Colorado has something for everyone, from thrilling mountains to glamorous restaurants to a variety of breweries. It’s also one of the states with the highest demands for nurses, so travel nursing jobs in Colorado are as plentiful as they are fun. Here are four reasons to choose the Centennial State for your next travel nursing assignment.
1. Colorado is an NLC state
Colorado is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact. That means it’s much easier to get licensed to work in Colorado when you already have a license in an NLC compact state. All that you’ll need to do is apply for a multistate license through the NCSBN. At that point, you’ll be licensed to work in Colorado as well as other members states in the Compact.
2. Colorado needs nurses
Colorado has the third-highest gap in the country in terms of its need for nurses. A 2021 study found that while Colorado currently has a nursing gap of around 2,600 nurses, that number will grow to a projected gap of more than 10,000 nurses by 2026. Colorado’s population has grown at twice the national average, but the nursing population hasn’t grown at a proportional rate, increasing the shortage.
Colorado currently has 118 hospitals, but most of these hospitals are small and rural, so they’ve had a difficult time recruiting and retaining nurses. This, of course, means less healthcare access for the rural population. In addition, Colorado nursing homes have experienced a surge of residents, while losing more than 2,000 employees. The Colorado government is investing in training more healthcare workers, but in the short term the state needs more travel nurses. You’ll definitely be in demand if you’re interested in travel nursing in Colorado.
3. A high quality of life
Colorado offers a high quality of life. In 2022, U.S. News ranked Colorado 16th in the nation for quality of life, and Boulder as the fourth best place to live in the country. Colorado also has the second strongest economy in the country, and despite its nursing shortage it still has the 10th best healthcare system, so travel nursing jobs in Colorado are plentiful and well-funded.
4. There’s something for everyone
One reason Colorado ranks so highly for quality of life is all the amazing things there are to do there. For outdoorsy types, it’s a mecca. For mountain vistas and climbs, visit Rocky Mountain National Park, which is equally beautiful in the summer and winter. Or, for combining beauty with history, visit Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez, which has incredibly preserved Native American cliff dwellings.
If you’re more of an art lover, Denver has the Denver Art Museum with a great variety of modern and classical works. Just outside of town, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an other-worldly concert venue built within natural rock formations that’s fun no matter what show you attend.
For foodies, each town in Colorado has its own gems. The Denver Central Market has all sorts of shops, and Boulder’s Frasco Food + Wine has the accolades of a big-city restaurant with a smaller-town feel. As a bonus, Colorado has the fourth-highest number of breweries per capita, so in any town you visit, you’ll have a plethora of options for unique and classic beers.
With high demand for travel nurses, countless recreational opportunities, and a high quality of life, Colorado has a lot to offer nurses looking for adventure.