Colorado may rank as one of worst states as far as looking for a job with unemployment above 8.0 percent (August 2011 = 8.5%), but there is a silver lining. In Colorado, health care workers rank at the top in getting jobs. Recent surveys attribute the rise in health care jobs to, baby boomers retiring, more seniors moving to Colorado, and the recent health care law changes. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment predict certified nursing aides, CNAs, to experience a growth of 26 percent in the next five years.
Wayne Heiuman of the Colorado Springs Gazette said, “Local job prospects are best in the manufacturing, retailing, information technology, education, health care and tourism industries, according to the survey…” Health care ranked high in the survey because about 32 percent of the nurses in Colorado are facing retirement in the next decade.
To get started in the nursing field in Colorado does not require massive amounts of money to obtain the training. A job as a certified nursing aide, CNA, can cost a person from $400 to $800. In Colorado, your salary to start will range from $20,000 to $26,000 with benefits.
Before you rush off to be a CNA, ask yourself if you have the following qualities: patient with people, good people skills, and do not mind cleaning up after those who can not clean themselves. If you said yes to these qualities, then you might be able to handle nursing. To start training you must be a high school graduate, drug free, able to work legally in the United States, subject to immunizations, and you must submit to a criminal back ground check.
Colorado CNA training consists of either course work from a multitude of community colleges throughout Colorado or private nursing schools and vocational schools. The advantage of taking course work at community colleges is cost. The disadvantage is some of the community colleges maybe overcrowded. Most CNA certification schools have evening classes which allow students to work while they attend school. Financial Aid in the form of student loans may be available. Colleges usually require students to maintain a 2.0 GPA.
Once accepted to a school, the Colorado Board of Nursing requires107 hours of training or around 12 weeks of course work. This translates into 50 hours of course work. Most nursing schools and vocational schools allow students to finish the coursework within a semester. Usually nursing training requires students to attend a four-credit course and then a one-credit clinical course. The clinical course is hands on experience working in a medical facility.
Once the training is completed the student must then pass an exam. Colorado students take the national Certified Nursing Assistant exam through Pearson Vue located in Denver. The cost to take the exam comes just a bit under $100. The certification is good for 24 months and expires on January 31 of even numbered years.
The Colorado health care industry will bring job security for those involved as nurses. Becoming a CNA begins your career and gets your foot into a very rewarding community.