If you are seeking a career in nursing, Oregon can be a great place to work. Oregon is a unique spot with its nature trails, all year temperate weather, and high pay which makes it a desirable place to live. Whether you are just starting out or looking to further build in your career, Oregon hospitals and clinics have plenty to offer!
Oregon Nursing Salary Breakdown
A registered nurse working in Oregon makes on average $98,630 per year. That is 19% higher than the national average for registered nurses and comes out to around $47.42 per hour. While Oregon nurses have a higher-than-average wage, the cost of living in Oregon is also higher than in most states. The typical living cost in Oregon comes out to around $96,130 a year. May be wise to shop around for the highest hourly rate paired with decent living costs!
This chart gives a pretty great breakdown of what you can expect to pay living here across a number of categories. Before taking a new job or nursing contract, be sure you've factored in the cost of living into your decision to avoid unexpected bills!
It is also important to note this salary is not equal across all cities in Oregon and what you get paid as a registered nurse can vary from $76,180 all the way up to $127,680 per year depending on what city you live, what hospital you work at, and your role at the hospital.
We've put together a salary breakdown by city to provide a bit more clarity on what you can expect to take home where you end up working:
Hillsboro, OR - $101,710 per year or about $48.90 per hour
Eugene, OR - $97,330 per year or about $46.79 per hour
Medford, OR - $95,020 per year or about $45.69 per hour
Albany, OR - $94,820 per year or about $45.59 per hour
Grants Pass, OR - $92,400 per year or about $44.42 per hour
Portland, OR - $87,880 per year or about $43.94 per hour
Best Hospitals for Nurses in Oregon
With nearly 70 hospitals across the state it can be difficult to choose the best employer for you and your family, but we've done exactly that. Each hospital listed below is highly rated by nurses based on working conditions, nursing opportunities, and patient care standards.
Average salary of $92,888 per year
Providence Portland Medical Center
Average salary of $106,429 per year
Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
Average salary of $106,429 per year
Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center
Average salary of $112,567 per year
Average salary of $95,645 per year
Continuing Education for Oregon Nurses
There are a couple factors at play when figuring out required continue education to maintain your nursing license. A board approved refresher course is required by every nurse renewing their license. The two CEU's required for everyone are the cultural competency course and the pain management course, both which can be found on the Oregon State Board of nursing website. Luckily, if you have 400 nursing practice hours within a two year period no additional CEU's are required at the time of renewing your license.
Oregon requirements can become quite confusing. The simplest way to figure your requirements is to calculate your number of hours worked over a period of two, three, or more years then compare to Oregon's requirement list.
Registered Nurse requirements:
However, If you have less than 600 nurse practicing hours for a span of three years, 20 hours of CEU's are required.
If less than 800 hours within a span of four years, 30 hours of CEU's are required.
If less than 960 nurse practice hours within a span of five years then you must reapply fully to regain licensure in Oregon.
Licensed Practical Nurse requirements:
License renewal is also every two years. If you have 400 working hours for the previous two years, only the two CEU's are required (pain management and cultural competency)
If you have less than 600 working hours for the previous three years then 20 hours of CEU's are required prior to license renewal.
If you have less than 800 hours for the previous 4 years then 30 hours of CEU's are required.
If you have less than 960 hours for the previous five years then you must apply for reentry completely.
(Note that these are requirements only listed on the Oregon Board of Nursing. Your hospital may have more requirements and it is best to ask upon being hired!)
Oregon Nursing License
Below will be step by step instructions for nursing students on how to apply for your nursing license specifically. If you currently do not hold a nursing license and want to learn how to obtain one then keep reading!
How to get your Oregon Nursing License
After you have made it through nursing school, earned your degree (associate's degree or bachelor's degree), and passed the NCLEX exam ($200 fee), the final steps to get your nursing license is quite simple! There's only a few things you need to do in order to start working in Oregon.
Step 1 - Apply
The state of Oregon has an online licensing portal where you need to create an account. From there, you must input your information. The board of nursing will verify your social security number and accept your application. After these steps are completed you must complete the pain management and cultural competence courses. Both of these modules will take you a couple hours to finish, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time. There is also an additional $160 fee to apply for licensure.
Step 2 - Submit your nursing school transcripts
Whenever you finish and graduate from an accredited nursing program your transcripts can be sent specifically to one state. Graduating from a school in Oregon, your school will automatically send your transcripts electronically to the Oregon board of nursing unless you specify otherwise. If you need additional transcripts sent, follow up with your school and their process. Typically, there are additional fees for sending more than one transcript.
Step 3 - Submit your Background Check
Final step in the licensing process! After your application is submitted you will be sent an email from the board of nursing with instructions on how to complete your background check. First you will need to make sure you get finger prints sent. Getting finger prints done will cost around $70 to do. You will be able to schedule an appointment on the Oregon state board of nursing website after receiving the email.
After the fingerprints are completed and sent into the database a more thorough background check will be performed. Be sure to give yourself enough time to get these done and sent in, the sooner the better since the process can be kind of lengthy.
RN License by Endorsement application online
This process is for a registered nurse who already has their license. Oregon was requiring 400 hours of working practice hours (or two years as a full time working nurse) however, since the COVID pandemic these requirements may have changed. Be sure to reach out to the state board of nursing with any questions you may have when applying.
Step 1 - Send Transcripts
First step in the application process is sending your official transcript to the Oregon state board of nursing. Request your nursing school to send your transcripts via electronically (firstname.lastname@example.org) or mail (mailing address below). The sooner this is done the faster you will be licensed to practice. Oregon accepts bachelor's or associate programs degree nurses.
