Last updated July 27, 2017.
Unlike other states that require the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) to work under the supervision of a physician, in 2008, FNPs in Colorado were granted absolute autonomy by legislation that included the medical authority to work independently within their scope of practice.
As a primary care provider of family health, your chosen area of care provides the diversity to work with patients of all ages across the lifespan and in an array of settings. FNPs in Colorado are able to provide cost-effective healthcare in both urban settings and in underserved rural areas. With grants and the continued evolution of health care and health care reform, FNPs have made great strides in establishing themselves as independent clinicians in the State of Colorado.
As a progressive state, Colorado anticipated the physician shortage and the state residents that gained access to healthcare as a result of health care reform and has provided promotional efforts to increase practicing FNPs to strengthen the current primary care workforce. According to a research study in done by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, approximately 50 percent of the nation's 106,073 nurse practitioners are effectively working in primary care and provide a balance of affordable and effective care.
To learn more about how you can earn your Family NP degree in Colorado, simply request information from any or all of the schools below. The more information you gather as you move toward a decision, the better informed you should be, which is essential to finding the program that is best for you.
Family Nurse Practitioner Curriculum in Colorado
An FNP program in Colorado provides you with the support and education to practice in a wide variety of settings that include primary care. Admission requisites for a state-approved FNP program require an RN license in Colorado, an undergraduate degree or higher and may include pre-requisites that depend on your program of study.
FNPs in Colorado are required to have a graduate degree and may be satisfied with several options such as:
- BSN to a master's in FNP
- Master's degree to a post graduate certificate
- Master's degree to doctoral program of FNP
- Non-nursing bachelor's degree to master's in FNP
As your role in nursing is modified to an independent diagnostician, courses are devised to build on your current experience and scientific knowledge. Classes provide the support and education you require to practice the diagnostics and treatment of acute and chronic conditions, refer patients to specialists, manage hospital admitting rights and provide follow-up care.
Your curriculum may include courses such as:
- Health assessments and evaluations across the lifespan is an introduction to health interventions on high-risk populations and preventative care.
- Nursing research and theory prepare you to practice evidence-based care with an effective diagnostic rationale
- Pathophysiologic concepts empower the advanced nurse to manage chronic conditions across the lifespan
- Three semesters are commonly required for a clinical practicum that allows you to practice in simulated environments or with actual patients
Financing your Family Nurse Practitioner Program in Colorado
Due to the high demand for FNPs in Colorado, numerous state and federal loans and tuition reimbursement opportunities are available. The State Loan Repayment Program is offered by Colorado for FNPs who work in underserved areas of care. As an initiative of healthcare reform, FNPs may receive tuition repayment for their primary care role in Indian Health Services. In addition, Nurse Corps offers tuition reimbursement for FNPs who work in areas that are in need of access to healthcare.
Employment Opportunities for FNPs in Colorado
Colorado may award your FNP credentials after you have met the following requirements:
- An active RN license in Colorado
- Successful completion of your FNP graduate degree program
- A passing score on a national certification from a nationally recognized accrediting agency for FNPs
- Frequently, a graduate FNP may work with a physician that acts as a mentor and preceptor to satisfy the experience required for prescribing medications
As a successful graduate of an FNP program, you may have several employment opportunities and find yourself as a role model within the area of primary care for patients of all ages. According to a report by CNN, healthcare employers and governmental agencies are on a mission to ensure that nurse practitioners are empowered to help resolve the shortage of primary care physicians in Colorado and provide affordable care.
In addition to private practice, FNPs have numerous opportunities to work in governmental facilities, community-based care, hospitals and medical centers. FNPs are also needed in retail healthcare, occupational health settings for private corporations and Fortune 500 Companies. As a successful and independent practitioner, you may be afforded the rewards and prospects as a valued professional in your community.
According to the most recent statistics, Family NPs earn a mean annual salary of $107,160 in Colorado and are looking toward a steady growth rate in the profession of 31% through 2024 (BLS, 2017). Getting started as a primary care NP now could be a step toward a sustainable and rewarding nursing career in the long term.