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Whether you're launching your nursing career or continuing your education, we offer you a path to achieve your educational goals.

Potential Salary$35,000

topics Health Sciences

Skills & InterestHelping People

CareersHealth Sciences

LocationSalem Campus

  • A nursing student entertains a toddler
  • Nursing student

Why choose Nursing?

Welcome to the Nursing program at Chemeketa. Our program has a strong tradition of preparing nurses to be life-long learners and to practice safely, accurately and compassionately in varied settings.

Our faculty teaches our nursing graduates to have clinical and professional excellence in response to the changing health care climate. You will learn the attributes of accountability, caring, innovation, safety, social and cultural awareness, critical thinking and decision-making, life-long learning, and respect for the dignity and worth of human life. We believe in allowing a diverse group of students to have affordable nursing education.

The website ranked Chemeketa's nursing program as one of the leading programs in the state of Oregon. They evaluated state board exam pass rates from 2013-2017 and concluded Chemeketa was among the very best at supporting students towards licensure and beyond. We were also ranked as the second best program in the entire West by

The Nursing Program is approved by the Oregon State Board of Nursing.

What will you learn?

Our experienced faculty will teach you the skills at the LPN level to –

  • Demonstrate organized and prioritized care in a patient centered manner that advocates for patients and families based on personal preferences, beliefs and values
  • Demonstrate nursing care that minimizes risk of harm to patients, self and others
  • Apply the nursing process based on current evidence and patient preferences, needs and values
  • Demonstrate nursing care that reflects integrity, accountability and legal/ethical practice
  • Demonstrate nursing care using current technology and patient information to maximize safety and optimize health
  • Communicate effectively with patients, families, and members of the healthcare team

Our experienced faculty will teach you the skills at the RN level to –

  • Incorporate novice level management skills while providing patient centered care
  • Develop nursing care that minimizes risk or harm to patients, self, and others; and uses data to monitor outcomes of patient centered care
  • Formulate clinical judgments in providing nursing care based on current evidence, clinical expertise, and patient preferences, needs, and values
  • Design nursing care that reflects integrity, accountability, and legal and ethical practice while modeling the professional roles of coordinator of care, educator, advocate, and leader
  • Formulate nursing care using current technology and patient information to maximize safety, and optimize health
  • Communicate effectively and collaboratively in a self-directed manner with patients, families, and members of the healthcare team

See Course Sequences for more information.

What will you do?

Nurses are employed at –

  • Hospitals
  • Public health departments
  • Community clinics
  • Home health services
  • Hospice services
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Intermediate care facilities
  • Scholarship Information

    Once you apply to the Nursing program, visit the Chemeketa Foundation scholarships website for information and application dates. Scholarship application deadlines are time sensitive. 

    For questions regarding the application process, contact the Foundation at 503.365.4747


    Chemeketa's Nursing program prepares students to graduate with an Associate of Science Degree and sit for the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Successfully passing this exam allows the graduate to become a licensed registered nurse.

    See Course Sequences for more information. Fees are an estimated cost and subject to change.

  • LPN to RN Transfer Students

    LPN to RN Entry Process

    Chemeketa has a process in place by which LPN's who are currently licensed in Oregon can become eligible to be on a waitlist for possible openings into the second year of Chemeketa's Nursing Associate of Applied Science program. The fees for the program are subject to change. Transfer students will be placed on the waitlist for fall term of the second year of the program after completing the following steps in order –

