Valeriy Tarasov, at 18 years of age graduated from Norman North High School last year, as well as earning an Associate’s degree in Diversified Studies from Oklahoma City Community College.

Valeriy Tarasov has accomplished a lot at 18 years of age including graduating from Norman North High School last year, as well as earning an Associate’s degree in Diversified Studies from Oklahoma City Community College.
Now he is pursuing his next educational goal as a student in Oklahoma City University’s 12-month accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.
OCU’s accelerated BSN program is the state of Oklahoma’s first and only 12-month accelerated BSN. The program provides an opportunity for individuals with a non-nursing associate or bachelor’s degree to earn a BSN degree in less time than a traditional baccalaureate program. This is an in-person program that consists of 56 credit hours spread over three full-time semesters during the 12-month program.
“My initial choice was to go to medical school, but I started working in a hospital and the overall interactions I witnessed with physicians and patients weren’t something that I really wanted anymore,” he said. “I wanted a more hands-on approach, something more holistic and something that would actually give me a connection to the patient rather than just a five-minute round, and then that’d be it for the day.”
Tarasov decided nursing was the route he wanted to take.
“I decided to pursue nursing school and I met with Dean (Gina) Crawford and that’s when she introduced me to that 12-month BSN,” he said.
Tarasov said he was initially nervous attending nursing school knowing he was likely one of the youngest students in that program.
“I actually was very nervous about going to OCU, especially going to a 12-month BSN program at 18 years old, while everyone else already has bachelor’s degrees, and a majority of them have families,” he said. “I really didn’t think I was going to fit in. But OCU has turned out to be one of the most welcoming places I’ve ever been at.”
Some key features of Oklahoma City University’s 12-month accelerated BSN are:
• Program consists of 56 credit hours over 12 months
• Direct transfer of previous associate or baccalaureate degree credits
• Clinical experiences at major hospital and community sites in the Oklahoma City metro area
The program will prepare you to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN), which all prospective nurses must pass in order to be licensed in their state.
Due to the intensity of the accelerated BSN, it is strongly recommended that students do not seek employment for the duration of enrollment in the program.
“To me, it’s really not as bad as anyone made it seem just yet. I don’t want to jinx that. But in all reality, I mean, I go to school every day during the week, and then I go work on Saturday and Sunday at Norman Regional Hospital,” he said. “I stay on top of all my work. I’ve never submitted anything late. My grades are spectacular for being in an accelerated nursing program.”
Tarasov is the second member of his family to attend OCU’s Kramer School of Nursing. His mother Alisa Tarasova, who works as a Nurse Practitioner.
“I know they’re (parents) very proud of me,” he said. “I think they’re very proud that I’m pursuing something that I want to pursue and that I’m getting a head start on it. But I was also pushed very much by them through my education in high school and for my Associates, so they knew my capabilities, and I want to say it was sort of expected of me because they knew what I was capable of.”
Tarasov said some people are surprised by what he has accomplished including being fluent in Russian and Spanish.
“I guess a lot of them are just in shock that I was able to do this by 18 and they question how I did it, and I tell them that I did college full-time with high school. So, I get some iffy reactions from people,” he said.
Tarasov said he looks forward to working as a male nurse.
“Everyone that I talked to really just says it’s a female dominated field,” he said. “And I tell them that it’s time to really break that stigma because nurses are essential to medicine. It doesn’t matter the gender. What matters is the ability of the nurse to practice what they do. Because at the end of the day, it’s not the gender that matters for the nurse, but it’s what they’re capable of, their decision-making, their thinking, their knowledge.”
Tarasov said after graduating in December, he hopes to work in an operating room, ICU or ER before pursuing an Advanced Practice degree.
“I’ve recently signed up to shadow some operating room nurses with INTEGRIS. I’m hoping to start applying to some jobs in the summer,” he said.

For more information
about OCU’s Kramer
School of Nursing visit