Colorado has experienced a surge in the demand for nurses in the recent years. The Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence published a report in 2010, highlighting issues facing nursing workforce in the state. It talked about an 'aging labor pool, a growing and graying population and a restricted number of nursing school graduates.'
Over the years, the situation has seen some improvements but on the whole, one cannot ignore the importance of nursing programs. So if you are a Colorado resident, and thinking about what career path to follow, nursing might be a pretty good option.
Nursing Programs in Colorado
There are various schools all over the state that offer nursing programs, such as LPN, ADN, diploma or BSN programs.
As the health care industry is expanding and becoming increasingly complex, government and health care agencies are beginning to seriously consider the significance of a BSN program. Recent years have therefore seen BSN programs gaining importance in this field.
BSN Degree Colorado
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program prepares students for entry and middle level nursing careers. Students who have no prior experience or formal nursing education can apply for this program, as well as individuals who already have an associate degree or diploma in nursing.
A BSN in Colorado would teach students how to carry out diagnostic tests, record patient's medical histories and symptoms, analyze test results and administer medication. The program could take two to four years to complete, depending on whether you are enrolled in the regular program or an accelerated program. After completing this program, students are eligible to take the licensing exam for registered nurses, known as the NCLEX-RN.
The courses generally taught in a BSN program include the likes of the following:
Health assessment methods
Empirical research in healthcare settings
Healthcare for young and elderly patients
Career Options for a BSN Graduate in Colorado
After completing a BSN program, there are several career paths you could take. These include:
Critical care nurse
Home health care nurse
Ambulatory care nurse
Why Should You Get a BSN?
Since there are several ways of entering the nursing field, many might question the need for getting a BSN degree. Let's take a look at a few reasons why you should get a BSN degree.
BSN mandatory within 10 Years: In 2008, the American Nurses Association passed a resolution which suggested that all the registered nurses (RN's) who graduate with an ADN or diploma program in nursing, may be required to obtain a BSN within 10 years of licensure. The resolution, widely known as the 'BSN in 10' resolution, is being considered in at least 18 states, including New York and New Jersey.
Institute of Medicine: 80% of all nurses should have a BSN by 2020: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) in a recent report The Future of Nursing recognized the challenges faced by the healthcare industry. The report talked about how the issues faced by the health care industry today are not the same as those faced in the past. Today's patients are older and sicker and are living in a much unhealthier environment, resulting in a diverse set of diseases and health conditions. The mere possession of basic nursing skills is no longer considered enough. While the organization realized that a BSN is not the solution to all problems in the nursing industry, it recommended BSN holders should increase by at least 80% by 2020.
BSN – A Potential requirement for entry: In recent years, an increasing number of nursing organizations are recommending the BSN as the minimum entry criterion into the field. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recognizes this degree as the minimum educational requirement, especially for students looking for careers at the case-manager or supervisory level.
Nurse educator shortage: The nursing industry has experienced a critical shortage of nurse educators in the recent years. The BSN prepared nurses are not only qualified to practice in the healthcare sector, but they could also go into the teaching sector. They are qualified enough to be able to teach both certified nurse assistants (CNA's) and licensed practical nurses (LPN’s).
Better salary: With a higher educational qualification, comes the prospect of earning a better salary.
With these reasons in mind, your choice for a career in Colorado should no longer be a difficult one.
Supplementary Content: 5 Celebrities You Never Knew Were Nurses
Tina Turner: The famous “What's Love Got to Do With It' singer was at one time a nurse's aide at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.
Kate Gosselin: Before achieving stardom through the reality series called Jon & Kate Plus 8, Gosselin spent her days as a labor and delivery nurse.
Naomi Judd: Known for her contributions to country music, Naomi Judd was once a practicing nurse in intensive care. In fact, it was one of Judd's patients who secured the audition that launched her music career.
Adrian Holmes: Before being cast in the hit series Smallville, Adrian Holmes worked as a nurse at the Vancouver General Hospital.
Bonnie Hunt: Bonnie Hunt has been Hollywood's soccer mom, doing pretty much everything ranging from film, comedy, writing to directing. But in her previous life, she was a licensed medical professional, working as an oncology nurse at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.