One of the fastest growing job markets in the 21st century is the health profession. The demand for nurses has grown considerably and is expected to continue for the foreseeable future in Colorado. For those who are considering this profession, there are over 20 certified, accredited nursing schools in Colorado. Each one can provide the solid educational base necessary to pass the important national exam required to become a Registered Nurse or RN. Attending one of the top nursing schools in Colorado can also lead to employment opportunities that feature high job satisfaction, good salary, and promising career growth potential.
The Steps for Attending Nursing Schools in Colorado
As in most states, becoming a RN all begins with a high school diploma or the GED equivalent. Having a good grade point average or GPA is important as well. The next step is passing the SAT or ACT entrance exam which is required for attending a college or university. Getting an exceptionally high score can lead to potential grants or scholarships that a student can use to help offset tuition costs.
The next thing you need to decide is what level of nursing education is right for you. If you are only looking to go to school for 1 to 2 years, the position of LPN or Licensed Practical Nurse is available. Of course, if you are looking for better employment opportunities and flexibility than you might look into a four year bachelors degree to become an RN or Registered Nurse. If you choose to pursue your bachelors degree, the first two years of schooling are focused on the basic courses. Subjects such as Biology, English, and Science are particularly helpful during this period. The next two years will focus specifically on classes and courses tied directly to the nursing field.
The Best Nursing Schools in Colorado
The three top nursing schools in Colorado, according to their national standing are the University of Colorado in Denver, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and the University of Northern Colorado in Greely. While all three nursing schools enjoy a fine national reputation, the University of Colorado in Denver ranks particularly high and is considered one of the twenty best in the nation. For students willing to relocate to Denver, this represents a superb opportunity for those seeking the best nursing job opportunities after they graduate.
Online Colorado Nursing Schools
The University of Phoenix which is a popular national university offering online courses can provide a good alternative for those who may not be able to leave home. Most of the top nursing schools in Colorado offer some of their courses online as well. It is generally better to attend a nursing program that is within the state simply because a student can take advantage of the placement program.
How Much do Nursing Schools in Colorado Cost?
Tuition costs of Colorado nursing schools have been on the rise along with all college and university tuitions across the nation. While the costs do vary within Colorado depending on which nursing school is selected, the average is around $10,000 per year for in-state students. Tuition in Colordo is generally at the average or even somewhat lower than other states.
To help students pay for the tuition cost, there are three basic methods, work, student loans or scholarships and grants. Working through college has its advantages is that students avoid financial aid costs altogether, but the burdens can be considerable. Student loans are very popular and can pay for most, if not all tuition, but paying them back can be high, especially considering the interest rates. Plus, it will take a considerable chunk out of your paycheck for years to come. Scholarships and grants may be the best method for those who can qualify and are selected. They offer the best way to cover tuition costs without the need to payback or the burden of working.
The nursing prospects in Colordo look promising over the next two decades. The states growing population combined with the aging “baby boomers” will mean that more nursing positions will be available due to the upswing in hospital and clinic expansions, along with the explosion of growth in nursing and assisted living home. Colorado is on the fast track to becoming one of the most expanding areas for nursing opportunities and attending one of the best nursing schools in Colorado can help start you on the path to a strong, healthy career.