The American Nurses Association reports that registered nurses are near the top of the list when it comes to employment growth. However, with the increased number of people over the age of 65 and the recent reforms in healthcare, many more nurses are necessary. If you are thinking of expanding your nursing career by attending graduate school, this may be the right time. Not only can you experience a sense of satisfaction with the completion of a graduate degree, you can also look for new job opportunities and an increase in your professional nursing autonomy.
To find nursing schools in Oregon, review those listed below. You should be able to find RN to MSN programs and online MSN programs in Oregon, in addition to traditional MSN routes. Request information from all of the programs you are interested in to learn more.
The Board of Nursing in Oregon classifies nurses with master's degrees as Advanced Practice Nurses, which are officially recognized in three classes of APNs, including: nurse practitioners, CRNAs and CNS. A certified nurse midwife (CNMs) also falls into this classification. There are several excellent colleges and universities in Oregon where you can attend graduate school on campus or online.
The U.S. News & World Report lists the Oregon Health and Science University as one of the top universities for nurse midwifery, family nurse practitioner and their master in nursing program. In addition, they offer a nursing master's degree in Public Health and Nursing Education.
The criteria for application to the nursing graduate programs typically include:
- A completed application with a $70 application fee
- Must be eligible for or have an Oregon registered nursing license
- BSN from an accredited university with a GPA of 3.0
- Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are knowledgeable concerning your background and qualifications
- Completed a statistics course with a grade of "B" or better
- Official transcripts from all institutions you have attended
- GRE with a minimum score of 500 and each section, as well as, a minimal analytical writing score of 4.0, 144 on the quantitative section, 153 in the verbal section and a minimum analytical writing score of 4.0 to be competitive
- Written essay
- Resume or Vitae
Nurse practitioners for families, children or the elderly are becoming an integral part of the healthcare system, and an increasing number of nurses are choosing this option for their advanced education. In OR the FNP are critically important in the rural and underserved populations. It takes two years to complete this program. The Oregon State Board of Nursing requires 384 hours of RN experience for an FNP licensure, which does not include the practicum hours required for your degree.
The required 72 credit hour courses include:
- Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice: Roles and Ethics
- Health Assessment/Physical Diagnosis for Advance Practice Nursing
- Reproductive Health Care Management
- Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology I, II
- Family Primary Care Management I, II, III, IV
- Principles of Pharmacology in Proscribing for Advance Practice Registered Nurses
- Advanced Pharmacology for Primary Care
- Evaluating Evidence
- Health Promotion & Health Protection
- Practicum in Primary Care Management I, II, III, IV
- Procedures for Advanced Practice Nurses in Primary Care or Urgent and The merchant Rural Primary Care Management for Nurse Practitioners
- Practicum in Family Primary Care Management
- Antepartum/Postpartum Management for FNPs
- Concepts of Advanced Nursing Knowledge and Leadership
As a Family Nurse Practitioner you can receive a certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center after graduation. This certification examination is competency-based and considered to be a valid, reliable assessment of the entry-level clinical knowledge and skills of the nurse practitioner. There are several other types of credentials for MSN graduates. The cost for a member of the American Nurses Association is $270, and it is $395 for non-members.
As of May 2013 Family Nurse Practitioners in Oregon earned a mean annual income of $107,560 (BLS). Nurse midwives average $105,500, and nurse anesthetists average $157,070. Jobs in Oregon are plentiful and salaries are above average in the United States.
If you fall in a low income bracket and want to attend a university it is a good idea to visit the Financial Aid Office and fill out a FAFSA application, which is request for a federal grant. The Department of Health and Human Services also has loans for disadvantaged students with low interest rates, and Nurse Corps has a program for a nurse to work for two years in one of their facilities, which will pay off 60 percent of your unpaid nursing student loan.
There are also multiple scholarships available from private organizations, some universities and many hospitals will reimburse employees for tuition. Making a career choice to continue your education is not something you will regret. Multiple job opportunities may be available with higher salaries, and you will earn the respect of your peers.
Professional organizations for Oregon's MSN-prepared nurses include the Oregon Nurses Association, Northwest Organization of Nurse Executives, Nurse Practitioners of Oregon, Oregon Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the Oregon Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Association.
Some nursing schools in Oregon to consider for MSN programs include:
- Oregon Health & Science University. OSHU is home to several nationally recognized MSN programs. U.S News & World Report ranked OSHU's nurse midwifery program the best in the nation; the family nurse practitioner program ranked sixth, while the school's overall MSN programs ranked seventh. OSHU also has a 27-month nurse anesthesia program. A number of the school's programs are now available online, including MSN degrees in nurse education, public health and health systems/organizational leadership.
- University of Portland. The University of Portland is on the cutting edge of nurse education. The school recently began offering a Clinical Nurse Leader MSN degree. The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is a newly defined nursing role. CNLs oversee the care of a group of clients and revise care plans based on population data and outcomes. As of 2011, there were fewer than 2000 CNLs in practice in the US, but the CNL degree is expected to become the primary MSN degree as nurse practitioner programs gradually convert to doctoral-level programs.