As communities across the country confront nursing and physician shortages, more colleges and universities are finding new ways to address the demands of the health care marketplace. One of these innovative efforts is the direct entry master’s program, which allows you to launch a nursing career after graduating from college with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. These programs are good news not only for those who want to transition to a nursing career, but also for those who worry about the inadequate size of today’s nursing and primary care workforce.
To learn more about your options for accelerated MSN programs in Oregon, contact the schools you see on this site. You can request detailed program information to help you make a decision about which program may be right for you.
The fast-track nursing degree concept is catching on in many areas, including the state of Oregon. The acclaimed Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) is one of more than 70 nursing schools in about 30 states where you can enroll in direct entry or accelerated master’s programs. More programs are currently in the planning stages across the country, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
If you enjoy caring for others, a nursing career may be the perfect choice for you. Nursing allows you to use your academic training and clinical skills to benefit patients in a variety of settings, from hospitals to nursing homes to rehabilitation facilities. In Oregon, the nursing profession offers many other tangible rewards, including a very competitive pay rate. The average salary for a registered nurse in Oregon is $80,440 a year, which is about $11,000 higher than the national average. Oregon has the fifth-highest pay rate for registered nurses (RNs) in all 50 states, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As an Oregon nursing graduate, you also can expect to find a favorable state job climate. More than 28,000 RNs worked in Oregon in 2013 (BLS, 2013), and the number of jobs nationally is expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate in the coming years. About one-fourth of the state’s nurses are expected to retire within the next 10 years, creating steady demand for an influx of new health workers to fill those vacancies, according to a 2013 report.
In Oregon, you must have a license to practice as a RN or as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). The Oregon State Board of Nursing requires all state-licensed nurses to graduate from an approved nursing program and to pass the National Council Licensing Examination. If you hold a nursing license from another state, you can also qualify for a license by endorsement. For more information about the standards, visit the nursing board’s website.
The Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) School of Nursing is one of the nursing schools that offers direct entry master’s in nursing programs. The institution offers a dozen master’s programs, including several specialties open to students who earned an undergraduate degree in a non-nursing discipline. They include family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse, and nurse midwife.
To apply for admission, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, a 3.0 undergraduate grade-point average, certain minimum scores on the Graduate Record Examination, and three recommendation letters. You also must have finished one term of anatomy and physiology by the application deadline, and you must have a plan for completing other prerequisite classes. These include courses in nutrition, microbiology, genetics, and statistics.
The master’s in nursing direct-entry degrees can only be earned through full-time study. At first, you will take five consecutive terms of undergraduate classes to prepare for licensing as a RN and to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. After that, you will move into the graduate curriculum. The program is offered only at the school’s Portland campus, and it is not available online. The programs all require supervised clinical practice as well as academic coursework.
In addition to federal aid, more than 150 OHSU students received scholarships or loans to help with their nursing education in 2013. A variety of loan repayment programs are available to students who will make a commitment to work in certain nursing careers after graduation. In addition, the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship is designed to assist graduate students who are studying to become nurse midwifes or family, pediatric, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. The ACCESS grant also was set up to offer financial help to students who want to be primary care nurse practitioners. OHSU outlines some of your financial aid options at its website.
To learn more about your other options for earning an accelerated MSN degree in Oregon, contact the schools you find on this site. We are here to connect you with the nursing education resources you need to succeed in the profession.