Top Colorado Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
The field of registered nurses is the largest in the healthcare delivery system in the state. As a result, it is a worrying statistic that 32% of those employed in the field are over the age of 55 and will therefore soon be retiring. Indeed, 4,500 of the current registered nurses in the state are over 65 and have hence passed their retirement age. Over the next 10 years, it is expected that some 2,000 nurses will retire each year.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing workforce is now at a critically low level. It is also expected that the demand for properly qualified nurses will only increase over the coming years.
It is a known fact that some 2,000 nurses will need to be replaced every year over the next 10 years. Additionally, there is a projected population growth of 1,300 people per year, meaning there would be an increase in demand as well. Thus, annually, some 3,300 new nurses will be needed. Unfortunately, there were only 2,400 graduates in 2008, which is 900 new nurses short. And what was also found to be worrisome was that 2,036 qualified students had to be refused enrollment in the nursing schools as a result of a significant shortage in Nurse Educators as well.
At present, Colorado is barely capable of maintaining its current number of nurses. As a result, it is also unable to expand and is struggling more and more with the demands and needs of the growing population, particularly in light of the recent healthcare reforms. To date, most Colorado nurses gained their education in different states, something that must change rapidly.
The particular needs of the state mean there is a high demand for Nurse Educators, as well as a demand for adult/gerontology nurses. In addition, other specialty areas must be addressed too, as there are currently some 526,356 people living in medically underserved areas in the state.
The average salary for a Registered Nurse in Colorado stands at $57,000, which is below the national average by 11%. As such, an additional problem the state has to content with is that they do not offer very attractive salary prospects for nurses. But it should be noted that the best salaries are enjoyed by those with the highest level of education, particularly those with a master’s degree. This is a very strong incentive for students to try and gain additional qualifications, something that is supported by the government and healthcare employers alike.