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Oklahoma City, OK: Healthcare Employment Location Guide

Oklahoma City (OKC) beckons to healthcare superheroes with a promising dose of career development and some serious Southern charm. As Oklahoma’s capital, Oklahoma City presents an attractive location to live and work in the Sooner State, with an affordable cost of living much lower than other major metros. This vibrant, growing city boasts a thriving healthcare sector with top-notch hospitals, diverse neighborhoods and rich cultural experiences that offer a fulfilling professional and personal life. Whether you’re here for the long haul or just passing through on a temporary contract, OKC has much to offer nurses and allied health professionals looking to enhance their careers while enjoying a high quality of life.

Top Hospitals in Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City’s flourishing healthcare landscape boasts several first-rate hospitals where nurses provide patients with exceptional care, innovative treatment options and advanced medical services. The strong demand for healthcare professionals in Oklahoma City means staff and travel nursing jobs and allied health positions are usually abundant. If you’re considering packing your stethoscope and heading to the 405 area code, consider one of these leading OKC healthcare employers.

INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center

Integris Baptist Medical Center OKC

Known for its state-of-the-art facilities and comprehensive healthcare services, INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center offers a collaborative and supportive work environment for nurses and allied health professionals. INTEGRIS Baptist Medical is the hub and flagship hospital of INTEGRIS Health, which ranks as one of the top 25 healthcare systems in the United States. The hospital offers extensive resources that foster professional growth and development, making it a rewarding place to work.

Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City

Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City is widely recognized for providing exceptional patient care with a commitment to compassionate service and cutting-edge technologies. As a Joint Commission-certified comprehensive stroke center with 24/7 neurological care and a massive team of neuroscience specialists, Mercy Hospital is a huge draw for healthcare professionals in a neuro specialty. Its supportive team environment, combined with numerous professional development opportunities, competitive benefits and a culture that values work-life balance, make Mercy a gratifying work environment.

OU Medical Center

University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City

Affiliated with the University of Oklahoma’s College of Medicine, OU Medical Center in OKC is an extensive academic hospital offering a broad range of specialized services and excellent patient care. OU Medical is a top cancer care facility, home to Oklahoma’s only comprehensive bone marrow transplant center and the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. Its dynamic atmosphere offers nurses and allied health professionals a wealth of training opportunities at the forefront of medical advancements. Joining the OU Medical Center team guarantees an intellectually stimulating setting where healthcare professionals can grow their careers.

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Average Nurse and Allied Health Pay Rates in Oklahoma City, OK

Vivian Health had about 930 postings for various nursing or allied health jobs in Oklahoma City, OK, in late June 2023. Positions primarily included travel roles, with some staff jobs mixed in. During this period, staff nursing jobs in Oklahoma City paid an average of $31.98 per hour. While this was less than the national average, it was 3% higher than the state average. Travel nurses taking contracts in OKC fared even better, at $2,175 weekly, about 7% higher than the state average.

Staff jobs in allied health also paid above the norm during this period, with the average wage at $26.46 per hour, about 4% higher than the state average. However, travel allied health jobs averaged $2,014 weekly, about 9% less than the state average. The following table provides an overview of the average and maximum pay rates for allied health and nursing professionals in Oklahoma City in late June 2023.

Discipline Average Pay Rate Max Pay Rate
Staff Registered Nurse $31.98/hour $57/hour
Travel Registered Nurse $2,175/week $3,708/week
Staff Allied Health Professional $26.46/hour $74/hour
Travel Allied Health Professional $2,014/week $3,048/week

While the salaries above reflect the average of all professionals within each discipline, actual pay varies based on specialty, location, experience, work schedules, professional certifications and other factors employers deem essential to the role.

During this period, staff nurses in non-managerial roles earned more in med-surg, emergency department, OR and labor and delivery positions. Travel nurse jobs in Oklahoma City with the highest pay included PICU and CVOR nursing roles.

Staff allied health workers throughout Oklahoma earned the most as pharmacists or medical assistants in late June 2023. Alternately, travel allied health jobs in OKC found the best-paying contracts for ultrasound, CVOR and certified surgical technologists.

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Cost of Living in Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City’s overall cost of living is relatively affordable, with reasonable housing prices and lower day-to-day expenses compared to many major cities. According to Sperling’s Best Places, the overall cost of living in OKC is nearly 16% lower than the national average and housing costs are 43% less.

While the city’s lower living costs promote a more comfortable lifestyle, it’s important to note that Oklahoma has one of the highest combined state and local sales tax rates in the nation per Kiplinger. Unlike some states, groceries are subject to sales tax, and the state income tax schedule puts most residents in the state’s highest bracket.

Despite the mixed bag of low living costs and proportionately high taxes, living in Oklahoma City primarily provides affordability that allows nurses and allied health workers to enjoy a budget-friendly lifestyle.

Top Locations to Live in Oklahoma City, OK

OKC Bricktown

OKC features an array of distinct neighborhoods with unique characters and amenities to cater to various lifestyles. From family-friendly suburban areas to trendy urban districts, healthcare professionals are sure to find the ideal home base for their needs. Several popular neighborhoods also boast convenient proximity to top medical facilities, shortening the daily commute and supporting work-life balance.

The neighborhoods below offer a varied mix of options. Average home prices and rental rates are based on property listings and market trends posted on Zillow in late June 2023. All prices are approximate and subject to change based on fluctuating market conditions.

