Oregon career opportunities for nursing students are vast, that is if you can get into a program and get graduated with a degree. Like various other states, Oregon fights perpetual problems: too few nursing school programs to accommodate the growing interest, too few nursing faculty to teach those interested, not to mention the hundreds of nurses nearing retirement age. Given recent economic recession, though, the original projections that showed nurses retiring by the droves are likely not going to come to light—many are keeping their jobs or even returning to nursing work.
In 2008, the Oregon Health Career Center launched a new nurse education program that does something innovative: trains motivated hospital employees to be nurses. Eligible candidates must juggle work AND nursing studies simultaneously, but each hospital foots the bill for tuition and in return gets nurse-employees ready to hit the ground running.
Nurses cluster heavily in jobs and schools in metro areas and big hospitals. In Oregon that would be in Portland metro where there are a couple major nursing programs—OHSU and Portland Community College—as well as a couple major hospitals.
OHSU is a Level 1 Trauma Center, a major medical teaching hospital, AND a Children’s hospital. Thousands of nurses of all types come to work and live here. Staff that cannot be resourced locally can certainly be lured from outside the area and outside Oregon. Travel nurses often make OHSU a stop—if they can stand the rainy season.
But what about the rest of the state—the predominantly small and often rural communities in Oregon? Because rural healthcare is a major issue, it has become an alternative aspect of some nursing school curriculums. What better way to interest nursing students in rural nursing than to engage them on targeted coursework that deals with those unique challenges. For example, the Rural Nurse Internship (RNI) is a distance education program offered in Oregon and other predominantly Northwestern states.
The Oregon State Board of Nursing is the primary agency that directs nursing practice in the state. Use this resource when you need information related to: