The health care industry continues to grow throughout the nation and Colorado mirrors the nation because of an increase in seniors, health care reform and about 2,000 nurses a year retiring in Colorado. The health care industry and specifically nursing is one industry still hiring strongly in Colorado.
The state of Colorado remains one of the fastest growing states in the union. From 1990 to 2,000 the population went from 3,294,000 to 4,301,000 and increase of 30.6 percent and the population will reach 5.2 million by 2025. This means more jobs for the health care industry. Over half the people coming to Colorado are at the retirement age. With more seniors come more jobs in home health care and assisted living positions for nurses in general and certified nursing aides, CNAs.
The CNA field will grow regardless of what happens to the nation wide health care reform bill just because the senior population continues to grow in the state along with the overall population. Experts like the Lewin Group, a national recognized expert in health care, project that if the health care bill remains, then the demand for more nurses across the board will be needed and over 890,000 new health care jobs could be created nationally. If health care reform continues, this would push 540,000 people on to insurance in Colorado placing a strain on the system for more health care professionals.
The CNA field in Colorado will continue to grow in Colorado by 26 percent in the next five years according to the Colorado Department of Labor and employment. The advantage of becoming a CNA in Colorado lies in the quick training.
A person wishing to be a CNA can complete training in a mater of three months from a Colorado Board of Nursing approved program. Colleges and vocational schools in Colorado offer courses which give potential CNAs a wide variety of programs to meet the needs of different types of students.
Students entering a Colorado CNA program can expect to take 107 hours of training or one four-credit hour course and one one-credit clinical course. The course work prepares CNA candidates for the Colorado Board of Nursing CNA exam.
To take the exam you must apply after completing your program, submit to drug testing, criminal back ground check and immunizations.
The exam costs $95 in Colorado. The test consists of two parts. A 2 hour 70 question multiple choice section and a 25 minute skills section that test you on five skills.
The cost advantages to becoming a CNA means that a person can change careers relatively cheaply from $400 to $800 in a relatively short amount of time. The career as a CNA gives a person a foothold in the fast paced nursing industry. It also opens doors to other nursing opportunities through on the job training and continued education. It also allows exploration of nursing and allows a person to get a taste of what it’s like to be a nurse.