Nursing Schools in Colorado

If you’re considering a career in nursing, Colorado offers numerous accredited nursing programs to help you achieve your goals. With a variety of degree options, affordable tuition costs, and diverse nursing specialties available, Colorado is an excellent place to begin your nursing education.

In this article, we’ll explore the best nursing schools in Colorado, including rankings and reviews, admission requirements, and more. We’ll also provide an overview of nursing degrees, certifications, and careers to help you make an informed decision on your path to becoming a nurse.

Why Colorado is a Great Place to Become a Nurse

  • High demand for nurses: With an aging population and increased focus on preventative care, the demand for nurses is on the rise in Colorado.
  • Diverse healthcare settings: Colorado offers numerous healthcare settings to work in, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and more.
  • Variety of nursing programs: With over 30 accredited nursing schools in the state, you’re sure to find a program that fits your needs.
  • Affordable tuition: Many of Colorado’s nursing programs offer competitive tuition rates and financial aid opportunities.
  • Outdoor lifestyle: Colorado’s beautiful landscape and outdoor activities make it an attractive place to live and work.

Ranking Methodology

When evaluating nursing schools in Colorado, we considered five key criteria: accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), affordability, graduation rates, NCLEX-RN pass rates, and Nursing School Search editorial reputation. While these rankings can be a helpful starting point when choosing a school, it’s important to consider other factors such as location, program offerings, and personal preferences. Learn more about our ranking methodology here.

Best Ranked Nursing Schools in Colorado

Choosing the right nursing school is essential for your success as a nurse. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best nursing schools in Colorado based on our ranking methodology, which considers accreditation, affordability, graduation rates, NCLEX-RN pass rates, and editorial reputation.

University of Colorado College of Nursing

  • Accreditation: CCNE-accredited BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD programs
  • Affordability: Offers various scholarships and financial aid opportunities
  • Graduation Rates: High graduation rates with excellent job placement statistics
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: Consistently high pass rates for first-time test-takers
  • Reputation: Nationally recognized for its innovative programs and research opportunities

Colorado State University-Pueblo School of Nursing

  • Accreditation: ACEN-accredited BSN program and CCNE-accredited MSN program
  • Affordability: Competitive tuition rates with financial aid options available
  • Graduation Rates: High graduation rates with strong job placement outcomes
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: Above-average pass rates for first-time test-takers
  • Reputation: Known for its supportive faculty and state-of-the-art facilities

Regis University Loretto Heights School of Nursing

  • Accreditation: CCNE-accredited BSN, MSN, DNP, and post-graduate certificate programs
  • Affordability: Offers numerous scholarships and financial aid opportunities
  • Graduation Rates: Impressive graduation rates with successful job placement
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: Consistently high pass rates for first-time test-takers
  • Reputation: Renowned for its rigorous programs and commitment to community service

University of Northern Colorado School of Nursing

  • Accreditation: CCNE-accredited BSN, MSN, DNP, and post-master’s certificate programs
  • Affordability: Competitive tuition rates with financial aid options available
  • Graduation Rates: High graduation rates and strong job placement outcomes
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: Above-average pass rates for first-time test-takers
  • Reputation: Recognized for its experienced faculty and innovative teaching methods

Colorado Mesa University Department of Nursing

  • Accreditation: ACEN-accredited BSN program and CCNE-accredited MSN program
  • Affordability: Offers various scholarships and financial aid opportunities
  • Graduation Rates: High graduation rates with successful job placement outcomes
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: Consistently high pass rates for first-time test-takers
  • Reputation: Known for its small class sizes and hands-on learning experiences

Metropolitan State University of Denver Department of Nursing

  • Accreditation: CCNE-accredited BSN program and MSN program in development
  • Affordability: Affordable tuition rates with financial aid options available
  • Graduation Rates: Impressive graduation rates and strong job placement outcomes
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: Above-average pass rates for first-time test-takers
  • Reputation: Recognized for its commitment to diversity and cultural competence

