Nurse practitioner (NP) students can explore many opportunities in Oregon. Oregon NPs can practice independently, unlike those in states that require supervision and collaboration with physicians. Oregon recognizes NPs as primary care providers and rewards their status as highly-trained practitioners with pay equaling that of physicians. Oregon NP salaries ranked 16th in 2018 among all U.S. states.
Like most of the U.S., Oregon faces a shortage of primary care providers. To combat this, the state offers incentives to students and practitioners who commit to working in the state's underserved areas, including loan forgiveness or repayment and rural professional liability insurance subsidies.
Read on to learn about the best nurse practitioner programs Oregon offers, how to become licensed in the state, and information about career paths and salaries. This page also offers resources for students and professionals, including two additional guides that detail how to become an NP by specialization and the different available specialty options.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in Oregon
NP programs in Oregon typically encompass two years of study at the master's level and three to four years at the doctoral level. Distance learning takes place through a hybrid delivery format, with web-based classes and monthly immersion weekends that students attend in person. Students also complete clinical hours in person -- at least four hours a week per credit for master's students and 1,000 hours to earn a doctor of nursing practice (DNP).
Graduate students choose their specialty areas right away and tailor their educational path accordingly. The Oregon licensing board recognizes specializations in acute care, adult care, adult-gerontology, family, geriatric care, neonatal, midwifery, pediatric care, psychiatric/mental health, and women's health.
Typical admissions requirements include:
Registered nurse (RN) license
Resume and/or letters of recommendation
Personal statement or essay
Specific prerequisite courses
The primary difference between a master's in nursing (MSN) and a DNP lies in the DNP's educational emphasis on leadership and training in higher-level care. A nationwide shift toward requiring a DNP to become licensed, along with Oregon's BSN-to-DNP programs, suggests that students should seriously consider earning their DNP over an MSN. Even students who do not hold a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) can pursue a DNP if they complete the prerequisite courses.
Oregon schools offer many educational pathways toward becoming an NP, including BSN-to-DNP bridge programs, BSN-to-MSN programs, and diverse specialty areas. Each program imposes individual admission requirements, so students should contact their potential colleges and universities for specifics.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Oregon
Oregon Nurse Practitioner Career Information
The table below displays the salaries and job growth projections for Oregon and other western states. Oregon's mean annual wages sit just below the national average and other neighboring states, except Idaho. Oregon's strong job growth projections equal that of California's.
Offices and clinics top the list of practice areas in Oregon, with 48.4% of the state's NPs employed in those settings. Family practice nurse practitioners (FNPs) rank as the top specialty, with 26.5% choosing this path. As such, FNP certification also ranks first, with 56% electing to earn this credential. Students can explore plenty of opportunities for specialization through NP programs in OR.
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Oregon and Nearby States
Submit the following to the nursing board: • Application and $150 application fee • Application for prescriptive authority and $75 fee, if desired • Official academic transcripts • National certification verification and fees • Fingerprints for criminal background check and $64.50 fee
APRN licenses expire every two years. Renewal requires 100 nursing board-approved continuing education contact hours per renewal period, including 15 hours in pharmacotherapeutic topics and 50 hours in the applicable specialization area. Current national certification can satisfy half of the continuing education requirement.
Other Requirements for Oregon Nurse Practitioners
Oregon recognizes several specialization areas, and various agencies confer certification depending on the specialty area. For example:
AANPCP credentials family and adult-gerontology primary care
AACN certifies adult-gerontology acute care
ANCC confers certification for adult-gerontology acute and primary care, family care, pediatric primary care, and psychiatric-mental health
NCC provides credentialing for neonatal and women's health-gender related care
PNCP offers pediatric primary and acute care certifications
To satisfy licensing renewal continuing education requirements, NPs can take online courses through organizations, such as NetCE, which is accredited by ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC and accepted by the Oregon nursing board. The board also accepts other ANCC-approved continuing education opportunity providers.
Oregon NPs who wish to prescribe drugs, devices, and controlled substances must apply for prescriptive authority by submitting an additional application to the nursing board concurrent with their APRN application. Approval grants the full independent authority to prescribe medications. Requirements include:
Graduate-level coursework in pathophysiology, pharmacology, and physical assessment
Clinical experience through: • an academic clinical practicum: • prescriptive authority in another state and 150 pharmacological practice hours in the prior two years; • 150 current clinical hours; or • 45 hours of pharmacology-related continuing education in the previous two years.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
Oregon does not participate in the reciprocal nursing license compact, but the state does offer options for NP applicants from other states.
Licensed nurses from other states who graduated from U.S. nursing schools can apply for licensure by endorsement. They need proof of completing 960 practice hours or their nursing degree in the previous five years. The next steps include a background check and submission of final transcripts and current license verification. Graduates of non-U.S. nursing programs must complete the additional step of board evaluation of their program to ensure they have completed an equivalent curriculum and preparation.
Practice and prescriptive authorities for NPs differ widely by jurisdiction, with some fully supervised and others fully independent. Students and licensure applicants should research state requirements carefully. Practice environments continue to evolve as advocates lobby to fill the primary healthcare gap, like Oregon has, with independent authority for NPs in their states.
Resources for Oregon Nurse Practitioners
Nurse Practitioners of Oregon This professional organization lobbies the state legislature for the protection and advancement of NPs and their patients. Members receive free and reduced-cost continuing education courses and conferences, networking opportunities, and access to a career center.
Oregon Center for Nursing This center provides research and collaborative resources for Oregon nurses at all levels to facilitate and support informed and prepared practitioners through events newsletters, news archives, and publications.
Oregon State Board of Nursing The licensing board for Oregon nurses offers a comprehensive compilation of information, FAQs, resources, and forms for nurses at all levels to understand and complete their educational and practice requirements.
Oregon Nurses Association ONA encourages students to join and benefit from the association's advocacy efforts, opportunities for continuing education and professional development, newsletters and communications, and scholarships. Practitioners receive additional benefits, including collective bargaining and leadership training.
Oregon Action Coalition The coalition works to advance the nursing profession and build collaborations among healthcare practitioners through workgroups, strategic initiatives, steering committees, and preparation for serving on health policy boards.