Oregon RN to BSN Programs

Oregon RNs have a unique advantage in their state. With one of the lowest rates of medical school graduates in the country, the need for new nursing graduates is an obvious issue that employers are constantly trying to overcome. While using the word “shortage” may not be fair, there is a need for RNs and those that hold a BSN command higher positions with more income than those without. To be clear, you do not need a BSN to become a RN. To enter a career as a registered nurse you simply need to pass the NCLEX, the licensing exam that allows you to become certified as a RN. What a BSN will do for you, though, is give you a deeper understanding of the career you are about to undertake and allow you to move up in your field much faster. In addition, if you desire to continue your education to a higher level at some point in your career, even if you don’t think you will want to right now, a BSN gives you a solid head start that will make that transition significantly easier and less time intensive.

Oregon only saw 101 medical school graduates in 2011. That includes all medical professions, so only an undisclosed portion of those graduates entered the field as nurses. The entire state only sees about 31,000 registered nurses currently employed (as of 2011) which means that there should be plenty of room for you to start making your living doing what you are in school for.

Employment and Income

Oregon RNs also enjoy a very high median income; nearly $80,000 a year. This is an average of all RNs regardless of experience and education, so ensuring that you bring a higher degree, such as a BSN and some experience, with you when you start looking for employment will help you stay at or above that average income early in your career.

As you start to explore cities in which you are willing to relocate to for work, keep the following information in mind. Relative to population, Corvallis, Medford and Bend have the most RNs. On the other end of the spectrum, Salem, Portland and Eugene have the lowest amount of RNs working relative to population. You can also find the highest average income in Portland, Corvallis and Bend, so look for employers in the cities that meet your needs.

Cancer Center/OHSU Cancer in Portland, Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield, Samaritan Health Services in Corvallis, Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford and Peace Health Oregon Regional in Eugene are among the top 15 employers in the state regardless of industry. In addition, you should check for entry level, or associate’s level RN positions if you currently hold one, with these employers. Ask about any tuition assistance they may offer and let them know that you intend to earn a BSN, you may be surprised how much they are willing to help you get you degree you desire.


There are two key resources you should explore outside of employers when it comes to figuring out how you will pay for your education. The Oregon Nurses Association will offer a wide range of important resources that can help you make the most of your education and your career. With government relations, union, member services and practice and research assistance, you will have all the tools you need to be as successful as possible in your future through the ONA.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration promotes education in the nursing sciences to help overcome the growing need for qualified and talented RNs in the medical field. They do this through offering an array of scholarship and loan repayment programs that can help you cover the financial cost of your education and they make it easy to find the right assistance for your needs. Also look for scholarships, grants and loans that are unique to the colleges that you visit.


Oregon Health and Science University

OHSU is dedicated to excellence in nursing education through lifelong learning, compassionate high quality care of individuals and communities and a comprehensive pursuit of discovery and knowledge. The school’s faculty includes renowned scholars, educators and clinicians from around the world that are dedicated to these goals. A holistic and compassionate care of individuals and communities as well as the professional development of each member of the school within a nurturing environment drives the foundation of an important and well-designed education. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education as well as a number of other accreditation should make this school an obvious choice for a visit.

Oregon State Board of Nursing

If you want to look at a wide range of all the colleges, large and small, that offer an education in nursing in your state, the Oregon State Board of Nursing has a list of each for you. Spend some time looking at each school to see which ones make the most sense for your particular goals. You may find that the smallest, farthest away school gives you the exact education that you are looking for. You will find a list of numbers, locations and other relevant information that should make creating a short list of schools to visit and research very easy. In addition, you can look at schools based on the type of degree you are pursuing, such as looking at schools that offer Baccalaureate Degree Programs while cutting out the schools that do not offer the program.