Best nursing schools in colorado

Best nursing schools in colorado DEFAULT

About Nursing Schools in Colorado

In our Colorado RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Colorado RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of Colorado, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

The new healthcare reform is helping to transform the healthcare system across Colorado. Some of the best nursing schools can be found here. These schools are responding by offering programs nurses need in order to be the most successful in their careers.

Many nurses are seeking out RN to BSN programs in Colorado in order to meet the demands of the evolving market. Up until recently nurses took a backseat position in terms of health care. In today’s market, nurses are making more and more healthcare decisions.

The RN to BSN programs in Colorado offer flexible hours in order to avoid conflict with work schedules. There are also online nursing programs available, which make returning to school even more attainable.

Colorado RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs1718
Average NCLEX Passing Rate%%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range% to %% to %
Average Net Price$11,$17,
Average Net Price Range$8, to $21,$9, to $37,
Average Student Loan$9,$16,
Average Student Loan Range$5, to $24,$6, to $42,
See Additional DetailADN Rankings for Colorado StateBSN Rankings for Colorado State

Best Ranked RN Programs in Colorado

Best Nursing School Programs State

To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Colorado and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 15 ADN degree programs and 11 BSN degree programs in Colorado. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Colorado to provide our state rankings. View our methodology. 

Best Nursing Schools in Colorado


Pikes Peak Community College

  • S Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO -
  • ()
  • Grade: (A) %
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Pikes Peak Community College is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  They offer an RN program and a dual enrollment RN to BSN program.  Their RN program is unique in that students enrolled may exit with their LPN at a designated point in the program rather than continuing for the full program if they so choose.  The dual enrollment program allows the RN student to also take classes towards their BSN while working towards their ADN.  This would allow the student to first obtain their ADN but still have credits for their BSN after completion of the program.


Colorado State University-Pueblo

  • Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO -
  • ()
  • Grade: (A) %
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor

Colorado State University - Pueblo is located in Pueblo, Colorado.  This university offers various options for their BSN students - they offer a traditional option and an ADN to BSN option.  However, they also have an LPN to BSN program, a Degree Plus to BSN option (allows students with prior degrees to obtain a BSN degree) and a paramedic to BSN option.


Arapahoe Community College

  • S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, CO -
  • ()
  • Grade: (A) %
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Arapahoe Community College is located in Littleton, Colorado.  Arapahoe Community College offers an LPN program, an ADN program, and an LPN to ADN program.  They also have partnerships with three neighboring universities, which allows their graduates to easily gain entrance into a BSN program after completion of the ADN program.


University of Northern Colorado

  • Carter Hall - Rm , Greeley, CO -
  • ()
  • Grade: (A) %
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate

University of Northern Colorado is located in Greeley, Colorado.  UNC has a diverse student population; 87% of its population is from Colorado, with 58 of its 64 counties represented.  47 out of 50 states currently have students studying there.  In addition, 34 countries are represented at UNC.  In addition, their nursing program is over 50 years old.  Their nursing program offers a BSN option and an RN to BSN option.


Colorado Mountain College

  • Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO -
  • ()
  • Grade: (A) %
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor

Colorado Mountain College is located in various locations throughout Colorado.  They offer both an ADN and a BSN program at their Breckenridge and Spring Valley locations.  Having the BSN program on-campus allows their students to continue for their BSN degree immediately after obtaining their ADN degree.


Denver College of Nursing

  • 19th St, Denver, CO -
  • ()
  • Grade: (A) %
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor


University of Colorado College of Nursing (Traditional)

  • Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite , Denver, CO -
  • ()
  • Grade: (A) %
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, BSN to PhD, MSN to DNP

University of Colorado Denver is located in Denver, Colorado.  They offer a few different options for their BSN students.  They offer a traditional BSN program.  They also offer an RN to BSN program, which is an online program.  This online program is also available to non-Colorado residents.  They also offer their "integrated nursing pathway" program, which is a collaboration with various local community colleges.  This allows students with an ADN to take their first two semesters of their BSN program at their local college, finishing up at the main campus.


