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Previously proposed legislation to enable 13 institutions in the Colorado state system of community colleges to offer four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees was signed into law this week. The new legislation, HB18-1086 “Community College Bachelor Science Degree Nursing,” will set the stage for the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) to begin offering BSN completion programs.

CCCS System President Dr. Nancy McCallin tells GlobeNewswire.com, “Colorado needs more BSN-prepared nurses, and with this legislation, CCCS will now be able to deliver them! We are ready, willing and able to respond to this workforce need, and look forward to presenting new academic offerings that will create a healthier Colorado.”

CCCS developed the legislation in response to requests from healthcare providers who expressed growing concern about the state’s looming shortage of skilled nurses. The bill received widespread support from healthcare providers, industry organizations, and elected officials. Allowing the CCCS system to offer BSN programs will expand options available to nursing students to help address the nursing shortage and improve healthcare outcomes across the state.

The state of Colorado is currently experiencing an annual shortage of 500 BSN-prepared nurses with that figure expected to grow to 4,500 nurses by 2024. Local health care providers have been forced to hire nurses from other states to help fill empty positions, increasing healthcare costs. The new legislation will help address the shortage by enabling institutions to offer four-year BSN completion degrees to nurses who want to fill empty positions but don’t have access to the additional training and education they need.

To learn more about Colorado’s new legislation to address Colorado’s nursing shortage, visit here.

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