Oregon State Board of Nursing 17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd. Portland, OR 97224
Step 2 - Final step!
Next, you will verify passing the NCLEX exam and license number associated with your state via NURSYS. Oregon accepts NURSYS, or if your state does not participate you will have your licensure information sent directly to the state board of nursing.
There are two CEU's required to gain Oregon rn licensure, and that is the cultural competency and the pain management. Both can be found through the state board of nursing website and take a few hours to complete.
While you complete the two first steps, set up an appointment to get your fingerprint card. Fingerprints are required to be done through Fieldprint Inc. There is a Fieldprint in every state, but they do not take walk-ins you must have an appointment.
Go to Fieldprint link to set up an appointment. Create a new user account, or if you already have one login and follow the prompts.
How to Renew your Oregon License
Oregon is unique, when renewing your license it will always be due the month you were born. If you were born in an odd year you will have to renew every odd year. If you were born in an even year, then you will renew every even year. For example, I was born May 1997. So I will renew my Oregon licensure in 05/2023. There is a $145 fee to renew your rn license. Be sure to renew on time, there will be late fees applied if you renew your license late. There is no grace period in Oregon.
Step 1 - Be aware of Important Deadlines
When you assume your Oregon nursing licensure be sure to know when you will have to renew. The easy part is that your renewal will always be required on your birthday. An Oregon nursing license is good for two years before renewal is required. The only time this is not the case is if you receive your license and your associated birth year is the following year. An example of this is say you are born on an even year. You apply and receive your nursing license in 2021, in 2022 you will have to renew your license again if you'd like to keep your licensure in Oregon. Then, after that you will wait to renew your license for two years. While it may be a pain, its worth it if you like to live in Oregon! Having all these deadlines in mind can take away significant stress when having to renew.
Complete the two required CEU's (pain management and cultural competency) prior to the renewal date as well.
Step 2 - Renewal Application (Final Step!)
A couple months prior to your renewal you should receive an email from the state board of nursing with a personalized code and pin to login on their site and renew. The link to renew will also be in the email. From there, follow the prompts listed on the website. Pay the fee and you should be in good standing for the next two years!
License Fees for First Time Nurses
There are a number of fees due when applying for a brand new nursing license. RN programs are good about telling new graduates prior to graduation so you have plenty of time to save up. The rn license requirements include a $160 fee to apply. To test for the NCLEX there is a $200 fee. Fingerprints are around $70 to get as well.
License Fees when Moving to Oregon
When you are moving to Oregon from any other state there is a fee of $145 to apply for licensure. Fingerprints will need to be done as well, which is a $70 fee. Official transcripts will need to be sent from your nursing program (all schools and all transcripts!) which vary per school.
Oregon Nursing FAQs
Is there a Nursing Shortage in Oregon?
Absolutely, yes! The nursing shortage can be felt in hospitals clear across the US. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic only worsened the shortage issues and this includes the state of Oregon. While most of the data for the staffing issues are anecdotal evidence, there are a few numbers to back up this claim. In 2020 11% of nurses claimed to be looking into different career opportunities and had strong feelings to leave bedside nursing altogether. In 2021 a whopping 30% of nurses said to have strong feelings to leave the bedside. Read more about the nursing shortage crisis in our article Nursing Shortage Across America.
What Kind of Nurses get Paid the Most?
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist get paid the most compared to any other kind of nursing field. With an average salary of $225,560 per year or $108.44 per hour. That is around 11% higher than the national average for their career.
What City in Oregon Pays Nurses the Most?
Hillsboro, OR pays registered nurses the most compared to any other city in the state. Hillsboro rn average salary is around $101,710 per year. That is 22% higher than the national average for rn salary in the United States. Hillsboro is also a short drive to and from Portland, making traveling easy. Definitely a place to look into if you are interested in living in Oregon!
What is the Average Salary for Nurses in Oregon?
A registered nurse working in Oregon makes on average $98,630 per year. That is 19% higher than the national average for registered nurses and comes out to around $47.42 per hour. While Oregon nurses have a higher-than-average wage, the cost of living in Oregon is also higher than in most states. The typical cost of living in Oregon comes out to around $96,130 a year.
How much does a new RN make in Oregon?
A new graduate rn can make around $59,966 and $76,418 per year once graduated from a nursing program. Take into account location, the living costs, the type of specialty, and the level of education you have as a new graduate.
Do Oregon Nurses need to complete continuing education?
Oregon nurses do need to complete continuing education. Depending on if you are a new graduate nurse or renewing your rn license depends on CEU requirements. Full time rn's renewing their license have to complete two CEU's required by the board of nursing. This is the pain management course and the cultural competency course. Both of these will take you a few hours to complete.
How many continuing education hours do nurses need in Oregon?
Luckily, if you have 400 nursing practice hours within a two year period no additional CEU's are required at the time of renewing your license. Only two CEU's will be required at the time of license renewal.
How do I renew my Nursing license in Oregon?
A couple months prior to your renewal date the state board of nursing will send you an email. The email will have all of the details and requirements needed to renew your rn license. You will need to complete a couple CEU's required for every nurse in the state of Oregon. There is also a $145 fee to renew your licensure.
The Oregon Board of Nursing is in charge of creating and enforcing rules regarding nursing licensure in the state. The board's website also offers helpful information about renewal, educational requirements, and the state's nursing workforce.
This association offers a variety of resources for prospective nurse practitioners. Members can access a job board, attend an annual conference, and take advantage of continuing education opportunities.