As a registered nurse, you have likely been part of a health care team for years. You may have wondered how you can use your passion for patient care and your extensive experience to take your career a step further. If you're ready to tackle a master's degree in nursing, you may be a good fit for a nurse practitioner program in Colorado.
Though nurse practitioners are in high demand across the country, they are particularly needed in Colorado. Health News Colorado notes that Colorado has a profound doctor shortage that has left many patients without the medical care they need. Since nurse practitioners enjoy full scope of practice rights in this state, per the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, they can go a long way in alleviating Colorado's doctor shortage.
KJCT8 notes that nursing jobs, including those for nurse practitioners, remain widely available throughout Colorado. This may help you enjoy a shorter job search and more career prospects. Per the Coloradoan, several health care employers are increasing their hiring of advanced nursing professionals.
Becoming a nurse practitioner may give you access to many professional resources throughout Colorado as well. The Colorado Society of Advanced Practice Nurses offers support to NPs through advocacy, legislative updates, continuing education opportunities, and more. Discover what you can learn in a nurse practitioner program in Colorado.
Nurse practitioner programs in Colorado tend to seek out dedicated, hardworking students that have proven themselves in several different ways. You may need letters of recommendation from a nursing employer to indicate your interest in this career path. Furthermore, you may need a GPA of 3.0 or higher at the BSN level. Many schools have experience requirements that include one to three years of nursing experience.
When you start out as a nurse practitioner student, you may take core courses that are required of all MSN students. Your curriculum may include classes like Ethical Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing, Research Methods for Advanced Practice, and Foundations of Healthcare Informatics. Courses that are specific to the nurse practitioner program may include Advanced Health Assessment, Concepts and Professional Issues for Nurse Practitioners, Diagnosis & Management, and Health Promotion & Lifestyle. In total, you may complete 30 to 40 credits, including more than 500 hours of clinical experience.
One benefit of becoming a nurse practitioner in Colorado is the variety of scholarships that are available for advanced nursing students. The Colorado Nurses Foundation funds quite a few scholarships for advanced nursing students, as does the Central Colorado AHEC. Once you are accepted to an NP program in Colorado, you may be able to look for additional scholarships through your school.
Throughout the course of your education, you need to keep your registered nursing license valid. Doing so allows you to complete your clinical experience and prepare for the process of nurse practitioner licensure. Through the Board of Nursing, you can submit proof of your education. You must pass a national certification exam to become a nurse practitioner. In addition, you must provide proof of professional liability insurance.
Colorado has a significant need for skilled nurse practitioners. O*Net expects job openings for nurse practitioners to increase by 34% through 2022. Furthermore, salaries in this state can be very competitive. The average salary for a Colorado nurse practitioner is $95,200 per year, according to O*Net.
Nurse practitioners are an important part of primary care, and this role may increase as the years pass. Learn more about your opportunities for study in this field now by contacting nurse practitioner schools in Colorado.