The Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) licenses registered and practical nurses. The Board reports 49,279 RNs and 4,652 LPNs. 5,851 RNs – well over 10% -- are male. RNs have an average age of 48, LPNs, 45.
Oregon is not a member of the nurse licensure compact. Candidates who are licensed in other states apply by endorsement. New graduates take the NCLEX exam (as do other candidates who are seeking licensure in the U.S. for the first time). The Oregon State Board lists pass rates by program (http://www.oregon.gov/OSBN/pdfs/passrates.pdf).
There are several nursing organizations within the state that nurses may want to be aware of. The Oregon Nurses Association is a professional organization.. The Oregon Center for Nursing is a state workforce site (http://www.oregoncenterfornursing.org).
A number of Oregon schools belong to the Oregon Nursing Consortium (http://www.ocne.org/). The partnership increases access to baccalaureate level nursing coursework for students in rural parts of Oregon.
To be licensed as an LPN in Oregon, a person needs to complete a board approved program at the certificate level or higher. http://www.oregon.gov/OSBN/Pages/educational_programs.aspx to find approved LPN programs in Oregon.
Read "Choosing an LPN Program in Oregon" to gain a better understanding of the LPN program education requirements and process.
After program completion, the candidate will need to complete an examination picture identification form (with a photo attached) and get the signature of the program director. (The signature is a requirement for anyone who is applying to OSBN within twelve months of graduation; otherwise notarization will suffice.)
Official transcripts will also be required – there’s a request form in the application packet (http://www.oregon.gov/OSBN/Pages/forms.aspx). A fingerprint based criminal history check is another requirement. Candidates should request cards from the Board. They will need to take the identity verification form as well as the fingerprint card to the selected facility. (Oregon does not require use of a particular agency, but notes that some require appointments.)
There is a $52 fee for fingerprint processing; it is to be submitted to OSBN. The fingerprint documents will be sent to the Board in a sealed envelope; it should be sealed before the candidate leaves the fingerprinting facility.
The application fee for license by examination is $160, payable to the Board. (Figures come from the current application; applicants should always make sure they have the latest version.)
It will be necessary to register separately for the NCLEX-PN exam (www.vue.com/nclex). A $200 fee will be assessed; this is to be paid directly to the testing company. Only after application and registration are both complete will the candidate be sent an Authorization to Test. This allows the candidate to schedule an exam at Pearson testing centers.
Candidates who need to retake the NCLEX pay a $25 fee to the Oregon Board; there is a short form application that must be submitted. It will also be necessary to re-register with Pearson.
LPNs who are, or have been, licensed in other U.S. states apply by endorsement. The application fee is $195; there is also a $52 fingerprint processing fee. Candidates need to provide license verification from the first state of licensure and the most recent one (if different). U.S. graduates/ licensees fill out the endorsement application online.
If a nurse has not practiced at least 960 hours in the preceding five years, the candidate will need to do a board-approved refresher course – unless the candidate completed a license-qualifying nursing program less than five years earlier. A refresher course can be accepted if it was completed in the two years prior to application.
As in other states, nurses may enter the field with one of several degrees. The Oregon Center for Nursing does have a goal, however, of bringing the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees to 80% in the coming years. Oregon has multiple associate and baccalaureate level RN programs. There is also a direct entry master’s program. Candidates may also be licensed on the basis of professional nursing programs completed in other states (including diploma programs). Read more here: "Choosing an RN program in Oregon".
Out-of-state programs may be authorized to supervise students to do clinical work in Oregon medical facilities; it’s important to make sure the program is acting within its authority, however.
When degree requirements are complete, the candidate will get the dean or director to sign the appropriate form, verifying identity. (A passport-style photograph will be required). The candidate will request an official transcript after the degree posts.
The candidate will also need to take the verification form found in the application packet (http://www.oregon.gov/OSBN/Pages/forms.aspx), along with the correct fingerprint card to a fingerprinting facility. The candidate should be ready to have an envelope sealed there at the facility. The candidate will pay OSBN $52 to process the background check, plus $160 for application by examination.
A candidate will also register with the testing company and pay $200 to take the NCLEX-RN. The candidate will wait to receive an ATT before scheduling. Then the candidate can select the center that’s most convenient.
A candidate who does not pass the NCLEX on a first attempt will need to apply for the privilege of retaking. There is a $25 fee due to the Oregon State Board.
Out of state candidates may apply by examination or endorsement, depending on what stage they are in their career. The endorsement application is online. In many instances, license verification can be handled online as well. The candidate will need verification from the first state of licensure as well as the most recent one.
An RN applying by endorsement pays $195 plus an additional $52 for fingerprint processing.
Nurses who have been out of the field a while should be prepared to do a re-entry course.
Internationally educated nurses apply for licensure by examination if they have never been licensed in a U.S. jurisdiction. They will need to get a CGFNS certificate or VisaScreen or, at the least, have their credentials evaluated by one of the approved agencies: CGFNS, ERES, or IERF. If the nursing program was not in English, an English proficiency exam will be required as well. The Board has provided details, including contact information, about each of the approved agencies (http://www.oregon.gov/OSBN/pdfs/form/credentials.pdf). Fees will vary.
Internationally educated nurses who have already gone through the licensing process in another state may apply by endorsement. However, there are slightly different documentation requirements than there are for endorsement candidates who were educated in the United States (http://www.oregon.gov/OSBN/pdfs/form/non-US_RN-LPNendorsement.pdf).
International endorsement candidates should submit their CGFNS certificate or VisaScreen or, if they don’t have one, a copy of their educational equivalency evaluation and evidence of English proficiency. An endorsement candidate who practiced in the United States for at least 960 hours in the prior two years is considered English proficient; the same goes for one who did the majority of nursing coursework in English. Having passed the NCLEX in the prior two years will also be accepted as evidence. If none of these conditions are met, the nurse must provide scores from an English proficiency exam.
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