Arapahoe Community College Nursing Program

  • Accreditation: ACEN-accredited ADN program and LPN-to-ADN program
  • Affordability: Low tuition rates with financial aid options available
  • Graduation Rates: High graduation rates with successful job placement
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: Consistently high pass rates for first-time test-takers
  • Reputation: Known for its supportive faculty and comprehensive curriculum

Front Range Community College Nursing Program

  • Accreditation: ACEN-accredited ADN program and LPN-to-ADN program
  • Affordability: Affordable tuition rates with financial aid options available
  • Graduation Rates: Impressive graduation rates and strong job placement outcomes
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: Above-average pass rates for first-time test-takers
  • Reputation: Recognized for its practical, hands-on approach to nursing education

Pikes Peak Community College Nursing Program

  • Accreditation: ACEN-accredited ADN program and LPN-to-ADN program
  • Affordability: Competitive tuition rates with financial aid options available
  • Graduation Rates: High graduation rates with successful job placement outcomes
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: Consistently high pass rates for first-time test-takers
  • Reputation: Known for its experienced faculty and supportive learning environment

Colorado Mountain College Nursing Program

  1. Accreditation: ACEN-accredited ADN program and LPN-to-ADN program
  2. Affordability: Low tuition rates with financial aid options available
  3. Graduation Rates: Impressive graduation rates and strong job placement outcomes
  4. NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: Above-average pass rates for first-time test-takers
  5. Reputation: Recognized for its scenic campus locations and personalized instruction

Each of these top-ranked nursing schools in Colorado offers a unique combination of accredited programs, affordability, high graduation rates, impressive NCLEX-RN pass rates, and strong reputations. Be sure to visit their websites to learn more about the programs they offer and find the right fit for your nursing education.

Online Nursing Schools

In today’s digital age, many nursing schools offer online degree programs, providing flexibility and convenience for students. This allows aspiring nurses in Colorado to earn their degree from schools both within the state and across the nation. Online nursing programs offer numerous benefits, particularly for those living in rural or metropolitan areas.

  • Flexible scheduling: Online programs allow students to complete coursework on their own schedule, making it easier to balance work, family, and school commitments.
  • Access to a variety of programs: Online nursing programs provide students with access to a wide range of degree options, including specialized fields that may not be available at local institutions.
  • No waiting lists: Some traditional nursing programs have long waiting lists for admission, but online programs often have more open enrollment opportunities.
  • Cost savings: Online programs can save students money on commuting costs and sometimes offer lower tuition rates than traditional programs.
  • Networking opportunities: Students in online nursing programs can connect with peers and professionals from diverse locations and backgrounds.

In summary, online nursing schools provide an excellent option for aspiring nurses in Colorado seeking flexibility, access to a variety of degree options, and potential cost savings.

Nursing Program Offerings in Arizona

Colorado offers a wide range of nursing program offerings to suit various career goals and educational needs. The following table outlines some common degree options available in the state:

DegreeDescription
LPNLicensed Practical Nurse (LPN) programs typically take one year to complete and prepare graduates for entry-level nursing positions.
ADNAssociate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs are two-year degrees that qualify graduates to take the NCLEX-RN exam and become registered nurses (RNs).
BSNBachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs are four-year degrees that provide a comprehensive education in nursing theory, practice, and leadership.
RN to BSNRN to BSN programs are designed for registered nurses with an ADN or diploma who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree, often available online for added flexibility.
MSNMaster of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs prepare nurses for advanced practice roles, such as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse educators.
NPNurse Practitioner (NP) programs are specialized MSN or DNP programs that focus on primary or acute care practice in various patient populations (e.g., family, pediatrics).
DNPDoctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs are the highest level of nursing education, preparing graduates for leadership roles in clinical practice, education, and administration.

