Colorado has approximately 61,000 Registered Nurses (RN and LPN), many of whom would be described as Staff Nurses. As the largest single occupation within the healthcare delivery system, Colorado’s registered nurses are a critical element defining the capacity and nature of the state’s healthcare delivery system. Fifty-nine percent of Colorado’s registered nurses are employed by hospitals; 21% are employed by ambulatory healthcare facilities (doctors’ offices, commmunity clinics, public health, etc.), and 6% are employed by nursing and residential care facilities. All indications are that the demand for nurses will increase over the coming decade, driven by an growing general population, a significant growth in the 65+ population (450,000 to 900,000) and the changing nature of healthcare.
32% (20,000) of Colorado’s nurses are over the age of 55; nearly 11,000 of Colorado’s nurses are over the age of 60. On average, 2,000 nurses are expected to retire annually over the next ten years.