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The OPSU campus will be closed on Thursday, June 20th, due to the widespread flooding. Campus will reopen on Monday, June 24th. If you live on campus and experience issues from the flooding, please enter a help ticket. The Physical Plant will not be able to address any issues quickly, but will work to assess and make repairs as they are able.
OPSU RN BSN Article

Jun 4, 2024

Natasha Eidson

OPSU RN-BSN Program Shaping Oklahoma’s Healthcare Landscape One Scholarship at a Time

Oklahoma Panhandle State University is shaping the next generation of BSNs in Oklahoma and the surrounding region. What sets OPSU’s RN to BSN program apart is its tailored approach to addressing the unique challenges in any healthcare setting. In response to the growing demand for skilled nursing professionals in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas, OPSU is proud to introduce two new scholarships to empower aspiring nurses in the region in addition to the Oklahoma RN-BSN Scholarship. The first scholarship, the Saints to Aggies RN-BSN Scholarship, extends to students who have graduated from Seward County Community College with their RN. The second is a scholarship targeting RN students who have graduated from Amarillo College. Both of the Kansas and Texas Scholarships are a $1,000 Tuition-based scholarship. The scholarship that has led the way financially for so many nursing students at OPSU is the Oklahoma RN-BSN Scholarship, a 100% tuition match scholarship that provides financial support to pursue their nursing degrees at OPSU. Through these scholarships, OPSU recognizes the importance of meeting the healthcare workforce needs of the region but also reaffirms its dedication to nurturing the next generation of healthcare leaders.


Among the successful graduates of OPSU’s RN to BSN program is Alumna Brooke Smith. Her recent appointment as Director of Nursing for Memorial Hospital of Texas County is a clear testament to the transformative impact of OPSU’s program. Smith’s story is a testament to individual growth and the power of scholarships in reshaping nursing and healthcare delivery in the region. As Director of Nursing, Smith is responsible for overseeing nursing staff, managing patient care processes and standards, developing policies, procedures, protocols, and standing orders, regulatory compliance, quality improvement initiatives, life safety oversight, and hiring, training, and evaluating nursing staff. Smith had a wealth of knowledge coming into the BSN program after graduating from SCCC with her RN. She stated, “My education at OPSU helped me become more well-rounded. The RN-BSN program provided a strong foundation for me in nursing theory, research, evidence-based practice, leadership, and critical thinking. There was also a focus on nursing in rural communities, which is very applicable to Texas County.”


“There is a critical nursing shortage in Oklahoma and our region,” says Dr. Dinger, University President. “I’m proud of our faculty for helping educate the next generation of nursing leaders. Our RN-BSN Program is a success because of the leadership of our nursing faculty and our strong partnerships with Oklahoma and area community colleges.”


In the healthcare industry, many fields of study demand professional growth and continued education. Smith spoke about how OPSU prepared her for advancement in the nursing field. “My time at OPSU prepared me for the challenges of the nursing profession and further instilled a commitment to excellence and a passion for making a positive impact on patient care and outcomes. The supportive environment encouraged me to continue to seek opportunities for professional development and advancement.”


Smith is eager to see how she can help with the nursing shortage locally and educate the community on rural healthcare. “I plan to collaborate with area nursing programs and educational institutions to increase the number of nursing graduates by offering mentorship programs, clinical placements, and support. I also plan to focus on offering competitive compensation packages to attract and retain nursing talent,” she stated. “Community awareness about the importance of nursing is vital. I plan to participate in outreach events, career fairs, and other community events to connect with prospective nurses and encourage them to pursue a career in healthcare. I would also like to pursue opportunities with community organizations and businesses to offer scholarships or other incentives for nurses to work in our rural community.”


Smith’s journey from Emergency Department Manager to Director of Nursing exemplifies the program’s commitment to nurturing talent and fostering leadership in healthcare. OPSU’s RN to BSN program is instrumental in empowering individuals like Brooke Smith to make a meaningful impact in their communities by providing students with the tools and knowledge needed to excel. “Furthering your education at OPSU prepares you to excel in various healthcare settings and adapt to the changing demands of nursing, as well as laying a solid foundation for leadership roles,” Smith stated. 


Central to OPSU’s mission is its dedication to accessibility through scholarships. The new RN-BSN scholarships play a crucial role in alleviating financial barriers and ensuring nursing students can pursue higher education. By investing in the next generation of healthcare professionals, OPSU is not only transforming individual lives but also uplifting entire communities. For additional information over the RN-BSN Nursing Program, visit the website.

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