With health care changes happening on a national and statewide basis, now may be an excellent time to earn an MSN degree. Whether you enjoy the patient care aspect of nursing, administration and leadership, or the idea of educating the next generation of nursing students, a Master's degree in nursing may allow you to take your career to the next level.
BestNursingDegree.com wants to help you connect with many of the top Master's in Nursing programs across the nation, including those schools in Colorado that offer MSN degree routes. With the growth of quality online programs, you can look beyond your home state for educational opportunities. Be sure to take your time and request information from several programs at once to make sure you have enough information to make the right decision about your graduate nursing education.
If you want to become a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, or nurse midwife, there are several nursing schools in Colorado that can provide you with the knowledge and clinical experience you need. In Colorado, nurse practitioners have full practice rights. Nurse practitioners play an important role in primary care in this state, since there's a statewide shortage of primary care doctors. Nurse practitioners can see patients independently, prescribe medications, and make diagnoses, easing the doctor shortage in the state.
The state has a particular need for certified registered nurses anesthetists (CRNAs). CRNAs are a crucial part of the operative team in many rural and critical access hospitals in Colorado. Healthcare experts in Colorado also predict a strong need for nurse practitioners who provide primary healthcare services. Like most states, Colorado is facing a looming physician shortage, and Nurse practitioners are increasingly providing the essential services formerly reserved only for physicians.
Curriculum of Masters in Nursing Programs
Colorado is experiencing a shortage of nursing instructors and clinical placement for students, which has held back the ability for Colorado to produce the number of nurses they need. To combat this shortage, are several online universities that offer an RN to MSN bridge program for nursing education and management. Clinical training can often be completed close to home, as a result of strategic partnerships between healthcare facilities and nursing schools.
Those who wish to become nurse educators may find a range of opportunities in Colorado. MSN nursing education programs may prepare you to teach Associate's degree and Bachelor's degree nursing students. According to e-Colorado, the profession in highest demand is nursing. Nursing schools may increase enrollment to meet this need, leading to a greater need for nursing educators.
If you currently have a Bachelor's degree in nursing, you may be able to earn an MSN in two to four years. Some Colorado programs are designed for working nurses, so they can be completed on a part-time basis. Others are meant for full-time students. If you have an Associate's degree in nursing, you may choose to look into RN to MSN programs. This program may require four to five years of education.
The first year of your education may be spent on core advanced nursing courses. Leadership, nursing practice, and education students may take courses like Foundations for Advanced Nursing, Research and Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing, and Advanced Pathophysiology. These courses provide the foundation for higher-level courses. Nursing education courses include Curriculum Planning for Nursing and Student Assessment in Nursing Education. Nurse practitioner students may take Health Assessment and Safety in Health Care Systems. Nurse practitioners, anesthetists, and midwives should plan on completing several hundred hours of clinical experience.
Going into administration or education still requires some practical experience. As a nursing research or administration student, you may spend several semesters in the lab or clinic to get relevant experience. Nursing education students may work as teaching assistants in Associate's-level or Bachelor's-level courses.
There are many scholarships available for students at nursing programs in Colorado. You can also apply for scholarships as a member of the Colorado Nurses Association. Also, the Colorado Department of Higher Education runs a nursing scholarship program.
Careers for Masters in Nursing Graduates in Colorado
Colorado is expected to be hit hard by nursing shortages according to the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence per their 2010 report.
So, with a large need for a new way of nurses, now is a great time to consider furthering your nursing career and advance your opportunities. An advanced nursing degree gives you the flexibility to choose your specialty as well as the opportunity to expand the options of where you work.
All nursing professionals, no matter what specialty, may contribute to the culture of nursing excellence in Colorado. The Northern Colorado Business Report notes that four of Colorado's hospitals were recently included in a list of the top 100 hospitals in the country, making this an enticing state to practice in.
Some popular nursing specialties in Colorado include:
- Nurse Practitioner: Most work in general physician offices and medical and surgical hospitals, but you also have the option of working at colleges or universities, home health care, outpatient care centers or specialty hospitals like psychiatric or substance abuse hospitals.
- Nurse Midwives: Generally midwives help treat pregnant women and in the birthing process. They can also provide gynecological care as well. Much like Nurse Practitioners, their concentration tends to be in offices of physicians, general medical and surgical hospitals and outpatient care centers.
- Nurse Anesthetist: CRNAs tend to be one of the higher paying nursing professions in the country, and Colorado is no different. Nurse Anesthetists work in doctor's offices, hospitals and offices of other types of health practitioners like optometrists, chiropractors and mental facilities.
In general, average Colorado salaries for higher-level nursing positions are above the national average. According to O*Net, nurse midwives in the state of Colorado earn an average salary of $95,300 per year. Salaries for nurse practitioners are similar; the average salary in Colorado is $95,200 per year (O*Net, 2013). The median salary for a nursing instructor is $59,800 (O*Net, 2013). The highest-paid advanced practice nurses in the state are nurse anesthetists, who claim an average salary of $167,700 (O*Net, 2013).
If you are ready to further your education and your nursing career by earning your MSN degree, all you need to do to get started is request program information from the schools that interest you. At BestNursingDegree.com, we believe in the power of education to change lives, and we make every effort to provide you with the resources you need to in order to become a well educated nurse.
MSN programs for Colorado nurses include:
- University of Colorado - Denver. UC-Denver offers a wide variety of MSN programs, including nurse midwifery programs, a variety of nurse practitioner programs, an adult clinical nurse specialist program and a master's degree in pediatric nursing leadership and special needs. An online program in nursing informatics is also available.
- Aspen University. Aspen is an online university that offers an RN-to-MSN bridge program that gives ADN nurses the opportunity to conveniently earn a master's degree with a focus in either nursing education or nursing management. Clinical experience can be completed close to home, and full-time students can earn their MSN in about two years.