Nursing Program

Central Oregon Community College's Nursing Program is approved by the Oregon State Board of Nursing to provide students with the academic and clinical preparation necessary to sit for state and national licensure exams upon completion of the program.

The Nursing Program provides a career ladder with exit points at the Nursing Assistant, Practical Nurse and Registered Nurse levels. In addition, students who complete the RN, AAS degree may then complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing online in cooperation with Linfield College or Oregon Health Sciences University. Alternatively, students may complete the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer Nursing Preparation degree to prepare for application directly to many of the Oregon Universities that offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Practical and Registered Nurse

  • Registered Nurse (RN) Program - for students who would like to earn their Practical Nurse Certification and/or Registered Nurse, Associates of Applied Science

Nursing Student Profiles

Nursing Student profile JonathanJonathan
COCC Nursing Student

Q: How did you end up in the COCC Nursing program? (What was your previous life before Nursing School?)

My family ran a successful all-phase landscape business that primarily focused on providing tree spraying services, noxious weed spraying services and any subcontracted work from the myriad of other landscape companies not able to provide these specialized services to their clients.  Through some difficult situations I chose to start the journey to complete the prerequisites needed for nursing school after being part owner of this family run landscape business for 20 years.  My wife was pregnant and gave birth to our son during this transitionary period of my life. Before then, becoming a nurse wasn't really on my radar of future goals I wanted to accomplish. Heck, we were financially stable and going merrily along and life was like a dream right? Well, not so much. We were having problems becoming pregnant and our family wasn't growing as I had imagined it would. Funny how life is filled with character building moments, isn't it?

Q: What do you like about the COCC Nursing program?

I do not know how to compare other nursing programs to COCC's in terms of one being better then another (but COCC really is). What I do know and like about COCC's nursing program is the closeness it has brought our cohort together. The struggle is real and not just a cliché in the challenges this program extracts from you as an individual. The challenges can include scholastic and personal struggles. These struggles help shape and define how you develop as an individual becoming part of something bigger within this program. Me, personally, realizing that my other classmates in this cohort are going through these same trials brings us closer. I have learned it is about supporting one another. Our cohort has really become like family supporting one another, however it is needed. It is very truthful that we will continue to have fundamentally changed throughout these two years of pursing our dreams to become Registered Nurses.

Q: What do you find most valuable about the COCC Nursing faculty?

I have been around college faculty pretty much my whole life. My mom was the Media Services supervisor for COCC from 1988 to 2006. I attended OSU's turfgrass program from 1999 to 2001 and my wife started her higher education career in 2010 to present. COCC's faculty is the gold standard! Being able to really connect with a professor is one of the biggest advantages of attending a community college. They really do care and want to invest their time to make a change in your life. By having smaller class sizes, I really felt like I was important and not someone who was just there to invest in the professor's book that is published. In this program we are juggling lecture, nursing lab experience and hands on clinical experience all with exams and assignments. The organization required for this is mind blowing. I am truly grateful for the amount of effort each one of COCC's faculty puts forth to fundamentally change who we are, and who we will become as nurses.

Q: Why do you want to be a nurse?

I didn't know I wanted to be a nurse. It wasn't until six years into marriage that we were led to the path of a nursing career. My wife and I struggled with unexplained infertility for these six years. We had success with IVF after many other options failed. We lost our son's twin during the second trimester. A few weeks after that during a camping trip my wife experienced a sub-chorionic tear/hemorrhage that put us in the ER. These were truly trying times that took an emotional toll. These were the times that I truly saw what the medical field is all about. The amount of compassion, patience and humanity really left a lasting impression on me. If given the chance to impart any of the love of compassion, education, or presence given to my family, to someone who is in need, then I feel like I would be on the right path.

Q: Where do you want to ultimately work and in what capacity?

Nursing has a ton of job opportunities. It is a profession that is always in demand. Nursing is an ethical and honest profession with lots of career flexibility. I am often asked what type of nurse I want to be in casual conversation. I think part of becoming a nurse is understanding what type of personal choice you make to find fulfillment in the job environment you chose. Thankfully at COCC we are afforded different outside learning experiences in our community. All of these experiences have been great for me. So, it is tough right now to lock down where I ultimately want to be. I would like to learn more about the field of genetic editing and how my education can potentially help shape this role.

Nursing student profile E MuckElizabeth
COCC Nursing Student

I moved over here from the Eugene area about 6 years ago, right out of high school with the intention of getting my RN through COCC. My sister was a nurse over here and had gone through the COCC program. Since her plan was successful, I thought it would work for me as well. As I started doing the required prerequisites, I met my husband. Two years later, prerequisites were done, and I was able to start applying for the program. It was a long road getting accepted into the program, taking a few attempts at applying. I was finally accepted 4 years later, and I can say with confidence it was worth the wait.

From the start of my prerequisites until being accepted into the nursing program, I worked my way up from being a care aid at an assisted living center to working at the hospital as a CNA2. Also, in that time, my husband and I got married and had our first child, a son, who is the most amazing little human; our life is an adventure every day with him. Being a wife and mother has inspired me to fulfill my dream of becoming a registered nurse even more. The chance to make a difference in people's lives, the overall knowledge, the career opportunities, and the financial stability as an RN are incredible. To have all those things not only for myself, but for my family as well, is so important to me. This program was the opportunity that could provide all those things and open a lot of doors for our future.

I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was ten and my mother's life journey took her over the hurdle of breast cancer. Witnessing all the compassion and comfort the nurses gave to my mother made, me feel less scared and in those moments, I knew that being able to do that for other people would be amazing accomplishments in life. That's why I want to be a nurse, so I can help be the compassion and comfort in peoples' most vulnerable times and make a difference in their lives.

The COCC Nursing program has been an awesome experience. So far throughout this program, I have grown so much as a person and overcome many challenges, ultimately bettering myself. The faculty are inspiring. They work so hard to prepare everything for the program and are there when anyone needs support. In my experience, it seems like they really want all their students to succeed and will help where ever they can when one is in a hard spot. They are constantly looking for ways to improve their program, the materials in it and ways to support students. They are all very passionate about what they teach, which makes you want to be as passionate when learning it all.

I love that the COCC Nursing program is both economically reasonable and high quality. I feel as though the education I am receiving is providing me all the tools and knowledge to be a successful and great nurse. I also love the fact that from the beginning of the program we are submersed into the nursing world with clinicals that start right away in fall term. I truly valued the time in clinicals since they helped me incorporate and utilize the materials covered in lecture into the real world of nursing.

Before I started the COCC Nursing program, I thought I knew exactly where I wanted to work as a nurse, but now I'm not so sure. Since the program has given me quite a few opportunities at experiencing some of the different areas of nursing, I'm sort of stumped. There are so many different areas RNs can work. I think for now I will focus on learning as much as I can from the second year of this program. Come graduation, I know I will have a better idea of where I want to start my life-long career as a registered nurse and ultimately my journey of helping people through compassion, empathy and love.