University of Oklahoma Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing students are bringing a well-rounded education into the workforce. Photos provided.

Admitting More Students

Hiring more faculty and staff.
Meeting students where they are and helping them get to where they want to go.
StrengtheningDpartnershipsDacross Oklahoma.
The University of Oklahoma Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing is doing it all and much more to help students reach their nursing dreams.
Dean of Nursing Julie Hoff, Ph.D., MPH, RN, said the college has hired more faculty and staff and provided more student success programming in the areas of peer tutoring, mentoring, and scholarships as larger nursing classes are accepted.
“There’s been a big investment in simulation,” Hoff said. “One of the ways we accommodated these numbers is we decreased the number of clinical hours in exchange for increasing time in simulation. Simulation enables faculty to ensure certain competencies are achieved by all students regardless of learning site.”
Hoff said the added simulation time helps augment student learning when the opportunities don’t present themselves during their scheduled clinical rotations.
The last several years have also seen a more diversified faculty with advanced practice nurses coming on to strengthen the educational experiences.
“In many ways, the students love it because they can be in class one day and then be in clinical and see their faculty engaging with teams, as an advanced practice nurse, in the management of patients,” Hoff said.
Increasing quality opportunities for students throughout the state has been the hallmark of Hoff’s tenure at OU.
Hoff has made a point to have conversations with nursing leaders around the state to emphasize the importance of working together.
“We are so thankful for the clinical partners who are supporting our enrollment in Duncan, Lawton, Norman, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City. In Oklahoma City, we have strengthened our partnerships with Integris Health, Mercy Hospital, SSM Health, and VA Medical Center. OU Health continues to be a committed clinical partner who plays a crucial role in our success. Additionally, our partnerships with Duncan Regional Hospital, Commanche County Memorial Hospital, and Norman Regional Hospital have played a crucial role in supporting our undergraduate program growth. Our clinical partnerships with Hillcrest Medical Center, Ascension St. John Medical Center, and St. Francis Health System have sustained our ability to train the future nursing workforce in the Tulsa metropolitan area. Additionally, we rely on countless community-based clinical partners that include Indian Health, tribal partners, home health and hospice agencies, behavioral health facilities, community health agencies, and K-12 schools that have allowed us to expand where students are learning.”
As more and more care inevitably moves away from the hospital into the community in the future, the challenge for nursing education will be to change along with it.
“I just think there is a real disruption in healthcare delivery,” Hoff said. “It’s still fragmented, and access is still an issue.”
Along with that will be an emphasis on flexibility for a healthcare system that isn’t known for quick change.
“We don’t have to worry about our students being flexible because they are raised in generations of constant change,” Hoff said. “We are seeing systems test new models that support the flexibility, well-being, professional growth, and positive organizational culture nurses seek. This can be challenging for healthcare systems as they are big, complex organizations that are challenged to balance financial sustainability while maintaining quality care and improving access.”
That means a wealth of opportunities for today’s nursing students to become tomorrow’s leaders.
Hoff said OU is seeing undergraduate and graduate enrollment levels increase.
In recent years, the College of Nursing has increased its effort to reach more students by guaranteeing acceptance to qualified applicants and partnerships with other entities.
Last year, OU announced partnerships with Murray State and the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma to offer a guaranteed admission opportunity to six qualified undergraduate students majoring in nursing to pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the OU College of Nursing’s educational sites at Cameron University in Lawton and Duncan Regional Hospital.
Since coming to OU in January 2020, Hoff said she has felt a tremendous surge of support in impacting nursing education.
“I think the commitment of the University on down to the faculty and staff in the College is very notable including the legislature’s commitment and recognition,” Hoff said. “The College’s commitment to seamless academic commitment is meeting people where they are to get them to where they want to be as a nurse. The mission of the OU College of Nursing is to lead the state in nursing workforce at all levels and advance the health of Oklahomans through education, by education, scientific discovery, translating evidence into practice, and driving innovation.” As Dean, I believe it is my responsibility to realize the power of nurses and promise of nursing for Oklahoma and beyond.
For more information about the University of Oklahoma Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing visit