Employers seek out nurses with BSNs because they receive the in-depth education that prepares them to take on leadership and managerial roles in a variety of healthcare settings. While more registered nurses in Oregon are getting their Bachelor of Science in Nursing, only about half of the state’s workforce has attained this education level. If you are a registered nurse and imagine yourself leading a team of nurses or even taking the lead in your patients’ nursing care, an RN to BSN program is probably in your future.
You can become a nursing leader through further nursing education and enhance your patient care through the research and evidence-based practices you’ll learn in an RN to BSN program. This guide answers some of the most common questions about RN to BSN programs in Oregon and highlights three top schools in the state that offer this degree bridge program.
Nursing School Spotlights: Best RN to BSN Programs in Oregon
This list of three top universities for Oregon RN to BSN programs was developed with affordability, academic excellence, flexibility, and student support in mind. All these programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and have proven track records of student success. Each program has an option to finish the degree in one calendar year, and they all offer flexible online options for working nurses.
Oregon registered nurses looking to earn a BSN degree have several excellent school choices, including the schools below. Discover what makes the RN to BSN degree programs so special at these schools and learn key details about the programs including major hours required, cost per credit hour, and NCLEX pass rates.
Oregon Health and Science University
Affordability, flexibility, and excellence landed Oregon Health and Science University at the top of our list. OHSU offers a flexible, fully online program for completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, where even the required clinical experiences can be completed online. Eight of the RN to BSN courses are certified by Quality Matters, an independent body that assesses the quality of online courses and programs. Instruction is primarily asynchronous and is designed to provide maximum flexibility for working nurses. The CCNE-accredited program can be completed on a four-term or seven-term schedule (about one year and two years, respectively).
Across the six physical school locations, NCLEX-RN first-time pass rates vary widely. In 2021, the pass rate varied from 64.29% to 95.45%, depending on location. Across all locations, the four-year average is an impressive 89.89%. Student RNs who earned their associate degree from an approved Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE) partner school take 33 credit hours of nursing courses, and other students complete 39 credit hours.
OHSU is an affordable BSN option at $303 per credit hour at all locations. OHSU requires a minimum grade of C- in all nursing courses and an overall GPA of 3.0.
Linfield University offers a part-time, flexible online program accredited by the CCNE. In 12 months, RNs can complete their BSN fully online by taking 30 credit hours of nursing courses at Linfield. The courses are offered in 10-week terms and delivered entirely online. Each credit hour costs $495, and the program’s website states that the total cost of the 12-month program is $16,935. The courses offer flexible timelines to help working nurses balance school, work, and life.
In 2021, Linfield posted a first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate of 86.52%. The four-year running average is an impressive 89.58%. Applicants must have an unencumbered nursing license and a cumulative GPA of 2.75. Students are assigned an academic adviser to guide them through the degree, which is focused on building nursing leaders. Areas of emphasis include diversity, social justice, vulnerable populations, and multicultural awareness.
Another fully online option is Bushnell University’s CCNE-accredited RN to BSN program. Students take 30 credit hours of nursing coursework and complete project-based experiences in their home communities. Three start dates are offered each year: August, January, and May. Students enrolled full-time can complete the degree in 12 months, while those enrolled part-time can complete it in 20 months.
Bushnell accepts up to 94 transfer credit hours for free, offers a no-obligation transcript evaluation to prospective students, and provides free or low-cost options for testing out of some general education courses. The cost per credit hour is $495. Academic advisers are provided for each student to help students with their program of study, answer questions, and point students to campus resources available.
FAQs About RN to BSN Programs in Oregon
What will I learn in an RN to BSN program in Oregon?
Nursing schools in Oregon are focused on developing leaders in the field of nursing. Upon graduating from an Oregon RN to BSN program, you should expect to be prepared to take on leadership and decision-making roles within the nursing field. Look for programs that offer courses in nursing leadership. For example, OHSU offers three courses specified as nursing leadership. Issues of multicultural values, diversity and social justice are emphasized in the curricula to prepare nurses to serve a diverse population. Oregon schools also highly value effective communication with patients and collaboration with team members. Nurses in these programs advance in their understanding of evidence-based practice and how healthcare policies affect systems and nursing care.
How long is an RN to BSN program in Oregon?
Most RN to BSN programs in Oregon take between one to two years. This depends on enrollment status and varies by university. The shortest programs are 12 months, which usually encompasses three to four terms. These programs include OHSU, Linfield, Bushnell, and Walla Walla University. OHSU also offers a part-time enrollment option that takes around 20 months to complete.
How much do RN to BSN programs in Oregon cost?
