Nursing Schools in Oregon

Nursing Schools in Oregon – OR

Is there a nursing shortage in Oregon? It's more complex than a simple yes or no. While data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows a small surplus of nurses in Oregon by 2030, healthcare employers in the state are said to be struggling to fill nursing positions in specific healthcare settings such as long-term care, public health, home and hospice. Rural areas of the state continue to be short-staffed. The state is also interested in broadening the diversity of nurses in Oregon, with state agencies encouraging men and minority groups to consider Oregon nursing careers.

If you are a caring individual who enjoys helping others, then nursing is a profession that can encourage you share those qualities. Prospective students specifically interested in pursuing nursing careers in Oregon can stay on this page to learn more. For more general information about the profession, visit our Nursing Education, Schools and Career Overview page to read about the different kinds of nurses and their specializations.

What nursing schools are there in Oregon?

Oregon has worked hard to standardize nursing curriculums and expand nursing degree programs in Oregon, making it easier for students to access the nursing programs they want, wherever they are.

Below are just a few of the nursing colleges in Oregon that represent the range of programs students can choose from.

  • The University of Portland offers undergraduate through doctoral programs in nursing.
    • According to their website, BSN students are taught nursing through relational teaching that focuses on building knowledge and skills in matters such as population health, healthcare innovations, and social justice.
    • Their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a hybrid program designed to prepare nurses to improve healthcare systems through evidence-based practice, and adopt an integrative healthcare approach that includes individuals, families, communities, and underserved populations.
  • Oregon Health and Science University, in addition to offering nursing programs through multiple OHSU campuses, also offers some of their nursing programs through satellite locations at Western Oregon University and Southern Oregon University. Students can choose from three types of BSN degree programs in nursing:
    • Those who hold an associate degree in nursing (ADN) can enroll in the online RN to BSN.
    • Those who want to transition to nursing from another field can apply to the accelerated BSN program. Students who choose the accelerated plan can also directly transition to a program that culminates in a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing or a DNP in specialties such as psychiatric mental health, family nurse, gerontology, midwifery and pediatric.
    • RNs who want to complete a dual degree -- a bachelor's and a master's -- may enroll in their RN to Master's in Nursing (MSN) through two pathways: Nursing Education and Health Systems and Organizational Leadership.
  • Central Oregon Community College offers a two-year ADN with exit levels at the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or RN levels. Students from accredited nursing programs may transfer to the ADN program in the second year. An advanced placement program is available for those who qualify.
  • George Fox University, in Newberg, is a Christian college that offers the traditional BSN program with a smaller classroom experience. According to their website, students have an opportunity for cross-cultural experiences in Kenya, as well as 800 to 1000 hours of clinical experience in local healthcare settings. Their RN-BSN bridge program is available on-campus or in a hybrid format.

What financial aid can I get for nursing programs in Oregon?

If you need financial assistance to help pay for your education at one of the Oregon nursing schools, you may apply for federal, state, private or institutional grants and scholarships. Awards for nursing scholarships in Oregon may be based on GPA and future nursing career plans or leadership qualities, as well as geographical location.

Here are just a few of the options you may have if you meet qualifying criteria:

  • The Smith Education Scholarship can be awarded to students enrolled in the RN-BSN bridge program.
  • The Equity Scholarship is offered to nursing students who are members of an underrepresented group.
  • The Centennial Education Scholarship is open to nursing students in a pre-licensure program such as an ADN or BSN.

More financial aid options for funding your education at one of the nursing schools in Oregon may be found through the Oregon Nurses Foundation, Oregon Students' Nurses Association, and the Oregon Nurses Association.

What do I need to know about Oregon nursing certification?

The Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) recognizes three official designations for advanced nurses:

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

NPs, CNSs, and CRNAs must possess at least a graduate-level degree in nursing and obtain certification. Nursing certification in Oregon can be achieved through one of the following national certifying agencies recognized by the OSBN:

  • The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board
  • The American Nurses Credentialing Center Certification Program
  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Certification Corporation
  • The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
  • National Certification Corporation
  • American Midwifery Certification Board
  • National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists

Specialties recognized by the OSBN can include

  • Acute Care
  • Family
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Neonatal
  • Pediatric-Primary Care
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health
  • Wellness through Acute Care
  • Adult - Acute/Critical Care CNS

Do I need a nursing license in Oregon? How do I apply for it?

Yes. The Oregon State Board of Nursing is the body that determines whether you have met the standards that are required in order to be granted licensure to practice as a nurse in Oregon.

RNs must have and maintain an Oregon registered nurse license with the state to practice their profession. Nursing graduates may apply for a license at the OSBN website. You may need to complete an application form, pay fees, and register with the Pearson VUE.

Applicants who meet the parameters required by the Oregon State Board of Nursing may be released to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). This exam can be scheduled after receiving an Authorization to Test from Pearson VUE.

