Is Relocating the Fastest Way to Get a BSN Degree?
California is facing a crisis. The state desperately needs nurses. However, despite the state’s growing nurse shortage, not enough students are getting into nursing schools in the state, due to a number of factors, including a shortage of nurse educators.
Across the Golden State, prospective students — including those with high GPAs — are being turned away, and there have even been reports of nursing student hopefuls waiting years to get into nursing school.
This circumstance has many future nurses who already have college experience looking to accelerated nursing programs outside California, like Concordia University–Portland’s Accelerated BSN program, as the fastest way to earn a BSN.
The Nursing Shortage in California
California’s nursing situation is complicated, to say the least. According to recent estimates coming from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, by the year 2030, California will be short 44,500 full-time nurses. So, you would think that California would rapidly increase the number of students enrolled in nursing programs to help meet the demand.
Unfortunately, for many hopeful future nursing students, this has not been the case — and in all fairness, it’s easier said than done. Nurses with the level of experience needed to teach nursing are in high demand during shortages, meaning that it can pay more to remain a nurse than to become a nurse educator.
This has led to a bottleneck, with nursing programs unable to produce enough nurses to meet the demands of a growing population or to replace the many nurses expected to retire over the next few years. In turn, this has led to even the most qualified students stuck waiting to get into nursing programs — sometimes for as long as six years! However, there is a silver lining. A prolonged shortage means there will continue to be a lot of really great opportunities for skilled nurses in California.
In fact, in a recent Forbes article ranking the top U.S. cities for nurses based on pay and cost of living, nine out of the top 15 were in California:
- San Diego
- Los Angeles
- San Jose
Also on that list? Portland, Oregon.
Finding Your Path with Concordia University–Portland’s ABSN Program
In Oregon, many prospective nurses with college experience are facing similar challenges getting into nursing school. As Stephanie Hollingworth, a respiratory cardiology nurse and 2018 graduate of Concordia’s ABSN program, recalls, “I had tried so many times to get into nursing school. I had above a 3.5 [GPA] from my previous degree. I had healthcare experience. I’d been working as a CNA [certified nursing assistant]. I had done everything I could and continued to be turned down over and over.”
All in all, Stephanie received rejection letters from 12 schools before applying to Concordia University’s Accelerated BSN program in Portland. Designed for students with at least 60 college credits, Concordia’s ABSN program makes it possible to earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in as few as 16 months. Blending online coursework, hands-on simulation labs, and clinical rotations at some of the Portland area’s top health care providers, the ABSN program was a perfect fit for Stephanie and her schedule.
If you’re stuck in nursing school limbo like Stephanie was, our accredited ABSN program, which offers three start dates a year, could be your fastest way to earn your BSN.
5 Reasons to Move to Portland for Nursing School
Before you move to Portland for nursing school, you probably want to know more about the city U.S. News & World Report ranked #6 on their 2018 list of best places to live in the United States.
Here are five reasons to love living in Portland:
1. Natural Beauty Is Everywhere
There’s no denying the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and living in Portland, you don’t need to go far to experience the great outdoors. With 279 parks and natural areas (including the Portland Japanese Garden), 315 miles of bike trails (it’s called Bike City U.S.A. for a reason), and two major rivers within the city limits, there’s plenty to see and do without even leaving the city limits. Not to mention PDX’s close proximity to Mt. Hood, the iconic Multnomah Falls, several state parks and national forests, the Cascades mountain range, and the Pacific Ocean — including Cannon Beach, made famous by the 1980s classic The Goonies and named one of the 100 most beautiful places in the world by National Geographic.
2. The Job Market Is Growing Fast
Last year, Oregon had the second-fastest job growth in the United States, at 2.7%, with more than half of new jobs in the state added in the Portland area. Of those jobs added in 2017, a little more than 12.8% were in the healthcare and social assistance sector — and the Portland Business Journal reports that “registered nurse” was the most in-demand job in Oregon in 2017, with a median salary of $89,280. This makes Oregon not only a great place to earn your nursing degree, but also to stay after graduation.
3. The Food and Drink Scene Is Among the Best in the Country
With literally thousands of restaurants and food trucks to choose from, Portland is a veritable foodie’s paradise, and that’s not just our opinion. Over the past few years, Portland’s food scene has received high praise from a number of national food publications, culminating in WalletHub ranking Portland, OR, the #1 foodie city in the U.S.
It’s not just food, either. Not only is Oregon celebrated for its vibrant brewery scene, which the Craft Beer Guild ranked #1 in the U.S. for breweries per capita; Oregon’s Willamette Valley is revered among connoisseurs of fine wines for making some of the best pinot noirs in the world. And for the coffee lover — which, if you’re not one now, you might be after nursing school — though Seattle tends to get all the attention, Portland is fast earning a reputation for having some of the best coffeehouses in the world.
4. There’s Always Something Going On
Not more than a few decades ago, Portland was considered a sleepy town. Today, the city is home to bustling arts scene akin to that of Seattle or San Francisco, albeit on a smaller scale. For starters, there’s Portland Art Museum — the oldest of its kind on the West Coast — as well as a number of other art galleries and museums ranging from the traditional to the weird (like the Portland Puppet Museum, The Hat Museum and the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium). The city also boasts a thriving theater scene and, in case you haven’t heard, a terrific music scene. Add to all this countless festivals big and small, a handful of independent bookstores (including the largest in the world), the Portland Farmers Market, and countless other attractions and you’ll find there’s always something to do.
5. The Weather Is Moderate All Year Round
When people talk about the weather in Portland, they tend to focus on the rain, but that’s not quite fair. (And most of the time, the rain is really more of a continuous, light drizzle.) People are often surprised to find out how mild the weather is in PDX — the summer months are typically warm and dry, and winters are relatively warm. Most of the rain Portland is famous for occurs between the months of November and February, and the city sees very little snow. In fact, temperatures in December — usually the coldest month in Portland — hover around the mid-40s, and about one in four winters the city doesn’t get any snow.
Ready to Get Ahead?
Stop putting your dream of becoming a nurse on hold. Give us a call today to find out if Concordia University–Portland’s Accelerated BSN program is right for you.