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Steps to Becoming an APRN in Oregon

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Get your Graduate Degree in Oregon
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Renewing your License in Oregon

The Oregon State Board of Nursing (phone: 971-673-0685, Oregon.bn.info@state.or.us) regulates and certifies advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) in the following roles:

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Before you can obtain an APRN certificate in Oregon, you must possess an active, unencumbered RN license:

Oregon Job Statistics

  • 2015 mean salary for NPs in OR: $ 111,210
  • 2013 NCLEX-RN pass rate for Oregon: 89.1%
  • Feb 2017 active APRN licenses in OR: 4693
    • NPs: 3851
      • Family NPs: 2039
      • Psych/MH NPs: 554
      • Adult NPs: 358
    • CRNAs: 642
    • CNS: 200
  • Feb 2017 active RN licenses in OR: 57,858

The following steps detail the process for becoming an APRN in Oregon.


Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

NP Education Requirements

To work toward your NP certification in Oregon, you must complete a master’s degree in nursing or a doctorate in nursing from a graduate nursing program accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC). If you obtained your education outside the United States, your credentials must be evaluated by the Board to determine if they meet the educational equivalency of a U.S. graduate nursing degree. If you completed your NP education before January 1, 2005, you are exempt from the CCNE or NLNAC affiliation requirement.

The NP program must be specific to the role and the role population focus for which you are seeking certification. In addition, it must include the core requirement of:  physical assessment, pharmacology, pathophysiology, differential diagnosis and clinical management. The Board of Nursing recognizes the following categories for NP educational programs:

  • Adult
  • Acute Care
  • Family Practice
  • Geriatric
  • Neonatal
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health
  • Women’s Health

If your post-graduate NP program prepared you for a dual role or population focus, you must meet all competencies for the NP role, including at least 500 hours of supervised clinical hours for each role or population focus.

CRNA Education Requirements

To work toward your CRNA certification in Oregon, you must graduate from a nurse anesthesia program that is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. In order to meet the practice requirement for CRNA certification, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Graduated from a nurse anesthesia program with the last two years
  • Practiced at least 850 hours as a CRNA within the last two years – practice should include: direct care, teaching, consulting, supervision and research related to your CRNA scope of practice

If you graduated from your anesthesia program on or after January 1, 2001, you are required to hold a master’s degree in anesthesia practice or a related practice approved by the Board.

CNS Education Requirements

To work toward your CNS certification in Oregon, you must hold a graduate degree in nursing or a post-master’s certificate in nursing that demonstrates evidence of CNS theory and clinical concentration. The graduate nursing program accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC). If you obtained your education outside the United States, your credentials must be evaluated by the Board to determine if they meet the educational equivalency of a U.S. graduate nursing degree.

To qualify for your CNS certificate in Oregon, you must have graduated from a CNS educational program within the last 5 years or have practiced in your CNS scope of practice for at least 960 hours within the last 5 years.

If you obtained your post-master’s certificate on or after January 1, 2007, you must complete at least 500 hours of clinical practice either within your education program or before you become certified. If you haven’t met the 500 hour requirement, you may also obtain the remaining clinical practice hours through a Board-approved clinical education course that offers supervised clinical practice.

Prescriptive Authority Requirements

You may be eligible for prescriptive authority privileges if you possess a current NP or CNS certificate in Oregon. To be eligible for prescriptive authority as an NP or CNS, you must fulfill one of the following:

  • Complete at least 45 contact hours of pharmacology in the two years immediately preceding the application date for prescriptive authority
  • Complete a 30-hour discrete pharmacology course that is congruent with your nursing specialty, as well as an additional 15 continuing education hours in pharmacological management that is congruent with the area of clinical specialty in the two years immediately preceding the application date for prescriptive authority
  • Complete a clinical nurse specialist or a nurse practitioner program within two years of applying for prescriptive authority, which must include a 45-hour pharmacology course and clinical practicum in pharmacologic management of individuals patients, prior to your graduation

All applicants for prescriptive authority must also complete a clinical education in patient management, which may be satisfied by completing one of the following:

  • Completing a directly supervised clinical practicum that totals at least 150 hours in differential diagnosis and applied pharmacological management of patients
  • Holding unencumbered prescriptive authority in another state or U.S. jurisdiction and practicing prescriptive authority and patient management for at least 400 hours in the past two years
  • Completing accredited, graduate-level  nursing courses that are documented by CE or academic credit – Courses must include physical assessment, an apathophysiology, and clinical management

If you are applying for prescriptive authority and do not meet the above requirements, you must complete a Board-approved pharmacology course that totals at least 45 contact hours.  The pharmacology course must include the following content:

  • Prescription writing
  • Pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and pharmacotherapeutic principles
  • The use of prescriptive pharmacological agents in the prevent of illness and the restoration and maintenance of health
  • Information resources
  • Clinical application related to the specific scope of your practice

You can learn more about prescriptive authority by reading the booklet: Prescriptive Authority in Oregon: For Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists.

