July 1, 2001
Nearly a full year of work has resulted in a five-year approval for the OBU School of Nursing by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.
Dr. Lana Bolhouse, dean of the School of Nursing, and the nursing faculty and staff began work in May 2000 to complete a comprehensive report and prepare for a board visit. The process culminated in board approval May 31.
Approval of the Oklahoma Board of Nursing is required in order for a program's students to take the state licensing exam.
"In addition to giving our students opportunity for licensure, this process helps us evaluate our program systematically," said Bolhouse. "It is helpful for us to stop to look at ourselves periodically. This process also communicates to the public - through this board - that we offer a solid nursing education program."
The School of Nursing was sent a list of criteria required for approval and responded with a 91-page self-study of how OBU met that criteria, accompanied with more than 200 pages of documentation.
Gayle McNish, the board's associate director for nursing education, then visited the campus. She spent a day reviewing documents regarding faculty, students and additional materials. She also interviewed OBU administrators, faculty, students and Dr. Bolhouse.
The OBN commended the University for its strong liberal arts foundation, a well-planned nursing curriculum, a faculty committed to helping students, and students who were articulate and highly motivated. The board also commended the University's faculty development plan.
Bolhouse then met with Board members to answer any lingering questions.
"They congratulated us on our pass rate on the state licensing exam," Bolhouse said. "Our pass rate was 96 percent last year. We always try for 100 percent. The national average is 84 percent and the state rate was 82 percent."
While the School of Nursing is happy to have completed the state approval, it can't rest. Bolhouse and the nursing faculty are already working on material for continued accreditation approval from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. That group's visit is set for 2003.
OBU's was the first baccalaureate nursing program in the state, starting in 1952.