According to the Occupational Employment Statistics data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 36,850 registered nurses holding Colorado nursing jobs as of May 2007. At this time, the average annual wage for Colorado registered nurses was $61,890, which is $29.76 per hour. This is considerably higher than the average wage earned by workers in all industries in the State of Colorado in May of 2007. The average annual wage for all workers was $43,100, or $20.72 per hour. This comparison shows why many Colorado natives and new residents may choose to enter Colorado nursing programs and take advantage of this higher compensation, while having the opportunity to work directly with patients and help save lives.
Across the country, employment prospects for registered nurses are expected to increase by 23% by the year 2016, as reported in the Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is one of the fastest anticipated growth rates in any industry and would result in 587,000 additional registered nursing jobs. This increase is expected due to a growing population, an aging population that is living longer, and the retirement of registered nurses from the field. Those considering Colorado nursing careers can expect to see a similar rate of growth in Colorado.
Prospective nurses and current students considering Colorado nursing programs may want to keep in mind that registered nurses with a bachelor-level degree or higher will experience considerably more and better employment opportunities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Registered nurses that complete graduate programs that confer masters or doctorate degrees in nursing will, of course, enjoy the most opportunities for career growth across the nation and in Colorado nursing careers.