  • Nichols Hills: This affluent neighborhood appeals to healthcare professionals seeking a prestigious living environment with upscale amenities and luxurious homes. Nichols Hills boasts a strong sense of community, with lovely tree-lined streets and beautiful parks that provide a serene environment. However, its proximity to major medical centers and a wide range of amenities such as country clubs and high-end shopping and dining options up the convenience factor. The average home price in Nichols Hills ranges between $700,000 and $800,000, while rental rates range between $1,500 to $3,000 per month.
  • Midtown: Nurses and allied health professionals seeking a trendy, vibrant neighborhood may enjoy Midtown just north of downtown OKC. Midtown attracts creatives and young professionals attracted to a lively atmosphere and its mix of commercial and residential spaces. It offers an eclectic array of restaurants, boutiques and entertainment venues, along with a vibrant social scene. Housing options feature a mix of modern apartment complexes and historic homes, with rentals averaging between $1,000 and $1,800 monthly and home prices around $300,000.
  • Paseo Arts District: This unique, artistic neighborhood is renowned for its vibrant arts scene and features a bohemian atmosphere that creatives and art enthusiasts enjoy. Paseo Arts District features a diverse mix of locally owned shops, galleries, art studios and live performance venues that some healthcare professionals may find inspiring. Charming bungalows and apartments are common, with average home prices around $235,000 and rentals ranging between $800 and $2,300 per month.
  • Bricktown: Located in downtown Oklahoma City, Bricktown is known for its lively entertainment scene and bustling atmosphere. This popular neighborhood offers the best of both worlds with unbeatable nightlife teeming with trendy restaurants, bars and entertainment spots coupled with a picturesque canal and riverwalk featuring scenic views and outdoor recreation. Bricktown’s residential options include condos and loft-style apartments in the thick of the action, with home prices around $400,000 and rentals from $1,200 to $2,500 monthly.
  • Edmond: Healthcare professionals seeking a quieter, suburban lifestyle may prefer living in Edmond, just north of OKC. The family-friendly atmosphere offers a sense of community, well-maintained parks, various recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts, excellent schools and easy access to many healthcare facilities. Edmond also provides a range of housing options, from single-family homes to luxurious townhouses. Rental prices range from $1,000 to $3,000 per month, and home prices average $250,000 to $350,000.

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Popular Oklahoma City, OK Attractions

Oklahoma City presents a myriad of captivating attractions, making it a fabulous place for healthcare professionals to enjoy their days off. Thriving entertainment districts, serene outdoor spaces, renowned museums and cultural landmarks and family-friendly settings offer a distinct range of experiences that appeal to various preferences and personalities.

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

OKC Memorial

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum offers a poignant tribute to the victims, survivors and heroes of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Powerful exhibits detail the tragic event and the resilience of the community, providing an educational experience that touches the heart. The memorial features symbolic elements in a solemn, reflective space, while the museum offers in-depth exhibits that delve into the history and aftermath of the bombing.

Myriad Botanical Gardens

Crystal Bridge at Myriad Botanical Gardens in OKC

Healthcare professionals seeking a lush, tranquil oasis in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City won’t be disappointed with the Myriad Botanical Gardens. The beautiful gardens, walking paths and Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, with its stunning collection of tropical plants, offer a wonderful escape. Relax and rejuvenate while you explore breathtaking floral displays, exotic plants and impressive waterfalls housed within a vibrant ecosystem. The Myriad Botanical Gardens also hosts various activities and events, such as concerts, yoga classes and seasonal festivals that offer additional respite from healthcare professionals’ busy lives.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Embrace the rich history and culture of the American West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Its extensive collection of artifacts, artwork and exhibits highlights the rugged frontier and spirit of the West. From cowboy memorabilia to Native American artifacts and Western art to interactive displays, the museum provides a captivating journey through the history and heritage of the lives lived in a not-so-distant past.

Oklahoma City Zoo

Red Panda at OKC Zoo

Nurses and allied health professionals looking for a family-friendly attraction may enjoy the diverse range of animal species from around the world living at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Embark on a wild adventure at exhibits like the Great EscAPE, Asian Elephant Habitat and Cat Forest/Lion Overlook. Stroll through the vibrant Butterfly Garden, observe the colorful tropical birds and engage in delightful educational programs that enthrall animal enthusiasts of all ages.

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Oklahoma City’s Foodie Scene

Oklahoma BBQ

While Oklahoma City is known for its Southern comfort food, it also boasts a wide array of dining options to please every palate. OKC is renowned for its mouthwatering barbecue, especially smoked meats, including juicy ribs, tender brisket and succulent pulled pork. From spicy Texas style to tangy Kansas City style, you’ll find highly-rated barbeque joints scattered throughout the city. 

However, OKC’s delectable tapestry of flavors and cuisines doesn’t begin and end with barbeque. Instead, it defies the imagination with everything from farm-to-table fare to international delights, not to mention popular Tex-Mex and innovative fusion dishes. No matter your preferred taste sensation, Oklahoma City’s foodie scene offers a culinary adventure that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Getting Around Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City offers a reliable transportation system for healthcare workers to commute to work easily. The city’s public transit system, operated by Embark, includes a network of buses that serve neighborhoods and key destinations throughout the metro area. Routes include regular schedules and stops at hospitals, medical centers and other healthcare facilities, making it simple to access workplaces. OKC has also implemented bike lanes and cycling infrastructures to support active healthcare professionals with short commutes.

Nurses and allied health professionals looking for staff or travel positions in Oklahoma City or anywhere in Oklahoma can count on Vivian Health to help them find their perfect job. We also offer career tips for nurses in OKC to further assist with their job search. Register with Vivian Health and let us help you take the next step on your career journey today.

Moira K. McGhee

Moira K. McGhee is Vivian’s Senior Editor & All-Around Wordsmith. As part of the Vivian Health team, she strives to help support the empowerment of nurses and other healthcare professionals in their pursuits to find top-notch travel, staff, local contract and per diem positions faster and easier than ever.

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