and related fee to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, 2915 North Classen Boulevard, Suite 524, Oklahoma City, OK 73106.


Step 4. Renewing Your License

Renewal of your APRN license is concurrent with your two-year RN licensure renewal on even-numbered years. All renewal applications must include evidence of a current national certification. The biennial renewal fee for APRN licensure is $40, the biennial renewal fee for RN licensure is $75 and the biennial renewal fee for prescriptive authority is $40.

You can renew your APRN license, RN license and prescriptive authority through the Oklahoma Board of Nursing Online License/Certificate Renewal online system. After you have completed the renewal process, you can print a confirmation receipt for your records. You can expect to receive your pocket license card within 3 weeks of renewal.

Prescriptive Authority Renewal Requirements

To renew your prescriptive authority privileges as an NP, CNM or CNS, you must complete at least 15 contact hours or 1 academic credit hour of education in pharmacotherapeutics, clinical application, and the use of pharmacological agents in the prevention of illness, and in the restoration and maintenance of health in a program beyond basic RN preparation in the two years since your last renewal.

You must submit a written statement from a physician licensed in Oklahoma detailing:

  • Appropriate referral, consultation and collaboration between the APRN and the physician
  • Availability of communication between the APRN and the physician through direct contact, telecommunications, or appropriate electronic means for consultation, assistance with medical emergencies or patient referral
  • Assistance with medical emergencies

To renew your prescriptive privileges as a CRNA, you must complete at least 8 units of continuing education in advanced pharmacology relating to the administration of anesthesia, as recognized by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists or the Council on Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists in the two years since your last renewal.

Inactive Status

You may submit a written request to the Board if you wish to place your APRN license and/or prescriptive authority on inactive status. There is no fee for this service.

Reinstatement/Reactivation

If you want to activate or reinstate your APRN license, you must print and complete the Reinstatement or Return to Active Status of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse License form.  The fee for the reinstatement or reactivation of a lapsed license is $40 plus the renewal fee of $40.

If you fail to reinstate a lapsed license within 2 years of the expiration date of recognition, you must meet all current requirements for initial APRN recognition.

Mail the completed application and related fee to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, 2915 North Classen Boulevard, Suite 524, Oklahoma City, OK 73106.

Prescriptive Authority Reinstatement/Reactivation

If you want to reactivate your inactive prescriptive authority or reinstate your lapsed prescriptive authority for your CNS, CNP or CNM license, you must complete the Reinstatement or Return to Active States of Prescriptive Authority Recognition application, meet all continuing education requirements and provide proof of current national certification. The fee is $80.

If you want to reactivate your inactive prescriptive authority or reinstate your lapsed prescriptive authority for your CRNA license, you must complete the Reinstatement/Return to Active Status of CRNA Authority to Select, Order, Obtain and Administer Drugs application, meet all continuing education requirements and provide proof of current national certification. The fee is $80.

Mail the completed application and related fee to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, 2915 North Classen Boulevard, Suite 524, Oklahoma City, OK 73106.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Associations in Oklahoma

There are a number of professional organizations that support APRNs in Oklahoma:


Oklahoma Nurse Practitioner Salary

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners reported in their 2011 National NP Compensation Survey that NPs in the southwest region, including Oklahoma, earned an average base salary of $94,868 and enjoyed an average total income of $104,040. The results of a survey conducted by Advance for NPs & PAs, a peer reviewed industry journal, placed the median income for nurse practitioners in Oklahoma at $89,250 in 2011. In the same survey, NPs in Oklahoma City were reported to earn an average of $84,142 yearly, while NPs in Tulsa reported an average of $85,537.

Registered Nurse Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Fort Smith AR-OK
1990
49430
Lawton OK
870
56180
Oklahoma City OK
11040
56310
Tulsa OK
7390
52070
Northeastern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area
2310
55970
Northwestern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area
1690
52550
Southwestern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area
950
55590
Southeastern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area
3620
52680

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Oklahoma City OK
60
62600

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual median wage
Tulsa OK
110
49630
Northeastern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released
46050
Northwestern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area
40
52460
Southeastern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area
70
48180

Nurse Administrator Salary
(Includes Nurse Managers, Directors, and Chief Nursing Officers)

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Fort Smith AR-OK
220
78700
Lawton OK
80
86370
Oklahoma City OK
1640
79840
Tulsa OK
1170
73690
Northeastern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area
370
72040
Northwestern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area
260
75660
Southwestern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area
150
69520
Southeastern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area
580
76960

These tables provide salary and employment information compiled by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2011. The data contained herein does not include self-employed nurses in independent practice.

When responding to the salary survey, some advanced practice registered nurses identified themselves as RNs while others identified themselves as health diagnosing and treating practitioners. When available, both sets of data were included for comparative purposes.

* These figures represent earnings that are at or above $90.00 per hour or $187,199 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish earnings beyond $90.00 hourly or $187,199 yearly.

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