Oregon is one of the most popular states to move to, and there’s good reason for that. The magnificent natural beauty and outdoor activities would be enough, but add to that the absence of a sales tax and the welcoming culture and it’s one of the country’s most pleasant places to live and work.
In this article, we will cover:
- How to get your Oregon nursing license by exam
- How to get your license by endorsement
- How to renew your Oregon nursing license
- Licensing fees
- Continuing education requirements
- How to contact the Oregon Board of Nursing
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How to get your Oregon nursing license by examination
Step 1: Education
Every nursing career starts with earning a nursing degree. The state of Oregon has published a list of approved Oregon baccalaureate and associate degree programs in the state, and has implemented a careful review and authorization process to ensure that out-of-state clinical learning experiences associated with online programs are up to the state’s high standards. Students who have graduated from out-of-state programs can find information about the state’s requirements for clinical placements here.
- Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
- Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing for those who have achieved a bachelor’s degree and who take the additional classes necessary to become a registered nurse.
Step 2: Apply
Applying for an Oregon nursing license by examination begins with creating a user account on the state’s Licensing Portal. Mobile devices including tablets and cell phones are not supported and the platform functions best on a Windows desktop PC or laptop using Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
To complete the application and have it approved, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- You must be within two years of graduation from an approved pre-nursing licensure program.
- You must provide your Social Security number.
- You must have completed 2 hours of cultural competency education within the past 2 years.
- You must provide documentation of the completion of the Pain Management Education through the Oregon Pain Commission.
- After submission of your application, you must have your fingerprints collected per instructions that will be provided by the Board.
- You must submit the application fee of $160.
You should also register for the NCLEX-RN exam and pay the $200 registration fee.
Step 3: Submit Transcripts
If you have graduated from an Oregon registered nursing program, your dean or director will affirm your graduation electronically through the state’s Affidavit of Graduation portal.
Those who have graduated from out-of-state nursing schools need to have official transcripts sent directly to the Oregon Board of Nursing by your nursing program. Official transcripts must include your graduation date and type of degree or diploma received.
Official transcripts can be sent electronically to [email protected] or by mail to:
Oregon State Board of Nursing
17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd.
Portland, OR 97224
Step 4: Criminal Background Check (CBC)
Oregon state law requires that you submit to a criminal background check using Livescan, a digital process for fingerprint capture. Oregon has arranged for this process to be completed by Fieldprint, which has the largest network of Livescan collection sites in the country.
After you have submitted your application and payment for a license, you will receive a email containing instructions on how to get fingerprinted. The email will include a unique link that will take you to the Oregon State Board of Nursing section of Fieldprint’s website and allow you to schedule an appointment once you have registered, completed the demographic information, locate a fingerprinting location and schedule an appointment. You will be asked to pay a $70.50 fee. At the end of the process you will receive a confirmation page which you should print and take with you to your appointment, along with two forms of identification.
Fieldprint will send your fingerprints to the Oregon State Police, who will send them to the FBI. This process can take weeks, so it is important that you schedule your fingerprint appointment as soon as possible after receiving the code and link.
Step 5: Take the NCLEX
Upon completion and approval of your application, the Oregon Board of Nursing will notify Pearson VUE that you are approved and you will be emailed an Authorization to Test. You will be able to schedule a time to take the NCLEX-RN exam.
The exam is the last step to being licensed as a registered nurse. It will test your understanding of what you learned in nursing school, including:
- Safe and Effective Care Environment
- Management of Care
- Safety and Infection Control
- Health Promotion and Maintenance
- Psychosocial Integrity
- Physiological Integrity
- Basic Care and Comfort
- Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
- Physiological Adaptation
Oregon requires applicants to pass the NCLEX exam within 2 years of their graduation from a nursing program. If you fail to pass within 2 years you will not be eligible to reapply for licensure by examination unless you graduate from an additional nursing program. A nursing re-entry program will not qualify.
If you fail the licensing examination you must meet the requirements for reexamination, including registering and paying the fee to NCLEX again. You cannot test sooner than the 46th day following your previous test date, but beyond that limitation you can re-test as many times as you wish during the two-year post-graduate time frame.
Oregon does not issue temporary practice permits to those awaiting the results of the NCLEX exam.
Expert advice from nurses like you
Licensing by endorsement (already have RN licensure)
If you are a registered nurse licensed in another state and you wish to apply for licensure by endorsement in Oregon, you must have at least 400 hours of verifiable practice within the last two years or have graduated from your initial nursing program within two years of submitting your application.
Requirements for licensure by endorsement include:
- Official transcripts from your pre-licensure nursing program, including your graduation date and type of degree or diploma received. This should be sent directly to the Oregon Board of Nursing at [email protected] or by mail to:
Oregon State Board of Nursing
17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd.
