Washington provides several opportunities for nursing degrees, and prospective students can find education in areas around Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma and Olympia. Only one organization offers a doctoral degree, however; the University of Washington at its Seattle campus provides three PhD programs in behavioral nursing and health systems, in family and child nursing and in psychosocial and community health. They also offer the MSN in over fifteen different specialties such as rural-adult nurse practitioner and advanced practice in genetics. Prospective students can earn an RN-to-BSN, a BSN and MSN degrees at the University of Washington’s Bothell and Tacoma campuses. Other institutions also offer degree programs, diplomas and certifications, such as Washington State University in Pullman, Seattle University and Chapman University, with campuses in Silverdale, Ft. Lewis, Lacey, McChord AFB and Oak Harbor. This state offers as many opportunities to learn the nursing profession as they do in nursing employment opportunities.
Statewide, the average salaries for LPN, RN and specialty nurses range between $15,000 and $81,000 annually, depending upon degree earned, years in the field, expertise and size of the health facility. Some of the largest employees in Washington include Capital Medical Center in Olympia, Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane, Evergreen Healthcare in Kirkland and Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen. Island Hospital in Anacortes also manages a family care clinic on Lopez Island, and Olympic Medical Center is the premier provider of health care and the largest employer in the Olympic Peninsula. Another large employer includes Virginia Mason Medical Center, a regional referral center for the Pacific Northwest. They combine a 390-physician primary care and multi-specialty group practice with a satellite system of neighborhood clinics throughout the Puget Sound Region. At their Seattle Campus they operate a 336-bed hospital and the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason. The Bailey-Boushay House, a skilled nursing facility, provides adult day health and in-patient services to people living with AIDS and other complex nursing needs. Washington also provides an unusual health care environment through a public health system within Seattle and King County, where the governments of those two entities merged their health systems into one in 1951. Now serving 1.7 million residents of King County, Public Health currently has several career opportunities available in a variety of career paths. Other opportunities for employment exist throughout the state in towns and cities such as Bellingham, Arlington, Grand Coulee and Redmond.