“Amid a nationwide health care workforce shortage, it is heartening to know these committed graduates, who are driven by a desire to serve society, will soon be caring for others as physicians, nurses, dentists and health professionals,” said Gary Raskob, Ph.D., interim senior vice president and provost of the OU Health Sciences Center.
According to the American Hospital Association, job vacancies for various types of nursing personnel increased by up to 30% in 2019 and 2020. It is also predicted there will be a nationwide shortage of up to 3.2 million health care workers by 2026.
“It is the mission of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, as the comprehensive academic partner of OU Health, to educate students, residents and other trainees in professional and graduate programs to become Oklahoma’s future team of health care leaders, clinicians, researchers and educators,” Raskob said. “That mission has never been more important than it is today, and we are proud of the dedicated students who will fill those roles.”
The graduates recognized this spring represent numerous health care and science specialty areas, including radiation sciences, communication sciences and disorders, dental hygiene, nursing, nutritional sciences, pharmacy, audiology, dentistry, physical therapy, dietetics, speech language pathology, health administration, occupational therapy, philosophy, public health and allied health.
“OU Health Sciences Center students have an opportunity for hands-on participation in basic and clinical research with some of the nation’s leading scientists and clinicians who work on this campus,” Raskob said. “They leave our halls better prepared to be leaders in the health care and bioscience industry.”
OU Health Sciences Center graduate and undergraduate students participate in Commencement on the OU Norman campus each spring. This year’s Commencement ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. tonight at The Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, 180 W. Brooks St.
In addition to the Commencement ceremony, all degree-granting colleges at the OU Health Sciences Center will recognize their students during independent ceremonies. Locations and times have been assigned to each college, and all ceremonies will also have a livestream option. Additional information is available at ou.edu/commencement.
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit www.ou.edu.
About the OU Health Sciences Center
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is one of the nation’s few academic health centers with all health professions colleges — Allied Health, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Graduate Studies and School of Community Medicine. The OU Health Sciences Center serves approximately 4,000 students in more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs on campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and is the academic and research partner of OU Health, the state’s only comprehensive academic healthcare system. The OU Health Sciences Center is ranked 108 out of over 2,900 institutions in funding received from the National Institutes of Health, according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. For more information, visit ouhsc.edu.