Regis University-Choice

  • Regis Blvd, Denver, CO -
  • ()
  • Grade: (A) %
  • Programs: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to MSN


Aims Community College

  • W. 20th St., Greeley, CO -
  • ()
  • Grade: (A) %
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate


Colorado Christian University

  • West Alameda Avenue, Lakewood, CO -
  • ()
  • Grade: (A) %
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN

Colorado Christian University is located in Lakewood, Colorado.  They offer a pre-license BSN program (designed for students without a nursing degree) and an RN to BSN program, which is offered online.  This program is offered online as a courtesy to its students, so that they do not have to travel to class as these students often have busy lives.

Additional Listings of the Top Colorado Nursing Programs

Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Colorado

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Colorado

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Colorado and research schools in Colorado offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:

Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Colorado  RN Licensing Requirements

RN License by Exam

There a few different ways one can obtain licensure in the state of Colorado. One of the easy ways to gain licensure is through the NCLEX examination. Along with a passing score, you also need to provide verification of graduation from an approved pre-licensure RN nursing education program.

RN License by Endorsement

Colorado allows candidates who are licensed from one of the fifty states to gain licensure through endorsement. Colorado is also a member of a nurse license compact in other compact states. The bordering states of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nebraska do not need to get a Colorado license if they take a position there. However, this changes if and when they move to the state. Nurses with license in non-compact states are not authorized to work in Colorado without first getting a new license. Out of state candidates may be required to take a refresher course. This applies to those who do not have a current license or have not taken the NCLEX-RN in the past two years.

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

Nurses who are not licensed in the United States must apply for license by examination. There are some steps that must be completed prior to this. First of all, all candidates need a Healthcare Profession and Science Report. This will determine if their education program meet the equivalent requirements. In countries where English is not the native language, nurses will need to demonstrate English competency.

Colorado Board of Nursing

Broadway, Suite
Denver, CO
Phone: ()
Fax: ()

RN Salaries in Colorado

There is a large expected increase of citizens who are over the age of The healthcare reform will increase the patient load, which will require registered nurses to possess a high level of influence and knowledge of their skill. Hospitals are more likely to hire nurses with a BSN in order to meet the demanding needs of the industry. On average, an RN in Colorado makes more than $68,

Colorado Registered Nursing Salaries

Bolder, CO has the highest annual wage followed closely by Denver and surrounding area. And Denver, by a very large percentage, has the largest number of employed nurses in Colorado. Hourly salary range is between $ and $
Source: BLS, Department of Education, State Board of Nursing, Nursing School Websites.


We all know that nursing is one of the world’s essential professions. But did you also know it’s one of the most stable and well-paying?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for nurses will grow by 7% over the next year. The average salary of nurses is only expected to grow, reaching $75, annually. 

That rate of pay may seem surprising, but it’s clearer once you consider all that nurses do. More than any other healthcare professional, nurses serve as the primary point of contact for the patient and their family, caring for the whole person. 

For those reasons, future nurses must do thorough research when choosing the school where they’ll learn their trade. In addition to its beautiful scenery and cultural variety, the Centennial State has some of the best nursing programs in the United States. 

With so many fine options, it can be challenging to choose a school. There are lots of factors that go into that decision, including location, faculty, and concentration. One of the best resources for making that decision is the rankings published by the highly respected outlet, U.S. News & World Report

You can also get help in making your decision by reading this article. This list follows the rankings provided by U.S. News (in the case of a tie, the editorial team at College Gazette judges the tiebreaker). But we’ve built on their work by giving you a full description, complete with all the information you need to make your first steps toward a financially and personally rewarding career in nursing.

6. Colorado Christian University School of Nursing and Health Professions (Lakewood, CO)

Every school on this list provides the future nurses of Colorado with all the knowledge and experience they’ll need to care for their patients. But Colorado Christian University’s School of Nursing and Health Professors offers something unique: access to nurses outside of Colorado. With its one-of-a-kind online master’s degree in nursing program, CCU Nursing allows nurses who already have a nursing degree to gain the accreditation to take on greater roles, without ever having to come to the school’s Lakewood campus. 

