Nursing Schools in Colorado
Nationwide, states are facing nursing shortages, and Colorado is expecting to be hit hard by this shortage, the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence reports. According to a 2010 report from the center, approximately 20,000 of Colorado's 61,000 nurses are 55 and older, creating a need for new nurses to fill their shoes in coming years. In addition, the growing and graying American population is expected to spur the creation of many new nursing jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates 22 percent job growth nationwide for registered nurses (RNs) between 2008 and 2018.
But an excellent employment outlook isn't the only reason to attend nursing schools in Colorado. For compassionate people who enjoy helping others, nursing offers a satisfying career.
Nursing Schools in Colorado: Know Your Options
If you want to jump into nursing as quickly as possible, entry-level positions as a nursing/psychiatric aide, orderly, or attendant requires little or no formal training. But salaries tend to be low and opportunities for advancement may be limited. In Colorado, the mean salary for nurses' aides was $27,350 in 2009, according to BLS data.
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) typically must complete a one-year Colorado-approved practical nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN). In Colorado, the 2009 mean salary for LPNs/LVNs was $42,100, the BLS reports.
Registered nurses make up the largest group of nurses nationwide, with almost 2.5 million employed in 2009, according to the BLS. Becoming a registered nurse (RN) requires completion of one of the following:
- Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree (usually takes four years)
- Associate's degree in nursing (ADN) (typically completed in two to three years)
- Hospital-administered diploma programs (usually lasts three years)
RNs must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). The mean annual wage for RNs in Colorado was $66,800 in 2009, the BLS reports.
If you want further opportunities for advancement within nursing, Colorado nursing schools also offer graduate training through master of science in nursing (MSN) programs. These usually require two years of study beyond the BSN, but accelerated programs may allow you to combine a BSN and MSN and graduate more quickly. Graduate-level Colorado nursing schools could train you to become a clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, nurse-midwife, or nurse practitioner. These advanced practice nurses can qualify for higher salaries and more autonomy than nurses without graduate training.
Also try online schools for nursing, for more choices and flexibility.
Featured Nursing Schools in Colorado
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Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County.