Top Oregon Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
Although there is a nursing shortage in Oregon it is not as severe as in the rest of the country because the state has taken a pro-active approach to counteract this problem. Unlike many other states, Oregon did not presume that the growth predictions made by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics were wrong when the economic crisis hit. Rather, they understood that the economic crisis was preventing people from retiring, which meant that a huge surge in vacancies would occur as soon as the crisis was over.
In a recent report, it was found that 25% of all nurses in Oregon will retire over the next decade. It is known that the largest group of health care professionals is made up of nurses, but around 66% are over 45. There are also three nurses for every doctor in the state at present.
Some still say that there is no nursing shortage, but officials say that this is only due to concerted efforts in the state, and these have to continue if a shortage is to be prevented. By 2020, there will be a shortage of 1 million nurses nationwide. This is not the only thing that needs addressing either. Nurses will also require new skills and there is a nationwide commitment to ensure at least 70% of the workforce is educated to bachelor’s degree as a minimum.
At present, only 37% of nursing students are studying towards a bachelor’s degree. However, although this is too low, it is well above the national average, which currently stands at just 9.6%. It is believed that the main barrier in the way of students who do wish to further their education is financial.
In response, various campuses and colleges across the state have gotten together to create a common curriculum. This means students can transition between various colleges and universities without needing to retake certain classes. However, there are only five schools accredited with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing today, and they have had to turn away some 2,071 qualified applicants because there were not enough resources, space and faculty staff to handle them.
Preliminary results have shown that nurses in Oregon are reporting higher levers of job satisfaction than in other parts of the country. This is despite the mean annual salary being $64,000, which is similar to the national average. More must be done, however, to attract new Nurse Educators.