Renewal and Continuing Education (CE)

Those who are engaged in Oregon nursing careers must renew their licenses every two years. LPNs and RNs must complete 960 hours of practice (approximately equivalent to 6-months full-time employment) during the preceding 5 years prior to renewal.

No continuing education is required for RNs, but advanced practice nurses may have unique requirements for CE based on their specialties.

What can I do with a degree in nursing in Oregon?

Take a look at the tables below that depict a range of nursing salaries in Oregon, depending on the specific nursing occupation. You can also see the nursing occupations that are projected to experience the highest growth rates in the coming years. These interesting facts can serve to guide you as you consider Oregon nursing careers.

CareerTotal EmploymentStatewide Projected Job Growth Rate
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses3,75010.1%
Nurse Anesthetists27026.9%
Nurse Midwives18023.7%
Nurse Practitioners2,19034.8%
Nursing Assistants12,26012.1%
Registered Nurses36,66016.8%
2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

CareerAnnual Mean WageBottom 10% Annual WageTop 10% Annual Wage
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses$54,740$43,870$64,530
Nurse Anesthetists$234,750$167,280>$208,000
Nurse Midwives$113,580$59,070$159,030
Nurse Practitioners$113,430$84,420$152,960
Nursing Assistants$34,780$25,760$46,570
Registered Nurses$92,960$68,160$122,850
2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Sources:

  • A New Graduate's Guide to Getting Licensed, Oregon State Board of Nursing, https://www.oregon.gov/osbn/documents/Resource_NewGraduateGuide.pdf, accessed February 2020
  • Academic Programs, Southern Oregon University, https://sou.edu/academics/, accessed February 2020
  • Apply for an Oregon RN, LPN, or APRN License, Oregon State Board of Nursing, https://www.oregon.gov/osbn/Pages/apply-license.aspx, accessed February 2020
  • APRN Certification, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, https://www.aacn.org/certification/advanced-practice, accessed February 2020
  • Doctor of Nurse Practice, Nursing, Oregon Health and Science University, https://www.ohsu.edu/school-of-nursing/doctor-nursing-practice, accessed February 2020
  • Doctoral Education, Nursing, University of Portland, https://nursing.up.edu/graduate-programs/index.html, accessed February 2020
  • Initial Certification, National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists https://www.nbcrna.com/initial-certification, accessed February 2020.
  • Master's Program, Nursing, Oregon Health and Science University, https://www.ohsu.edu/school-of-nursing/masters-program, February 2020
  • Nursing Advanced Placement Program, Central Oregon Community College, https://www.cocc.edu/programs/nursing/nursing-advanced-placement-program.aspx, February 2020
  • Nursing Major (BSN), George Fox University, https://www.georgefox.edu/college-admissions/academics/major/nursing.html, accessed February 2020
  • Nursing Shortage? What Nursing Shortage?, April 2019, Oregon Center for Nursing, https://oregoncenterfornursing.org/nursing-shortage-what-nursing-shortage/
  • OHSU BSN Program at WOU, Western Oregon University, https://wou.edu/las/nursing/, accessed February 2020
  • Oregon Center for Nursing (2019). Shortage or Maldistribution: Shifting the Conversation About Oregon's Nursing Workforce. Portland, OR, Oregon Center for Nursing, https://oregoncenterfornursing.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/ShortageOrMaldistribution_Report2019.pdf, accessed March 2020
  • Practice Requirements for the Licensed Practice Nurse, Registered Nurse & Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Oregon State Board of Nursing, https://www.oregon.gov/osbn/documents/IS_PracticeReqLPN_RN_APRN.pdf, accessed February 2020
  • RN Program, Central Oregon Community College, https://www.cocc.edu/programs/nursing/nursing-program.aspx, February 2020
  • RN to BSN, George Fox University, https://www.georgefox.edu/nursing/rn-to-bsn/index.html, accessed February 2020
  • Scholarship Opportunities, Oregon Students' Nurses Association, http://www.oregonsna.org/scholarships.html, accessed March 2020
  • Scholarships, Oregon Nurses Foundation, https://www.oregonnursesfoundation.org/scholarships/, accessed March 2020
  • Scholarship and Student Resources, Oregon Nurses Association, https://www.oregonrn.org/page/Scholarships, accessed March 2020
  • Supply and Demand Projections of the Nursing Workforce: 2014-2030, July 2017, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce National Center for Health Workforce Analysis, https://bhw.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/bhw/nchwa/projections/NCHWA_HRSA_Nursing_Report.pdf
  • Undergraduate Programs, Nursing, Oregon Health and Science University, https://www.ohsu.edu/school-of-nursing/undergraduate-program, accessed February 2020
  • Undergraduate Programs, Nursing, University of Portland, https://nursing.up.edu/undergraduate-program/index.html, accessed February 2020
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