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About Us

What We Do
The nine OSBN board members are appointed by the Governor and include two public members, four registered nurses, one licensed practical nurse, one certified nursing assistant, and one nurse practitioner.  The four RN members represent various areas of nursing practice as follows: one nurse educator, one nurse administrator, and two direct-care non-supervisory nurses.  They also represent a variety of geographic locations.  Board members serve three-year terms.  The OSBN is part of the executive branch of Oregon state government.

The OSBN meets regularly throughout the year, holding five in-person meetings and seven teleconferenced meetings.  It may hold special meetings if necessary.  Board meetings are open to the public.  The OSBN employs a staff of about 50 who provide customer service and assist the Board in carrying out its mission.  

The OSBN, with the help of its staff: 
  • interprets the Oregon Nurse Practice Act;
  • evaluates and approves nursing education and nursing assistant training programs;
  • issues licenses and renewals;
  • investigates complaints and takes disciplinary action against licensees who violate the Oregon Nurse Practice Act;
  • maintains the nursing assistant registry and administers competency evaluations for nursing assistants; and,
  • provides testimony to the legislature and other organizations as needed.
 Additional Information
Types of Nursing Occupations Licensed/Certified in Oregon

Registered nurses (RN) administer general nursing care, which includes assessing, planning, ordering, giving, delegating, teaching, and supervising care to promote optimum health & independence for ill, injured, and well persons.  They give prescribed medications and treatments and may supervise other nursing assistive personnel.  RNs are educated in baccalaureate, associate degree, and diploma programs, and may attain additional competencies and credentials through master’s or doctoral study.  The RN scope of practice includes independent responsibilities as well as accountability to the physician for carrying out medical orders.

Licensed practical nurses (LPN) give general nursing care that includes collecting information, contributing to the plan of care, and providing care in predictable situations with minimal supervision, or in fluctuating situations under direct supervision of a registered nurse, licensed physician, or dentist.  LPNs are educated in one-year vocational programs.  In Oregon, most LPN programs are contained within RN associate degree programs in a ladder concept, that is, students may exit after one year and be licensed as an LPN, or continue to complete the RN program. 

Certified nursing assistants (CNA) assist licensed nurses in the provision of patient care.  The scope of duties for CNAs includes activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, transferring, ambulating, feeding, toileting, and such tasks as measuring vital signs, positioning, and range of motion.  Oregon CNAs complete Board-approved training programs, currently 150 hours long, consisting of 75 hours of classroom and 75 hours of supervised clinical experience.  Following training the student must pass a Board-administered examination to qualify for certification. 

Nurse practitioners (NP) independently provide primary health care in one or more of the following classifications and scopes of practice: acute care NP, adult NP, adult-gerontology acute care NP, adult-gerontology primary care NP, certified nurse midwife, family NP, geriatric NP, neonatal NP, pediatric NP, pediatric acute care NP, psychiatric/mental health NP, and women's health care NP.  Nurse practitioners may have authority to prescribe and dispense medications.  Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with specialized graduate level study within the specific scopes of practice for which they are licensed.

Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) independently or collaboratively provide anesthesia services.  CRNAs are registered nurses with post-baccalaureate education in anesthesia. 

Certified medication aides (CMA) are CNAs who have had additional training to administer noninjectable medications, including oral, rectal, topical and vaginal medications and medications administered via hand held nebulizers.  Oregon CMAs complete Board-approved medication aide training programs, currently 80 hours long, consisting of 40 hours of classroom instruction and 40 hours of supervised clinical experience.  Following training the student must pass a Board-administered examination to qualify for CMA certification.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNS) are registered nurses providing health care in an expanded specialty role.  CNSs independently provide advanced theory and research-based care to clients, and facilitate attainment of health goals.  Clinical nurse specialists are registered nurses with specialized graduate (Masters) level study within the specific scopes of practice for which they are licensed.  They may have authority to prescribe and dispense medications. 

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