The beautiful West Coast state of Oregon is one of the best places in the country to become a registered nurse. According to the Oregon Center for Nursing, in 2015, 80% of newly licensed nurses surveyed in the state were working, 76% found a job within 6 months of obtaining their RN license, and 78% submitted 20 or fewer applications to find a job. Aside from these stellar stats, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual salary for an Oregon registered nurse at $83,800, making it a gainful and lucrative career choice.

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ADN Programs in Oregon

An excellent first step to take if you are considering becoming a registered nurse is to look into an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN). This program lasts roughly 2 years, and is commonly offered at junior and technical colleges throughout the state. Once you complete an ADN program, you will be eligible to take the licensure exam to become a registered nurse.

With over 15 schools in the state offering an ADN program, finding one that suits your needs is a sure bet.

What to Look For in an ADN Program in Oregon

Choosing the right ADN program takes a little work. You'll want to fully explore any prospective schools and ensure that they have the following:


Proper accreditation is extremely important for any ADN program. You'll want to ensure that your school has received an endorsement from national organizations such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and/or the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). It's also crucial to check that a prospective program is approved locally by the Oregon Board of Nursing.


To become an RN, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) upon completion of your ADN. It's a good idea to check your school of choice's nursing curriculum to ensure that it will prepare you to pass the exam. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 87.8% of new nurse graduates in Oregon who took the NCLEX in 2015 received their licenses.

Program Outcomes

When comparing ADN programs, it's good to check program statistics as these are a good sign of the school's success. You'll want to look for things such as:

  • Graduation rate
  • Licensure exam pass rate
  • Graduate satisfaction
  • Employment rate

Sumner College in Portland, OR, is one example of a college offering an accredited ADN program in the state.

ADN Program Admission Requirements in Oregon

Program admissions requirements can vary, but you can assume that one or more of the following will be required for most programs:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Admission essay
  • Completed TEAS exam with overall score of 63% or higher
  • One letter of recommendation

Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in Oregon

There are a few things you'll need to keep in mind when considering the cost of an ADN program. Tuition is the main expense, and can vary from school to school. You'll also need to think about additional costs such as books, uniforms, and miscellaneous mandatory fees, which may or may not be included in your school's tuition price.

To give you a general idea about cost, the ADN program at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, OR, has an estimated program expense of $11,500-$13,800.

Advantages of ADN Programs

If cost, accessibility, and program length are important to you, an ADN is the perfect route to becoming a registered nurse. The short 2-year duration is desirable for many students who want to enter the working world sooner than if they'd gone through a 4-year program, and because the program is offered at many junior colleges, finding an accredited one in your area is usually quite easy. Lastly, the cost tends to be considerably less than longer nursing programs.

BSN Programs in Oregon

Those wanting more options in their nursing careers typically gravitate toward a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN). This traditional 4-year program is usually offered at larger universities, and is more in-depth than an ADN program. Graduates with BSN degrees go on to more advanced nursing positions and typically make a higher salary. There are also RN to BSN programs for licensed nurses who want to further their careers.

Over 10 schools throughout Oregon, many of them in the larger city of Portland, offer BSN programs.

What To Look For in a BSN Program in Oregon

You'll want to carefully research each BSN program you come across and ensure that it has proper accreditation, favorable program outcomes, and is in a desirable location. Cost is also a factor, as programs can vary drastically in price. If you are already a nurse, you'll want to see which schools offer specific RN to BSN programs, which are typically shorter than traditional BSN programs.

Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing, which has campuses in Portland and McMinnville, is one example of a school offering a properly accredited BSN program in the state.

BSN Program Length in Oregon

A traditional pre-licensure BSN program takes 4 years from start to finish. Some schools, however, offer accelerated BSN programs for those that already hold a bachelor's degree in another field. These accelerated programs can take as little as 16 months to complete. RN to BSN programs are also typically shorter, at roughly 2 years.

BSN Program Admission Requirements in Oregon

While each school will have their own admission requirements, here are a few examples of what to expect:

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • SAT critical reading and math scores of 940-1140, or ACT scores of 21-26
  • Completion of any and all pre-requisite courses

Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in Oregon

Understanding the cost components of a BSN program can make your head spin. The main expense you'll be faced with is tuition, coupled with additional mandatory costs including textbooks, lab fees, and more. In some instances, this is rolled into the cost of tuition; in others, these are all separate expenses. Do some research to compare program costs so you can be sure you're getting the full picture.