For those in the Lakewood area, CCU Nursing provides even more. Students working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing can choose between a traditional pathway designed for freshmen and sophomores coming from high school or community college, and the adult student pathway, for working adults who need some online classes to accommodate their schedules. Along with their traditional Master of Nursing and Doctor of Nursing degrees, CCU Nursing has options for every learner. No matter which goals you have for your career, CCU Nursing gives you the tools and experience you need to succeed. 

CCU Nursing provides a range of possibilities because it is committed to offering high-quality education to anyone who wants it. As part of the largest Christian university in the state, CCU Nursing has all of the resources and support of a college that consistently ranks among the top 2% of institutions in Colorado.  

5. Regis University Loretto Heights School of Nursing (Denver, CO)

At Regis University’s Loretto Heights School of Nursing, students learn the fundamentals of the profession from a Jesuit perspective, following the emphasis on critical thinking and social action taught in that religious tradition. Since its founding in as the Loretto Heights School for Women, the institution has blended compassion and diversity with Christian instruction, teaching students to care for others. 

As indicated in the school’s philosophy statement, those values still drive Loretto Heights. Their missions states that they “challenge students of all cultural backgrounds to seek excellence in academic pursuits, and to think logically, critically, and creatively in formulating a global view of nursing and health care.” To this end, Loretto Heights provides ample resources to those working toward the many undergraduate and graduate degrees the school confers. 

Those resources include a fully appointed Simulated Health Center, allowing students to gain hands-on experience running through scenarios in hospital, outpatient, and home care scenarios. Under the guidance of faculty members, students use the Simulated Health Center to prepare for situations they’ll face in their regular practice. While working in the Center, students get the chance to hone their identity as nurses, gaining the confidence they’ll bring into their future careers. 

Loretto Heights’s devotion to creating well-rounded nurses has earned the school national recognition. The Nursing Schools Almanac places Loretto Heights within the top nursing programs in the nation, and the American Society of Registered Nurses has ranked the school #25 in the West.  

4. Colorado Mesa University (Grand Junction, CO)

With its Department of Health Sciences, Colorado Mesa University understands that great nurses come from all walks of life. To accommodate as many learners as possible, CMU has designed a Bachelor of Nursing degree with several different tracks.

In addition to a traditional BSN degree, in which students take four years to gain the education and experience necessary for their degrees, CMU also has two multipart programs. Students can study for one year to become a licensed nurse practitioner; when they&#;re ready or able, they can enter the three-year LPN-BSN program, which builds off knowledge already acquired to earn a bachelor&#;s degree. Additionally, students can earn an Associate of Arts degree in nursing in two years to become a registered nurse and later enroll in CMU&#;s online two-year RN-BSN program. 

Just as importantly, CMU strives to make the college experience as affordable as possible. Their program supports students in applying for scholarships from the National Student Nurses Association. Furthermore, students can apply to the Public Health Nurses Association of Colorado scholarship fund, which provides $ in support each academic year. 

CMU graduates move into their new careers following the footsteps of thousands of alumni committed to community service. These nurses go on to serve in some of the biggest hospitals in the state, as well as in specialty services. Thanks to the work done by CMU’s faculty and staff, Colorado is a healthier and safer state. 

3. Colorado State University School of Nursing (Pueblo, CO)

No matter how impressive they may be, every medical school needs to grow and evolve to face the needs of new generations. Colorado State University has had an excellent nursing program since it first began awarding the major in But in , CSU renewed its commitment to the field by reorganizing the programs as part of its official school of nursing. In no more than five years, CSU Nursing has established itself as one of the best places in the state to learn the profession. 

With this new program, CSU Nursing gains new and essential resources, including first-class nursing labs. Open to both undergraduate and graduate students, these nursing labs include all of the equipment that practitioners will be sure to use in their everyday practices, as well as practice mannequins in adult, pediatric, and infant models. Under the supervision of faculty, students can practice various simulations within these labs, including those designed for scenarios in emergency rooms, intensive care clinics, and medical-surgical units. 

With these excellent resources, it’s no surprise that CSU Nursing has been lauded by national observers. included the program on its list of top 50 nursing programs, while ranked CSU Nursing’s BSN degree #4 in the nation. Perhaps even more importantly, CSU Nursing was named a Best Value Nursing School by, recognizing the school for its excellent resources and low cost. 

