Last Updated/Verified: July 5, 2021
Nurses have received a lot of praise in media recently, and rightfully so. Nurses play an important role in society and are highly respected. Nursing is a worthwhile endeavor, and there are many paths to becoming a nurse. You can continue working, increase your income, and take steps toward your medical career by becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
Oregon LPN Quick Facts
- The average Oregon LPN wage is about $26.59/hour (according to Indeed.com)
- There are only eight LPN programs in Oregon.
- Programs range from one to two years in length.
- The LPN job outlook is bright with an 9% increase by 2029
- Travel nurse LPN jobs in Oregon pay as much as $1350 per week.
Oregon’s LPN programs are located in Portland, Salem, Bend, Eugene, Newport, and White City. Three of the eight programs offer LPN credentialling the first year and RN training the second.
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Overview of LPN Schools in Oregon
The Oregon State Board of Nursing has approved eight LPN programs. Each of these eight programs has unique features such as location, length, tuition, etc. However, these programs have similar objectives: to prepare LPNs for their responsibilities in the health care system and with patients. Participants in each program will gain hands-on experience in the clinic in addition to classroom learning.
Topics covered in LPN education programs include:
- Health Team Collaboration
- Concepts of Nursing Care
- Patient Care
- Cultural Competency
Nurses in healthcare systems must be trained in programs that are fully accredited. By keeping out inferior training programs, national accreditation programs (such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing) protect nurse trainees. Those wishing to become LPNs in Oregon must complete a nursing program approved by the Oregon Board of Nursing.
LPN Admissions Requirements
All LPN programs in Oregon have similar admission requirements. Admission to most schools is highly competitive, and you may need more than just the prerequisites to be offered admission. They include:
- Completion (with a B or higher) of various college-level courses, including English 101 and basic math and science courses.
- Healthcare experience (such as CNA or medical assistant experience)
- Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification
- Clean Drug Test
- Background check
For an example of admission requirements for one program, see Central Oregon Community College’s prerequisite page.
LPN Tuition & Costs
Your tuition costs will depend on what school you attend. For the 2020-2021 school year, tuition costs ranged from $7,000 to $32,000. In addition to tuition costs, you should factor in the price of prerequisite courses, books, living expenses, and other fees. Financial aid may be available to some students- contact the schools directly to learn if you are eligible for scholarships or grants.
LPN Licensing Requirements in Oregon
Most LPN programs will take between one and two years to complete. After graduation, you will be eligible to apply for licensure with the State of Oregon.
Checklist to become an Oregon LPN:
- Complete an Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN)-approved LPN program
- Apply for your license with the Oregon State Board of Nursing
- Take and pass the NCLEX-PN
- Complete and pass a background check
Oregon requires LPNs to renew their license every two years. In addition, LPNs are required to take seven hours of continuing education on pain management. This is a one-time requirement and does not need to be repeated.
Taking (and passing) the NCLEX-PN is the last step to becoming a licensed practical nurse in Oregon. You’ll learn most of what you need to know to pass the NCLEX-PN during your LPN program.
The bulk of the NCLEX-PN consists of multiple-choice questions. The four categories covered by the test are safe, effective care environments, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. This is a computer-based test. Therefore, some people may have more questions on their test than others. There are at least 85 questions in the NCLEX-PN, and you need to finish it in less than five hours.
Legislation that would enroll Oregon in the interstate Nursing Licensure Compact is currently pending. In the meantime, new residents of Oregon who are licensed in other states must seek licensure by endorsement. You will need to prove you attended an accredited LPN program and have recent LPN experience.
LPN Salaries in Oregon
LPNs on the west coast generally make more money than elsewhere in the nation. According to Indeed.com, Oregon LPNs make about $55,000 per year on average. This is higher than the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ stated national average salary of $50,090.
Salary varies depending on where in Oregon you live. The following are mean salaries for Oregon State LPNs from various areas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro: $57,850
- Salem: $56,710
- Eugene: $56,020
- Eastern Oregon nonmetropolitan area: $60,090
- Bend-Redmond, OR: $54,010
A nurse’s salary is also affected by the number of years of experience she has and the type of work she does. A home health LPN works with one or two patients at a time and may make less than an LPN employed in mental health or long-term care.
Job Outlook for LPNs in Oregon
Nurses will be needed as long as humans get ill and grow old. However, as the country’s largest generation (baby boomers) reaches its senior years, demands on the healthcare system will be unprecedented. As a result, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that the need for LPNs will increase by 9% by 2029. This rate of growth is “much faster than average.”
Nursing graduates who began as Licensed Practical Nurses will often become registered nurses or get their BSNs. This allows them to increase their scope of practice. There are LPN to registered nurse or BSN bridge programs for those who wish to pursue this path. LPN bridge program graduates can begin RN or BSN programs halfway through, creating a faster path to graduation.
LPN jobs can be very flexible, offering both full and part-time options. Many skilled nursing facilities are currently hiring full-time LPNs in Oregon.
LPN Schools in Oregon
The following is a list of the eight Oregon Board of Nursing approved licensed practical nursing programs. Each program requires the completion of classroom-based courses as well as hands-on practical training. The programs are:
Central Oregon Community College
Practical Nursing Certificate Program
2600 N.W. College Way
Bend, Oregon 97703
Central Oregon Community College offers an interesting pathway into nursing. It is set up as a two-year program. Students may “exit” the program after one year as an LPN or choose to remain through the second year and “exit” as an RN.
Lane Community College
Licensed Practical Nursing Program
4000 East 30th Ave
Eugene, Oregon 97405
Lane Community College offers an LPN program that can be completed in 12-18 months. Tuition runs at about $8,000. Lane also provides an LPN to RN bridge program that would allow students to begin in year two of an RN program at another school.
Oregon Coast Community College
Practical Nursing Certificate
400 SE College Way
Newport, OR 97366
Oregon Coast Community College offers an LPN certificate program to those who have already been accepted to their two-year associate degree nursing program. This allows students to begin work as an LPN after one year.
Concorde Career College
Practical Nursing Program
1425 NE Irving St.
Portland, OR 97232
Concorde Career College has an LPN college that can be completed in as little as 13 months. According to their website, program costs are about $32,000.
7535 NE Ambassador PL | Suite L
Portland, OR 97220
Sumner College offers a 13 month LPN program. They state that they have over 100 clinical placement sites, allowing students to experience various clinical settings.
Chemeketa Community College
4000 Lancaster Drive NE
Salem, Oregon 97305
Chemeketa is another community college that offers an LPN program on the way to RN licensure.
Salem Institute of Technology
Practical Nursing Program
4700 Silverton Rd NE,
Salem, OR 97305
Phone: (503) 363-9001
LPN students at the Salem Institute of Technology attend classes four days a week for 44 weeks. The estimated program cost is around $28,000.
Rogue Community College
Practical Nursing Program
3345 Redwood Hwy
Grants Pass, OR 97527
Phone: (541) 956-7500
The LPN program at Rogue Community College is a 12-month certificate program. The total estimated tuition cost is about $8,800.
If you have more questions about becoming an LPN in Oregon, you can check out the following resources:
17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd.,
Portland, OR 97224
The Board of Nursing oversees all licensing and accreditation in Oregon. Their website contains information about all schools and applications.
18765 SW Boones Ferry Rd, Suite 200
Tualatin, OR 97062
The ONA provides union support, education, and advocacy to Oregon’s nurses. Nurses are required to join nursing unions at most Oregon hospitals. Additionally, the ONA offers scholarships to individuals pursuing nursing careers.