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Your Guide to RN Salary in Oklahoma [2024]

Registered nurses (RNs) wear the hats of healers, comforters, and breadwinners. Nurses working in Oklahoma need to support themselves and often their families with their RN income. In Oklahoma, most RNs earn over $63,000 annually, and 10 percent make over $97,000. Read on to learn about annual and hourly pay, average salaries, high-paying locations and shifts, steps to become an RN, and much more.

Table 1: Areas, Cities and Towns, Hourly Mean Wage

Areas Cities and Towns Mean Hourly Wage
Lawton Lawton, Barnsdall $39.26
Tulsa Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Claremore, Fairfax, Glenpool $38.32
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City, Bethany, Edmond, Mustang, Harrah, Jones, Lexington, Norman, Tuttle, Midwest City $37.19
Northeast Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area Jay, Grove $35.96
Southeast Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area Sulphur $34.11
Northwest Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area Mooreland, Stillwater $34.03
Enid Enid $33.95
Southwest Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area Carnegie $33.78
Fort Smith, AR-OK Vian $29.87

This resource provides publicly available information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the MIT Living Wage Calculator about average RN salaries, employment, location quotient, and living wage in Oklahoma (most recent information as of December 2023). While Nursa currently offers independent contractor RNs in Oklahoma the opportunity to access per diem jobs that pay on an hourly basis rather than access to salaried or wage-based employment opportunities, this information may be a helpful frame of reference for you as you assess the market landscape both in regard to per diem jobs and employment opportunities.

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RNs who enjoy nature can spend time at a lake or basking in the great outdoors on their days off.

How Much Do RNs Make Per Hour in Oklahoma?

Having clear, updated information on hourly pay in addition to annual income is crucial because many registered nursing jobs in Oklahoma, such as per diem independent contractor jobs, are often paid by the hour. With this data, you can compare the pay for per diem RN jobs with Nursa to the average hourly wages for employed RNs displayed in the table above.

Based on BLS data, the diverse locations within the state vary in their mean RN wages, making a difference in Oklahoma registered nurse pay of up to almost $10 hourly or over $19,000 yearly. We can see in the table above that the cities in Oklahoma with the highest compensation for RNs are the Lawton, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City areas. 

Healthcare systems often need per diem nurses and are willing to pay higher hourly wages to fill the vacancies that come up all year round. Per diem nurses act as vital safety nets, responding promptly to the demand created by absences, vacations, or peak times in patient volume, such as the flu season or holidays. PRN nursing jobs with Nursa help prevent understaffing, contribute to continuity of care, and reduce pressure on staff nurses.

What’s the Average RN Salary in Oklahoma?

While the annual mean wage for RN jobs in Oklahoma is $76,920, the range stretches from over $97,520 to under $53,560. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides a clear breakdown of Oklahoma’s typical RN pay range by percentiles, in other words, in percentages of RNs who earn up to a certain amount.

  • 90th percentile: $97,520 
  • 75th percentile: $81,580
  • 50th percentile: $74,520
  • 25th percentile: $63,120
  • 10th percentile: $53,560

What do these wage percentiles mean? Understanding mean wage percentiles provides a framework to analyze your potential income compared to other RNs in Oklahoma and plan for your financial future. The 10th and lowest percentile indicates that 10 percent of RNs in Oklahoma earn less than $53,560, while 90 percent earn more. The 90th and highest percentile specifies that 90 percent earn up to $97,520, and only 10 percent earn more.

Oklahoma’s average income is less than the national mean of $89,010, but it is not the lowest-paying state for RNs. According to recent BLS data, 15 states have lower average RN wages. 

How Much Do Nurses Make in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma’s mean registered nurse salary is $12,090 less than the national mean RN wage. However, it is worth noting that in Oklahoma, just as in other states, per diem jobs pay significantly more per hour than traditional positions. This option is open to RNs, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) alike, with platforms like Nursa making it easier than ever to find these flexible, high-paying job opportunities.

Also, read our RN Salary Guide for information on RN income nationwide.

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There are many RN programs to choose from in the state of Oklahoma.

