RN Jobs in Oregon: Know Your Nursing Career Options

road with Oregon sign
Reviewed by
Miranda Kay, RN
April 8, 2024

The Beaver State welcomes registered nurses (RNs) with open arms since there is a great need for qualified nursing professionals. Furthermore, Oregon’s average RN salary is 16.5 percent higher than the national average. If you are an RN looking for jobs in Oregon, you are choosing wisely.

Table of Contents

How Much Do RNs Make in Oregon on Average?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average RN wage in the Beaver State is $106,610 annually or $51,26 hourly, compared to the national wage for registered nurses, which is $89,010 per year or $42.80 per hour. Therefore, it is attractive for nurses to come and live in this beautiful state. 

Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas with Higher RN Wages

Oregon has 11 metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, some with higher RN wages than others. Here are the top four highest-paying areas for RNs with their respective average annual wages:  

  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro: $111,610
  • Bend-Redmond: $107,180
  • Albany: $101,740
  • Central nonmetropolitan area: $100,560

The following list shows cities in the mentioned areas so you can have direct access to competitive per diem shifts in some of the highest-paying cities in Oregon:

What Does the Job Projection for RNs in Oregon Look Like?

Oregon offers encouraging news for RNs, not only for the present but also for the future. From 2020 to 2030, the growth projection for RN jobs in Oregon is 12 percent, doubling the national average. In addition, every year, there will be 2,580 job openings until 2030.

Nurses are in great demand in the Beaver State. Therefore, if you want to become a registered nurse, read on for the requirements to obtain a nursing license, and if you are one already, learn about the benefits of being part of Oregon’s nurse workforce.

Oregon’s Nurse Workforce Demographics

The nurse workforce in Oregon has a median age of 51 years, which means that nurses in the Beaver State are younger than in other states. A study showed that in 2012, the largest group of nurses was between 50 and 60 years old. However, years later, the largest group of nurses in Oregon is between 30 and 35 years old, which shows a higher number of young nurses in the state.

In addition, in 2020, the workforce had 14 percent male nurses.

Nurse Workforce by Race and Ethnic Diversity

Oregon’s nurse workforce has become more diverse through the years—although it is still predominantly Caucasian. The majority of nurses (77 percent) identify as white. Furthermore, the following shows the percentage of nurses who identify with other ethnic backgrounds or races:

  • American Indian: 0.5%
  • Asian: 4.1%
  • Black/African American: 1.4%
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.4%
  • Hispanic/Latin: 3.9%
  • Multi-racial: 2.5%
  • Other race: 0.4%

RN Workforce by Level of Education

The education level among registered nurses in the Beaver State in 2020 was the following:

  • RNs with Masters degrees or higher levels of education: 7%
  • RNs with Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSNs): 54% 
  • RNs with Associate Degrees in Nursing (ADNs): 34%

Where Do RNs Work in the Beaver State?

Registered nurses in Oregon work in various settings. However, as is the case with the RN workforce nationwide, the majority of RNs (56 percent) work in hospitals. Within hospitals, RNs in Oregon can specialize and find jobs in different areas, like medical-surgical (Medsurg), intensive care unit (ICU), emergency room (ER), or telemetry (TELE).  

The following indicates the percentage of RNs that work in other settings: 

Gain Flexibility and Higher Wages with Per Diem Jobs

If we are talking about job opportunities, then we must speak about per diem jobs. PRN shifts will bring flexibility to your life and help you earn more. Find out what type of RN-to-patient staffing ratios you can expect in all states. To learn more about unlocking opportunities, read our article about the ban on noncompetes.

A per diem job is a fixed-time commitment. You can pick up a single shift in a facility and assess whether you would like to work there again. If you prefer a different place of work, you can choose another healthcare center for your next shift. Also, you can decide when you need a break from work to spend more time with your loved ones or just rest.

Per diem shifts offer the benefits of being an independent contractor. Therefore, you gain more control of your professional life. The following list shows some direct links to per diem or PRN nursing jobs in cities throughout Oregon:

Is Oregon a Good Place to Move To?

Oregon is known for its beautiful natural features and various outdoor activities like hiking, camping, skiing, and fishing. If you prefer to use your bike to commute, Oregon is a great place to do so since it has a mild climate and adequate bike infrastructure.

The Beaver State is home to various excellent schools and colleges. Therefore, if you want to move to this state with your family, Bethany, Northwest Heights, and Marshall Park are just some of the state’s excellent options to settle down and see your kids grow.

Some fun places to visit in Oregon include the following: 

  • The Portland Japanese Garden is cataloged among the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan.
  • Multnomah Falls, the fifth-largest waterfall in the country, is a stunning place to visit.
  • Crater Lake National Park has breathtaking views.

How Can I Become an RN in Oregon?

If you want to pursue a career as a registered nurse in the Beaver State, you must first decide which path you will take. Two main ways to become an RN are to complete an Associate Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The difference between these programs is that an associate degree lasts two years and covers most of the topics in a bachelor’s program. A bachelor’s lasts four years and gives you a deeper understanding of the topics you need to know to work as a nurse.

After you decide on the degree you want to pursue, you need to choose an approved program by the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) to avoid problems when obtaining your nurse license. 

The following list shows some of the best programs in the Beaver State:

  • Chemeketa Community College offers an excellent Associate’s Degree in Nursing with experienced faculty.
  • OHSU - Portland has a cutting-edge bachelor’s degree with the latest advances in the nursing field.
  • Clatsop Community College offers a patient-centered program with high standards.
  • The University of Portland has a bachelor’s program that trains highly skilled nurses. 
  • Walla Walla University provides an outstanding BSN program.
  • George Fox University has a BSN program with a high first-time NCLEX pass rate.
  • Rogue Community College has one of Oregon’s best associate degree programs.

After completing your program in Oregon, you must register for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Upon passing the test, you must submit an application and pay a fee to the OSBN for licensure.

If you are already an RN, a licensed practical nurse (LPN), or a nurse aide, you can use this lookup tool from Oregon’s nursing license registry to verify the status of your license. 

Oregon has an average NCLEX pass rate of 90.1 percent; students with associate degrees boast an average passing rate of 90.0 percent, and students with bachelor’s degrees average an 89.5 percent passing rate, proving that the RN programs in Oregon meet the highest standards of the nursing field.

In addition, if you are a nurse from another state and want to work in the Beaver State, you must apply via endorsement or examination.

Find Per Diem RN Jobs in Oregon

Oregon has plenty of per diem RN job opportunities. However, you may not know how to find them, and that is why we are introducing you to Nursa, an open market that connects hospitals and other healthcare facilities with nurses.

With Nursa, you can find various per diem shifts across settings. You can apply to the ones that interest you and fit your schedule and needs. You could pick up these shifts when you want to make extra money in your free time or decide to fill your schedule with per diem jobs; whichever path you choose.

The Beaver State is an exciting destination for registered nurses, offering high-paying job opportunities and excellent places to live. Don’t waste time: Download Nursa, upload your license and start looking for per diem jobs today.   


Guillermo Gainsborg, MA
Blog published on:
April 8, 2024

Meet Guillermo, a contributing copywriter for Nursa who specializes in writing nursing content about finances, licensing, technology, and staffing solutions.

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