OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City University announced a new fast track nursing program where students can complete an in-person degree in 12 months.
The university said it was in response to a nationwide shortage of nurses.
“In Oklahoma, it’s significant,” said Gina Crawford, dean of OCU’s Kramer School of Nursing, commenting on the shortage. “In the United States, it’s significant.”
Crawford said the program will allow as many students as the university has faculty to accommodate for the fast track degree.
“Our goal is we don’t have a wait list. Our goal is to teach as many of them as we possibly can,” said Crawford.
The program will start in January. It typically takes two years to receive a nursing degree, but this option cuts the time in half.
“We’re able to take courses into eight-week blocks, which means they go to school rather than two or three days a week. they go to school four or five days a week with clinicals, labs, and things like that,” said Crawford.
The Oklahoma Board of Nursing issued a statement to KFOR after hearing about the decision to add the program.
“The Oklahoma Board of Nursing’s mission is to protect the public through nursing regulation. We support efforts to address the nursing shortage in Oklahoma with qualified and properly trained nurses.”
KFOR asked Crawford if there was concern that patients might have reservations with a nurse who spent less time learning their craft.
“They all have to pass the same clinical license exam, to demonstrate that they have learned what they need to learn to safely practice in the health care setting. There’s no difference,” said Crawford.
The nursing school will also offer scholarship options including a $15,000 Kramer scholarship for 10 students starting the program in January.