Registered Nurse Certification in Oklahoma assists nurses to enhance their skills and capabilities in offering better health care facilities to their patients. The Oklahoma Board of Nursing which works to protect the health and welfare of the residents of this state issues the nursing license.
What are the requirements for this licensing?
- Licensing by Examination
- Licensing by Endorsement
- Procedure of obtaining the RN License through Examination
- The procedure of obtaining RN license through endorsement
- Verification of RN License
- Renewal of RN license
- Inactive licenses
- Reinstatement – return to active state
- Rewriting an exam
- Duplicate license
- How to protect your nursing license
To acquire the licensing by examination, you must be at least 18 years old and be able to offer verification of legal citizenship. Furthermore, you must first graduate from a nursing program of registered nursing that is government approved and also pass the licensure exam. The nursing board will also require your fingerprints to check your criminal background. After this, you will need to attach your National Social Security Number (SSN) on your application form and submit 2×2 size photographs containing the following specifications:
- The date and your sign on the border at the side, bottom or somewhere at the top of this photograph. The board rejects photos signed across the face.
- Your photograph must have neutral background and without any shadows.
- It should be black and white color, glossy or semi-matte finish.
- The photo should show your face without glasses and also show your eyes clearly.
- You shouldn’t provide photocopies of your photographs, pictures clicked with personal camera snapshots or even booth-type photographs.
After graduating, you should ask your nursing school to provide you with official transcripts. All out of state candidates should include transcripts (course descriptions) of their nursing program and the related courses when applying for licensing to allow evaluation.
Applicants who have graduated in the United States must provide all the documents required in the licensing by examination. They must also provide their licensure which include the licensure status, their completion of the licensing examination and must have graduated from an approved nursing program and attained the degree from the state in which they were previously licensed. They should also request their nursing school to send an official transcript to Oklahoma Board of Nurses.
Additionally, they should prove that they have completed continuing education by submitting an official transcript or a certificate verifying completion of Board approved refresher nursing course. They can also show the proof of having cleared the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam.
The applicant may also provide an official transcript to verify the completion of not less than 105 contact hours or at least 6 academic semester credit hours which include classroom classes and clinical instructions. They can also provide an Employment Verification Form showing the job description to verify holding of licensure in any other state or an employment position that requires nursing licensure. The Verification Form should verify at least 520 working hours within the last 2 years. They should provide the letter directly to the Nursing Board.
In addition to the documents the board requires in licensing by endorsement, people who graduate outside the United States should provide the verification of having passed successfully English language competence and with the minimum passing scores. The English language tests they should pass include:
- TOEFL-Ibt (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – speaking 26; total score 83
- TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) – Listening and Reading: 75; Speaking and Writing – 140
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – Academic Format: 6.5 and Spoken Band: 7.0.
- However, an applicant may not need to fulfill the requirements if they:
- Have completed their graduation from Barbados, Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Tobago, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad or the United Kingdom.
- Are currently holding a license in any other United States territory or state and they have passed all the Board’s approved licensure examination and have a minimum of 1 year working experience in clinical setting at the same licensure level they are currently applying.
The applicant should also provide Visa Screen Certificate or Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) Certificate. And if they hold the certificate, they should request CGFNS to forward its copy.
The first step involves registering yourself with Pearson VUE which should allow you to take the NCLEX examination. The second step involves completing an application form either by mail or online. If you opt for the online application, then you will have to pay an additional $3.50 as the online processing fee. You may submit a written application to the board featuring a $1.06 postage stamp. You must also use an 8 inch x 11 inch envelope when applying for the licensing by mail.
The third step involves paying the appropriate fee ($85) in the form of electronic fund transfer. When applying online, you may use MasterCard or VISA. Other options include Cashier’s check, money order or a certified check when using paper application. Whenever you apply for the licensing online, you will receive links to all the other forms that you must fill and submit to the board. After completing the application procedure, the board notifies Pearson VUE which permits you to take the examination. Upon receiving authorization to take the examination from Pearson VUE, you will have to schedule an appointment within 90 days to take the examination.
If you are an applicant wishing to apply for a 90-day temporary license, you should complete your application form online for “Endorsement with an application for a temporary license.” And if you are submitting the paper application, you should check the Y on the “Application for Licensure by Endorsement” first page. The temporary requirements that you should fulfill include:
- Submitting an application form containing all the necessary details.
