NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Excitement filled the Robert M. Bird Health Science Library Wednesday afternoon, as OU’s College of Nursing announced its partnership with two Oklahoma colleges. 

“This is going to make a difference for the people of the state of Oklahoma, not just in rural Oklahoma, not just in Oklahoma City, but throughout the state,” said Charles McCall, the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. 

OU’s Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing partnered with the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and Murray State College in an effort to address the state’s nursing shortage. 

“There are not enough nurses in this nation to care for our people,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “The impacts are fundamental and they’re real. People are literally dying.”

Through the partnership, Murray State and USAO will each 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. 

“This guarantees Murray State and USAO students direct entry to a University of Oklahoma nursing education,” said Julie Hoff, the OU Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing Dean. “Once you get to OU, you can get a Masters Degree, you can get a Doctorate of Nursing Practice, you can get a Ph.D. in nursing.”

The students must remain in good academic standing to be granted full admission.

It’s an opportunity one pre-nursing student said she couldn’t be more excited about. 

“This is a dream come true,” said Charlee Hayes, a Murray State College Concurrent Pre-Nursing Student. “To be able to pursue something we know we’re meant to do without having to move 100 miles away from home.”

The guaranteed admission opportunities will start in the fall.