Controlled Substances

NPs and CNSs are eligible to dispense and prescribe controlled substances, provided they already have current prescriptive authority. If you are an NP or CNS with prescriptive authority and you do not want to become certified with the DEA to dispense and prescribe controlled substances, you must decline DEA certification in writing.

If you plan to prescribe or order controlled substances as an NP or CNS, you must first obtain a DEA number by contacting the Drug Enforcement Agency at 1-888-219-8689.


Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

After you complete your graduate education, you are then eligible to take an exam to become nationally certified in your advanced practice role:

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

NP Certification

As of January 1, 2011, you must provide verification of your current accredited national board certification from an NP national certification examination. The Board of Nursing approves the following certifying bodies and NP patient population and subspecialty categories:

American Association of Critical Care Nurses

  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner

American College of Nurse Midwives

  • Nurse Midwife Nurse Practitioner

American Nurses Credentialing Center

  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (until 2015)
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

National Certification Corporation

  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

CRNA Certification

The following certifying body and CRNA license category are approved by the Board of Nursing:

National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

CNS Certification

The following certifying body and CNS license category are approved by the Board of Nursing:

American Association of Critical Care Nurses

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist


Step 3.  Apply for your APRN Certificate

NP Application Instructions

To apply for NP certification in Oregon, you must complete the Nurse Practitioner Application packet.

In addition to a signed application, you must also:

  • Read the booklet, Prescriptive Authority in Oregon: For Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists, and then print the last two pages of the booklet, sign them and include them with your application for NP certification
  • Provide a copy of your RN license and NP license if you are licensed in another state
  • Complete and mail the Licensure Transcript Request form in the application and send it to the college or university where you received your master’s degree (sent directly from the institution to the Board of Nursing)
  • Complete and mail the Verification of the Successful Completion of an Advanced Practice Nursing Program from to the school where you received your NP education (sent directly from the institution to the Board of Nursing)
  • Contac the Board (971-673-0685) to receive a National Criminal Background Check packet from the Board if you haven’t yet completed the background check process
  • Submit the applicable fees: $150 NP application fee; $75 prescriptive authority fee; $95 prescriptive authority practicum limited license (if you do not have prior clinical prescribing practicum or prescriptive authority); and $52 criminal background check made payable to the “Oregon State Board of Nursing”

Mail the application and related documents and fees to the Oregon State Board of Nursing, 17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road, Portland, OR 97224-7012.

CNS Application Instructions

To apply for CNS certification in Oregon, you must complete the CNS Application packet.

In addition to a signed application, you must also:

  • Read the booklet, Prescriptive Authority in Oregon: For Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists, and then print the last two pages of the booklet, sign them and include them with your application for CNS certification
  • Provide a copy of your RN license and CNS license if you are licensed in another state
  • Complete and mail the Licensure Transcript Request form in the application and send it to the college or university where you received your master’s degree (sent directly from the institution to the Board of Nursing)
  • Complete and mail the Verification of the Successful Completion of an Advanced Practice Nursing Program form to the school where you received your CNS education (completed and mailed directly from the institution to the Board of Nursing)
  • Contact the Board (971-673-0685) to receive a National Criminal Background Check packet from the Board if you haven’t yet completed the background check process
  • Submit the applicable fees: $150 CNS application fee; $75 prescriptive authority fee; $95 prescriptive authority practicum limited license (if you do not have prior clinical prescribing practicum or prescriptive authority); and $52 criminal background check made payable to the “Oregon State Board of Nursing”

Mail the application and related documents and fees to the Oregon State Board of Nursing, 17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road, Portland, OR 97224-7012.

CRNA Application Instructions

To apply for CRNA certification in Oregon, you must complete the CRNA Application packet.

In addition to a signed application, you must also:

  • Complete the Nursing Education History form that details your nurse anesthesia education program
  • Complete the Nursing Practice History form that details the last two years of your CRNA practice (f you are a recent graduate, include information from the last two years of your RN practice)
  • Attach a copy of your current national CRNA certification
  • Complete and mail the Licensure Transcript Request form in the application and send it to the institution where you received your nurse anesthesia program (sent directly from the institution to the Board of Nursing)
  • Submit the applicable fees: $150 CRNA application fee and $52 criminal background check made payable to the “Oregon State Board of Nursing”

Mail the application and related documents and fees to the Oregon State Board of Nursing, 17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road, Portland, OR 97224-7012.


