Oregon is one of the U.S. states that comprise the Pacific Northwest region. Its incredibly diverse landscape—which includes volcanoes, mountain ranges, desert, different types of forest and the Pacific coastline—makes it a choice area for camping and hiking. Oregon became the Union’s 33rd state on Valentine’s Day, 1859. Its capital city is Salem and its largest and most famous city is Portland. As of 2012, Oregon’s population is estimated at 4 million. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oregon’s unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in December 2012, making it the 13th highest in the U.S.
Nursing Education in Oregon
In light of an ailing economy, Oregon is struggling with meeting its nursing needs, even with its N2K Nursing Education Program. With this program, participating hospitals pay students’ tuition at nursing schools in Oregon in exchange for their agreement to work as nurses for such employers for a certain period of time.
As of 2012, there are 25 Oregon Nursing Schools. Some of them offer an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), the minimum educational requirement for becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). Such nursing schools in Oregon include Oregon Coast Community College, Chemeketa Community College, Portland Community College and Blue Mountain Community College.
The University of Portland (UP), however, is the most prominent of all the Oregon Nursing Schools. Located in Portland, it offers a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) for aspiring RNs or RNs with an ASN. (The latter can enroll in an accelerated RN-to-BSN program). UP, along with another Portland-based institution named the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), offers a Master of Science in Nursing degree for RNs who wish to graduate to the level of Clinical Nurse Leaders.
Career Outlook for Nursing in Oregon
According to the DOL, Oregon RNs made a yearly annual salary of $77,700 in 2011. This surpasses the national median of $66,000 that same year. Also, the DOL expects a 22 percent increase in RN jobs in Oregon—1,270 in total—between 2008 and 2018.
OHSU provides one of Oregon’s employers of nurses with the Oregon Health & Science University Hospital. Other major employers of nurses in Oregon include Legacy Emanuel Hospital & Health Center, Providence Portland Medical Center, Providence Saint Vincent Medical Center and Salem Hospital.
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