Oklahoma City University is making a move to help address the nation’s critical nursing shortage by introducing the state’s first and only in-person 12-month accelerated bachelor of science in nursing degree.
At the same time, the school is making substantial scholarship money available to almost all students accepted in the program to help pave the way for those interested in pursuing the degree and becoming a nurse.
“An accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree is one of the strongest tools we can employ to help fill the nursing employment pipeline,” said Gina Crawford, dean of Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing. “We’re confident in our ability to educate the next generation of nurses, and this option allows us to have an even greater impact on health outcomes in our city and state.”
The first cohort of students in the program will begin classes on campus in January, with a second start scheduled for the fall 2024 semester. The degree track is open to any student with a non-nursing associate or bachelor’s degree. Courses are offered in eight-week blocks.
To help increase financial access to the program, the Kramer School of Nursing (KSN) is making its Kramer Way Scholarship available to at least 10 students who begin in January. The scholarship is awarded through a competitive application process; it provides $15,000 to each of the selected students.
Oklahoma City University (OCU) also offers transfer and departmental scholarships, as well as special nursing scholarships for some students transferring from Oklahoma City Community College. These scholarships – based on a student’s college GPA – provide an opportunity to defray a significant portion of the program’s costs.
For example, all students with a college transfer GPA of at least 3.0 will automatically receive nearly $10,000 in scholarships. All students with a GPA of 3.6 or higher will receive more than $17,000 in scholarships.
The 12-month accelerated BSN degree is the second major initiative OCU has unveiled this year in its efforts to help combat the nursing shortage. In February, the school announced the Saints & Stars Program, a five-year partnership with SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital. Saints & Stars allows certain OCU nursing students to work part-time with SSM Health while receiving scholarships and tuition discounts during their junior and senior year of college.
OCU President Kenneth Evans said it’s important that higher education institutions continue to play an active role in helping address societal needs.
“We view ourselves not only as a school, but as a member of our local and broader community,” Evans said. “We have an obligation to help tackle the difficult issues our community faces, and to play a leading role where we can.
“We feel that we can play a leading role when it comes to the nursing shortage.”
In addition to the new 12-month accelerated BSN program, OCU offers a variety of other nursing programs with options both on-campus and online, including master’s and doctoral degrees; a registered nurse-BSN degree; a licensed practical nurse-BSN degree; and a traditional, two-year BSN track.
More information about the 12-month accelerated BSN and OCU’s other nursing programs can be found at www.okcu.edu/nursing.