To provide an example, tuition for the BSN program at Oregon State University is estimated at roughly $9,122 per year, not including room and board, textbooks, or other fees.

Advantages of BSN Programs

The major advantage of getting a BSN is choice. Many of the more advanced nursing jobs require this degree, and these higher-level jobs usually come with a higher pay-scale as well. It's also a versatile degree; you can earn it straight out of high school through a traditional 4-year program, you can earn it even if you've already completed a different bachelor's degree through an accelerated program, and you can earn it if you're already a licensed nurse through an RN to BSN program.

MSN Programs in Oregon

A Master's of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) is a truly advanced nursing degree, for those wanting to reach the apex of a registered nursing career. An MSN can lead to jobs such as Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Practitioner, among other specialties. These advanced nursing jobs tend to pay much higher salaries as well.

There are over 20 MSN program options in the state of Oregon.

MSN Program Length in Oregon

An MSN takes roughly 2-3 years to complete from start to finish. Many MSN programs are designed to work around the schedules of busy working nurses, so things like night and online courses are the norm at many schools. If you have schedule requirements, it's a good idea to see what kinds of course options are available at any prospective school offering an MSN.

MSN Admission Requirements in Oregon

Program admission requirements may vary, so check with your school of choice. The following are common requirements:

  • BSN from an accredited institution
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • Completion of GRE
  • Personal Interview with faculty

Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in Oregon

MSN program costs can be all over the map. Be sure to do diligent research into what's included in a prospective school's tuition cost, as you will often be responsible for additional expenses like books and lab fees, among other items. For example, the Oregon Health and Science University's MSN with a Family Nurse Practitioner specialization will cost approximately $54,083.37 for in-state students.

Getting a Oregon Nursing License

Oregon State Board of Nursing has set-up criteria to meet and submit for licensure by examination or endorsement.

Licensure by examination requires an application, fees and the following information to be submitted:

  • Official sealed transcript - sent by School of Nursing to state Board
  • Passport photograph - 2" x 2", signed/notarized and dated
  • Registration for NCLEX - eventually obtaining a passing score
  • Fingerprint based criminal background check

Endorsement for licensure can be obtained by providing the following documentation:

  • Verification of Education - official transcript sent directly to the state Board via the institution
  • Verification of NCLEX examination
  • Verification of Licensure - either by request using forms in application or NURSYS (if applicable)
  • National Criminal Background Check

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Oregon

More nurses are taking the initiative to upgrade their degrees by either taking accelerated BSN/MSN programs or working while taking MSN bridge programs. Taking any of these programs can fast track your career and provide the opportunities you are looking toward. BSN accelerated programs are available at a couple of different colleges in Oregon and can be completed within 12 to 18 months, although this does vary depending on prerequisite courses required. Fees for these programs can be flexible in that they will vary depending on the number of prerequisite course required and any other housing accommodations that may be required.

Best RN Programs in Oregon


Selecting the best nursing school in Oregon can be difficult. To make the process easier first look for a school that supports students towards licensure and beyond. A great way to measure this is through NCLEX-RN "pass rates." We have ranked the top 10 nursing schools in Oregon by analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN "pass rates", meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, out of the 25 RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed include schools that offer an Associate in Nursing (ADN/ASN), BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree.

For more information on our top nursing school rankings, see our Methodology Page (

Note: At the time our analysis was conducted, 2014 was the most recent NCLEX-RN pass rates published by the state.


Clatsop Community College - Astoria

1651 Lexington Ave, Astoria, OR 97103 (503) 338-2411

Clatsop Community College - Astoria is dedicated to providing the best nursing program for their ASN students. Class sizes, rigorous curriculum and seasoned faculty will help prepare graduates to be the best in the field. Get all the program details by visiting the .

Score: 97.64| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Linn Benton Community College - Albany

6500 Pacific Blvd SW, Albany, OR 97321 (541) 917-4811

Curriculum that is current and on the leading edge of nursing is how students at Linn Benton Community College - Albany are prepared to graduate at the top of their field. Graduates are well prepared for the demands in nursing. Get all the program details by visiting the .

Score: 97.48| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Columbia Gorge Community College - The Dalles

400 E Scenic Dr, The Dalles, OR 97058 (541) 506-6000

Graduates from Columbia Gorge Community College - The Dalles Nursing Program are prepared for the demands in nursing through concepts of biopsychosocial and nursing practices, in both theoretical and clinical studies. High standards produce higher than average graduates from CGCC. Get all the program details by visiting the .

