Your experience and education in the nursing field may make you a valuable part of your local nursing community. This is particularly true as of late, when Oregon nursing homes have been caught overstating their nurse staffing levels. You are in a unique position to positively change the field of nursing and influence health care policy as a nurse. By completing an RN-to-MSN program in Oregon, you can spend three years studying a specialized field of nursing and prepare for an advanced career in your chosen specialty.
Continue reading to learn more about bridge programs, and contact schools in your area to find out the specific information you need to make the best decision.
Getting an MSN is a challenging educational endeavor that can yield many professional results. Once you earn this degree, you will likely be expected to act as a leader and representative of the nursing field. Due to this, RN-to-MSN programs in Oregon want to ensure that you're a good fit for this rigorous program! You may need extensive nursing experience that adds up to at least one full year of work experience. Through essays and your application, you may have to prove your dedication to the field of advanced nursing practice.
There are many topics explored in the curriculum of an RN-to-MSN program. As you begin the program, you cover core ideas like nursing leadership, policy in health care and nursing, expectations in advanced practice, and collaboration with health care professionals. You may also touch on specialty fields like psychiatric or mental health nursing, obstetric nursing, and gerontological nursing care.
After you have finished your core courses, you start a mix of classroom and clinical courses that give you experience in your chosen specialty. You may get 600 or more clinical hours over the course of about two years. Courses that may be required in an RN-to-MSN program include Advanced Practice Nursing Skills, Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacology, and Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing.
Oregon is home to many organizations, employers, and government agencies that fund financial aid programs for nursing graduate students. The Oregon Student Nurses' Association notes that there are many employer-specific, school-specific and national scholarships that are open to Oregon students. Through the Oregon Eldercare Support Foundation, students who are interested in gerontological nursing can apply for the Wendell White Scholarship, the Margaret Murphy Carley Scholarship for Nursing Education, and the Pinnacle Quality Insight Scholarship. Scholarships offered by the Oregon Nurses Foundation include the Centennial Scholarship, the Smith Scholarship, and the NPO Nanette Clapper Memorial Scholarship.
Once you finish your MSN, you still have a bit more work to do before you can begin practicing in an advanced care setting. Per the Oregon State Board of Nursing, you have to apply for advanced certification with your RN license. The following specialties require advanced licensure: nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, nurse anesthetist, and clinical nurse specialist. They require proof of your graduation from an NLNAC-accredited or CCNE-accredited program as well as a copy of your transcript.
As is the case throughout much of the country, the job outlook for different nursing specialties is very positive in Oregon. O*Net anticipates a 19 percent increase in jobs for nurse managers through 2022. They expect the largest increase in job openings for nurse practitioners, for whom they expect a 27 percent increase in jobs (O*Net, 2012).
You may earn a wide range of salaries as an advanced nursing professional in Oregon, depending on your experience and where you choose to work. Nurse instructors tend to earn slightly less than other advanced nursing professionals; their average salary is $61,800 per year (O*Net, 2013). Those who go into nurse anesthesia may have the greatest earning potential. O*Net reports an average salary of $151,600 per year in this field.
Job outlook and salary ranges aside, an MSN can be extremely personally rewarding. Not only do you know that your career is making a major difference in health care, you can work every day to further the interests of your patients. By choosing the right specialty for your interests and career goals, you may find the career you've always wanted.
Request information to learn more about your opportunities to further your career in nursing with Bridge Programs in the Oregon area.