New York RN looking to relocate to Colorado: Licensing Process, etc.


I am currently licensed as an RN in New York state but am looking to relocate to Colorado.... and have some questions regarding how to go about switching my license from NY to CO and applying for new jobs! If any one can help, i would greatly appreciate it since i don't seem to be finding much on the internet or elsewhere.

So, here are my main questions:

  • Do i need to have a Colorado license BEFORE i can begin applying for jobs in Colorado? Or can i let employers know i am in the midst of getting a Colorado license (or plan to get one) prior to applying?
  • If i obtain a Colorado license, is my New York state license immediately invalidated? or will it remain active (meaning that i would hold an active license in 2 states at once)?
  • Also... does anyone have ideas on how competitive the job market in and around Denver, Colorado is for RN's? I'm a relatively new RN being that i only graduated with my BSN last may (since June i have been working on a two medsurg units at a large hospital; one specializing in infectious disease, the other is a secure unit for inmates) so have only been working as an RN for ~10 months now. However, i plan to apply for jobs beginning September 1st so, by the time i actually plan to start work in Colorado, will have 1+ years of experience.

Thank you so much for your help and answers to my questions!

klone, MSN, RN

14,576 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

Hi, looks like you're new here! There is a forum specifically for CO nurses, so you would probably get more answers if you posted this there.

Is NY a compact state? When I moved from AZ to CO (both compact states) I was able to work temporarily under my AZ license while I applied for my CO license. IIRC, you need to have a CO home address in order to apply for a CO license. If NY is not a compact state, then it would seem to me that you may not be able to work until your CO license goes through, but I don't know that for sure.

The Denver area is EXTREMELY competitive. I think there are about 6 schools in the Denver area that churn out new grad nurses. When I was looking to change fields a couple years ago, it took me four months and probably 100 applications before I was offered a viable job (and I had 5+ years of acute care experience).

I would not recommend relocating until you have secured employment, unless you have a sugar daddy.


5 Posts

Thank you for your response! I didn't realize there is a forum specifically for CO nurse but have now posted my questions there :)