Colorado RN to BSN Programs

Many registered nurses consider a BSN program but don’t know the exact reasons that they should pursue the extra education. Since a RN does not need a BSN to pass the NCLEX-RN to become registered, and a BSN still requires graduates to take the exam before they can practice, what benefits do working RNs find if they pursue BSN programs?

The short answer is that the extra education often leads to more job opportunities and higher average salaries. With that being said, you should look at the competition in Colorado to decide how important the extra education is and decide if the additional investment is worth it. In 2011, 144 medical school graduates entered the work force. Considering the size of the state, that number is a bit low, but not relative to other states. Per 100,000 people, the national average of RNs is 874 and Colorado comes in at 831 per 100,000 people. That isn’t a huge difference and even though the field is constantly in need of trained RNs the competition will be higher than in states with a lower average. You should still find work fairly quick, but holding a BSN will make you irresistible to employers.

On average, RNs in Colorado earn just under $70,000 a year which is an average of RNs with and without BSNs. You can expect to be the high earner in the average if you hold a BSN, but the numbers will vary based on employer and location as well. The cities that have the highest percentage of RNs relative to the population of the city are Pueblo, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, with the lowest percentage cities being Greeley, Grand Junction and Boulder. You will find the highest average salary in Boulder, Denver and Greeley, so keep these in mind as you start to consider employers and cities to work for.

Exempla St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, Memorial Hospital North in Colorado Springs and Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins rank amongst the top 20 employers across all industries in the state. You may want to consider trying to work with one of these employers during your education if possible, even at an entry level position, as you will often find they offer tuition assistance to their employees.

Financials

Many colleges offer unique scholarships, grants or loans to their students, so you should spend some time talking to the faculty at the schools you visit to see what they can offer in particular. Also keep the aforementioned employer aided tuition in mind as you look for ways to fund your education. Finally, nursing students can find a wealth of information about loan repayment and forgiveness, grants, and scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Loan forgiveness is something to look at especially close as it will often discount much of the money you owe if you sign a contract to work in an area of great need for a certain amount of time.

Colleges

University of Colorado College of Nursing

Located in Aurora, UC offers an innovative and engaging education for students pursuing further education. Ranked 5th in the nation for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specialty option and 15th in the U.S. for the overall master’s program, the school of nursing is highly respected throughout the country. With over 800 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled, you will have a wide range of individuals to study with and find unique views of the world around you. The school is also very new, opened in December 2007, you will have access to cutting edge tools. With a range of online and campus based courses, you can get started with the college of nursing, earn your BSN and continue without skipping a beat if you so desire.

University of Phoenix

With campuses in Centennial, Lone Tree, Fort Collins, Westminster, and Colorado Springs, you should be able to find a campus location for this highly respected online university. You will find that UoP is more than an online college, though. With a range of programs ranging all levels of education, you can move through all your education goals within one school. With cutting edge online learning tools and a number of campuses for any campus based learning, UoP has a strong presence in Colorado and will offer you all you need to make the most of your education.