- Providing the necessary fee for the endorsement and for the temporary license.
- Providing evidence of your current unrestricted licensure in any other state and without any background history.
- Providing licensure verification from any other state that you were originally licensed.
- Providing a certificate of employment showing that you have you have worked for at least 520 hours within the last 2 years.
- Providing receipt of “Evidence of Status Form”.
- Providing successfully submitted fingerprint images for criminal background search.
You should then obtain the RN certificate, provide $85 fee and $10 additional fee when applying for a temporary license. When applying online, you should submit the necessary fee through electronic fund transfer (VISA or MasterCard).
If you are outside the United States and applying for a 90-day temporary license, you should provide CGFNS report and transcripts to verify your eligibility for the licensing. You should also pass one of the English tests. The fee for non-US residents is $125 which consists of $85 endorsement fee and $40 evaluation fee.
You may verify your RN license either online or by mail. The procedure involves requesting a written licensure verification status by downloading paper application from the board website. You should submit the complete request form to the board through the address provided on the form.
RNs holding active and current licenses in Oklahoma should renew their licenses in all even numbered years. The state doesn’t require completion of any continuing education requirements. Typically, they notify all applicants three months before the license expires in the form of a renewal notice letter. On any renewal, you will have to submit $75 as the application fee and $3.50 as an online application fee. You should make the payment in the form of electronic fund transfer from MasterCard, VISA or checking account.
If you aren’t willing to continue with your nursing practice, then you may choose to put your license in an inactive status. You only need to download the inactive license application from the board’s website, fill it and then submit to the board in person or by mail through the address provided in the form. To change your license into an active state again you will need to fill a reinstatement application.
You can reinstate your lapsed, suspended, voluntarily surrendered, inactive or a revoked license. To do this, you must:
• Submit a completed reinstatement application form.
• Provide the necessary reinstatement fee ($115).
• Provide your citizenship status verification.
• Submit your fingerprints to allow criminal background checks.
• Provide completion of continuing education requirements evidence.
To reinstate the license, you can download the necessary form from the board’s website and pay an additional $3.50 for online application processing or even send the filled application by mail to the board through the contacts provided on the form.
If you failed to pass licensure exams, you can apply for a chance to retake them. The requirements of retaking an exam are same as those of licensure by examination. You will have to pay $85 in electronic funds form (MasterCard, Cashier’s check, Visa, or certified check).
Any time you lose your license, you should submit written evidence to the board to get a duplicate license. Furthermore, you will have to pay a non-refundable $25 in the form of certified check or even deliver it through money order or personal check. The board can only offer one duplicate card. And if you don’t get the duplicate card after 90 days following the application, you should write to the board to get the card without paying any extra amount.
Most nurses only think about the Oklahoma Board of Nursing when obtaining their license or renewing it. However, in addition to providing the license and renewing it, this body has other roles. While many practicing nurses worry and try to avoid lawsuits, they only think a little about the actions and omissions that can attract the attention of the board. Even though a lawsuit can have serious impact on your wallet, a bigger concern is the effect the Board can have on your ability to practice as a nurse.
The nursing license
Most nurses think that they can only relinquish their license as a voluntary action following a retirement, after winning lottery millions or even after getting a large inheritance. But only a few nurses expect to give up the ability to earn as a nurse due to the Board revoking the license or even forcing them to surrender it. A board can choose not to revoke the license but still impose some restrictions on it which can highly affect the nurse’s employment.
The good nurse
Most nurses currently facing the board are the good nurses who made errors, who were not aware of laws governing nursing practice or just failed to document accordingly. A nurse may be innocent but still get complaints filed with the board. The board investigates nurses and can also punish them.
Protecting the nursing license
As a nurse, you should protect your career by knowing the person you should enlist to help you. Just like you shouldn’t try to represent yourself in a malpractice lawsuit, you shouldn’t try to represent yourself before the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. The Board’s work in the state is to protect the public, and therefore it shouldn’t be concerned about your career or protecting your interests and rights. It has attorneys which aggressively protects its interests and those of the public.
During any adverse interaction with the licensing board, you will need adequate protection and guidance which is the main reason you should hire an attorney. You should also be prudent and cautious to protect yourself from adverse actions.