The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a 2010 report, “The Future of Nursing,” which calls for a more highly educated nursing workforce, stating “the ways in which nurses were educated during the 20th century are no longer adequate for dealing with the realities of health care in the 21st century.” The expanding health care needs of the 21st century call for leadership, system improvement, research, and evidence-based practice, among other things. For nurses to respond to these needs, they must be baccalaureate educated, at minimum.
In response to the IOM’s “Future of Nursing” report, the Oregon Action Coalition was formed in May 2012. This Coalition, which includes organizations such as the Oregon Center for Nursing, the Oregon Nurses Association, and the Oregon State Board of Nursing, works to address the nursing education issues cited by the IOM.
The Oregon Nursing Faculty Workforce report describes many of the innovations in Oregon’s nursing education practices since 2009, which include the creation of the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE). The OCNE has brought together many different nursing schools throughout Oregon, creating a shared curriculum that will allow RNs to move easily from one nursing program to another. In this way, RNs who have completed their Associate Degree in Nursing in their local community can continue their education, earning a BSN through online, distance-delivered coursework. The Oregon State Board of Nursing supports this vision, restructuring its educational processes to allow streamlined, online education, while maintaining the integrity and high standards of the Board’s educational rules.
With baccalaureate-level education, Oregon RNs are prepared to respond to the needs in nursing leadership, management, research, and education, ensuring high quality nursing for years to come. To help Oregon RNs achieve higher education, the Oregon Nursing Association offers scholarships to members looking to return to school. Many local hospitals are also offering staff RNs tuition assistance, allowing them to enroll in online RN to BSN program while on the job.
Oregon’s RN to BSN Programs
RN to BSN programs in Oregon are created for working RNs who want to achieve their educational goals, all while keeping a strong balance between work, school, and family. Wherever RNs live, they may achieve these goals from the comfort of their own home, on their own time, through online classes.
To enroll in an Oregon RN to BSN program, RNs will need to meet the following, minimum admissions criteria:
- Hold an Oregon, Unencumbered RN License
- Hold a 2.75 GPA in ADN Prerequisites
In addition to the many online programs available, campus-based programs are located throughout Oregon in the following locations:
- Klamath Falls
- La Grande
What to Expect from Oregon’s RN to BSN Programs
RN to BSN programs in Oregon will allow RNs to transfer in most ADN prerequisites, generally not to exceed a maximum of 72 credit hours. After transferring in the nursing prerequisites, RN to BSN programs in Oregon will consist of two dimensions: general, liberal arts courses and baccalaureate-level nursing courses. The baccalaureate-level nursing courses that RNs will be able to complete include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Transition to Professional Nursing
- Professional Communication in Healthcare
- Evidence-based Nursing
- Population-based Nursing
- Nursing Leadership
- Integrated Experiential Learning
- Health Passport Requirements (Clinical Hours)
The Oregon Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) is committed to creating innovative strategies to assist RNs finding close to home, quality, and stable clinical experiences. To do this, the DEU transform existing hospital units into clinical environments for nursing students, staff, and patients, integrating clinical learning and care delivery. A few partner medical institutes and hospitals in Oregon include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Providence Portland Medical Center
- Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
- Portland VA Medial Center
Finally, RN to BSN programs in Oregon are designed to provide seamless entrance into Oregon’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs for those RNs interested in pursuing advanced practice licensure.
A Supportive Environment for RNs Entering RN-BSN Programs
Many Oregon hospitals are responding favorable to the IOM report, setting in place financial assistance for employed RNs to return to school. Just a few examples of the many Oregon hospitals with financial assistance programs are listed as follows.
Salem Hospital – Salem
Salem Health hospitals are located in the Mid-Willamette Valley, near Portland and Eugene. Salem Health Hospital RNs are able to work across diverse healthcare fields, including maternal care, cardiac services, critical care, education, rehabilitation, and more. Voted as one of the “Top Work Places” in 2014 in the Oregonian, Salem Health offers incredible education assistance benefits, including tuition reimbursement, waiver opportunities, a Career Path Assistance Program, and an in-house education department.
Asante Ashland Community Hospital – Ashland
As the largest healthcare providers in the nine-county region of Southern Oregon and Northern California, Asante is known for having modern facilities, advanced technology, and commitment to community, all allowing Asante to provide the highest standards in healthcare. With highly competitive benefits, Asante Ashland Community Hospital offers both part- and full-time employees flexible schedules, education benefits, and opportunities for advancement.
Oregon Health and Science University Hospital – Portland
Ranked as the “Number One Hospital” in Oregon by the U.S. News and World Report, this Magnet Recognized hospital is known for its expertise in clinical nursing care. As Oregon’s only academic health center, Oregon Health and Science University Hospital is dedicated to top-of-the-line education opportunities for employees, including tuition benefits, professional development reimbursement, and more.
Providence Health Services – Portland
One such Oregon hospital is Providence Health Services, which is a not-for-profit organization with over 71,000 employees working in over 33 hospitals. This hospital has received HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence Award three years in a row, indicating that the hospital is in the top 5% of all hospitals in the nation regarding quality clinical care. To all employed RNs looking to enroll in higher education, Providence offers tuition assistance.
For a few more of Oregon’s top hospitals that offer tuition assistance to employed RNs, consider some of the following options:
- Providence Portland Medical Center – Portland
- Providence St. Vincent Medical Center – Portland
- Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and Health Center- Portland