    • Must have a Current, Unencumbered LPN License
      For applicants from another state, check with the Oregon State Board of Nursing by calling 503.731.4745 for information on transferring a license to Oregon
    • Work Experience
      Work experience s strongly recommended for applicants who have completed their practical nursing curriculum more than one year before applying.
    • General Education Coursework
      • Transfer all general education coursework to Chemeketa and have these transcripts evaluated by Admissions 503.399.5006 to determine if coursework meets Chemeketa's requirements for graduation from the Nursing Program and are current where time limits apply
      • Required science courses must be taken within seven years of re-entry or complete an appropriate alternative science course as approved by the Dean of Health Sciences
      • Only coursework from accredited programs can be considered
      • Depending upon the results of this review, there may still be general education courses students will need to complete
      • Submit official transcripts of courses completed through other colleges or universities along with a request for evaluation
    • Kaplan Nursing Transition Exam
      • For transfer students (students who did not graduate from Chemeketa's LPN program), register for and pass the Kaplan Nursing Transition exam
      • Applicants must possess a current, unencumbered LPN license to take the exam
      • This exam is offered three times per year in November, January and May
      • Applicants who need to take this exam must make an appointment with the Dean of Health Sciences 503.399.5058 to discuss program requirements and approaches for studying for the exam
      • Registration is required by the timelines as noted in the fall, winter or spring schedule of classes
      • Applicants who do not achieve an acceptable score on the exam can re-test once. Students must pay the non-refundable exam fee to re-test
      • Scores remain current for five years after the exam is taken
      • Applicants must also take NUR272 Pathophysiology for Nurses (3 credits) and PHM230 Pharmaceutical Drug Classifications (3 credits)
    Wait List
    • After all general education coursework is in place, either through transfer or by taking classes at Chemeketa, and after an applicant has successfully completed the Kaplan Nursing Transition exam, they will need to meet with the Dean of Health Sciences 503.399.5058 to review their request to be placed on a waitlist for NUR206 during fall term at the RN level of the program
    • This offer of admission will be based upon space available
    • This is determined in large part by the number of students moving directly from the first year into the second year of the program

    For registered nurses (RNs) wishing to pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, Chemeketa has established inter-institutional agreements with the following institutions –

    • Oregon Health & Science University - Chemeketa has established an articulation and transfer agreement with OHSU for baccalaureate completion for those who have successfully completed our program and passed the NCLEX-RN exam. For more information, contact Nicole Thompson at or 503-494-5443.

    TUITION DECREASE - Effective Fall 2019, tuition for the RNBS Completion Program Online has been reduced to $288/credit.  

    There are various other possibilities for RNs as well. Admission to nursing programs is competitive. As such, RNs are responsible for learning the requirements of the school to which they plan to enroll. Applicants should make early contact with an advisor at the institution to learn of these requirements.

  • Student Success Rates



    Nursing Student Success Rates
    Student Success Rates20172018201920202021
    Completion Rate 88% 77% 70% 79%  80% 
    NCLEX-RN Pass Rate 94.7% 100% 100% 97.3%  100% 
  • Curriculum & Prerequisites

    Below are the required courses for application to Chemeketa's Nursing program. These courses must be completed by the end of winter term (the year of application) with a grade of C or better. See the Course Sequences for our curriculum and prerequisites.

    • BI231-233 Anatomy and Physiology (completed within seven years)
    • MTH095 Intermediate Algebra (or higher)
      • This requirement cannot be waived by a placement test score

    Note: BI112 is a prerequisite for BI231. 

    Most students spend one or more years in pre-nursing courses to prepare for applying to the Nursing program. In order to enhance their chance of admission, most students complete the majority of general education and science requirements prior to application.


  • Nursing Program Application


    Additional points will be given to applicants with an active license in a specific Healthcare field. (See Scoresheet in the Fall 2022 Nursing Application)

    Fall 2023 

    Applicants will need to submit active license with application for points to be applied. You will only receive points for one active license. Additional points may be applied if you have work experience within the last 3 years. 

    Important Deadlines for the Fall 2022 Application

    • January 7, 2022 - Transfer student deadline to submit transcripts
    • For fall, 2022, applications for the Nursing Education Program for Salem will be accepted February 7 – 11, 2022 online beginning at 8am on Monday, February 7, 2022 until 5pm on Friday, February 11, 2022
    • The $50 application fee will be posted to your student account within one business day after your application submission. The fee must by paid by 5pm on Monday, February 14, 2022 in order for your application to be considered complete.

