The challenge of filling nursing jobs in Oklahoma may get more difficult before it gets easier. By 2012, Oklahoma is expected to have a shortage of more than 3,000 nurses if current trends continue. Like many other states, the main problem is a lack of nursing faculty and an aging population. What makes things more difficult in Oklahoma is that it is very rural, so recruitment is a challenge. Some hospitals are offering to pay some tuition for students who go into nursing, and offer nice signing bonuses to work full-time once they do.
Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are advanced practice nurses that provide direct patient care and expert consultations in a chosen specialty, such as public health or neonatal nursing. To become a CNS, a licensed RN must earn a master?s and pass a certification exam in the chosen specialization, such as the exams offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects excellent, overall job growth for registered nurses?especially for CNSs, who increasingly replace physicians as more affordable primary care providers.