Welcome to the Sooner State, home to 38 Native American tribes and the best barbeque. If you’re looking for a nursing job and somewhere you can also comfortably move to, then Oklahoma may be the place for you to thrive in! 

Here we’ll look at what living and working as a nurse is like in Oklahoma. You might love what you find and experience in this state. 

Sweet Life at Oklahoma: What It’s Like to Live in the Sooner State 

Did you know that Oklahoma’s two largest cities, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, were both included in the list of Best Places to Live by the U.S. News & World Report? Let’s see what Oklahoma as a state can offer if you decide to move there for a nursing career

Affordable to Live In 

For the RN that’s hoping to allot their hard-earned salary to savings, living in Oklahoma can be a huge help for you as the cost of living in this state is below the national average. 

Cost-of-living in Oklahoma City is lower than the national average by 16.8 percent and it was ranked number 9 by Business Insider as one of the 15 cheapest US cities to live in. ¹ This means the state has lower costs for food, transportation, and housing in comparison to other states. 

The affordability of living in Oklahoma is most noticeable in the housing market. The median home value is an average of $190,800. 

With the lower cost of living, residents can fully embrace a life of lowered financial stress in a city with a vibrant culture of recreational activities and a welcoming community. 

Rich History and Cultural Sites 

Oklahoma’s towns and cities are known for their welcoming lifelong residents and distinct culture that has been influenced by the intersection of Southern, Western, and Southwestern heritage. 

It earned the nickname the Sooner State from early homesteaders who quickened in claiming lands in the Oklahoma Territory in the land runs of 1889. The state is known for its cowboy heritage and rich Native American culture, which are commemorated through songs, movies, books, poems, and cattle drives. 

Oklahoma also has a wealth of cultural institutions that will take your breath away. It provides varied cultural experiences for its visitors and residents. You can find the most comprehensive Chihuly glass collection in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. On the other hand, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum offers stories and insights of the American West, a testament to the city’s historical roots. 

BBQ Culture 

Oklahoma state’s culinary tastes in barbeque and steak are heavily influenced by its ranching history. One of the places you must visit for the most scrumptious steak is one of Oklahoma City’s century-old restaurants, the Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. Meanwhile, Iron Star Urban Barbeque serves a contemporary take on barbeque that enthusiasts of the dish will truly enjoy.

Welcoming and Friendly People 

Oklahoma is known for its southern hospitality and the people who live there are genuinely friendly. Visitors often find themselves receiving the help and welcome of residents and it’s very common for strangers to greet each other on the streets. They cultivate this sense of openness and warmth through citywide celebrations, festivals, and farmers’ markets. 

Staying in Oklahoma may feel like living with a huge extended family once you get there. Everyone is familiar with their neighbors and is always ready to help out one another. This welcoming atmosphere can help new residents adapt to the state easily and enjoyably. 

Adventurous Activities 

Oklahoma has so much to offer to explorers looking for their next great adventure. At 77 feet, the state’s tallest waterfall, Turner Falls Park, is a must-visit. The site is nestled in the Arbuckle Mountains where it gracefully runs down into a natural swimming pool. You will also find sandy beaches, caves, and camping spots around the area. 

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is another must-see for outdoor enthusiasts. It is the oldest United States Fish and Wildlife Service system facility and has over 1,000 species of plants and animals in nearly 60,000 acres of protected habitat. You can hike, fish, rock climb, camp, or take guided tours around the area to view its wildlife. This includes a herd of almost 650 bison that have been living in the great outdoors. 

Sports Scene 

For sports fans, Oklahoma’s local sports scene has so much to offer. If you’re an NBA spectator, you know that Oklahoma is home to the Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the youngest and most energetic NBA teams. You can watch live basketball games at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. 