Nursing School Admission Requirements in Arizona

Admission requirements vary depending on the type of nursing program you’re applying to. The following sections outline common admission requirements for each degree type:

LPN

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Prerequisite coursework (e.g., biology, chemistry)
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • Entrance exam (e.g., TEAS)
  • Background check and drug screening

ADN

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Prerequisite coursework (e.g., biology, chemistry, anatomy)
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • Entrance exam (e.g., TEAS)
  • Letters of recommendation

BSN

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Prerequisite coursework (e.g., biology, chemistry, anatomy)
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Personal statement or essay

RN to BSN

  • Current RN license
  • Associate degree or diploma in nursing
  • Prerequisite coursework (if applicable)
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • Letters of recommendation

MSN

  • BSN from an accredited nursing program
  • Current RN license
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement or essay

NP

  • BSN or MSN from an accredited nursing program
  • Current RN license
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Clinical experience (varies by program)

DNP

  • BSN or MSN from an accredited nursing program
  • Current RN or APRN license
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement or essay

State Nursing Resources

Here are some key nursing organizations and state organizations in Colorado that provide valuable resources for nurses:

  • Colorado Nurses Association (CNA): The CNA is a professional organization that advocates for nursing practice, education, and leadership. They offer educational resources, networking opportunities, and advocate for the advancement of nursing in Colorado. Visit the CNA website for more information.
  • Colorado Board of Nursing (CBON): The CBON is the regulatory body responsible for issuing nursing licenses and regulating nursing practice in Colorado. They provide information on licensure, regulations, scope of practice, and disciplinary actions. Access the CBON website for comprehensive information.
  • Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence (CCNE): The CCNE is committed to promoting excellence in nursing education and practice. They offer resources for professional development, research, and education. Explore the resources provided by CCNE on their website.
  • Colorado Health Institute (CHI): The CHI is a non-profit organization that conducts research and analysis on healthcare issues in Colorado. They provide data, reports, and insights on healthcare policy and trends that impact nursing practice. Learn more on the CHI website.
  • Colorado Organization of Nurse Leaders (CONL): CONL is a professional organization dedicated to advancing nursing leadership in Colorado. They offer educational programs, networking opportunities, and resources for nurse leaders. Visit the CONL website to access their resources.
  • Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA): DORA oversees various professional licensing boards in Colorado, including the State Board of Nursing. They provide information on licensure, regulations, and consumer protection. Explore the nursing-related resources on the DORA website.
  • Colorado Hospital Association (CHA): The CHA represents and supports hospitals and healthcare systems in Colorado. They offer resources, advocacy, and educational opportunities for nurses working in hospital settings. Find more information on the CHA website.
  • Colorado Nurses Foundation (CNF): The CNF is a charitable organization that supports the nursing profession through scholarships and grants. They provide financial assistance for nursing education and research. Learn more about the CNF and their initiatives on their website.

These organizations and resources can provide valuable support and information for nurses practicing in Colorado. Be sure to explore their websites for additional resources and opportunities specific to your nursing career.

FAQ for Colorado Nurses

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Colorado Nurses

1. Can nurses in Colorado administer medical marijuana to patients?
Nurses in Colorado are not legally authorized to administer medical marijuana to patients. For more information, refer to the guidelines provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado State Board of Nursing.

2. Are there any special requirements for nurses practicing telehealth in Colorado?
Nurses practicing telehealth in Colorado must adhere to the regulations set by the Colorado State Board of Nursing. These requirements include proper licensure, compliance with privacy and security standards, and documentation of telehealth services provided.

3. Can nurses in Colorado prescribe medications independently?
No, nurses in Colorado do not have independent prescribing authority. They can only prescribe medications under the supervision and direction of a licensed healthcare provider. Refer to the Colorado State Board of Nursing for more information on prescribing regulations.

4. What is the process for obtaining a nursing license in Colorado for out-of-state nurses?
Out-of-state nurses can apply for licensure by endorsement in Colorado. The Colorado State Board of Nursing provides detailed instructions and requirements for the endorsement process, including verification of current licensure and submission of official transcripts.

5. Are there any continuing education requirements for nurses in Colorado?
Yes, nurses in Colorado must fulfill continuing education requirements to maintain their licensure. The Colorado State Board of Nursing specifies the number of hours and content areas required for license renewal. Stay updated with the latest information from the board to ensure compliance.

For more information and answers to other frequently asked questions, please visit the relevant industry and government organizations:

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