LPN + Oregon


Hey, just trying to get a general anecdotal survey of opinions regarding the state of LPN-ing in Oregon.

I've been out of the job for awhile and am just getting back in. When I first started around 1999 it was in Las Vegas. They were desperate for nurses, temp work was an insane need and getting an LPN job was incredibly easy.

Long story short I'm not in Oregon and getting the re-cert and everything feels...different. Talking to the nursing board feels like there is less flexibility and of what choices there are then there are more admin hoops to jump through.

Also, the job market for LPN for other than LTC facilities seems very, very limited. The one-on-one conversations I've had with RNs (most occurred as part of my EMT program) left me with a feeling that "they" (union, government bureaucracy, nursing board---whoever "they" are) are so of out to dismantle LPN by making more tasks RN only, pushing CNA-2's, MA's, and CMA's.

It all seemed very negative and I wanted to spread my questions widely to make sure I wasn't just getting stuck with a few burnouts in my conversations by luck of the draw.

If that made sense.


537 Posts

True on all counts, and certainly not limited to one state. Sorry.

jadelpn, LPN, EMT-B

51 Articles; 4,800 Posts

You would probably do better as an EMT!! I am both an LPN and an EMT, and thankful I was in a hospital job, however, they are phasing out LPN's quickly. As an ER technician, I found it easier to get work, and some ER's will have either an LPN or an EMT in a tech role. Urgent care is another thought.

Good luck!!


4 Posts

Thanks for the replies.

Here's what was confusing about the EMT/LPN thing: LPN was still making 20-24$ as a rule of thumb and Basics at least 10$ less--but on ambulances. ER Techs, even with just Basic certs were making at least 5$ more per hour (talking general rule of thumbs here not direct quotes). However I'm closest to Salem/Corvallis--right in the middle so I did my ER Tech hours for school in this area. It looked like the RNs (the "they" in this case) came in and said "there is no true job description for ER Tech so stop letting 'em start IV's and doing all that paramedic level stuff and bust 'em down to CNA's)

Fine. I know Silverton for one runs a higher speed ER Tech program than taking v/s and changing sheets, so to get a little experience as my basic EMT license goes through, I though I'd just apply to the local Salem Health system and Oregon State Hospital.

But get this; next month I'll be a NREMT and a 2-state LPN but apparently SamHealth (and I was told this by OSH too) won't let you work that job without that CNA cert. Now what scope of practice a CNA has that isn't covered by my medic cert or my PN license I have no idea, but to get the job to get the experience I'm suppose to drop 1,200 bucks and a couple months relearning B/Ps and bedpans to get...a lesser level of training certification and licensure.

This sounds like a rant. It's not a rant, I promise--it's simply that my head is swirling. Part of this is my fault for letting my attention on LPN stuff wander once I started down the paramedic road. But then saw the private ambulance pay.

For example; LPN's can get IV certs, I'm a volunteer firefighter. I asked if my agency could sponsor my IV course so I could log some hours in the field--LPNs can't work on ambulances by law here and when I called AMR in Portland and Metrowest they both said they don't even use RN's on buses in Oregon. How the hell do they do Crit Care Transport?

This state has me confused--but that is it; I'm confused not negative. If someone could just explain what the hell is going on I'd feel better. Still frustrated, but at least I'd know the thought process.

Anyway, thanks for the info guys. It was sort of a rant--but I really do want to learn something, not just *****.

Niki LPN

13 Posts

I'm an LPN in oregon and i don't find this to be necessarily true, yes, LTC and SNF are the most common places for LPN's still, however i have been employed by Kaiser Permanente for the past 2 years. I found that the clinics in oregon, and especially Kaiser clinics (note i'm saying clinics and NOT hospital) are moving away from hiring RN's because the reality is that they can hire LPN's in the clinic to do MOST of the things need and pay them much less. (still around $22 an hour starting out LPN). for example, the clinic i work in has hired 7-8 LPN positions in the last year. They still have RN's on staff but just the bare minimum of what they need. By the way, if its any help, I know that Kaiser is about to open up the new Westside hospital in portland with all the specialty clinics in it and it created tons of new nursing jobs. worth a look! Also i have looked at jobs around town, the VA and a couple private clinics and legacy, i have never heard anything about requiring you to be a CNA to work as an LPN...i have heard that some LPN schools require it but NEVER a job asking for it. good luck, and I definitely would say there's a lot of people that complain about it out there but its not all truth...


4 Posts

Niki, hi, and thanks for the words of encouragement. This is all I know officially now; couple of months ago I applied at OSH for the "mental health tech" position flown as a CNA1. They couldn't hire me without me getting a cert as a CNA. I literally just got off the phone with the HR recruiter at Salem Health where I wanted to apply for a ED Tech position and the cert level they wanted was CNA2. She actually got on the nursing board site and came up with the conclusion that *perhaps* if I'd just finished my "nursing related program" within the last 2-3 years I could get a sort of reciprocity--maybe. However I got my license in 2000 so they could not hire me as an LPN to do a ED Tech job and the State Board says I have to go back to school...to be a CNA1.

She was also quite open about Salem Health hospitals terminating all LPN positions. Which is unfortunate as they're a rather large system in my area of Oregon.

This LPN's have to train to be a CNA is just so obviously nonsense. It's almost silly and when you talk to people (even smart, nice ones) everyone just shrugs and says "it's the rules" which means this is some kind of Oregon Board of Nursing issue and not a real one with the facilities in question? Why would the Board make finding work harder for nurses rather than easier?

I have my definitive answer but I'm also now almost more confused as to what role the nursing board is playing in this.

Kaiser clinics deserve a look it seems. (thanks for the input, guys)

Glenna, LPN

192 Posts

I live in Oregon and I work at one of the clinics with the VA as an LPN. I'm a happy camper with the VA over all. I've also noticed that the VA hospital hires LPN's on the floor. Not for all of them but there is a couple floors they work on and all the IV nurses are LPN's.