Top 5 Colorado RN to MSN Programs

Colorado is proud of the fact that it has 300 days of sunshine a year every year, but it also has a lot of snow, which makes it one of the most popular places to go to for skiing. It is also one of the best states in terms of education. Some of the country’s best universities are located here and many of these schools offer world-renowned MSN degree programs. Let us first find out about the salary prospects and job outlooks for someone who holds an MSN degree in the state before we look at the top schools offering MSN programs.

Salary and Job Outlook for MSN Degree Holders in Colorado

The median annual salary for an RN in Colorado was set at $67,280 ($32.35 an hour) in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 research. This is on par with the national average. However, the cost of living is around 8% higher than the national average. This means that RNs have a lower comfort score in Colorado than in other states.

However, it must also be said that there is a huge variation in the salaries of RNs depending on where they are in the state. The top 10% earn $89,700 and above, with the bottom 10% earning $48,690. The bottom 10% in particular is far lower than the national average.

Most RNs in Colorado work in Denver and Aurora. Indeed, more than half of the nurses work there. This is because the salaries there are higher than the state average. Additionally, the cost of living in Aurora in particular is not too high either.

The highest salaries are enjoyed in the NorthCentral area of the state. The top 10% here earn at least $95,840. Some of the towns in this part of the state include Grand, Eagle, Lake, Jackson, Routt, Pitkin and Summit. Interestingly, however, only 790 RNs actually work in this area.

It has been shown across the state the those with the highest levels of education also earn the highest salaries. This is a very good reason to study towards an MSN, or even a doctorate degree. Those who are in the bottom 10% generally only hold an associate’s degree.

Top Colorado MSN Degree Programs

It is incredibly important to find a school that offers high quality education and that offers a degree that follows your personal interests. As Colorado is known for its excellent educational programs, it would be hard to find a school that offers a degree program that is below standard in terms of quality. However, some stand out more than others, so let’s review what we feel are the top 5 Colorado MSN degree programs.

 

1. Aspen University School of Nursing

The Aspen University School of Nursing was founded in 1987, having previously been part of the International Academy in Denver. All courses at this university are offered in distance learning format. Over a thousands students from all over the country are enrolled here. The online learning experience is totally dynamic and interactive and encourages students to use evidence-based practice to develop their knowledge on caring for patients. The university offers two main degree programs that allow RNs to become true leaders in their field.

• Campus: Denver, CO
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: $325 per credit
• Degree requirements: BSN, RN
• Minimum time commitment: 57 credits
• Programs: RN to MSN and MSN – Nursing Administration and Management, Nursing Education
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

2. Colorado State University – Pueblo

The Colorado State University at Pueblo is in an idyllic location at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, in southern Colorado’s Pikes Peak region. The sun shines almost every day here and students can enjoy nature in beautiful surroundings. The institution focuses strongly on ethnic and cultural diversity and is one of the country’s best Hispanic serving institutions. The nursing program has also received national recognition.

• Campus: Pueblo, CO
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: ACEN
• Tuition: Varies depending on residency and pathway chosen
• Degree requirements: BSN, RN, GPA
• Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on program chosen
• Programs: MSN Adult/Geriatric Acute Care/Family Nurse Practitioner (ACNP/FNP), MSN Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), MSN Nurse Educator
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

3. Regis University Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Regis University has campuses all over the state of Colorado. It is a Catholic and Jesuit university that still incorporates faith-based knowledge in all its teaching. The university is one of the best universities in the west of the country and the student to faculty ratio is just 12:1, which is very impressive. Regis is one of the best nursing schools in Colorado as well. Programs are offered part time, full time and online.

• Campus: Denver, CO
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: $620 to $695 per semester hour
• Degree requirements: BSN, RN
• Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on pathway chosen
• Programs: MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), MSN Leadership in Health Care Systems, MSN Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

4. University of Colorado – Colorado Springs BETH-EL College of Nursing and Health Sciences

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is one of the state’s fastest growing universities. The campus spreads out on 520 acres on the east of the Southern Rocky Mountains. It is one of the best public schools in the country and in the west in articular, as well as being the 4th largest university in the state. There is a particular focus on military personnel and veterans, as well as having one of the country’s best graduate programs.

• Campus: Colorado Springs, CO
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: Varies depending on chosen pathway
• Degree requirements: BSN, RN
• Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on degree chosen
• Programs: MSN Adult/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), MSN Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (ACNS), MSN Community Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (CHCNS), MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), MSN Nursing Education
• School website: Tuition | Financial Aid

5. University of Colorado – Denver – College of Nursing

The University of Colorado at Denver, College of Nursing, is one of the universities that are able to access the highest levels of funding available in the state. It is one of the best schools in the country, particularly because of its state-of-the-art medical campus. The nursing school has been nationally recognized as being one of the very best, and their online programs are also gaining this recognition. The Family Nurse Practitioner program in particular has received a lot of attention as being one of the best in the country, as has their Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program.

• Campus: Aurora, CO
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: Varies depending on chosen pathway
• Degree requirements: BSN, RN
• Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen program
• Programs: MSN Adult/Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AG CNS), MSN Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), MSN Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (FPMHNP), MSN Health Care Informatics, MSN Leadership and Health Care Systems, MSN Nurse Midwifery (NMW), MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP), MSN Pediatric Nursing Leadership and Special Needs (PNL), MSN Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

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