The three programs featured above are some of the most affordable options for RN to BSN programs in Oregon. Walla Walla University also offers RN to BSN programs at a higher cost. In general, an RN to BSN program in Oregon will cost between $12,000-$20,000. Some schools assess fees for transfer credits, while others, such as Bushnell, accept transfer hours for free. Many schools offer scholarships to help offset costs, and grants may also be available for nurses.
RN to BSN
Total Credits: 30
RN to BSN
Total Credits: 36 quarter hours
$614/quarter credit (if enrolled in 16 hours)
Oregon Health and Science University
RNBS Completion – Online
Total Credits: 33-39
Can I get financial aid in Oregon to help pay for my RN to BSN program?
OHSU offers several different scholarships for nursing students, as well as specific grants, and Bushnell provides two types of scholarships for nursing students. The Oregon Nurses Association also provides foundation scholarships for nursing students in the state. Upon applying for the FAFSA, all Oregon students are automatically considered for an Oregon Opportunity Grant in addition to the needs-based Pell Grant. You can check out our financial aid guide for ideas about how to start your search for financial aid and our comprehensive guide for nursing scholarships to find scholarships that are available to a wide range of students.
What requirements do I need to meet to apply for admission to RN to BSN programs in Oregon?
Admission requirements vary from school to school. RN to BSN programs in Oregon look for students who have successfully completed their nursing coursework and general education courses. To apply to these programs, you must have the following:
- Unencumbered RN license issued by the state of Oregon
- Associate degree in nursing from an accredited institution
Some programs require the following:
- Minimum grade of C for all nursing courses
- Minimum GPA (ranging from 2.75+)
OHSU requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0, while Linfield requires a cumulative GPA of 2.75. Prerequisite course requirements vary widely by the university, but most include core coursework in nutrition, life science, social science, and some level of writing course.
What should I look for in a quality RN to BSN program in Oregon?
Accreditation and NCLEX-RN first-time pass rates are some of the best indicators of quality programs. Accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) are the standard accrediting bodies you should seek out. You also want to be sure that the program is approved by the Oregon Board of Nursing. You should also look at class or cohort sizes, course offerings, and graduate success rates.
Inside Look at Online RN to BSN Programs in Oregon
Online programs for BSN completion in Oregon are mostly asynchronous, except for clinical experiences. Some clinical experiences are offered online, but these occur synchronously. OHSU and Linfield’s programs feature this type of virtual experiential learning. Other programs, like Bushnell’s, deliver theory courses asynchronously and require students to complete in-person clinical hours in their local communities. The ample flexibility offered by these online programs is a huge benefit, but it can be challenging to prioritize coursework while also working as a nurse. Walla Walla University does not offer an online RN to BSN program but instead requires students to attend in person at their Portland campus. Check out our main page on online RN to BSN programs for more information on programs outside of Oregon.
What Is the Path to Becoming an RN with a BSN Degree in Oregon?
The minimum requirements for becoming an RN with a BSN in Oregon are:
- Graduating from a BSN program approved by the Oregon State Board of Nursing
- Scheduling and studying for the NCLEX-RN exam
- Passing the NCLEX-RN exam.
- Applying for a nursing license through the Oregon State Board of Nursing
RN to BSN Career Outlook for Oregon
Before investing in a BSN program, you probably want to know how it will benefit you in the long run. The additional education you get in a BSN program will help improve your patient care outcomes and prepare you to lead on the nursing floor. The BSN degree can also bring you a higher salary and a bright career outlook. Answers to these frequently asked questions will help you understand the impact a bachelor’s in nursing could have on your career and finances.
How much more can I make going from an RN to BSN in Oregon?
The move from RN to BSN in Oregon could significantly impact your salary. As of September 2022, the average salary for RNs in Oregon was $79,549, compared to an average of $90,614 for nurses with BSN degrees. The national average for RNs is $76,289 per year, and the national average for BSNs is $99,287.
Earning a BSN degree is an upfront investment that pays more the earlier you earn the degree. Depending on where you live in the state, your earning potential may be even higher than the median numbers indicate. Nurses with BSNs working in the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro area earn a median salary of $101,570, and the highest earners in all regions except Salem earn over 127,000 a year.
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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021
What is the job market like for registered nurses with a BSN in Oregon?
Projection Managing Partnership (PMP) predicts that the nursing field in Oregon will grow by 12.1% from 2020 to 2030 while short-term growth from 2021 to 2023 is expected at 3.2%. O*Net gives the field of registered nurses a rating of “Bright Outlook” based upon predictions of faster-than-average growth in the field. PMP reports 2,760 average job openings per year in Oregon for registered nurses.