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Why Oregon is one of the Best States for Nurses

Portland is the perfect place to become a nurse.

What do you envision when you think of Portland, Oregon? For some, it’s the great outdoors — rivers, mountains, trails. Others think of the television comedy series, Portlandia, and wonder if there are truths within the show’s humor and eccentric characters. 

Whatever you think about Portland, Oregon, a lot of people think it’s pretty great. For many years, more people have moved into Oregon than have moved out. This is due, in part, to the city of Portland, and its incredible job growth — including in the healthcare industry. Which is also why Oregon has quickly become one of the best states for nurses.

But that’s just the beginning of why you should pursue your nursing education in Portland.  Here are more reasons why it has become a great area for nurses.

1. The lifestyle.

Portland tops nearly every list of “healthiest cities” because of its amazing surroundings and the easy-going nature of its residents. Take, for example, the large number of parks and outdoor activities. It’s hard not to get outside and experience the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest.

The city hosts a great outdoor environment, with easy access to the mountains and the coast. The Portland Metro area offers 10,000 acres of public parks that include 300 miles of trails, including a bike path along the Willamette River and amazing paths into Forest Park, one of the largest protected areas inside any US City. With all this access to outdoor activities, it’s clear why Portland is among the top 10 fittest cities in America.

2. The food.

From coffee to breweries to innovative restaurants, Portland has established itself on the foodie map, ranking among America’s best cities for food.

What makes it such a foodie paradise? The diversity. There are many types of cuisine to choose from including eclectic, multi-cultural and traditional. Most food carts are grouped together in “pods,” offering a variety of options in one location.

When it comes to coffee, Portland tops the list of best cities for java. The city is known for being a leader in specialty coffee and is home to dozens of micro-roasters and coffee shops.

3. The jobs.

Oregon, in particular, is a great place for those who want to pursue a nursing career. In 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics declared Oregon as the fourth highest paying state for registered nurses in the country. On average, registered nurses in the state earned an average annual salary of $96,230. The bureau also anticipates that employment for registered nurses will grow by 16% between 2014 and 2024, which is the faster than any other occupation in the state. The growth is due to:

  • Increased importance of preventive care.
  • Increased rates of chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.
  • Increased demand for health care services due to the baby-boom population, who are living longer than past generations.

 4. The culture.

Portland hosts a thriving cultural district including art galleries, theaters, visual arts, live music and museums that rival any major metropolis.

Portland's Art District


Portland’s music scene is among the hottest and most diverse in the U.S. with options that include indie rock, jazz, classical, pop and punk.

Between multiple venues and dozens of music festivals, there is no shortage of live music to choose from around the city all year round.


Portland has a robust theater scene that includes everything from popular musicals to children’s plays to experimental performances.


From art to history, the museums in Portland showcase exceptional works that people of all ages and all walks of life can enjoy.

The Portland Art Museum is not only the biggest art museum in the state of Oregon, but it’s also among the oldest in the country. Established in 1892, leaders in the community wanted the museum to serve as a first-class art destination for citizens.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is among the nation’s leading science museums. Inside this giant 219,000-square foot building, you will find a planetarium, a giant-screen theater, a retired navy submarine and various exhibits featuring everything from fossils to living animals.

5. No sales tax.

We have saved the best for last: there’s no sales tax in Portland. That is huge considering the endless shopping destinations around the city. Portland doesn’t just have malls, there are boutique shops in various neighborhoods that have unique merchandise you won’t find anywhere else.

What are you waiting for?

From jobs to food, to shopping, to museums — Portland is your hub for fun. That’s why it’s the perfect place for your nursing education.

Join Concordia University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing today and explore Portland for yourself. You can speak to an admissions counselor today at 866.892.1562!

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