To address the state’s nursing shortage, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish guidelines for public two-year colleges to award students credit for prior learning in practical nursing programs at technology centers across the state.

“When we come together for the benefit of Oklahoma students, the sky is the limit,” said Secretary of Education Nellie Sanders. “I applaud the State Regents and Oklahoma CareerTech for working to remove barriers and uplifting the next generation of nursing students. Through this partnership, we’re investing in the future of healthcare in Oklahoma by expanding opportunities for students now.”

“This agreement between CareerTech and Higher Education is a massive win for nursing students and for expanding our healthcare workforce pipeline,” said House Speaker Pro Tempore Kyle Hilbert, R-Bristow. “The transferability of credits is both time- and cost-effective for our nursing students. This partnership is a fantastic avenue to get more nurses into the field at an accelerated pace to help meet a vital need in our state.”

Comprised of representatives from public higher education and the CareerTech system, the Oklahoma Statewide Nursing Pathways Advisory Group met over the past year to discuss potential solutions to increase the number of nurses in our state. One approach is to reduce barriers for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) to earn college credit for completing the practical nursing program at a participating Oklahoma technology center.

“As a state, our health outcomes are impacted by an ongoing shortage of medical professionals,” said State Regents’ chair Jack Sherry. “This initiative to expand course articulation between technical and collegiate nursing programs will provide additional educational opportunities for nursing students and improve workforce development in this critical sector.”

Through the new articulation agreement, the following campuses will award up to 18 college credit hours to CareerTech students who pass the LPN NCLEX exam:

  • Carl Albert State College
  • Connors State College
  • Eastern Oklahoma State College
  • Murray State College
  • Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
  • Northern Oklahoma College
  • Oklahoma City Community College
  • Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City
  • Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
  • Redlands Community College
  • Rose State College
  • Seminole State College
  • Tulsa Community College
  • Western Oklahoma State College

Applicants must have a valid, unencumbered practical nursing license to practice in the state of Oklahoma and meet all college or program admission requirements.

“Our public colleges and universities are focused on supporting student success and increasing degree completion in high-demand fields,” said Chancellor Allison D. Garrett. “The new nursing articulation agreement reflects the shared commitment of our state higher education and CareerTech systems to create streamlined pathways between practical nursing and associate degree nursing programs, which benefits both individual Oklahomans and the state labor force.”

The new articulation agreement supersedes a prior system-level MOU and prior MOUs developed between individual institutions and technology center partners. Twenty-eight technology centers offering practical nursing programs approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing are participating in the new articulation agreement:

  • Autry Technology Center
  • Caddo-Kiowa Technology Center
  • Canadian Valley Technology Center
  • Central Technology Center
  • Chisholm Trail Technology Center
  • Francis Tuttle Technology Center
  • Gordon Cooper Technology Center
  • Great Plains Technology Center
  • Green Country Technology Center
  • High Plains Technology Center
  • Indian Capital Technology Center
  • Kiamichi Technology Centers
  • Meridian Technology Center
  • Metro Technology Centers
  • Mid-America Technology Center
  • Mid-Del Lewis Eubanks Technology Center
  • Moore Norman Technology Center
  • Northeast Technology Center
  • Northwest Technology Center
  • Pioneer Technology Center
  • Pontotoc Technology Center
  • Red River Technology Center
  • Southern Oklahoma Technology Center
  • Southwest Technology Center
  • Tri County Technology Center
  • Tulsa Technology Center
  • Western Technology Center
  • Wes Watkins Technology Center

“This new agreement does a better job of coordinating strategies to alleviate the pressures on Oklahoma’s nursing workforce and making the state’s health care system more equitable and stable,” said Oklahoma CareerTech State Director Brent Haken. “Applying credit from CareerTech’s LPN programs to degree programs will lead to an elevated workforce and a more stable and reliable health care system in Oklahoma.”

The State Regents’ Undergraduate Transfer and Articulation of Courses policy facilitates the transfer of students between institutions of higher education and career technology centers, and the Credit for Prior Learning policy allows institutions to award credit for demonstration of knowledge upon professional licensure. These policies ensure maximum applicability of credit hours and course work to advance degree completion.

Under the new articulation agreement, which is effective July 1 of this year, the specific number of college credit hours awarded for prior learning to LPNs who complete a practical nursing program at a participating technology center will vary depending on the course structure at the awarding institution, up to a total of 18 credit hours.

For more information about options for adults who have attended a career technology center, hold industry-recognized credentials, have completed military study and training, or hold advanced standing scores to earn college credit and complete a degree program, visit the State Regents’ Show What You Know website,