With its abundance of rural communities, Colorado is in need of nurses that hold advanced degrees. There are many nursing specialties offered by Colorado schools, including clinical nurse specialist, nursing education, pediatric special needs, nursing administration, nursing leadership, and nurse midwifery. Earning your Master’s degree in nursing can be accomplished in several different ways, from a traditional program to bridge programs and online options. Find the Colorado nursing schools that offer the Master’s of Nursing programs you’re interested in and request more information today.
Earning a Master's degree in nursing generally requires a three-year commitment, as many schools expect you to continue working as a nurse while completing your education. Over the course of six semesters, you may complete up to 45 credits in advanced nursing classes. Core courses may include Research Methods for Advanced Practice, Foundations of Healthcare Informatics, and Health Systems.
After completing the core courses, your classes will likely delve more deeply into your specialty of choice, whether that specialty focuses on direct care, research, or leadership. Direct care degrees, including those that lead to a career as a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist, tend to require 12 to 20 credits of clinical work. If you focus on leadership or research, your clinical experience may come in the form of working in the research laboratory or teaching lower-level nursing courses.
Upon being accepted to a program to earn your MSN, Colorado offers options national, statewide, and school-specific scholarships. The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program is a national program that provides funds to students that agree to work at a Critical Shortage Facility. The Colorado Nurses Association offers a variety of scholarships to nurses pursuing Master's degrees. You can also apply for scholarships through Colorado Health Careers.
Although an advanced nursing education can help you thrive in many different specialties, primary care may be one of the fastest-growing fields in Colorado. Adult, family, and pediatric nurse practitioners can see patients of varying needs, offering affordable access to health care services. Many Colorado communities suffer from a lack of affordable, timely health care. According to Health News Colorado, the 2,800 primary care physicians in Colorado are mainly located in urban areas. Nurse practitioners can offer high-quality care on a timely and affordable basis. This is possible because, under Colorado law, nurse practitioners enjoy full practice rights.
There may also be myriad professional opportunities for nurse anesthetists in Colorado. The Colorado Supreme Court recently declared that nurse anesthetists are permitted by law to administer anesthesia without the supervision of a physician.
While you may go into an advanced nursing field to serve your community and use your education to its fullest potential, the increased earning potential is a pleasant bonus. Colorado nurse practitioners earn an average salary of $91,100 per year, which O*Net notes is slightly above the national average. Nurse educators with a Master's degree in nurse education earn an average salary of $58,000 per year (O*Net, 2012). The average salary for a certified nurse midwife in Colorado is $92,000 per year (O*Net, 2012). Nurse anesthetists, often the highest-paid nursing specialists, earn an average salary of $158,800 per year in Colorado (O*Net, 2012).