How to Become an RN in Oklahoma

To become a registered nurse in Oklahoma, you typically must complete an accredited nursing program, pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), and apply for your RN license.

There are several options to prepare and qualify for the NCLEX, including a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). After completing a program, you can apply for an Oklahoma RN license through the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, which has additional requirements, such as fingerprints for a background check.

The state has numerous programs to become a registered nurse. If you are looking for top-notch RN programs in Oklahoma, you can start by considering the following:

  1. The Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City—ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best undergraduate nursing programs and online graduate nursing degrees—is the largest nursing school in the state. It is known for its community outreach programs, the high quality of its clinical nursing instruction, and cutting-edge research. The college also manages the Reynolds Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, which develops community-centered solutions for aging at home. RN programs include an accelerated BSN, a traditional four-year BSN, and bridge programs—both LPN-to-BSN and RN-to-BSN hybrid transition programs. Furthermore, financial aid is available through a wide range of scholarships
  2. Eastern Oklahoma State College Nursing offers two-year Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degrees in Wilburton, McAlester, and Idabel in community college settings, preparing graduates to take the NCLEX to become registered nurses. There is also an optional hybrid online format available for students who are licensed practical nurses or paramedics.  
  3. Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville is a Christian school that offers traditional undergraduate BSN, LPN-to-BSN, and RN-to-BSN programs. In the RN-to-BSN option, RNs with associate degrees or diplomas from hospital nursing schools may be able to transfer 40 to 60 hours of college credit.  

Is Oklahoma a Compact State?

Yes, it is! Oklahoma has been a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) since 2018, so your Oklahoma RN license is a multistate license allowing you to practice in any of the 41 compact states (with some considerations).

Nursys uses data provided directly by the state boards of nursing, making Oklahoma RN license verification reliable and easy.

Cost of Living Considerations for Oklahoma

Along with understanding wages, to calculate your financial status, you should also consider the cost of living in the Sooner State. The annual living wage is around $32,228 for one single adult, going up to over double for a single adult with one child and increasing steeply to over $87,000 for a single parent with two children, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator.

The RN yearly mean income in Oklahoma clearly covers the typical expenses of one adult, even the expenses of two adults or one adult and a child. However, if you have two children, you will want to find a way to augment your income if you are the sole provider.

How Can I Earn More as a Nurse in Oklahoma?

One readily available option is to pick up per diem shifts, which can efficiently boost your hourly earnings. Per diem nursing jobs benefit both facilities and nurses. Facilities need PRN nurses to fill gaps in their schedules and can pay higher hourly rates because they save the overhead costs of hiring and paying employee benefits. Per diem shifts can provide solutions for RNs looking to supplement their income or work per diem on a full-time basis, securing the flexibility to improve work-life balance

How Many RNs Work in Oklahoma?

Knowing how much you can earn in Oklahoma may help you choose the best option when considering independent contractor work or applying for salaried or wage-based employment. Furthermore, the table below provides specific information on the areas within the state that employ more RNs.

Table 2: Number of RNs and Location Quotient by Area

Areas Number of RNs Employed Location Quotient
Oklahoma City 12,430 0.95
Tulsa 9,210 1.04
Southeast Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area 2,620 0.76
Fort Smith, AR-OK 2,360 1.08
Northeast Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area 2,340 0.98
Northwest Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area 1,050 0.54
Southwest Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area 860 0.68
Lawton 760 0.89
Enid 490 1.01

Approximately 30,300 RNs are currently employed in Oklahoma—nearly 19 RNs per 1,000 jobs—and the state has a location quotient of 0.91.

What Does the Term “Location Quotient” Mean? 

BLS calculates the concentration of professionals in each state using a metric called location quotient (LQ). An LQ of one represents the national average, meaning an LQ under one is lower than the nationwide average, and an LQ over one is higher. 

For instance, Oklahoma’s location quotient of 0.91 indicates that the concentration of registered nurses in Oklahoma is slightly below the national average.

How Can I Find Per Diem Independent Contractor Jobs near Me?

Nursa streamlines the job hunt and makes it easy to find per diem RN jobs using Nursa. Just sign up, search, and apply, all free of charge. Try out Nursa’s stress-free per diem nursing job search.

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