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OHSU Nursing - Top 10 Nursing Schools

Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) is one of the top nursing schools in the country. It was recently tied for the number seven school in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. OHSU began as Willamette University in 1867, only eight years after Oregon became a state. OHSU formed into the school it is today in 1974, combining the schools of medicine, dentistry and nursing into one singular institution. The origination of the nursing school can be traced to 1919, when the first nursing classes were offered. The first baccalaureate degree in nursing was offered in 1926.

Why choose OHSU School of Nursing?

OHSU School of Nursing has been a pioneer in nursing education, not only in Oregon, but across the country. OHSU encompasses the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, the Oregon Geriatric Education Center and the OHSU Simulation & Clinical Learning Center. These centers are dedicated to improving nursing care and education through research and professional development. The Simulation & Clinical Learning Center has lifelike mannequins, advanced equipment and software that gives nursing students experience prior to embarking on real patient care. OHSU supports diversity and has greater than 15 percent minority enrollment across all nursing degree programs. It is important to attend an accredited school. OHSU is accredited by Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities with additional nursing school accreditation by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. OHSU has five campuses across the state and has distance education programs depending on degree, making access to nursing education easier. OHSU students are successful, with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) completion rate of 92.5 percent. NCLEX pass rates vary by campus, but range from 91 percent to 97 percent.


Admission to OHSU School of Nursing is competitive. The overall acceptance rate for the nursing school is 29 percent, with 306 students admitted out of 1,592 applicants. Potential BSN students must submit an essay, complete an online application and complete the required prerequisite coursework. Additional consideration is given to students who have volunteer or work experience in the nursing field. Applicants to the accelerated BSN program must hold a baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing field, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and have completed the nursing prerequisite coursework. Applicants to the Masters of Science in nursing (MSN) degrees, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree must have graduated from an accredited nursing school, hold an active registered nurse (RN) license and have one year of clinical work experience. Work experience must be relevant to the requested field of study.

Degrees and Specializations

OHSU School of Nursing has many different degree programs to choose from. The school offers a traditional BSN track, an accelerated BSN track and an RN to BSN program. The traditional track is for students with no nursing experience or degree. The accelerated program is for students who hold a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field, but would like to pursue a second career as a nurse. The RN to BSN program is for currently practicing nurses that hold a diploma or associate's degree that would like to earn a bachelor's degree.
Graduate degree options at OHSU are some of the best in the country. Students can choose from different focus areas: advanced practice nursing, public health, health systems and organization leadership and nursing education. The nursing education and public health degrees are available for online completion. Advanced practice nursing sub-specialties include family nurse practitioner, gerontology nurse practitioner, nurse anesthesia, nurse midwifery and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Students enrolled in the DNP program can choose to focus in advanced practice nursing or health systems/organizational leadership. The DNP can be earned through four different avenues depending on the student's prior education and experience. The PhD program is a research intensive degree, preparing nurse scientists for nursing research.

Tuition and Financial Aid

OHSU is a public university. The school charges a higher tuition rate for non-residents versus residents. Tuition varies based on the degree chosen. Tuition and fees for the traditional BSN program are $45,652 for residents and $70,483 for non-residents. Tuition and fees for the accelerated BSN program are $39,590 for residents and $50,246 for non-residents. Tuition and fees for the RN to BSN program are $16,458 for both residents and non-residents. Graduate degree tuition and fees vary by specialty. MSN advanced practice degrees range from $54,065 for residents to $69,680 for non-residents. MSN non-clinical degrees range from $26,469 for residents to $38,860 for non-residents. The PhD program tuition and fees vary whether the student holds a BSN degree or MSN. Tuition and fees range from $67,591 for residents to $104,965 for non-residents. DNP programs vary whether the applicant holds a BSN or MSN degree and whether the specialty is clinical or non-clinical. Tuition and fees range from $23,874 for residents to $99,589 for non-residents.

OHSU offers generous financial aid for its students. Depending on the degree program, 75 percent to 85 percent of students receive some type of financial aid, with almost $70 million awarded to OHSU students in 2010-2011. The nursing school itself has over $200,000 in scholarships to award to students at any degree level. PhD students are also eligible for funding opportunities that may award up to $100,000. Other financial aid options include federal grants and loans, outside scholarship opportunities and loan repayment programs, such as Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program and National Health Service Corps.

OHSU has a strong history of nursing education excellence. With many degrees to choose from, students can begin or advance their nursing career with confidence. OHSU also offers many different pathways to earn a degree, making education more convenient and affordable. Combined with generous financial aid opportunities and a great reputation, OHSU is a top nursing school choice for any potential nursing student.

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