Portland, OR 97224
- License verification from your initial state of licensure showing your passing score on the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) or have the State Board Test Pool Exam (SBTPE) sent to the Oregon Board of Nursing. Most U.S. states participate in NURSYS for verification. If your state does not participate, have your information sent directly to the Oregon State Board of Nursing.
- Complete two hours of cultural competency education within the past two years.
- Provide documentation of the completion of the Pain Management Education through the Oregon Pain Commission plus six hours of continuing education units.
- After submission of your application, have your fingerprints collected.
- The state of Oregon contracts with Fieldprint Inc. to collect digital fingerprint images from applicants for the background check.
- Fieldprint Inc has collection sites in every state. Applicants may have their fingerprints imaged by appointment only at any Fieldprint site across the country.
Use this link http://www.fieldprintoregon.com to register, enter the code FPORBoardNursingDAS when prompted, and schedule an appointment on Fieldprint’s website.
How to renew your Oregon nursing license
Step 1: When to submit your renewal application
Oregon registered nurse licenses are good for two years and must be renewed by 11:59 pm on the nurse’s birthday in either an odd or an even year (based on if the nurse was born on an odd or even year). If you were licensed in an odd-numbered year but born in an even-numbered year, your renewal will be due on your next birthday since licenses cannot be granted for more than two years. This may mean that your first Oregon license is only good for a few months (depending on when your birthdate falls). While this may seem unfair, this requirement is legislatively mandated.
The Board sends out reminder notices starting at 90 days prior to the expiration date of your license, but not receiving a reminder notice is not a valid reason to be late on renewal. The state must have your application and $145 fee prior to that time. There is no grace period. If you renew within 30 days following the deadline you will be charged a $100 fee. After 30 days you will be charged an additional $50 per day.
Step 2: Fulfill continuing competency requirements
You must retake the Oregon Pain Management Commission module at every renewal, as well as completing two hours of cultural competency education. The cultural competency education does not need to be accredited or provide continuing education unit hours.
Beyond these requirements, to meet continuing competency requirements registered nurses must have fulfilled 400 nursing practice hours in the previous two years. If you have worked less than 600 hours in the prior three years, 20 hours of continuing education is required. If you have worked less than 800 hours in the prior four years, 30 hours of continuing education is required, and if you have worked less than 960 hours of practice in the prior five years, you must apply for practice re-entry.
To help you stay up-to-date on your continuing competency requirements, Incredible Health offers free Oregon CEU classes. They are easy to access and include immediate certification of completion.
Step 3: Submit your renewal application
To apply for renewal of your Oregon nursing license, begin by creating a user account on the state’s new Licensing Portal. Mobile devices including tablets and cell phones are not supported and the platform functions best on a Windows desktop PC or laptop using Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
Oregon nursing licensing fees
Below are the fees for becoming a nurse in Oregon whether you are a first-time nurse or are moving to Oregon from another state. For more information visit the Oregon licensing page.
Licensing fees by examination (first-time nurses):
- NCLEX fee: $200
- Application fees: $160 (RN/LPN)
Licensing fees by endorsement (already have RN licensure):
- Application fees: $195 (RN/LPN)
License renewal fees:
- Application fees: $145 (RN/LPN)
*Fees are subject to change.
**Most states require a background check, but prices are not always listed.
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Continuing education requirements
- One-time requirement to complete 7 hours of Pain Management CE in order to renew a license
- The Oregon Pain Management Commission requires that 1 of these hours be fulfilled with their Pain Management module
Also, for renewal of licensure, the applicant must submit a fully completed application established by the Board and attest to one of the following:
(1)(a) 400 hours of nursing practice, at the level of the license sought, within the two years immediately preceding renewal application. Applicants initially licensed prior to January 1, 2021, must attest to having 400 hours of practice in the previous two years by their second renewal cycle after implementation of these rules. Prior to this second renewal, the applicant may use the previously required competency hours of 960 in 5 years; or
(b) Graduation from a Board-approved Oregon, or out of state school of nursing, or international nursing program within the two years immediately preceding renewal
(c) Completing a re-entry program
An APRN may renew their license to practice if:
(1) The APRN has also renewed their license as a registered nurse. Hours practiced as an APRN count towards RN license renewal, however, practice hours at the RN level do not count for APRN renewal. RN and APRN license renewals may be done simultaneously
(2) The APRN has one of the following qualifications:
(a) Has practiced 400 hours at the APRN level in the two years preceding the receipt of a completed renewal application. APRNs initially licensed prior to January 1, 2021, must attest to having 400 hours of practice in the previous two years by their second renewal cycle after implementation of these rules. Prior to this second renewal, the applicant may use the previously required competency hours of 960 in five years; or
(b) Is within two years of graduation of initial APRN education program, or
(c) Is within two years of completion of a Board-approved re-entry program, or
(d) Is within two years of completion a post-master’s certificate in the specialty being renewed; or
(e) Has maintained active national certification