Nursing Programs for Service Members & Military Spouses in Oklahoma City

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When considering nursing programs for military spouses and service members, it is important that the program works for your non-traditional nursing pathway. Marian University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in Oklahoma City is located near multiple U.S. military installations.

service member with nurse

The military is among our nation's largest institutions, with nearly 1.4 million active service members. Accounting for military spouses and family members, the number of people living a military lifestyle is in the millions.

The culture of the U.S. Armed Forces is shaped by people who take every opportunity to protect, support, and uplift those around them. Nursing is a natural career option for service members or military spouses ready to transition back to civilian life. But how can you quickly transition from a military career (or otherwise) with a non-nursing bachelor's degree into nursing?

Marian University's Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in Oklahoma City is near multiple U.S. military installations, including Tinker Air Force Base, Fort Sill, and The Coast Guard Institute.

The Marian ABSN program differs from traditional BSN programs in that, rather than four years of study, students who meet admissions requirements and complete prerequisites can earn their nursing degree in as few as 16 months. With a rapid path toward a nursing career, nursing programs for military spouses and service members in Oklahoma through Marian can be a viable choice.

Why should you choose nursing in Oklahoma as a career, what does an ABSN program entail, and what is the experience like for military service members? Read on as we explore accelerated nursing.

Why Choose Nursing in Oklahoma City?

Not only is Oklahoma known for its mild weather and rich culture, it is also celebrated for its array of excellent health networks. Our students often complete their clinical hours at Mercy Hospital, renowned for its high-quality cancer, stroke, and NICU wards. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that registered nurses living in Oklahoma make, on average, $76,920 annually.

With proximity to many military installments, excellent medical facilities, and a lucrative wage, the Oklahoma City area is a perfect choice for anyone looking to begin their nursing journey.

nurse sitting and talking with child patient

Interested in applying your nursing skills outside of a hospital setting? Here are 25 non-hospital nursing jobs to explore.

What is Marian ABSN Like for Service Members?

The military is indeed a full-time commitment, and you may be trying to decide if nursing school is something you can handle right now. While it will be challenging, earning your BSN while in the military is certainly possible. Marian ABSN graduate Lauren shares why she chose the program and what the experience was like.

Lauren went directly from ROTC in college to the military. Her dreams of nursing didn't work out initially, but she shares, "I always wanted to keep my foot in the door of the medical field." However, she was able to go back to school through the ABSN program and maintain her job as an officer while completing her nursing degree.

"Nursing school isn't as hard as being deployed," Lauren says. "So if you've done any training longer than a month in the military, nursing school is easier."

Her hard work in the military prepared her for success in the ABSN program and made her a better nurse.

Being a veteran has just really enabled my journey into nursing. I think that if I would have done it the first time, I wouldn't have been as good of a nurse as I am going to be now.

-Lauren, Marian ABSN graduate

What is the Process of Getting into an ABSN Program?

Accelerated BSN programs are optimized for students from non-traditional academic or career backgrounds. They allow those with previous college credits in a non-nursing field to apply their education toward a degree in nursing. During the Marian ABSN program, you will prepare for your nursing career and receive the same high-quality education as a typical four-year BSN program. Throughout your time in the Marian ABSN program hybrid curriculum, you will gain knowledge and experience through coursework, labs, and clinical rotations.

Application & Prerequisites

nursing student practicing on manikin

Part of what makes the Accelerated BSN timeline possible is that you complete prerequisites before enrolling in the program. You may have finished many of them before applying, but if not, your admission advisor will help you determine the best way to earn these credits.

Lauren had a few math prerequisites to take before she began her nursing classes, but she says, "Math classes are super easy to knock out for me, especially taking one at a time if you have the time."

As an additional benefit, Lauren appreciated how these prerequisites helped her acclimate back to school while balancing a military career. They help with "preparing you to get back in the groove of college, and I had assignments to do, so it was helpful to … have access to their structure before you even start the nursing program."

In addition to completing prerequisites, you must meet other admissions requirements, such as having a non-nursing bachelor's degree with an overall cumulative GPA of 2.8.

Online-Based Coursework

The first component in the Accelerated BSN curriculum is online coursework you can complete at any location. During these courses, you can expect to:

  • Read materials and listen to lectures
  • Complete assignments and quizzes
  • Socialize in discussion forums
  • Participate in instructor chat sessions

Our online learning system is suited for students of all learning types and includes graphics, images, audio lectures, interactive activities, and discussion opportunities.

Students with a military background tend to be highly motivated, which can help them be successful in the ABSN program. Lauren says it can be difficult to push yourself to work independently, but "for me, with what my background is, I write out all my due dates, and I just start checking them off." With determination and strategy, the online modality can be highly adaptable for any student.

Skills & Simulation Labs

You will experience two different types of labs during the ABSN program: skills and simulation. Skills labs provide the essential know-how nurses need to conduct their daily duties, while simulation labs provide a realistic patient encounter so you can practice, learn, and enhance your skills.

During your simulation labs, you will work with high-fidelity manikins that create a highly realistic nursing experience. Having these labs be so realistic prepares you for a hands-on job in a hands-on way.

These labs are completed at our ABSN learning site in Oklahoma City. If you or your spouse is currently stationed at a nearby base, it is a short commute on lab days.

"If you just plan for it, you know that you know three days out of your week you're at school, it's very doable," Lauren says.

Marian ABSN students looking at paperwork in sim lab

Clinical Rotations

Nursing school for military spouses and service members may seem difficult to manage, especially with all the clinical hours required. However, the Marian Accelerated BSN program makes it simple. Your nursing clinicals will begin halfway through your first semester with a focus on the fundamentals of nursing. From there, you will participate in focused clinical experiences in:

  • Obstetrics and Pediatrics
  • Medical Surgical
  • Critical care
  • Leadership

Military experience can be helpful when entering the healthcare workplace for the first time as it can boost your confidence. Clinicals also allow you to find your rhythm as a nurse and discover what type of nursing suits you best. They are a great way to learn how you want to apply your previous skillset toward nursing, whether it be from the military or otherwise.

Just having to be on top of it and be confident about your skills is very important, and I think that's what the military gave me.

-Lauren, Marian ABSN graduate

"Pretend like you know something until you don't know and just ask. If you're asking, they know you're trying to learn, so it's very easy for someone with my type of background to walk in anywhere, fit right in and get the job done."

Take the Next Step with Marian ABSN

If you're looking for nursing programs for military spouses or service members in Oklahoma City, Marian University's Accelerated BSN program can get you into a new and in-demand career sooner. If you're ready to explore next steps, contact us today to begin a conversation with an admission advisor.