Colorado nurses are some of the lowest paid in the country from what I read online. For a BSN degree in Denver as a new grad you're getting about 30/hr if you can find a job. Many hospitals in the Denver area don't hire new grads at all. I have friends who drive from Denver to Pueblo to work at a hospital there that hires new grads on 2 year contracts.
The cost of living in the Denver metro area has skyrocketed in the last 3 years. Rent has no-joke doubled or more and housing prices are up 50-70% in the last 3 years. Traffic is also horrible now due to the massive influx of people and poor road infrastructure (super expensive toll road on the east, mountains on the west, not enough north/south highway capacity).
I moved out to Denver in 2008 and am very happy I got into nursing school
outside of the mess that Denver has become now. I'll be heading towards the western slope after my first year or two if I need to sign a two year contract that is.
Oh and Pueblo pays new BSN's about 10% less then Denver but the cost of living is massively cheaper; housing and rent is half the cost of Denver which gives me a ton more disposable income to go on trips, pay off debt, or whatever.