How to Become a Registered Nurse in Oregon
The Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBON) regulates the field of nursing in the state and sets policies and implements regulations to maintain quality patient care through state of the art prepared nurses. The OBON also regulates nurse registration and maintains an up to date list of license information including renewals and disciplinary action taken on a license.
To become a registered nurse (RN) in Oregon candidates are required to complete an approved nursing program earning at least an Associate’s degree. The candidate must also pass the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). An Associate’s degree program takes two years to complete and includes class work and clinical training. RNs must be licensed to practice nursing in Oregon and considers nursing employment to begin upon orientation. It is important to note OSBON does not issue temporary nursing licenses. Practicing nursing or claiming to be an RN before being properly licensed will result in a hefty fine.
After the education requirements are met, the graduate must apply to take the NCLEX-RN. Applicants must apply to take the exam within three years of graduation. The application to test includes a criminal background check and fingerprint card and a 2”x2” passport type of photograph taken within 6 months of application for the exam. Applicants must also request the nursing school submit an official transcript to the OSBON. The applicant is also required to register with Pearson VUE Testing Services, the exam administrator. The Board will review the application to test and when approved, the applicant will receive an authorization to test (ATT) and be able to schedule the exam with Pearson VUE. The OSBON will notify applicants of pass or fail and issue an RN license if the applicant passes the exam. Exam results are available in an unofficial capacity from the Pearson VUE Quick Results web page for a fee within 48 hours of taking the exam. Applicants who do not pass the exam will have the opportunity to take the exam again after a 45 day waiting period.
RN licenses expire every two years on the license holder’s birthday of the odd year if born in an odd year or an even year if born in an even year. RNs will receive notification of renewal, via email, six to eight weeks before expiration. Not receiving such a reminder does not relieve the RN of the responsibility to renew. To renew a license RNs must meet one of the practice requirements and they are practice nursing for a minimum of 960 hours over the previous five years, complete an approved nursing reentry program within the previous two years or graduate from an approved nursing program within the previous five years. If a license is expired beyond 60 days, RNs will have to pursue the re-entry or reactivation process.
RNs are in demand and the opportunities will continue to grow, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at an aggressive rate through the year 2022. RNs will find employment in a variety of facilities and venues including educational and government facilities, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted care facilities, professional and amateur sports leagues, seasonal recreational and vacation venues, occupational healthcare centers, rehabilitative care centers, clinics, doctor’s offices, urgent care centers, visiting nurse and hospice organizations and temporary staffing agencies.
The average annual salary for an RN in Oregon is $75,000 and an entry level RN can expect to earn $48,000 annually. RNs in senior positions can top out a salary at $102,000. Senior RN positions include Director of Nursing, Nursing Administrators and unit managers. Senior positions are available to RNs with a certain number of years of experience and Bachelors or Masters Degree in nursing.
Nursing duties vary according to where employed, but typical RN duties include dispensing medication and monitoring reaction, preparing patient care and treatment plans, performing emergency procedures, monitoring vital signs, dressing wounds and changing dressings, coordinating care with other healthcare departments and supervising the nursing staff, including certified nursing assistants.
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