Salaries for Colorado’s MSN-Educated Nurses

By definition, APRNs have at least a master’s degree, while most RNs have an associate’s or bachelor’s as their highest degree. Thus comparing the median salary among RNs and nurse practitioners in Colorado demonstrates the earning power that an MSN confers.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provided this salary data as of 2014:

Metropolitan areas

Colorado Area
Difference
RN Salary
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield
$33200
$71130
Boulder
$32320
$72150
Colorado Springs
$29190
$62250
Greeley
$26670
$67470
Grand Junction
$26390
$66520
Pueblo
$24020
$62910
Fort Collins-Loveland
$23860
$63330

Nonmetropolitan areas

Colorado Area
Difference
RN Salary
Northcentral Colorado
$30750
$69560
East and South Colorado
$29160
$58210
West Colorado
$21240
$60880

Salary Ranges of MSN-Educated Nurses in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment provided the average salary for MSN-educated nurses overall and for nurses with and without experience as of 2014. Experienced nurse anesthetists earned the highest average salary:

Nurse Career
Experienced
Entry-level
Nurse Anesthetists
$193792
$124212
Nurse Practitioners
$114398
$75074
Nurse Midwives
$107427
$75525
Nurse Educators
$79489
$37501

Colorado has a High Concentration of Jobs for MSN-Educated Nurses

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, two metropolitan areas in Colorado had one of the highest concentrations of jobs in the country for nursing professions that require an MSN. Pueblo had the 5th highest concentration of jobs for nurse educators and the 7th for nurse practitioners. In addition, the Denver area had the 10th highest concentration of jobs for nurse midwives.

The number of MSN-educated nurses in Colorado increased dramatically according to a 2015 report published by the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence entitled Colorado’s Future Healthcare Workforce and the Role of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses. This report highlighted the 23% increase in licensed APRNs in Colorado between 2000 and 2013.

In fact, an additional 1,985 nurses became licensed as APRNs between 2009 and 2013 according to the 2015 Environmental Scan published in the Journal of Nursing Regulation.

In addition to the dramatic change in the number of licensed APRNs in Colorado, the type of licenses obtained has also changed dramatically according to the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence. In 2000, only 61% of Colorado’s licensed APRNs were nurse practitioners, while this percentage rose to 81% in 2013. The percentage of clinical nurse specialists decreased by 14% during this time frame.

Salaries for Colorado’s Nurse Practitioners

Shown below is expanded detail on the salaries of nurse practitioners in the major urban and rural parts of Colorado as of 2014. This data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the median salary among nurse practitioners in Boulder and the Denver area was substantially higher than the median salary among nurse practitioners in other parts of Colorado:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Boulder CO
150
102120
Colorado Springs CO
160
89850
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield CO
1120
108250
Fort Collins-Loveland CO
100
88200
Grand Junction CO
70
115640
Greeley CO
90
100730
Pueblo CO
140
83220
East and South Colorado nonmetropolitan area
60
83740
West Colorado nonmetropolitan area
90
82240
Northcentral Colorado nonmetropolitan area
Estimate not released
96950

*This value is equal to or greater than $90/hour or $187,199/year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salary data beyond this level.

Salary Range for Nurse Anesthetists in the Denver Area

Shown below is a detailed analysis of the salaries earned by nurse anesthetists in the Denver area as of 2014 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics):

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield CO
40
169350

*This value is equal to or greater than $90/hour or $187,199/year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salary data beyond this level.

Nurse Midwife Salaries in the Denver Area

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provided the range of salaries that nurse midwives earned in the Denver area as of 2014:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield CO
90
93230

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