    The link to submit the application will not be available until 8am on Monday, February 7, 2022.

    Fall 2022 Nursing Application Submission Process Below

    - Complete the fillable Nursing Application Fall 2022 and save to your computer.

    - Upload your application and documents here

    Pre-Nursing Workshops (free but advanced sign up requested) 

    Provides information on required prerequisite courses, financial aid, how to apply to the program and what to expect as a nursing student once accepted into the program. If not a current Chemeketa student, you will register at the workshop.


       PRE-NURSING WORKSHOPS  (free but advance sign up requested)

    Online Workshop         September 16th, 2021  6:00 PM    (Register for Fall 31072)

    Online Workshop         December 2nd, 2021  6:00 PM       (Register for Fall 36078) 

    Salem Campus             March 17th, 2022, 6:00 PM           (Register for Winter 50457)

    Please click here to see the 2021 Pre-Nursing Guidelines. 

    Please Note

    The Enrollment Center will not review your application for completeness. For questions or help in putting together an application packet, we encourage applicants to attend one of the application workshops (see pre-nursing worksheet for information). In the event that you cannot attend an application workshop, please schedule an appointment to meet with a pre-nursing advising specialist in Building 2 on the Salem campus at 4000 Lancaster Drive NE, Salem OR 97309-7070. Appointments can be scheduled by using ChemekNET or by calling 503.399.5120.

    Kaplan Pre-Nursing Exam
    • Cost: Non-refundable fee of $35 payable at the time of registration. 
      • Note: any holds on Chemeketa student accounts must be cleared to be able to register for the exam
    • What to study UPDATED INFO: Nursing School Kaplan Entrance Exam Prep (current edition): 
    • Length of exam: Approximately three hours to complete
      • Testing is only at Chemeketa's Salem Campus during the assigned dates and times
    • Subjects covered: Reading, math, writing, science and critical thinking
    • Previous Scores: A previous score from Chemeketa can be used if within the last 3 years. If choosing to re-test, the highest score will be used for points. We cannot accept outside scores for the Kaplan Exam
    • New Students at Chemeketa: You must Apply for admission winter term, not fall, as a Personal Enrichment Credit Seeking student, in order to register for the pre-nursing exam in March. This is a free non-credit registration that establishes you as a Chemeketa student. 
    • BI231 - 233 and MTH095 or higher must be completed to be eligible to take exam.
    2022 Nursing Application Kaplan Exam Dates

    You will be assigned one of the following test dates. You will be notified by the Health Sciences department for your assigned date, time and CRN for the Kaplan pre-nursing exam. Mark your calendar for these dates:

    • March 22, 2022
    • March 23, 2022
    • March 24, 2022
    • March 25, 2022


  • Criminal Background Check, Drug Testing & Immunizations

    Background and Drug Screening Requirements:

    Upon entry into this program, you will be required to pass a criminal background check and pass a ten-panel drug screening urinalysis conducted by a college-approved vendor. If you do not pass the criminal background check and/or the drug screening, program registration will not be possible. If you are arrested during the time you are enrolled in the program, you must notify the Nursing Program Chair of the arrest. Your status in the program will be reviewed by the Nursing Program Chair and the Dean of Health Sciences. A possible outcome of the review may be that you are unable to continue in the program. Additionally, two-year programs require you to repeat the processes at the start of the second year.

    For a list of disqualifying crimes, please see Disqualifying Crimes 2017. For a more in-depth list please see Disqualifying Crimes Expanded List

    For licensure with the Oregon State Board of Nursing, please visit the following links for DHS and OSBN's criminal history requirements:


    Immunization Requirements:

    Upon entry into this program you will be required to show proof of various vaccines.  Please review the Health Sciences Immunization & CPR requirements (click here).


    For more information call the Health Sciences Department at 503.399.5058.