Step 4. Renewing Your License

Oregon uses a biennial birth date renewal system, which means that both your RN and your APRN license will expire on midnight before your birthday on every other year (your license will expire on an odd-numbered year if you were born in an odd-numbered year and it will expire on an even-numbered year if you were born in an even-numbered year).

You can view your license information, including the expiration date, using the OSBN License Verification System.

Continuing Education (CE)

If you are an NP or CNS with prescriptive authority, you are required to complete and document at least 100 contact hours to meet your continuing education requirements, and at least 15 of those hours must include pharmacological content. If you are a new graduate who graduated less than 2 years from your application date, your CE hours will be prorated from the date of your graduation. A CNS without prescriptive authority is required to complete at least 40 hours of continuing education.

At least 50 percent of all continuing education hours must be of the “structured” type, which means that they must be offered at the advanced nursing level and related to your nursing specialty.

You can renew your NP, CRNA, and CNS certification by completing the Advanced Practice Renewal/Reactivation Application or by completing an online renewal through the Oregon State Board of Nursing’s online system.

Renewal fees are as follows:

On-time Renewal Fees:

  • RN/CRNA $205
  • RN/CNS with prescriptive authority $305
  • RN/CNS without prescriptive authority $225
  • RN/NP with prescriptive authority $305
  • Each additional NP category $50

Late Renewal Fees (within 60 days after expiration date):

  • RN/CRNA $229
  • RN/CNS with prescriptive authority $329
  • RN/CNS without prescriptive authority $249
  • RN/NP with prescriptive authority $329
  • Each additional NP category $62

If you are completing a paper renewal application, mail the completed application and related documents and fees to the Oregon State Board of Nursing, 17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road, Portland, OR 97224-7012

Reactivation

If you fail to renew your APRN license within 60 days of its expiration, you must apply for reactivation by completing the Advanced Practice Renewal/Reactivation Application and by providing the Board with your work history for the last 5 years,  providing the Board with license verification of the state where you are currently licensed or the state in which you were last licensed, and by completing a fingerprinting packet (call the Board at 971-673-0685 to receive a fingerprinting packet).

Reactivation fees are as follows:

  • RN/CRNA $232
  • RN/CNS with prescriptive authority $332
  • RN/CNS without prescriptive authority $252
  • RN/NP with prescriptive authority $332
  • Each additional NP category $62
  • Fingerprint processing $52

Mail the completed reactivation application and related documents and fees to the Oregon State Board of Nursing, 17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road, Portland, OR 97224-7012.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Associations in Oregon

Consider joining one of the professional organizations that support APRNs in Oregon:


Oregon Nurse Practitioner Salary

Nurse practitioners in Oregon are some of the most well compensated health care professionals in the nation, according to Advance for NPs & PAs, a peer reviewed journal that conducts an annual survey to determine levels of compensation across the country. Nurse practitioners in Portland reported an average salary of $100,170, while NPs in Eugene earned some of the highest salaries in the state, reporting an average of $110,000 in 2011. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners reports that in 2011, average base salaries for the Far West region, including Oregon came in at $97,567, with total average incomes at $107,518 when benefits were included.

Registered Nurse Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bend OR
1350
75810
Corvallis OR
Estimate Not Released
74390
Eugene-Springfield OR
2760
73930
Medford OR
1740
74990
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton OR-WA
19610
78180
Salem OR
2600
71690
Coastal Oregon nonmetropolitan area
1430
74840
Southern Oregon nonmetropolitan area
1360
69490
Eastern Oregon nonmetropolitan area
2250
67070
Linn County Oregon nonmetropolitan area
580
59030

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Medford OR
40
47960
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro OR-WA
270
66600

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual median wage
Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton OR-WA
390
67840
Eastern Oregon nonmetropolitan area
40
59850

Nurse Administrator Salary
(Includes Nurse Managers, Directors, and Chief Nursing Officers)

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bend OR
110
79110
Corvallis OR
50
73240
Eugene-Springfield OR
230
93780
Medford OR
140
109300
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro OR-WA
1890
109680
Salem OR
270
92730
Coastal Oregon nonmetropolitan area
140
95200
Southern Oregon and Linn County nonmetropolitan area
130
88450
North Central Oregon nonmetropolitan area
140
94630
Eastern Oregon nonmetropolitan area
140
90810

These tables provide salary and employment information compiled by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2011. The data contained herein does not include self-employed nurses in independent practice.

When responding to the salary survey, some advanced practice registered nurses identified themselves as RNs while others identified themselves as health diagnosing and treating practitioners. When available, both sets of data were included for comparative purposes.

* These figures represent earnings that are at or above $90.00 per hour or $187,199 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish earnings beyond $90.00 hourly or $187,199 yearly.

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