Frequently Asked Questions

What do Registered Nurses do?

Nursing is a humanitarian profession involving significant interpersonal processes, and is an organized and rational activity based on scientific principles.

The aim of nursing is to promote the individual's goals related to health, quality of life, and dying with dignity. 

Nursing practice is focused on the individual, but is provided within the context of the family and the community. Nursing practice influences and is influenced by evolving systems within society such as changing patterns of health care delivery. As a profession, nursing has its own evolving body of knowledge based on nursing research and the biological and behavioral sciences. 

The role of the nurse is to practice relationship-centered care and promote health using a problem-solving methodology. The nurse first notices and interprets behaviors and factors that influence health. Based on this assessment, the nurse then responds by assisting the patient to recognize and change factors contributing to ineffective behavior. It should be recognized that there are different skills and responsibilities that can be expected of nurses at various levels, and that educational preparation determines the scope of practice for each level. 

Will I be eligible to practice as a Registered Nurse if I graduate from this program?

No, the program prepares students to take the licensure exam, the NCLEX-RN. You will not be a registered nurse until you have taken and passed the exam and the state where you choose to apply for licensure has issued you a nursing license.

Do I need a license or certificate to work as a Registered Nurse in Oregon? If so, how will I go about getting it?

Yes. As you near the end of your education in the nursing program, you will be provided with information necessary to apply for and take the NCLEX-RN, the nursing licensure exam. Upon passing that test and meeting any other requirements of the – Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) - you will be issued a license to practice as a registered nurse in the state of Oregon.  Graduates who choose to do so can apply for licensure in any of the 50 states and any territories or possessions of the United States. Nurses may legally be licensed in as many states as they choose provided they meet licensure standards in each state.

What organizations or agencies have, or need to, approve or accredit the program so that the graduates can be licensed?

Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) – approval is mandatory for every program that prepares students to take the nursing licensure exam. The LCC Associate Degree in Nursing Program is fully approved by the OSBN.

How do I get into the program?

Please contact the Health Professions academic advisor at for detailed information. To be considered for admission you must have all prerequisite courses completed by the stated date, submit your application and other required documentation by the stated dates and assure that you have met all admission requirements in terms of academic performance. The applicants with the most points at this point will be invited to group interviews. Successful applicants will be either admitted to the program for the coming year, or placed on the alternate list.  Any alternate who does not get a spot in the upcoming class will have guaranteed admission in the following year without needing to reapply.

Is there a residency requirement for getting accepted into the program?

No. There is a slight advantage in that applicants living within Lane County get a small points advantage during the admissions process. See the Application Information link for complete, current information.

How and when can I apply?

The earliest possible date and the application deadline date are posted on the Application Information page each fall quarter for admission in the following fall quarter.

What are the prerequisites (courses or activities) that must be completed before I can be accepted into the program?

Prior to starting the first clinical nursing course in the fall, you must have 45 quarter credit hours of sciences, math, social sciences, writing, and electives. Specific course names and minimum acceptable grades can be found in the college catalog  Nursing Program Information Sheet

I won't have all of my prerequisites completed by the application deadline. Can I still get in the program?

You must have at least 30 of the mandatory 45 credits completed and those credits must include at least BI231 and MTH95 or MTH95 competency. 

If I have taken extra classes, will that improve my chances of being selected for the program?

See the current Application Information link for specific information that may apply for you.

I've taken classes outside of LCC that seem similar to the prerequisites. Will the program accept my previous coursework?

Students should use the LCC transfer tool to determine of previous coursework will be accepted as the equivalent of the course offered at LCC. The transfer tool is also referenced on the program application.

How many students does the program accept each year? If more people apply than you will accept, how do you choose who gets in?

The number of applicants accepted to the program every fall varies slightly but is anticipated to be between 70-90.  Fully qualified applicants are ranked according to a point system explained on the Application Information page.

I would like to be a nurse anesthetist, a nurse midwife, a nurse practitioner, an operating room nurse, a hospice nurse, or a home health nurse in the future. Will completing the program prepare me to continue my education to fulfill my dream?

Yes. Some specialty nursing roles can be learned in relatively brief courses after you become licensed as a Registered Nurse. These would be roles such as operating room nursing, intensive care nursing, pediatric nursing, mother/baby nursing, etc. Others, such certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, etc., require the nurse to earn an advanced degree, usually a master's degree in nursing. This program will prepare you to progress to earning your bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN) or bachelor of science degree with a major in nursing (BS), and then a graduate program in nursing focused on your chosen specialty. If your interests center on nursing research or nursing education or both, you may choose to earn a doctoral degree (PhD, DNS, DSN, etc.) after your masters education.

Where will patient care experiences take place?

Patient care experiences are scheduled in a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and health promotion sites. Acute care settings (hospitals), chronic/long term care settings, physician offices, clinics, wellness centers, and many sites in the community where health promotion activities can be taught and practiced are examples.

Can I take this program on a part-time basis, spreading the clinical courses over 3 years instead of 2 years?

No. However, you may not need to take a full 15 credit hours of classes every quarter if all of the non-nursing courses (the ones that are not listed as NRS*** in the catalog) are completed prior to acceptance to the nursing program.

Will I have to pass a background check or drug screen to be admitted to the nursing program?

In order to start the program you will need to complete a background check and drug screen.  Our clinical partners will not allow students with positive drug screens or certain criminal convictions to attend clinical experiences in their facilities.  If this occurs, you will be dropped from the program.

In addition, you will have to pass a background check prior to receiving a license to be a registered nurse in Oregon. If you have concerns about previous problems regarding that procedure please contact the Oregon State Board of Nursing and seek clarification of its policies.  Since the Board considers each case individually it may be difficult to get a clear answer. The OSBN has provided the following document to give some insight into the type of convictions which may cause them to deny a license application. ORS 443.004/OAR 407-007-0275 Crimes.