2. University of Northern Colorado School of Nursing (Greeley, CO)

As this list has shown, simulation programs are a standard of nursing schools. Every nurse needs the opportunity to learn and make mistakes in a safe and supervised environment. 

But the University of Northern Colorado’s School of Nursing gives a unique twist on the practice with its poverty simulation kit. These poverty simulation kits help students understand the stresses experienced by those under the poverty line and better see how that situation affects their health. With this knowledge, nurses become better trained to meet the needs of those who too often go unrecognized in the healthcare system. 

The poverty kit is just one example of UNC Nursing’s progressive approach to the subject. According to the school’s mission statement, UNC Nursing strives to prepare compassionate, courageous, and competent nurses who can improve the health of society. 

To its credit, UNC Nursing sees first-rate teaching and resources as central to its goal. To that end, the program features not only a faculty staffed by student-focused experts in the field but also state-of-the-art labs and equipment. 

So impressive is UNC Nursing that U.S. News & World Reportplaces the school within the top in the nation for its Masters and Doctorate programs. With these supports in place, UNC Nursing has trained nurses who now serve as professors and fellows in some of the most respected institutions in the nation. 

1. University of Colorado College of Nursing (Aurora, CO)

As the flagship institution in the University of Colorado system, it’s no surprise that UC’s College of Nursing tops this list. In fact, the school ranks near the top of every national list, with U.S. News & World Report putting UC Nursing’s online MA program at #17 and their iLEAD MA program at # Best Health Degrees goes further, putting the school’s online program at #2 in the nation. 

Part of UC Nursing’s current success can be attributed to its history of innovations in the field, including founding the country’s first nurse practitioner program. In the intervening years, nearly every nursing school has instituted its own nurse practitioner program, recognizing that the degree brings more caring and qualified people into the profession, even if they cannot commit to a longer degree path. 

However, the other secret to UC Nursing’s success is its Anschutz Medical Campus. A world-class research and teaching campus, Anschutz features not one, but two of the top hospitals in the nation: the University of Colorado Hospital and the Children&#;s Hospital of Colorado. These hospitals give students real-world and hands-on experience working with a wide variety of scenarios, all under the watchful eye of the school&#;s top-ranked faculty. Additionally, the Anschutz Medical Campus houses cutting-edge research projects, thanks to its $ million endowment. 

Together with an impressive research endowment, cutting-edge resources, and dedicated faculty, UC Med is the best place for Colorado&#;s next generation of nurses to earn their degrees.

College Gazette

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Selecting the best nursing school in Colorado can be difficult. To make the process easier first look for a school that supports students towards licensure and beyond. A great way to measure this is through NCLEX-RN "pass rates." We have ranked the top 10 nursing schools in Colorado by analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN "pass rates", meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, out of the 28 RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed include schools that offer an Associate in Nursing (ADN/ASN), BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree.

For more information on our top nursing school rankings, see our Methodology Page (



See our List of the Best Nursing Schools in Colorado

The state of Colorado is forecasting an influx of more than 20% highly-qualified nursing staff as being required by the year Colorado is committed to providing high standard nursing care to their patients, and with the state's aging population, there is a need for highly skilled and diversified nurses in the state. Nurses in Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) earn more money hourly and find more job opportunities in more locations, including in a variety of urban and rural areas.

For RN bridge programs visit:

ADN Programs in Colorado

Many of the post-secondary institutions in the state have nursing programs; often, they offer the Associate's Degrees in Nursing (ADN). One of the fastest pathways to become an RN, ADN is typically a two-year program. Occasionally coursework is condensed so that the 4-semester course load falls into about a year and a half's time. Throughout Colorado, there are about 20 ADN programs offered through community colleges and private colleges - all are approved by the Colorado Board of Nursing for operation in the state.

What to Look For in an ADN Program in Colorado

In order to find the best fit for your learning style, location, and budget, it is important to consider a number of factors when weighing ADN programs:


The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) are the largest two institutions that assist schools and enforce regulatory policies to ensure that nursing students receive a top-quality education. In the interest of transparency, institutions that hold accreditation from one organization or the other are clearly listed in the state Board of Nursing documents.


You will want to ensure that upon completing the ADN program at your preferred school that you will be eligible to take the NCLEX and thus become nationally registered as an RN. Last year, about 90% of the nursing students that took the NCLEX were successful, and many were from ADN program streams.

Program Outcomes

Each college or junior college provides information about graduates in statistics and publications. Designed to provide a measure of objectivity, this data is useful in helping students decide whether the program is a suitable match for their needs and goals. Be sure to read about:

  • The graduation rate for each cohort
  • NCLEX-RN pass rate
  • Student satisfaction data
  • Rate of post-secondary employment (related field only)

Located in Glenwood Springs and several other medium-sized communities around the state, Colorado Mountain College has an NCLEX pass rate of over 92% and offers a well-respected ADN program in a friendly and scientifically driven atmosphere for local students.

ADN Program Admission Requirements in Colorado

Each school has a specific set of entrance requirements that are unique to the environment, national and state employment demands, and the student cohort in a given year. However, admission criteria have some similarities across institutions:

  • Students must satisfy college-specific and program-specific entrance criteria
  • Students must provide evidence of GPA exceeding
  • Students must provide evidence of proficient scores in TEAS
  • Students must provide official transcripts from all former schools and programs

Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in Colorado

There are easily enough ADN programs throughout the state to satisfy the needs of each RN student - and each of them has program costs that are unique. Students are encouraged to explore the full costs of the program they wish to apply to, remembering that beyond tuition, there are equipment, materials, textbook and sometimes clothing costs that students must incur in order to meet the needs of the program successfully. For example, the tuition portion of the ADN program at Lamar Community College is about $ per credit hour in a hour program over 4 semesters. Program costs are extra, as are room and board costs.

Advantages of ADN Programs

Offered through many junior and private college locations, ADN programming is very accessible to students throughout the state. With a timeline that is generally 2 years in length, programs are affordable; students graduate and in high-demand fields, can graduate in a prescribed timeframe and begin work quickly to pay down outstanding college costs. Colleges also make great use of technology in order to give their students the hands-on training required to enter the field.

LPN to RN Programs in Colorado

Colorado Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who wish to become registered nurses can opt to enroll in an LPN to RN specialty program. The aim of these programs is to bridge the gap between practical and registered nursing skills and duties. There are a few different program types fall under the LPN to RN umbrella, including LPN to RN diploma programs, LPN to ADN, and LPN to BSN pathways.

LPN to ADN/BSN Programs

Many choose to pursue the most basic transition program; the LPN to ADN. This type of pathway can usually be completed in a year or less. Westminster's Front Range Community College, for example, offers an LPN to ADN that requires total credit hours. Students interested in a more intensive option tend to go with the LPN to BSN pathway, which will provide them with a bachelor's degree in nursing. Colorado Mesa University offers an LPN to BSN that prepares students for employment in a number of different medical settings.

LPN to RN programs in Colorado typically require the following for admission:

  • Active Colorado LPN license in good standing
  • Proof of completion of any prerequisite courses (minimum GPA required)
  • Proof of graduation from an approved LPN program
  • Must pass a criminal background check

BSN Programs in Colorado

You may decide to earn a more advanced nursing degree at the start or midway through your career. With this in mind, many students consider the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) as a viable option. Usually, a complete course of study requires 4 years, and most programs are found through universities. A great example is the BSN offerings at Colorado Mesa University, though there are approximately 15 institutions and satellite campuses through Colorado that offer BSN credentials.

What To Look For in a BSN Program in Colorado

There are a number of options for freshmen or RNs to pursue their BSN. With that in mind, some of the criteria to look for in an on-campus BSN program are the size of the classes - while freshman lectures often have hundreds of attendees, smaller class sizes are far more common for hands-on and clinical rotations. Another great look-for is the credentials of the instructors. Easily searchable online, instructors and professors should have extensive experience and additional credentials that give students confidence with the quality of evidence-based instruction that they will be receiving.

The Metropolitan State University of Denver has an accredited nursing program that leads pre-licensure candidates down the path toward a rewarding nursing career via a BSN. With diligent and empathetic healthcare professionals as teachers and role models, students hone their desire to help patients, especially in the face of a global nursing shortage. Many universities make it easy for post-licensure RNs to pursue additional qualifications via continuing education in order to enrich their careers and patient practice.

BSN Program Length in Colorado

Typically, four school years or eight semesters, BSN programs have a standard length and pace. However, for those who have already passed the NCLEX, you may be eligible for an accelerated RN-to-BSN program through your school of choice. Candidates and nurses are encouraged to consult with their school's nursing program admissions personnel directly.

BSN Program Admission Requirements in Colorado

BSN programs vary from institution to institution, however, they do have a few elements in common:

  • Confirmed acceptance to your university of choice via letter
  • Activated online student account
  • Attend necessary orientation programs
  • Complete nursing application form
  • Provide official transcripts via your online account
  • Meet immunization standards and course grade prerequisites

Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in Colorado

BSN tuition costs and associated equipment, uniform, textbook, and technology costs can vary greatly between schools. Students may find the effort of researching each school's tuition and full costs useful exercise in helping them decide where to attend. Particularly true of nursing programs, there are a large number of scholarships and grants available. The University of Colorado's on-campus BSN program tuition costs about $ per credit hour for in-state residents. Additional costs (including room and board) are extra.

Advantages of BSN Programs

Successful completion of a BSN program has the advantage of preparing and providing greater career options in terms of advancement and flexibility. Earning potential for BSN graduates is also higher. RNs can also access an RN to BSN bridge program to help them continue their career.

MSN Programs in Colorado

For nurses who are determined to lead in their field, there is an increasing number of programs available at the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) level. Today's MSN programs are building the leaders of tomorrow's nurses in pathways such as administrators, nurse educators, managers, and policymakers. Whether candidates are interested in clinical care, administrative or teaching environments, MSN options are designed to accelerate your nursing career.

MSN Program Length in Colorado

About 3 years in duration of full-time coursework, the RN to MSN program is like having a full-time job, as the graduate degree requirements are definitely taxing on both a learning and time-management level. Part-time studies are generally required to be completed within 5 or 6 years.

MSN Admission Requirements in Colorado

MSN admission requirements vary from program to program, however, some of the core criteria remain the same:

  • Graduate from an accredited in-state BSN program with a GPA of or higher
  • Submit a professional portfolio and resume
  • Submit evidence of your RN licensure and transcripts from undergraduate programs and continuing education units
  • Be accepted as a student in good standing at the university of your choice
  • Have practiced as an RN for two or more years

Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in Colorado

Tuition costs for MSN programs are definitely more money than their undergraduate counterparts. Tuition does vary from school to school and does not include the other necessary expenses that nurses will have to incur in order to complete their training, such as textbooks and materials, lab costs, clinical equipment or uniform costs since graduate students are expected to have most of these items as practicing nurses. For example, the University of Colorado at Denver's MSN program costs students about $ per credit hour and does not include additional fees.

For NP programs visit:

Getting a Colorado Nursing License

For Colorado State regulations for licensure by examination or endorsement a completed application, including your Social Security Number along with the following items should be submitted:

  • Proof of citizenship or immigration status – completed affidavit of eligibility
  • Completed screening questionnaire
  • Name change documentation (if applicable)
  • health care Professionals Profiling Program – questionnaire to be completed
  • Transcripts to be mailed directly to the state nursing board
  • Proof of registration for the NCLEX-RN examination

Apply for endorsement of licensure can be done by providing all of the above documentation, as well as the following:

  • Current/active license from another state
  • NURSYS Verification request completed
  • Declare any and all other states licenses including state, issuance, expiration, number and status

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Colorado

If you are venturing into the world of nursing and you have evaluated all your options, then you will have come across accelerated nursing programs. Colorado has a number of colleges throughout the state that offer accelerated nursing degrees, some of these programs are quite intensive as you can imagine, and range from 12 months to 20 months in length with most being of a full-time nature. The admission requirements for these programs vary, which in turn means the costs for each program are dependent on how many prerequisite courses you may have to take, as well as the length of the program itself.

