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Nursing

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Text or Call: 541-240-8227
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Become a Nurse!

Nursing is more than a job it’s a calling. If you’re looking for a high-demand healthcare career with a culture of caring, nursing could be for you. With competitive starting wages and a versatile career path, Southwestern’s nursing program provides you with a compassionate, supportive environment throughout your training. Our instructors will be your mentors and collaborators throughout your education, and guide you on your path to becoming a Registered Nurse (RN).

Southwestern’s nursing program is an OHSU/Oregon Consortium of Nurse  Educators (OCNE) partner school. This ensures curriculum meets the highest standards and graduates have the opportunity to transfer seamlessly into OHSU’s Bachelor of Science nursing program, if they choose.

 

Enroll now! We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to become a student.
Apply Now

Get helpful updates on programs, deadlines, and other tips about enrolling.
Request Info

Come see why Southwestern Oregon Community College is a great place to learn.
Visit

CONTACT
Text or Call: 541-240-8227
Email

Ready to Start Your Journey?

Apply to SWOCC

If you are not a current Southwestern student, you must complete an application for admission to southwestern no later than March 22, 2024 (at 5:00 pm)

Complete All Pre-Requisite Credits

Students are eligible to apply for admission to the nursing program after completing 30 credits of prerequisites with a “C” or better. The 30 credits must include BI 231 Anatomy & Physiology I completed within the 7-year time limit. If you believe you meet the admission criteria and are ready to apply, click here for details.

Apply to the Nursing Program

For The Fall Term 2024 Start Date:
Applications are accepted January 2 – April 1 (at 5:00 pm)

Questions about applying to Southwestern’s nursing program? Email Us or Call 541-888-7443

Program Expectations & Competencies

The competencies of the OCNE curriculum address the need for nurses to be skilled in clinical judgment and critical thinking, evidence-based practice, relationship-centered care, interdisciplinary collaboration, assisting individuals and families in self-care practices for promotion of health and management of chronic and acute illness, end-of-life care, and teaching, delegation, leadership and supervision of caregivers.

Acceptance to the program allows for co-admission to Southwestern and Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) nursing programs. Co-admission is an agreement that applicants admitted to SWOCC are eligible to complete a Bachelor of Science degree with a Major in Nursing at OHSU without an additional competitive application process. The co-admitted student would matriculate and be entered into the OHSU student record system, upon transfer following completion of 6 terms of the curriculum at SWOCC. Students completing the AAS will meet the educational requirements to be eligible to sit for the RN licensure examination, and would complete four additional terms of full-time study to earn the Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Nursing through OHSU.

The design of the program provides students the option of completing an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing (AAS-Nursing) from Southwestern or a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nursing (BSN) from OHSU.

 

Degree & Certificate Journey

Acceptance to the program allows for co-admission to Southwestern and Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) nursing programs. Co-admission is an agreement that applicants admitted to SWOCC are eligible to complete a Bachelor of Science degree with a Major in Nursing at OHSU without an additional competitive application process. The co-admitted student would matriculate and be entered into the OHSU student record system, upon transfer following completion of 6 terms of the curriculum at SWOCC. Students completing the AAS will meet the educational requirements to be eligible to sit for the RN licensure examination, and would complete four additional terms of full-time study to earn the Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Nursing through OHSU.

 

Nursing

Nursing

 

two nursing students working with an instructor in the lab

JOB INFO

ANNUAL JOB OPENINGS

  • Southwest Region: 47 on average monthly
  • Oregon: 2,505

 

2023 MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGE

  • Southwest Region average: $102,820
    • Starting $81,889
    • Experienced $133,744
  • Oregon average: $110,710
    • Starting $84,614
    • Experienced $136,240

 

OTHER

  • Retirement outlook is high-risk on the south Oregon coast with 179 employees age 55 or older retiring soon. 
  • As of November 2023, there are 2,809 job postings for registered nurses in Oregon and 34 for Coos and Curry counties.
  • Employment in the field is expected to grow statewide 8.2% by 2029.

 

Source: Oregon Employment Department and Lightcast

Learn more about our Nursing Program career paths.

Versatile Carer Path

Hospital Nursing

Mental Health Nursing

Public Health Nursing

Occupational Health Nursing

Educational Nursing

Clinical Nursing

Remote/Telehealth Nursing

Travel Nursing

Home Health Nursing

Prep for Advanced Nursing Degrees

A FUTURE OF CARING

High-demand career with a culture of caring

Many career paths with job flexibility

Competitive starting wages

Save Money

Tuition & fees at Southwestern for pre-program classes are half that of major state universities.

Need help with costs?

Ask about possible support through SNAP Training & Employment Program (STEP)

MEET OUR STUDENTS

Chaz Davis

Southwestern’s nursing program is the best-kept secret. The staff were always supportive and focused on helping me succeed. If you can invest some time, money, and focus, you’ll come out with a secure, sustainable career. It’s worth every minute.
– Chaz Davis, Nursing Graduate

Profile image of Mandy Mccaffree at Southwestern Oregon Community College

“I am thankful to be part of a program with such exceptional nursing professors and staff. Their impact on the future of nursing and healthcare will be stretched for decades. It’s a life-changing decision, but you can do it. One day at a time.”
– Mandy McCaffree, Nursing Graduate (Read Mandy’s story)

MEET YOUR INSTRUCTORS

Heather Aldrich

Heather Aldrich thought she would like to be a nurse educator after she retired from nursing. But a short text four years ago made her think about it sooner. “I didn’t leave nursing because I didn’t love it (because I did, and I still do patient care), I just got an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I love explaining complicated concepts, watching the light go on in someone’s eyes, and taking the ‘terror’ out of a potentially intimidating situation.”

Heather started at Southwestern as a student after toying with the idea of medical school. Feeling at loose ends and visiting a friend in Coos Bay, on a whim she decided to try nursing. Eventually that lead to a bachelor’s degree from OHSU, then various kinds of nursing work from oncology, ICU, recovery, creating education programs for Bay Area Hospital, and teaching -clinicals for the college. 

Considering a nursing career but you’ve heard nursing school is hard? Heather says, “Nursing is for people with the right intent. Even if you’re not a ‘straight A student,’ if you are a caring person, we want you.”

portrait of a woman in a nursing lab

Dr. Judith Dornbach, DNP, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CNE, Associate Professor of Nursing, holds a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, as well as a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Dr. Dornbach is also board certified as an Advanced Nurse Executive and certified in Nursing Education from the National League for Nursing. She has a broad nursing background including direct patient care, education, management, and legal nurse consulting. Before joining the nursing faculty team at Southwestern, she was the Director of Health Management and Education at the University of California, Davis Health System, where she worked for nearly 30 years. Dr. Dornbach has over 20 years of experience in nursing education and began teaching at Southwestern in June 2018.

Dr. Dornbach instructs our first- and second-year students, lecturing to both our Curry and Coos county students using video technology, as well as teaching Pharmacology.

Judith aligns strongly with this quote from Nelson Mandela as sees it as her motto for teaching… “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

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