Colorado hosts 12,000 health care facilities throughout the state in order to support their more than 5.1 million residents. According to the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence, 300 full-time and 650 part-time nursing faculty work throughout their 35 schools of nursing to graduate 1,900 new nurses every year. Due to the population growth and an increased number of senior citizens in need of health care, Colorado needs 2,500 to 3,000 new nurses each year to keep up with the demand, but with the lack of qualified faculty, it is difficult to meet this need. This, coupled with the expectation of 2,000 nurses retiring over the next 10 years, adds to the already troubling shortage.
Based on these reports, Colorado is facing a deficit of 6,300 registered nurses by 2018. Professional nursing licenses are issued by the Department of Regulatory Agencies Board of Nursing (DORA). Licenses that are currently offered to nursing applicants include:
- Certified Nurse Aide (CNA)
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Licensed Psychiatric Technician Nurse (LPTN)
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Advanced Practice Nurse
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
- Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
- Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Nursing Licensure in Colorado
Each state sets forth its own requirements and criteria for those applying for nurse licensure, and the profession is regulated by the nursing board. The Board of Nursing in Colorado is operated by the Department of Regulatory Agencies, which grants licensure to those who have completed the necessary requirements. In order to practice as a professional nurse in Colorado you must first fulfill the following:
- Complete a professional nursing education program which meets the standards of the board
- Take and receive a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
- Renew license every two years
Licensing requirements for advanced nurses differ from those of registered nurses, and these also vary by state. The specialty of the advanced nurse will determine what requirements should be met in order to maintain eligibility.
Average Nurse Practitioner Salaries in Colorado
All salary data is as of May 2013.
Salaries reported by The Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the average salary for nurse practitioners in Colorado is $95,730. When compared to the national average of $95,070, this number is just slightly higher. Colorado employs more than 42,000 registered nurses, with the majority practicing in in the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield metropolitan area.
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The Denver-Aurora-Broomfield area reported an average salary of about $2,500 higher than the U.S. average; however, Colorado’s other major metropolitan areas had estimated wages that were slightly under that number.