Nursing Schools in Washington

Washington is in the midst of pushing for a much larger nursing workforce by 2020, and it really shows when you take a look at their nursing programs — the options for a nursing education are expanding each day. No matter your position professionally, you’ll be able to find the program that fits your needs.

Transitional Nursing Programs

Currently working nurses won’t be left without any options if they want to continue their education while holding down a job. Washington has dozens of LPN-to-RN programs, including several flexible options that allow nurses to study online while only doing face-to-face time for lab or clinical training. Other programs allow for a student to test out of the program early and re-enter the workforce after only four quarters. Check out Everett Community College and Whatcomm Community College for examples of these programs.

Washington is also pushing to increase the number of BSN-prepared nurses in the state, and several notable schools offer programs that cater to that need. WGU Washington, Washington State University, and Seattle Pacific University are notables that deserve all students’ attention.

Graduate Programs for Washington’s Nurses

The easiest way to double your salary and move your career in whatever direction inspires you is to earn an MSN. Most of our states need more nurse practitioners, educators, and other advanced nurses, and Washington is no exception.

In fact, Washington is one of the best states to pursue an MSN education because of the variety of practices that NPs can venture into. The state is one of just a few that allow nurse practitioners to branch out into cardiology, critical care, and pain management. As a result, the programs at notable schools like the University of Washington are varied, allowing students to pursue unique and in-demand professional paths like Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing.

Licensing for Nurses in Washington

Nurses in Washington state are required to pass the NCLEX before being granted a license to practice.

Job Outlook for Nursing Students in Washington

Overall employment levels have improved greatly in Washington over the last year, at least according to BLS data. However, the state as a whole is still at 7.5% unemployment, which reflects the overall state of the country at this point. The job market may still be challenging for nursing students and everyone else, but it is getting better.

In fact, contrary to the overall job market, some nursing professions are doing very well in Washington. The overall trend in WA is that more education pays off, which is always true, but to a greater degree in this state.

Nurses with ASNs, for example, will be eligible mostly for nursing assistant and LPN positions, and neither of these types of positions is widely available in Washington compared to other states. But a BSN-prepared registered nurse will be looking at a job market comparable to the rest of the country.

MSN-prepared nurses face the same situation. Their education allows them to enter job markets that are thriving relative to the overall picture. Nurse practitioners and nurse midwives both enjoy job markets that are at least as good — if not better than — the rest of the country.

Income Data for Nursing Professions in WA

Data from BLS 2012 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Nursing Instructors and Teachers
Employment: 1,000
LQ: 0.84
$41,580 $59,600 $102,550
Registered Nurses
Employment: 51,060
LQ: 0.91
$51,820 $74,290 $103,210
Nurse Anesthetists
Employment: 300
LQ: 0.41
$124,830 $167,170 – *
Nurse Practitioners
Employment: 2,530
LQ: 1.13
$70,120 $94,220 $120,290
Nursing Assistants
Employment: 23,700
LQ: 0.79
$20,910 $27,640 $37,180
LPN / LVNs
Employment: 8,300
LQ: 0.54
$36,530 $46,540 $59,270
Nurse Midwives
Employment: 120
LQ: 1.00
$63,860 $89,920 $146,890

* Double dashes (–) indicate data not available.