The expected nursing shortage in Colorado was described as a potential tsunami in a 2010 report published by the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence. In particular, nurses with BSNs are critical to providing high quality patient care, and as a result, they receive higher salaries for their expertise. In 2013, there were 4,827 nursing students working toward BSN degrees in Colorado, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
While 2,155 students graduated from BSN and graduate-level nursing programs in Colorado in 2013, this is not likely to satisfy the need for highly-qualified nurses in the state. The Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence reported how the state is likely to face a critical shortage of nurses, since a large number of them are reaching retirement age.
Nearly one third of Colorado’s RNs were 55 or older in 2009 according to the 2010 report and are expected to retire in large numbers in the coming years. In addition, Colorado’s population is aging and likely to require more medical care.
Salaries of BSN Prepared RNs in Colorado
Since the Institute of Medicine has called for 80% of the country’s nurses to have BSNs by 2020, employers are increasingly seeking RNs who have this credential. The high salaries that BSN-educated nurses earn is apparent in a 2013 US Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis of top-earning RNs in Colorado:
- 90th Percentile Annual Salary – $92,540
- 75th Percentile Annual Salary – $81,030
- 90th Percentile Hourly Wage – $44.49
- 75th Percentile Hourly Wage – $38.96
As predicted, there is a very high demand for nurses in Colorado. The state’s Department of Labor and Employment reported that registered nurses were the most sought after occupation in the state in December 2014. There were 4,811 job ads for RNs that month. This agency predicts that the need for nurses will increase by 2.7% a year between 2013 and 2023.
Salaries for BSN-Educated RNs Throughout Colorado
Since parts of Colorado have an especially critical shortage of RNs according to the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence, their salaries vary throughout the state and are often higher where the demand is the highest. This is evident in salary data for BSN-Educated RNs throughout Colorado in 2013 as provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: