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Workforce demand is driven by four factors: population growth, retirements, the healthcare needs of a rapidly aging state population and the impact of health reform . This analysis works to incorporate the first three factors . It is too soon to understand the multi-dimensional impact of health reform .The projection’s core assumptions are that the ratio between providers and population remains the same (e .g ., 360 residents per physician and 1,700 per nurse practitioner) and that on average healthcare providers retire at the age of 65 . Should there be insufficient physicians or should these ratios increase, APRN and PA workforce demand will increase .
Colorado’s Advanced Practice Nurses: Who they are and why you should care12VI. Colorado’s APRN Workforce: Status & Future DemandA. Four Types of APRNs Although most discussions of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) tend to focus on Nurse Practitioners (NPs), as Table 2 indicates, there are three other types of licensed Colorado APRNs .These are Certified Nurse Specialist, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and Certified Nurse Midwife . (See Appendix 1 for detail .) There are 3,237 licensed, active NPs in Colorado, comprising 71% of total Colorado APRNs .All APRNs must complete master’s level graduate training from a school of nursing, receive national certification in their speciality and obtain a Colorado APRN license . There are six nursing schools in Colorado that award APRN degrees: Colorado Mesa University, Colorado State University - Pueblo, Regis University, University of Colorado at Denver and at Colorado Springs, and the University of Northern Colorado . These six schools graduate an average of 200 nurse practitioners and an additional 50 other types of APRNs per year .B. Volume and License Type TrendsThere is no explicit current or historical measure of the workforce and employment demand for APRNs in Colorado . However, given that it is not possible to practice without a state license, APRN license data from the Colorado Board of Nursing would seem to be a useful surrogate indicator for APRN workforce demand .As indicated by Graph 6, the growth in annual volume of new APRN licenses issued has been uneven . The APRN license volume was largely flat from 2000 to 2006, and since 2006 has increased in volume to rise significantly above the 2000 level .Averaging out this uneven year to year pattern, there has been a 23% increase in APRN licenses from 2000 to 2013 . The overall growth rate is consistent with Colorado’s total population increase of 25% over the same time period .What has changed significantly between 2000 and 2013 is the mix of APRN license types that are issued annually, as indicated by Graph 7 . In 2000, 61% of the APRN licenses issued were for nurse practitioners; by 2013, that percent had increased markedly to 81% .