Whether you’re building a long-term nursing career in Tulsa or landing in town for a travel contract, registered nurses (RNs) find significant demand for their skills in Oklahoma’s second-largest city. No matter where you are in your career, you want fair compensation for the clinical expertise you bring to the job. Investigate the average RN salary in Tulsa for permanent and travel positions to ensure you do.
Our RN salary guide fills you in on the average pay rates for RN jobs in Tulsa and nearby destinations, giving you a sense of earning potential in this market. We also look at employment prospects for nurses working in Oklahoma and strategies for increasing your salary so you can score your dream nursing job.
What Do Permanent Nurses Make in Tulsa?
Staff nurses in Tulsa earn an average hourly rate of $31.41, about 1% higher than the Oklahoma average of $31.15 per hour, according to Vivian’s salary data on March 13, 2023.
The table below compares the average staff RN salary in Tulsa with those in other Oklahoma cities to give you an idea of typical pay in various locations throughout the state. We included 2021 census information from the U.S. Census Bureau, so you can also factor in population differences in these cities.
|City||Average Hourly Rate||Population||Distance in Miles From Tulsa|
Sources: Vivian Health (March 13, 2023), U.S. Census Bureau
What Do Travel Nurses Make in Tulsa?
Travel nurses work on short-term contracts in healthcare facilities short-staffed due to vacant RN jobs and extended staff leaves, such as maternity leave or severe illness. Employers often pay generous travel salaries to incentivize experienced RNs to fill positions, sometimes with little notice.
Per Vivian’s salary data, travel RN salaries in Tulsa averaged $2,036 per week on March 13, 2023. This weekly rate is equivalent to $50.90 per hour in a 40-hour workweek, meaning travel RN jobs in Tulsa paid 62% more than the average staff RN salary in Tulsa.
Typical travel nurse salaries vary throughout Oklahoma. Some smaller destinations may face challenges attracting RNs and offer highly competitive salaries, and larger cities like Tulsa must compete with other healthcare facilities to hire nurses.
The table below compares travel nurse salaries in various Oklahoma cities to Tulsa based on Vivian’s salary data on March 13, 2023. All hourly rates used a 40-hour workweek to calculate the average.
|City||Average Weekly Travel Rate||Average Hourly Travel Rate|
Sources: Vivian Health (March 13, 2023)
Comparing an RN Salary in Tulsa to Allied Healthcare Jobs
Due to limited perm salary data for allied healthcare jobs in Tulsa, we used U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) salary data from May 2021 to compare the typical staff RN salary in Tulsa with average earnings in other healthcare occupations. Based on BLS information, permanent RN jobs in Tulsa paid an average of $32.75 per hour, more than several staff allied health salaries.
|Position||Average Hourly Perm Rate|
|Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technician||$32.01|
|Radiology Technologist and Technician||$27.28|
|Cardiovascular Technologist and Technician||$23.07|
|Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Technician||$22.80|
Sources: BLS (May 2021)
When comparing travel salaries on Vivian to allied health jobs in Tulsa with salary data available on March 21, 2023, RN salaries didn’t always come out on top as this table demonstrates.
|Position||Average Weekly Travel Rate|
|Computed Tomography Technologist||$2,937|
|Interventional Radiology Technician||$2,909|
|Cardiac Catheterization Technologist||$2,744|
|Certified Surgical Technologist||$1,815|
Sources: Vivian Health (March 13, 2023)
Growing Demand for Nurses in Tulsa
RNs can expect a 12% growth in nursing jobs in Oklahoma between 2020 and 2030, according to O*Net Online. This demand is equivalent to 2,620 available positions in the state each year. By comparison, BLS expects RN jobs to grow just 6% nationally between 2021 and 2031.
There were 150 permanent RN jobs in Tulsa posted on Vivian in mid-March 2023, with opportunities in a variety of settings. Some of the most in-demand nursing specialties were:
- Intermediate Care
- Operating Room
- Wound Care
- Emergency Department
- Case Management
A limited number of the available RN jobs in Tulsa included opportunities for new graduate nurses and nursing residency programs.
Finding the Right Healthcare Employer in Tulsa
Whether you have your sights set on working in a hospital, ambulatory center, medical clinic or home health, you can pursue a nursing career with many great Tulsa healthcare employers.
According to 2021 BLS data, about 60% of nurses work in hospitals. Oklahoma’s second most populous city is home to three of the state’s five biggest hospitals, creating a wide range of RN jobs in Tulsa.
St. Francis Hospital, named the No. 1 hospital in the city by U.S. News & World Report in 2022-2023, is the largest hospital in Oklahoma, with 1,112 beds. According to Hospital Management, Tulsa’s Ascension St. John is the fourth-largest hospital in Oklahoma with 677 beds and Hillcrest Medical Center is the fifth largest with 656 beds.
Hillcrest had more than 100 permanent nursing jobs posted on Vivian in mid-March 2023, with opportunities in med-surg, intensive care, post-anesthesia care, telemetry, labor and delivery, neonatal intensive care and other specialties. Other Tulsa employers recruiting for multiple positions included PAM Specialty Hospital, a rehabilitation facility, and Fresenius Medical Care, which provides specialized kidney care.
How to Earn More as a Nurse in Tulsa
1. Keep Learning
Expand your clinical knowledge and expertise by earning a specialty credential or higher-level degree. Professional credentials through education or certification help pave the way for more challenging RN jobs in Tulsa with higher pay.
A Doctor of Nursing Practice can push your average annual salary above $102,000, but even moving from an associate degree to a bachelor’s degree can result in an average salary increase of 22%. The chart below shows average nursing salaries by education in the United States in 2020, according to Statista data.
|Education Level||Average Annual Nursing Salary 2020|
|Doctor of Nursing Practice||$102,600|
|Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing||$97,400|
|Master of Science in Nursing||$96,000|
|Bachelor of Science in Nursing||$86,900|
|Association Degree in Nursing||$71,091|
2. Consider Travel Nursing
Travel nursing can be personally and professionally rewarding for RNs who enjoy variety and adventure. You can add diverse experiences to your resume while making new friends across the country. As of March 13, 2023, Vivian’s job marketplace featured more than 750 travel RN jobs in Tulsa in various specialties.
As discussed earlier, travel nursing jobs usually pay more than staff positions. However, some specialties pay well above the average Tulsa travel RN salary because of the urgent need for specialized skills.
Check out the table below for a sampling of travel RN salaries in Tulsa based on jobs posted on Vivian on March 13, 2023. Hourly rates use a 40-hour workweek for calculations.
|Nursing Specialty||Average Weekly Travel Rate||Average Hourly Travel Rate|
|Pediatric Cardiovascular Intensive Care||$3,229||$80.73|
|Pediatric Intensive Care||$3,104||$77.60|
|Registered Nurse First Assistant||$2,683||$67.08|
Sources: Vivian Health (March 13, 2023)
3. Compare Job Offers
Employers offer salary ranges based on how urgently they need nurses. You may find that you can earn more by taking overnight, weekend or holiday shifts when finding staff is typically more challenging.
There are also pay differences based on workplace setting, as some healthcare facilities have larger budgets. For example, staff nurses in the United States earn an hourly rate of $37.59 in home health, $40.88 in hospitals and $44.74 in outpatient care centers, according to May 2021 data from BLS.
When considering a Tulsa nursing job, use Vivian’s salary tool to understand how much employers currently pay RNs. This information gives you a benchmark for determining your market value and negotiating the best wage for your specialty and skill set.
Think about the benefits package as well. For example, tuition reimbursement can be a valuable perk if you’re considering returning to school to earn a degree and further your career.
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