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Last Reviewed: April 5th, 2023
In Colorado, the average annual wage for a nurse practitioner is $112,580 (Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021), which is roughly four percent lower than the national average of $118,040.
Colorado is currently facing a shortage of nursing staff, like most other states across the country, so nurse practitioners are in high demand.
Nurse practitioners in Colorado should note that the state is a “full practice” state, meaning that nurse practitioners can practice independently of physicians and prescribe medication after completing a preceptorship and a mentorship with a collaborating physician. This offers some potential for increased earnings, compared to other states, where nurse practitioners cannot always prescribe medication.
|Metro Area||# Employed||Mean Salary|
|Colorado Springs, CO||430||$107,070|
|Fort Collins, CO||200||$112,680|
|Grand Junction, CO||120||$110,250|
|Pueblo, CO||140||$114,380||Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021|
|Metro Area||# Employed||Mean Salary|
|Eastern and Southern Colorado nonmetropolitan area||100||$108,000|
|Southwest Colorado nonmetropolitan area||160||$97,930|
|Northwest Colorado nonmetropolitan area||130||$103,080||Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021|
No matter where you are in your journey to becoming a nurse practitioner, it is in your interest to understand how you can maximize your salary. Thankfully, if you are looking to increase your earning potential as a nurse practitioner in Colorado, there are many ways by which you can do so.
A great deal of education and hands-on training is required to be a well-paid and highly qualified nurse practitioner. This training properly prepares you for the daily duties of being a nurse practitioner. In addition, it also gives you the foundational and supplemental experience and skills necessary to ensure that you can boost your earnings as a nurse practitioner.
While becoming an nurse practitioner with a master’s degree is possible, increasing numbers of these advanced nursing clinical practitioners in Colorado are obtaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). In addition, data shows that nurse practitioners who possess a higher degree tend to earn significantly more in Colorado, making this a smart way to increase your earning potential.
Obtaining certifications in specialty areas is another way to supplement your training background and thus increase your wages as a nurse practitioner. You can obtain post master’s certificates such as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) certificate, which can help you advance your career.
No matter where you are on your journey to becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (ARPN), there are plenty of ways for you to ensure that your professional experiences are varied and valuable so that you can maximize your earning potential.
Nurse practitioners can choose to offer a specific type of care, and some practice areas pay more than others. For example, pediatric-acute care and psychiatric-mental health NPs tend to earn slightly more than the state-wide average salary for nurse practitioners, while women’s health and family nurse practitioners tend to make slightly less. You can choose to work in a field that often offers higher pay; however, you could also use experience in various practice areas to your advantage.
Your practice setting can also influence your salary. For example, nurse practitioners based in private physicians’ offices earn on average five percent less than hospital-based nurse practitioners and 10 percent less than nurse practitioners who work in outpatient care centers. However, nurse practitioners who work at outpatient care centers earn more than any of their counterparts.
When it comes to your salary, knowledge is power. So before starting the salary negotiation process to increase your salary as a nurse practitioner in Colorado, it’s important to understand the hourly or annual earnings of other nurse practitioners with similar educational backgrounds and experience in the state.
Understanding your income potential can help you ensure that you are maximizing your salary as a nurse practitioner.