How To Become A Nurse In Oregon

Nursing is a rewarding profession in Oregon where wages are above the national average. An average salary for a staff registered nurse (RN) is $67,402 in Portland compared to an annual average wage of $66,340 nationally.

Unlike other states in the nation, Oregon is not experiencing a nursing shortage. There are about 37,170 nurses employed in the Pacific Coast state, which represents 891 nurses per 100,000 population.

There is a demand for new nurses across the United States as a whole and as the need for more nurses continues to rise, Oregon will be hiring more too. The need for nurses in the country is expected to grow to 260,000 registered nurses (RNs) by 2025, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Nursing ranks among the top ten percent of the best paying jobs, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. On average the nation’s 2.7 million RNs make $40,969 to $79,402 a year, not including overtime, and that can rise to more than $95,000 annually in a large hospital. RN salaries are among the top ten percent in the country.

There are about 712,000 job openings for registered nurses nationally and those numbers will increase as the health care industry expands.

The Health Care Industry is Growing

The health care sector is continuing to grow despite the loss of jobs in other industries due to several factors, one being the increasing number of patients from the aging “baby boomer” generation and the health care laws.

Anyone seeking to become a nurse in Oregon must first pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which can be scheduled through the Oregon State Board of Nursing. The state board requires photographic identification and a sealed transcript from the applicant’s nursing program in order to approve applications to stand for the test which is administered by Pearson VUE, a national testing company.

The board’s purpose is to safeguard the public’s health by ensuring that licensed nurses are qualified and competent to practice in Oregon, which has a mandatory state law requiring nurses to report any cases of elderly abuse.

Oregon Schools Have Unique Nursing Consortium

The Oregon nursing board, which approves and maintains a list of accredited nursing programs in the state, also conducts presentations for students at state nursing schools to inform students about licensure requirements.

The Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE), a partnership of nursing programs, includes faculty from eight community colleges and the Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing who have created a unique shared curriculum taught on all consortium campuses.

The university is ranked as the seventh best nursing school in the nation by the respected U.S News and World Report best colleges list.

Through OCNE, students can complete coursework for a bachelor of science degree in nursing without leaving their home community. Students on the community college campuses have the option of completing the associate of applied science degree in nursing and being eligible to sit for the RN licensure exam and/or continue to distance-delivered coursework required for their bachelor’s degree.

Nursing Schools in Oregon

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Nursing School Locations

Columbia Gorge Community College
400 East Scenic Drive
The Dalles, OR 97058
(541) 506-6000

Oregon Center for Nursing
500 North Willamette Boulevard
Portland, OR 97203
(503) 943-7150

Oregon Health and Science University
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road
Portland, OR 97239
(503) 494-8311

Southern Oregon University
School of Nursing
1250 Siskiyou Boulevard
Ashland, OR 97520
(541) 552-7672

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