The RN-BSN program at Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing recently added a new satellite location at Norman Regional Hospital, made a policy change to accept all registered nurses regardless of the accreditation status of the educational program from which they graduated, and introduced its lowest price ever.
Oklahoma City University’s RN-BSN program is unique in many ways. Perhaps most importantly, RNs are awarded 94 credit hours toward their BSN simply for professional licensure, certifications, and experience. No prerequisite courses are needed and the curriculum does not include nursing exams, care plans, or clinical hours. The program features 12 credit hours online and 18 credit hours in a classroom which meets for just one four-hour class per week. The entire program is only two semesters long.
In addition to hosting courses at the home campus in Oklahoma City, the RN-BSN faculty travel to present the curriculum in person to communities across the state. Other locations have included McAlester, Lawton, Catoosa, Duncan, and Ardmore. This fall, the program will visit Norman for the first time. Classes will meet at the Norman Regional Hospital Education Center on Tuesdays from 9:00am to 1:00pm.
Beginning fall of 2018, all RNs who have met the entrance requirements and hold unrestricted RN licensure can enter the program and earn a BSN, whether they graduated from a nationally-accredited institution or not. Denise Burton, Chair of RN-BSN Programs, noted that while nurses take many different educational paths including diploma programs, vocational schools, community colleges, and four-year institutions, they all become RNs by passing the same exam and that achievement should be honored. Burton also stated that many of her students have been reluctant to return to school for a BSN due to challenging experiences while initially becoming a nurse or negative perceptions of work/life balance. However, she said “Once they realize how different our program is and how successful they can be, most wonder why they didn’t do it sooner and several stay to earn graduate degrees” including an MSN, DNP, or PhD. Traci Davis, an RN-BSN alumna, echoed that sentiment saying “I’m a director at a clinic working 40 hours a week, a mother of two, and a wife. I was able to handle the work with a little bit of good time management… I always had my doubts about how a bachelor’s would make a difference in my nursing career but what I learned in the program truly did make a difference in the way I looked at my profession. I actually stayed on at Kramer and I am currently getting my master’s in nursing education… [and] it is still doable!”
Furthermore, while other schools seem to be constantly raising tuition or fees, Kramer School of Nursing has lowered them in an effort to make personalized, high-quality professional advancement more accessible for nurses. While the new program price of $16,110 is still not the least expensive in the area, Burton pointed out that all of the costs were transparent and competitive with other programs especially when considering the 94 credit hours given for RN licensure, the absence of prerequisite courses, and the speed of the program’s completion in two semesters. Kramer School of Nursing is one of the only nursing school in Oklahoma that doesn’t have an enrollment cap.
Nurses who are interested in joining the RN-BSN program at Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing can visit www.okcu.edu/nursing/rn-bsn or contact O. Wildes, RN-BSN Program Specialist, by phone at (405) 208-5909 or by email at email@example.com.