Score: 97.00| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Chemeketa Community College - Salem

4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, OR 97305 (503) 399-5000

Attending Chemeketa Community College - Salem campus; you will benefit from the holistic approach to nursing that is offered in their rigorous curriculum. Experienced faculty is prepared to lead graduates to the top of the nursing field. Visit the to learn more.

Score: 96.32| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Portland Community College - Portland

12000 SW 49th Ave, Portland, OR 97219 (971) 722-6111

ADN graduates from Portland Community College - Portland have the option of furthering their degree by transitioning to the BSN program. Upon graduation from the relationship-based practices are prepared to accept immediate employment opportunities. Visit the to learn more.

Score: 95.66| Programs: Associate in Nursing

OHSU - Portland - School of Nursing

3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd, Portland, OR 97239 (503) 494-7444

OHSU - Portland campus is located in the historic city of Portland, Oregon. OHSU School of Nursing is a leader in the area of nursing and healthcare. Curriculum that stems from innovation and discovery is what fuels graduates to the top of the class. Learn more by visiting the .

Score: 94.89| Programs: BSN

OHSU - Eastern Oregon University - La Grande

One University Boulevard, La Grande, OR 97850 (541) 962-3646

Located in La Grande, Oregon and flanked by Mount Emily in the Grande Ronde valley you will find OHSU - Eastern Oregon University - La Grande. The nursing program is a leader in the health care field, offering graduates an outstanding theoretical and practical experience. Visit the to learn more.

Score: 93.91| Programs: BSN

OHSU School of Nursing - Southern Oregon University - Ashland

1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 97520 (541) 552-6226

OHSU School of Nursing - Southern Oregon University - Ashland offers a BSN degree, as well as an accelerated BSN program. Class sizes are kept small for individualized teaching that makes graduates ready for the high demands of the health care field. Get all the program details by visiting the .

Score: 93.76| Programs: BSN

Mt. Hood Community College - Gresham

26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030 (503) 491-6422

Mt. Hood Community College is just 12 short miles outside downtown Portland, in Gresham. Modern facilities, theoretical and clinical methods, as well as being a leader in innovation are only a few of the attributes offered in the nursing programs. Check out the official .

Score: 93.33| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Blue Mountain Community College - Pendleton

2411 NW Carden Ave, Pendleton, OR 97801 (541) 276-1260

State-of-the-art simulation labs with computerized 'patients', rigorous theoretical practices and seasoned faculty will prepare graduates for immediate job placements. Blue Mountain Community College - Pendleton offers more than just a nursing program. Learn more by visiting the .

Score: 91.93| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Continued List of All RN Programs in Oregon

#11 Southwestern Oregon Community College - Coos Bay
1988 Newmark Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420
(541) 888-2525
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#12 Rogue Community College - Grants Pass
3345 Redwood Hwy, Grants Pass, OR 97527
(541) 956-7500
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#13 Walla Walla - Portland
204 South College Avenue, College Place, OR 99324
(800) 541-8900
Programs: BSN
#14 Lane Community College - Eugene
4000 E 30th Ave, Eugene, OR 97405
(541) 463-3000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#15 Oregon Coast Community College - Newport
400 SE College Way, Newport, OR 97366
(541) 265-2283
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#16 George Fox University - Newberg
414 N Meridian St, Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-8383
Programs: BSN
#17 OHSU - Monmouth
345 N. Monmouth Ave, Monmouth, OR 97361
(503) 838-8179
Programs: BSN
#18 Central Oregon Community College - Bend
2600 NW College Way, Bend, OR 97701
(541) 383-7700
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#19 Clackamas Community College - Oregon City
19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 594-0650
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#20 University of Portland
5000 N Willamette Blvd, Portland, OR 97203
(503) 943-8000
Programs: BSN
#21 OHSU - Oregon Tech - Klamath Falls
3201 Campus Dr, Klamath Falls, OR 97601
(541) 885-1665
Programs: BSN
#22 Concordia University - Portland
2811 NE Holman St, Portland, OR 97211
(503) 288-9371
Programs: BSN
#23 Umpqua Community College - Roseburg
1140 Umpqua College Rd, Roseburg, OR 97470
(541) 440-4600
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#24 Treasure Valley Community College - Ontario
650 College Blvd, Ontario, OR 97914
(541) 881-8822
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#25 Linfield College - Portland
2255 NW Northrup St, Portland, OR 97210
(503) 413-8481
Programs: BSN

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