Washington State faces a diverse set of challenges when it comes to nursing education. First there’s the ever present irony: too many prospective students to too few nurse educators, and contemporary economic fluctuations that threaten to throw off real nursing shortage projections.
When you look at the list of accredited schools of campus-based nursing below one thing stands out: there are diverse schools from which to choose. By far schools offering the Associates in Nursing degree are plentiful. Why? These have been the most popular pathways to a nursing career. Many are community colleges, located regionally—which affords access for rural students—and much more affordable than the schools offering BSN programs. Many community colleges have traditionally been career-driven and therefore offer flexible evening and weekend schedules not available elsewhere. But these are now the most glutted with waiting lists of nursing students.
What are the possible alternatives for WA nursing students?
By far most states report the highest concentration of RNs practice in nurses and of course large metropolitan areas suck up the RN resources. Seattle and Tacoma are two of the major cities in WA with immense nurse demand. The hospitals offer eager new nurses dynamic and challenging practice opportunities, learning paradigms and career mobility and stellar job benefits.
However, often overlooked are the unique and challenging practice opportunities in rural nursing. Rural healthcare is a major challenge in Washington.
Advanced Practice RNs, ie Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Midwives, Nurse Anesthetists, and Clinical Nurse Specialists, all are in high demand in rural community healthcare. But you’ll find ultra-specialized nursing needs in remote areas as well, including trauma nursing, surgical nursing, psychiatric and mental health nursing and more.
The Washington State board of nursing, is known as the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. Use this agency when you need information related to your nursing practice such as licensure, continuing education, list of approved Washington nursing school programs, scope of practice and much more.