2 Best Nursing Schools in Oregon – 2024 Rankings

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

More than 30 percent of Oregon’s nursing workforce is approaching retirement age. Combine this with the rapid growth of the Beaver State’s 65-and-older population, and you’ll understand why the demand for nurses in Oregon is spiking. Still, there’s no shortage of nurses in hospitals throughout Portland. Rather, it’s hospitals in rural communities across the Beaver State that are facing the pressure to recruit and retain qualified nurses. Other areas where the nursing crunch is being felt is in long-term care facilities, hospices, public health agencies, and home health. Graduates of accredited nursing schools in Oregon should find it relatively easy to find meaningful employment in these venues.



(After closely assessing all nursing schools approved by the Oregon State Board of Nursing, based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the best accredited nursing schools in Oregon offering BSN programs.)

1. University of Portland, Portland

About University of Portland School of Nursing: The School of Nursing at the University of Portland focuses on fulfilling the need for highly trained professionals who can promote health and wellness in primary, ambulatory care and outpatient settings. The nursing school got its start in 1892 as a program for training staff for Good Samaritan Hospital; it became part of the University of Portland in 1934. The University of Portland is a Roman Catholic school that uses the Integrative Health Approach as its model for nursing education; this model addresses the full range of physical, mental, social and spiritual factors that play such prominent roles in a patient’s basic health status. At this nursing school in OR, you’ll learn how to support communities as well as individuals and their families in the quest for optimal well-being.

Students acquire bedside skills by participating in scenarios at the Simulated Health Center, which is a model hospital unit equipped with 17 patient beds and sophisticated medical manikins. Students hone their skills further through clinical rotations at medical facilities and community agencies throughout Portland and other parts of the Willamette Valley.

Financial Aid: While the University of Portland doesn’t offer any scholarships specifically for nursing students, it does maintain a comprehensive list of external nursing scholarship opportunities. Nursing students may also qualify for state and federal grants and loans by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to the university’s Office of Financial Aid.

2. Oregon Health & Science University, Portland

About OHSU School of Nursing: The School of Nursing at Oregon Health & Science University is the only one of the nursing colleges in Oregon where you’ll be able to learn side by side with colleagues studying medicine, pharmacy, physician assisting and public health. The school is celebrated for its culture of collaboration and for its interprofessional educational initiatives. If you want to be a nurse with outstanding clinical skills and a thorough understanding of health care and health economics, this is a school that should be on your short list. “U.S. News & World Report” rates it among the top 10 of all U.S. graduate nursing programs.

OHSU nursing students benefit from sophisticated simulation training programs designed to teach them how to manage clinical situations ranging from acute care to neonatology. The university has hosted a number of regional, national, and international simulation conferences and workshops, including the Society for Simulation in Healthcare's SimOps 2018. Students develop their clinical acumen further through clinical rotations with OHSU partners like the Oregon Health & Science University Hospital, a Level 1 trauma center; Doernbecher Children's Hospital and a number of Portland-based outpatient primary care centers. The school is also on the cutting edge of nursing research, pursuing projects in areas like cancer, cardiac, and palliative care; symptom management and caregiving for families and frail elders.

Financial Aid: The OHSU School of Nursing offers eight nursing-specific scholarships. Nursing students are also encouraged to apply for awards from external sources. Submitting a FAFSA form to the Office of Student Financial Aid may qualify you for state and federal grants and loans.


Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.

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