There are many good reasons for a nurse in Colorado to pursue a graduate degree. MSN-educated nurses have both more opportunities and greater earning power. The Advanced Healthcare Network of Nurses survey of the western region maintains that while holders of a BSN degree can expect an average annual salary of $75,773, MSN-educated nurses can expect an average of $89,933.
Career options available to MSN-educated nurses include leadership/management positions, nurse researcher, healthcare administrator and nursing educator. Education is a particularly high needs area. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 2,036 qualified individuals were turned away from nursing programs in 2013 because of a faculty shortage.
In 2013, some 7.4 percent of Colorado’s nurses held master’s degrees and were licensed as Advanced Practice Nurses.
Colorado has 11 AACN accredited schools offering specialized RN-MSN programs with flexible schedules and online courses that allow nurses to continue working while earning an advanced degree.
Regional Salaries for Colorado’s Nurse Practitioners
The AACN notes that 596 of the 649 Colorado RNs enrolled in APN programs in 2013 were studying to become nurse practitioners. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2013 occupational survey lists the following salaries for Colorado’s 2,090 nurse practitioners:
For comparison, the Colorado Department of Labor’s LMI Gateway also reports nurse practitioner salaries:
By comparison, the following are the salaries for RNs without a graduate degree:
The BLS also shows salary figures for nurse practitioners in key areas of Colorado:
Regional Salaries for Colorado Nurse Anesthetists
Nurse anesthetists are the oldest of the APN professions, dating back to the battlefield hospitals of the Civil War. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Colorado had 110 nurse anesthetists in 2013, 40 of which served in the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield metropolitan area.
*The actual figures for 90h percentile nurse anesthetist salaries are higher than $187,199 a year and $90.00 an hour. These sums represent the highest salary figures reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for Colorado.
Regional Salaries for Nurse Midwives in Colorado
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) maintains that there are 190 nurse midwives in Colorado. Denver-Aurora-Broomfield is the nation’s metropolitan area with the eighth highest employment level for this profession. BLS lists the following for 2013: