Programs to Become an RN in Colorado
Healthcare enthusiasts searching for the best health field to enter may certainly want to consider nursing. The field of nursing is the fastest growing career and suffers considerably less than other career fields during times of economic downturn. Nursing continues it strong, upward trend and more than 85,000 nursing positions are expected to be added through the year 2020. Colorado is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact.
To qualify to take the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in Colorado, RNs must complete a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. The school of choice must be accredited by Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Colorado Board of Nursing (CBON). During the course of studies, students may choose an area of specialization. Students who pursue an advanced nursing degree, such as a master and doctorate will find more opportunity for advancement, positions in management and supervision and teaching.
Nursing students in Colorado often choose a specialty while in the clinical training portion of the program. Choice of specialty is based on field of interest, salary and advancement and employment opportunities. Some of the areas of specialty include emergency room, obstetrics, surgery, intensive care, geriatrics and public health.
Upon completing the required educational component, graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN.
Prior to graduation students are encourage to submit their application to the CBON to take the test and an application to Pearson VUE, the exam administrator. The nursing board will review the application and if it is complete will approve it and if not, they will send it back to the application for completion. The applicant will receive an authorization to test (ATT) as soon as the application is approved. The ATT is needed to schedule an appointment with Pearson VUE to take the exam. The exam is 275 questions and 5 hours are allowed for the exam. When the applicant passes the exam, they will be issued an RN license number and added to the active nurse data base.
RNs must renew their license every two years. Each license expires on 30 September. For nurses who were born in an odd year, licenses renew in the odd year, the first renewal being the odd year following the initial license award. Nurses born in an even year will renew their license in the even year the first renewal being the even year following the initial license award. RNs are not required to complete continuing education hours as a requirement for renewal.
The average RN salary in Colorado is $68,000 and the average starting salary for an entry level RNs is $48,000. The maximum RN salary is $110,000. Salary increases are based on geographic location, area of specialty, years of experience, facility where employed and level of responsibility. RNs who hit closer to the maximum salary are typically nurses who have risen to supervisory and teaching positions.
RNs will find employment in nursing homes and hospitals, clinics, occupational healthcare centers, educational and government facilities, visiting nurse and hospice organizations and rehabilitation facilities. RNs typically dispense medication, perform diagnostic testing, monitor vital signs, dress wounds and change dressings, assist surgeons in the operating room and assemble patient care plans.
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