Aspiring Oregon nurses are on the road to a profession with a strong legacy behind it. One member of that legacy is Jane Harrison-Hohner, who was named to the Nurse Practitioners of Oregon Hall of Fame in 2017. For many years, she practiced nursing at OHSU Hospital in Portland and was an active member of the Nurse Practitioners of Oregon.

All across the Beaver State, nurses like Harrison-Hohner can be seen enjoying rewarding careers at hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, schools and patient homes. Read on to learn details about how to become a nurse in Oregon and how to earn your certification and licensure, as well as which nursing colleges in the state are the best for doing so.

Best Nursing Schools in Oregon

Oregon Badge ImageAs of 2018, Oregon is home to 23 schools that offer nursing degree programs at various levels. We built two separate rankings to help prospective nurses in Oregon make an educated decision on which nursing school to attend. One ranking is intended for new nurses looking for undergraduate programs, while the other focuses on advanced programs for graduate students.

To create these rankings, we gathered data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and analyzed it according to a specially weighted system of metrics. You can scroll to the bottom of the page for more information on the methodology we used, or read on for our rankings of the best graduate and undergraduate nursing programs in Oregon.

Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Undergraduate tuition
$4,257
Undergraduate graduation rate
28%
Undergraduate retention rate
49%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
86%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$4,500
Undergraduate graduation rate
26%
Undergraduate retention rate
60%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
77%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$43,686
Undergraduate graduation rate
82%
Undergraduate retention rate
88%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
99%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$3,564
Undergraduate graduation rate
30%
Undergraduate retention rate
42%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
89%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
0
Undergraduate tuition
$23,840
Undergraduate graduation rate
39%
Undergraduate retention rate
62%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$4,132
Undergraduate graduation rate
41%
Undergraduate retention rate
54%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
94%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$3,564
Undergraduate graduation rate
20%
Undergraduate retention rate
44%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
71%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$3,744
Undergraduate graduation rate
15%
Undergraduate retention rate
67%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
70%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$29,620
Undergraduate graduation rate
48%
Undergraduate retention rate
72%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$3,942
Undergraduate graduation rate
13%
Undergraduate retention rate
54%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
79%

Nursing Accreditation in Oregon

Accredited nursing schools in Oregon have passed an extensive review and evaluation by one or several official organizations to assess whether or not that school’s curriculum and facilities satisfy state educational standards. Accreditation comes with a host of benefits to schools and students, not all of them obvious. Students who attend an accredited nursing school in Oregon may qualify for more financial aid, be able to transfer credits between institutions more smoothly, and be better positioned as attractive candidates to hospitals, schools and other employers after graduation.

Before you decide to apply to a particular nursing school in Oregon, check to see if the school is accredited by an official regional or national accreditation agency such as:

  • National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Oregon Nursing Licensure

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in Oregon must complete an LPN program, which usually involves around one year of coursework and hands-on experience, and pass the National Council License Examination for practical nurses (NCLEX-PN) exam. Registered nurses (RNs) are required to complete an approved RN program and pass the registered nursing license exam (NCLEX-RN).

Advance practice registered nurses (APRNs) must hold at least a master’s degree in nursing. If you’re looking to get certified as a nurse practitioner (NP), make sure your practice area appears on the list of recognized specialties by the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN).

Oregon Nursing Organizations

Nursing students and working nurses in Oregon have many good reasons to consider joining professional nursing organizations in their state. Opportunities for continuing education, personal growth, networking and legislative lobbying are some of the benefits that nurses may find through organizations such as:

  • Oregon Nurses Association (ONA):

    Since its inception in 1904, the ONA’s mission has been to use its collective power to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. Member benefits include continuing education resources and discounted admission to the group’s annual conference and convention events.

  • Nurse Practitioners of Oregon (NPO):

    NPO has been around for over 100 years and strives to promote recognition of the nurse practitioner’s role by the public. It also provides a forum for the exchange of information and acts as a support system for nurse practitioners in Oregon.

  • Oregon Holistic Nurses Association (OHNA):

    OHNA is dedicated to creating an environment of collaborative opportunities that promote empowerment, support, self-care and education for holistic nurses. Members receive a biannual newsletter and access to personal and professional development opportunities.

Oregon-Specific Continuing Education

LPNs and RNs in Oregon must fulfill a one-time requirement of seven hours of pain management-related continuing education (CE). One of these seven hours must be a course provided by the Oregon Pain Management Commission, while the remaining hours can be spent studying a nurse’s choice of pain management topics.

NPs are required to complete 100 contact hours of CE and 45 hours of pharmacotherapeutic content if they have prescriptive authority. Visit the Oregon State Board of Nursing website for more information on CE requirements specific to the state.

Hospitals in Oregon

More RNs work in hospitals than any other occupational setting, so it can be helpful to have some information on medical centers where you might find employment after graduation. If you’re aware of the type and scope of nursing typically performed at a given hospital location, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision when it comes time to apply for jobs.

Here’s a quick rundown on some of the largest hospitals in Oregon:

  • Oregon Health & Science University Hospital (Portland): Oregon Health & Science University Hospital is the only academic health center in Oregon. The facility employs about 16,000 employees and secures competitive research funding of more than $400 million a year.
  • Providence Saint Vincent Medical Center (Portland): Providence Saint Vincent Medical Center is home to multiple Nursing Centers of Excellence, including the Providence Heart and Vascular Institute, the Providence Brain and Spine Institute, and the Providence Center for Health Care Ethics. It is also the only West Coast hospital to offer movable intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Legacy Emanuel Medical Center (Portland): Legacy Emanuel Medical Center was founded in 1912 and offers a wide range of specialized care services. Patients at Legacy Emanuel have access to wound care, emergency medicine, maternal fetal medicine, burn care, trauma care and more.
Sources & Methodology

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we gathered data for 6,758 United States institutions. We then filtered that list of schools by state and analyzed the data for each state with two different methodologies, in order to create two different lists: our undergraduate list, based on 11 ranking criteria, and our graduate list, based on 9 ranking criteria.

Final data for the 2016-17 school year was used for these rankings. Schools that did not provide data for all of the required ranking criteria were disqualified from that ranking.

The 11 criteria for the undergraduate school ranking were as follows:

  1. Number of associate- and bachelor’s-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of associate- and bachelor’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of associate- and bachelor’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Average amount of federal grant aid awarded to full-time first-time undergraduates
  8. Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
  9. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  10. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  11. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

The graduate school ranking scored schools based on 9 criteria, different from the undergraduate list. These 9 criteria were as follows:

  1. Number of master’s- and doctoral-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of master’s- and doctoral-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of master’s- and doctoral-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  8. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  9. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools’ tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

 

Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed January 2018, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • American Hospital Directory, Accessed September 2018, https://www.ahd.com/
  • The Nurse Practitioners of Oregon Hall of Fame, Nurse Practitioners of Oregon, Accessed September 2018, https://www.nursepractitionersoforegon.org/page/HallOfFame
  • Oregon State Board of Nursing, Oregon.gov, Accessed September 2018, Oregon Nurses Association, Accessed September 2018, https://www.oregonrn.org
  • Oregon Holistic Nurses Association, Accessed September 2018, http://www.oregonholisticnurses.org/
  • Oregon Health and Science University, Accessed September 2018, https://www.ohsu.edu/
  • Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Providence Health & Services, Accessed September 2018, https://oregon.providence.org/location-directory/p/providence-st-vincent-medical-center/
  • Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Legacy Health, Accessed September 2018, http://www.legacyhealth.org/locations/hospitals/legacy-emanuel-medical-center.aspx
  • RN/LPN Licensure Information, Oregon State Board of Nursing, Accessed December 2018, https://www.oregon.gov/OSBN/pages/rn-lpnlicensure.aspx
  • Advanced Practice Licensure, Oregon State Board of Nursing, Accessed December 2018, https://www.oregon.gov/OSBN/pages/advpraclicensure.aspx
  • ONA Member Benefits, Oregon Nurses Association, Accessed December 2018, https://www.oregonrn.org/page/7
  • Join Us, Oregon Holistic Nurses Association, Accessed December 2018, https://www.oregonholisticnurses.org/join-us/

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