Nursing Programs in Oregon

Oregon’s nurses look out on a veritable land of opportunity in employment, including some of the most well-paid positions in the country. The state has set specific goals for increasing the number of nurses it employs, and they’re starting at a respectable 33,000 registered nurses already.

Associate’s degrees are extremely easy to pursue in Oregon, as more than a dozen schools in the region offer some kind of program, which is far more than many other states in the country. Prospective students won’t need to travel far to attend classes for their associate’s degree.

Schools that offer BSN programs are similarly plentiful, although those trying to pursue a nursing as a second degree will only find two schools with accelerated BSN programs, and one program that offers an accelerated MSN degree.

Traditional master’s level nursing students, though, will have a lot of opportunities in Oregon, both for education and for employment. Portland itself offers two schools with well-respected master’s programs, and both now offer doctorates, which are not extremely easy to find in nursing.

Another one of the benefits of nursing in Oregon is the unusually thorough and helpful work of the Oregon State Board of Nursing, which has a website full of information for nurses of all levels – from those beginning practice to experienced nurses looking for further career information.

The OSBN has even published several booklets that lay out relevant information for nurses in the state, such as licensing expectations and the state’s “scope of practice” for nurses, which outlines the expectations and responsibilities of nurses in the state.

Other helpful organizations in the state include the Oregon Center for Nursing, a nonprofit dedicated promoting and developing a robust workforce in the state.

Job Outlook for Nurses in Oregon

Although Oregon hasn’t reached its goals on nursing employment growth, and it’s even a bit behind schedule, Oregon is committed to fostering further growth in the nursing industry, which is not only reassuring but an unheard-of blessing for most other industries. Nurses are also well paid in Oregon, with the average salary hitting $77,220 – a solid margin above the national average.

Nurse practitioners have particularly good prospects in Oregon, as a solid 46% of the current 1,900 licensed nurse practitioners are over age 55. What this means is that over the next few years, many of them will be retiring, which will create hiring gaps that need to be filled. Nurse practitioners also have slightly more freedom in Oregon than in other states, as they can prescribe medication without a collaborate practice agreement with a physician.

Average Salaries for Nurses in Oregon

Nursing salaries in Oregon are among the best in the country, with Portland-area nurses earning even more than nurses in rural parts of the state. Browse below for a table of average salaries for different types of nurses, as well as regional difference information from within the state.

Data from BLS 2011 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Registered Nurses (Statewide) $55,580.00 $77,690.00 $96,020.00
Registered Nurses (Medford) $61,380.00 $79,240.00 $93,720.00
Registered Nurses (Eastern Oregon Non-Metropolitan Area) $49,920.00 $66,650.00 $90,240.00
LPNs (Statewide) $36,060.00 $46,740.00 $58,200.00
LPNs (Medford) $34,360.00 $47,130.00 $57,980.00
LPNs (Eastern Oregon Non-Metropolitan Area) $32,020.00 $39,300.00 $46,910.00

Nurse Licensing in Oregon

Licensing in Oregon is the same as in other states in that all nurses must pass the NCLEX.

But prospective nursing students in Oregon can get a leg up by checking with the OSBN’s website, which has a catalog of all the states nursing programs and their various pass rates for the NCLEX.