DENVER—Today, legislation that will greatly expand the number of higher education institutions offering bachelor’s degrees in nursing passed the House with strong bipartisan support. House Bill 18-1086, sponsored by Representative Paul Lundeen (R-Monument), removes the statutory exemption that precludes community colleges in Colorado from offering a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
While there are seven four-year institutions in Colorado that offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing, most have a lengthy wait list- some extending several years. Additionally, according to the director of the University Colorado, Colorado Springs Economic Forum, there is deficit of 1300 trained nurses in the state’s workforce.
“We don’t have enough nurses and the problem is getting worse – this bill fixes that problem,” said Lundeen. “Community colleges are just as able to educate and train nurses as any higher education institution and I hope the strong momentum this bill has encourages more students to consider a four-year degree in this important profession.”
Currently, there are 14 community colleges in Colorado, 10 of which offer an associate’s degree in nursing.
House Bill 18-1086 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.