The Colorado Center for Nursing published a report entitled Nursing in Colorado: Measuring Quality and Supporting Patient Safety, which revealed how health care quality and patient safety are directly correlated to nurse education levels. Because of this, the Colorado Coalition for the Future of Nursing calls for an increase in baccalaureate-educated nurses in Colorado.
Although the number of BSN-educated RNs is growing in Colorado, there is still a long way to go. To help achieve this goal, the Coalition supports Colorado education initiatives that promote seamless transitions for working RNs interested in enrolling in RN to BSN progression programs.
Along with this, many hospitals and medicine centers in Colorado are jumping on board to provide their RN employees access to education. One such hospital is the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, which offers an education assistance reimbursement program of up to $4,000 per year.
Further, BSN-educated RNs are eligible to apply internally for jobs that involve leadership and more clinical responsibilities. In February 2015, the following were just a few of the career opportunities open to BSN-educated RNs in Colorado:
- Registered Nurse Educator – WSi Healthcare Personnel, Inc., Denver
- Educator and Professional Development Coordinator – Libra Hospital of Denver, Thornton
- Nurse Manager – North Shore Health & Rehab, Loveland
- Quality Assurance RN Supervisor – Berkley Home Health, Denver
RN to BSN Programs in Colorado and Online
Colorado is home to many RN to BSN programs, which are created with busy, working RN schedules in mind. These programs offer most or all courses online, which allows RNs to complete programs at their own pace, with consideration given to their work and personal schedules. Programs generally range between one and three years in length, depending on the time commitment.
To enroll in an RN to BSN program, most Colorado nursing schools require the following minimum admissions criteria to be met:
- Successfully Complete an Associate Degree in Nursing (by an accredited university)
- Hold a Minimum 2.5 GPA from ADN
- Hold an Active, Unrestricted United States RN License
There are also many Colorado Board of Nursing-approved nursing schools that offer BSN programs through campus-based prorams, including those located in the following cities:
- Grand Junction
RN to BSN Program Course Outline and Structure
RNs transferring from Colorado community colleges and ADN programs will be able to transfer in existing nursing credits, generally transferring in around 40 credits. To complement an RN’s ADN education, an RN to BSN program will offer a combination of general college and nursing education courses, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Health and Disease Systems
- Professional Nursing Practice
- Concepts for Professional Nursing
- Evidence Based Nursing Practice
- Healthcare Informatics
- Health Promotion & Assessment
- Healthy Aging
- Global and Public Health
- Nursing Leadership and Issues
- Comprehensive Nursing Lab
The clinical components of these programs can be completed in hospitals close to home, in cooperation with the school’s nursing department.
Once RNs obtain BSN degrees, they will be able to move on to the Master of Science in Nursing degree, which will give them the ability to pursue advance practice.
Colorado Hospitals that Facilitate RN to BSN Programs
To improve nursing services, nurse satisfaction, and to provide advancement opportunities to nurses, many hospitals are offering in-house education or tuition assistance to RNs looking to obtain a BSN. Below is just a few of the many, top-notch hospitals in Colorado offering these educational benefits.
University of Colorado Hospital – Aurora, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Loveland
Holding the Magnet Recognition given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, along with many Nightingale Awards for excellence in nursing, the University of Colorado Hospitals are the top-ranked hospitals in Colorado. The Aurora location has been named the top academic medical center in the country by the University HealthSystem Consortium, clearly due to the hospital’s dedication to advanced education. Because of this, the hospital offers education assistance reimbursement programs, making it easy for RNs to return to school to achieve their BSN.
Denver Health – Denver
Denver Health is dedicated to nursing success, and because of that, Denver Health offers some of the most competitive benefits for nurses in the state. RN employees wishing to return to school can take advantage of different tuition reimbursement plans, allowing them to quickly and easily obtain their BSN.
Children’s Hospital in Colorado – Aurora, Colorado Springs, Denver, etc.
U.S. News and World Report has consistently ranked this hospital as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the United States. Along with this, the hospital has received the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition, showing their dedication to nurses and nursing excellence. As a leader in pediatric nursing research, Children’s Hospital partners with the Department of Nursing Research and Education to provide grants for nursing education.
For a few other hospitals offering tuition assistance to Colorado RNs, consider some of the following:
- Kaiser Permanente – Denver
- HealthONE – Denver
- Centura Health – Louisville, Lakewood, Castle Rock, Westminster, Frisco, Littleton, and more