Beyond basketball, baseball enthusiasts can enjoy the Oklahoma City Dodgers’ minor-league action. The state of Oklahoma is also known for its Olympic and Paralympic Training Site for kayaking, rowing, or canoeing at the Boathouse District. Attracting spectators and competitors, Oklahoma City’s horse shows are also world-renowned events to watch out for. 

Thriving as a Nurse in Oklahoma: What to Expect 

Oklahoma can be a wonderful destination for you to start a new job. Here are the reasons why you should consider a nursing career in Oklahoma. 

Oklahoma is an NLC State 

The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) is a multi-state license that allows nurses to practice in participating states without applying for a new license for every location. It can make your nursing practice more convenient and affordable because it lessens the paperwork and expenses that may be required to acquire licenses.² 

Oklahoma is in Need of More Nurses 

Oklahoma, too, is experiencing a nursing shortage like the rest of the United States due to its aging nursing workforce. Many nurses tend to gravitate toward metropolitan areas, which led to Oklahoma being hit hard by the shortage. Nursing is a calling, and nurses who are looking to devote their practice to medically understaffed communities may find working in Oklahoma to be personally and professionally rewarding. 

There are also over 150 hospitals and healthcare institutions in Oklahoma that you can choose from. You wouldn’t run out of opportunities and can choose which type of facility would be best suited for you. 

Oklahoma Has Award-Winning Facilities 

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living awarded ten of Oklahoma’s nursing and assisted living facilities the 2023 Bronze Commitment to Quality Award. This award is given to facilities and organizations that meet meticulous improvement standards in long-term care and to their team despite the pandemic and shortage in the nursing field. 

The ten facilities that were recognized are: 

  • Elk Crossing, Duncan 
  • Holiday Heights Healthcare Center, Norman 
  • Montereau, Tulsa 
  • Montevista Rehabilitation and Skilled Care, Lawton 
  • St. Ann’s Skilled Nursing & Therapy, Oklahoma City 
  • The Ambassador Skilled Nursing & Therapy, Tulsa 
  • The Fairmont Skilled Nursing & Therapy, Oklahoma City 
  • Victorian Estates, Yukon 
  • Magnolia Creek Skilled Nursing & Therapy, Altus 
  • Meadowlakes Retirement Village, Oklahoma City ³ 

Working at these facilities and others in Oklahoma will expose you to top-notch expertise and leaders in the medical field. 

Oklahoma Pays Well for Its Cost of Living 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses in Oklahoma earn an average annual mean wage of $76,920.⁴ This makes living in the Sooner State even more affordable due to its low cost of living. This may enable nurses to save more money or allow them to bring their family to come and live with them.  

Related Reading: State Highlight: Why Bring Your Skills and Family to Indiana 

Oklahoma May be Your Next Big Opportunity! 

Consider nursing jobs in Oklahoma as the next step in your nursing career. Its rich culture may be perfect for you and your family. Why not visit the state sometime to find out for yourself what it’s like? You’ll love the peace and friendliness it will bring you. 


PRS Global understands it may be challenging to move to a new state to start anew. Our team will help you settle in exceptional nursing states such as Oklahoma. We’ll help you with your licensure preparations and provide you with care programs to help you adjust to a new life and culture. 

We’ll take care of you on this promising journey together. Get in touch with us today to start your brand-new career path. 


1 Lloyd, Alcyna. “The 15 Cheapest US Cities.” Indeed, Dec. 24, 2022, www.businessinsider.com/cheapest-us-cities-affordable-low-cost-of-living-2022-12 

 2 “Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact”, Oklahoma Board of Nursing, accessed Jun. 8, 2023, https://nursing.ok.gov/enlc.html 

3 Murray, Jessa. “10 Oklahoma Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities Receive National Improvement Awards.”, KTUL, Jun. 6, 2023, https://ktul.com/news/local/10-oklahoma-nursing-and-assisted-living-facilities-receive-national-improvement-awards 

4 “May 2022 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Oklahoma” Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed Jun. 7, 2023, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ok.htm#29-0000