The Nursing and Healthcare Workforce In Colorado. Report highlights from this Colorado Health Foundation funded study — The health care and social services sector in Colorado employs over 250,000 employees, is growing, and has an annual payroll of over $11 billion. Twenty percent (40,000) of the state’s health care employees and thirty-two percent (21,000) of the state’s nurses are over the age of 55.

There is a mis-match between Colorado’s ability to educate new nurses and the increased need for nurses to replace retirements, support Colorado’s steady population growth of 80-100,000 new residents per year, and respond to the fact that the state’s over 65 population will expand dramatically from 530,000 in 2010 to 924,000 in 2020. An additional factor that will increase the demand for nurses is the increased numbers of residents that will be able to access health care as a result of state and national reforms. (March 2010).

2009-10 Nurse Faculty Survey: Preliminary Findings. The Colorado Health Institute (CHI), in collaboration with the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence (CCNE), collected data in January 2010 about Colorado’s nursing faculty. The study was funded by The Colorado Trust and is designed to inform Colorado’s nursing leadership, regulatory bodies and policymakers about the current state of Colorado’s nurse training programs with a specific focus on faculty recruitment and retention issues.
According to the survey, 25% of the state’s 900 nursing faculty are intending to retire by 2015, and another 25% are intending to retire by 2010. Given the length of time that it takes to prepare MSN, PhD and DNP nursing faculty, the relatively numbers of nurses in graduate programs, and the increasingly serious national shortage of nursing faculty, this issue presents a significant challenge to Colorado’s ability to educate a new generation of nurses. Presented to: Nurse education program directors, Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence, Colorado Board of Nursing, Colorado health foundations, and other organizations interested in nurse faculty workforce issues. Presenter: Christine Demont-Heinrich, MPH. (April 2010)

Questions to ask before you apply to a nursing education program.
This four page document is designed to provide assistance to individuals that are considering a career in nursing, and looking at applying to nursing schools.

Faculty Development Initiative Educates 450 Clincal Scholars in Colorado.
Dr. Karren Kowalski and Marianne Horner published an article in the September 2008 edition of Colorado Nurse regarding the findings from the Center’s Faculty Development Initiative. In 2005 the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence was awarded a multi-year, $1 million dollar grant from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to address the severe and worsening shortage of nursing clinical faculty in the state of Colorado. A shortage of prepared clinical faculty creates a significant limit in the provision of adequate numbers of new nurses in our state. The original grant identified a target of 45 new Clinical Scholars; the Center has trained 450 to-date. (September 2008)

“Models of Care” — Emerging Practices in Care Delivery across Colorado and Beyond.
Many groups in Colorado and beyond are beginning to explore new models of health care and recommend policy changes that need to occur to assure that health care workers are working in the best way to assure access to care for all Coloradans. An effective health care delivery system will harness technology and maximize collaboration among health care team members to provide the best care for patients in light of health care workforce constraints. To begin to see possibilities about future care delivery models, several ideas are available from a scan of Colorado health care providers as well as from other efforts that may have a state or national reach. This overview contains a short description of fifteen different “models of care”. We hope you find them stimulating in terms of what might be possible as we collaborate to develop preferred models of care delivery for Coloradans. (February 2010).

New Graduate Nursing Transition to Practice: Current and Future Needs.
Eighty-one hospital and ten academic responders in Colorado were surveyed in 2007 regarding new-graduate RN preparation and transition to practice. The study looked at critical factors in preparing and onboarding new RNs in practice, including: preparation, orientation, hiring/retention, mentoring, and areas of clinical practice. Overall, findings point to the need for policy-level and systems reform rather than single-issue programs, transitory projects, or one-time “fixes.” (November 2007)

Nursing in Colorado: Measuring Quality and Supporting Patient Safety
Issued by the Governor’s Nurse Workforce and Health Care Taskforce. Heath care quality and patient safety is fully dependent on the availability of well-educated, compassionate nurses. With no foreseeable abatement in Colorado’s nursing shortage, let alone the nation as a whole, critical measures must be taken to avoid the compromise of our health care system. In this groundbreaking report, key state and industry leaders come together with crucial recommendations addressing nursing education, retention, compensation and standards of quality measurement. (December 2007).

Quick Facts on Nursing Supply and Demand. This brief fact sheet provides an overall snapshot of the supply and demand of nurses in Colorado. Very conservative assumptions indicate that Colorado will be short 6,300 registered nurses by 2018. Less conservative nursing retirement assumptions plus the impact of health reform and a rapidly aging Colorado population could easily double this shortage. (June 2010)