How to Become a Nurse in Oregon

Oregon nursing licenses are regulated by the Oregon Board of Nursing. Nursing represents the largest portion of the health care workers in Oregon, a state that expects to experience one of the largest nursing deficits in the country in the coming years. There is an expected 1.9 percent increase in the demand for nurses between 2015 and 2025. Long-term care is expected to create the greatest demand for nurses by the year 2025. Nurses in Oregon average $42 an hour or over $80,000 annually, making them some of the highest paid nurses in the country. There are numerous high-quality nursing schools in Oregon that offer various nursing degrees for students to pursue. Learn more about Oregon licensing requirements for CNAs, LPNs, RNs, and APRNs below.

How to Get Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification in Oregon

To become certified in Oregon as a CNA, applicants must pay a $106 application fee as well an additional $64.50 fee to complete the fingerprinting process. Oregon CNA certification applicants must complete a board-approved level one nursing assistant training within two years of the application date. In order to be certified, first-time CNAs must pass the state’s CNA certification exam.

There are two types of CNA certification in Oregon: CNA 1 and CNA 2. CNA 2 builds upon the CNA 1 knowledge base to provide additional skills and knowledge for CNAs looking to advance in their careers. The CNA 2 program requires an additional 60 hours of classroom and lab time and 28 hours of clinical time. In order to become a CNA 2, you will need to first become certified as a CNA 1 in Oregon. CNAs with a CNA 2 certification could expect a slight increase in pay and have an easier time finding work given the increase in knowledge and training.

Those who hold CNA 1 certification cannot work in hospitals. Only those with CNA 2 certification are permitted to work in hospitals in Oregon. CNA certification license renewal is due every two years.

How to Get a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) License in Oregon

To become an LPN in Oregon, applicants must complete an approved LPN training program and pass the NCLEX-PN exam. LPN licensure applicants must apply to take the NCLEX within three years of their graduation date from an approved LPN program and must submit an application, pass a background check, and register for the NCLEX-PN.The application costs $169, with an additional fee of $64.50 for fingerprinting and background checks. Once the application to take the NCLEX is approved, applicants may sit the exam. Aspiring LPNs will receive an LPN license upon achieving a passing score on the NCLEX and being approved for licensure by the board.

Oregon LPN licenses are good for two years and expire on the licensee’s birthday. Licensure must be renewed before this date to avoid a $100 late fee. Renewal years are based on the licensee’s birthday. Individuals born on an odd-numbered year renew on their date of birth in odd-numbered years, while even-numbered dates of birth renew in even-numbered years.

How to Get a Registered Nurse (RN) License in Oregon

Prospective RNs in Oregon must graduate with an associate or bachelor’s degree from an approved RN program and must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to earn an RN license. To take the NCLEX, applicants will need to apply to the Oregon Board of Nursing for permission to take the exam. RN-hopefuls will need to pay $169 as part of the application process, plus a $64.50 fee for fingerprinting and background checks. Applicants must complete an application, background check, and register with Pearson Vue for the NCLEX-RN. Applicants can then take the NCLEX when their application for examination is approved by the board. After passing the NCLEX-RN and being approved for licensure by the board, an applicant will receive an Oregon RN license.

RN nursing licenses are good for two years and expire on the licensee’s birthday. Licensure must be renewed before this date to avoid a $100 late fee. Renewal years are based on the license holder's year of birth (odd or even). Individuals born on an odd-numbered year renew on their date of birth on odd-numbered years and vice versa.

How to Get an Advanced Practice Nurse (APRN) License in Oregon

The Oregon State Board of Nursing awards three different types of APRN licenses: nurse practitioner (NP), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and clinical nurse specialist (CNS). In order to obtain one of these licenses, applicants must already have an RN license in Oregon. In addition, advanced practice nurses must have completed at least a master’s degree in their chosen specialty (NP, CRNA, or CNS). Official transcripts from an approved advanced practice program must be sent to the Oregon State Board as part of the application process. Applicants must also hold a certification from a national accrediting body in their specialty. To apply for a CNS, CRNA, or NP license, candidates must fill out an application, pay the application fees, and pass a fingerprinting and background check. Oregon nursing license applicants seeking an advanced practice nurse license are required to pay a $150 application fee, $75 prescriptive authority fee, $64.50 fingerprint and background check fee, and $9 surcharge.