Latest Colorado NCLEX-RN Pass Rates and Statistics

  • Total Number of State Approved Schools: 28
  • Total Number of Test Takers in 2,
  • Average Statewide Colorado NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: %
Easiest Nursing Schools To Get Into in 2021.

Best Nursing Schools in Colorado

5,Nursing Degrees Awarded
$68,Avg Early-Career Salary
Ranked #3 in popularity, nursingis one of the most sought-after degree programs in the nation. This means there are lots of options to choose from when you decide to get your degree.

In , College Factual analyzed 25 schools in order to identify the top ones for its Best Nursing Schools in Colorado ranking. Combined, these schools handed out 5, degrees in nursing to qualified students.

What's on this page:

Choosing a Great Nursing School

Best Nursing Schools in Colorado The nursing program you select can have a big impact on your future. That's why we developed our collection of Best Schools for Nursing rankings. In order to come up with a best overall ranking for nursing schools, we combine our degree-level rankings, weighting them by the number of degrees awarded at each level.

In order to find the schools that are the best fit for you, you may want to filter to one of the degree levels below.

Nursing Rankings by Degree Level

Since the program you select can have a significant impact on your future, we've developed a number of rankings, including this Best Nursing Schools in Colorado list, to help you choose the best school for you. If you'd like to restrict your choices to just one part of the country, you can filter this list by location.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

If you want to learn more about how we derive our rankings, see College Factual's Methodology.

Best Schools for Nursing in Colorado

Although we recommend filtering by degree level first, you can view the list below to see which schools give the educational experience for the nursing degree levels they offer.

10 Top Colorado Schools in Nursing

Doctor's DegreeHighest Degree Type
Nursing Degrees Awarded

It is hard to beat American Sentinel University if you wish to pursue a degree in nursing. American Sentinel University is a small private for-profit university located in the large city of Aurora.

There were about nursing students who graduated with this degree at American Sentinel University in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in nursing from American Sentinel University
Master's DegreeHighest Degree Type
Nursing Degrees Awarded

Any student pursuing a degree in nursing needs to check out Denver College of Nursing. Denver College of Nursing is a small private for-profit college located in the large city of Denver.

There were about nursing students who graduated with this degree at Denver College of Nursing in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in nursing from Denver College of Nursing

Otero Junior College is one of the best schools in the United States for getting a degree in nursing. Otero JC is a small public college located in the remote town of La Junta. This college ranks 24th out of 39 schools for overall quality in the state of Colorado.

There were about 63 nursing students who graduated with this degree at Otero JC in the most recent year we have data available. Students who receive their degree from the nursing program make about $56, in the first couple years of working.

More information about a degree in nursing from Otero Junior College

Located in the town of Fort Morgan, Morgan Community College is a public college with a small student population. This college ranks 30th out of 39 colleges for overall quality in the state of Colorado.

There were approximately 26 nursing students who graduated with this degree at Morgan Community College in the most recent year we have data available. After graduation, nursing degree recipients generally make an average of $52, in their early careers.

More information about a degree in nursing from Morgan Community College

Located in the city of Denver, Regis U is a private not-for-profit university with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Schools rank of # out of 2, colleges nationwide means Regis U is a great university overall.

There were about nursing students who graduated with this degree at Regis U in the most recent data year. Nursing degree recipients from Regis University receive an earnings boost of around $7, over the average earnings of nursing graduates.

More information about a degree in nursing from Regis University

Located in the medium-sized city of Greeley, University of Northern Colorado is a public university with a large student population. A Best Schools rank of # out of 2, colleges nationwide means University of Northern Colorado is a great university overall.

There were roughly nursing students who graduated with this degree at University of Northern Colorado in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the nursing major at University of Northern Colorado get $4, above the standard college grad in this field when they enter the workforce.

More information about a degree in nursing from University of Northern Colorado

Pueblo Community College is a moderately-sized public college located in the medium-sized city of Pueblo. This college ranks 28th out of 39 colleges for overall quality in the state of Colorado.

There were approximately nursing students who graduated with this degree at Pueblo Community College in the most recent data year. Students who receive their degree from the nursing program earn about $60, for their early career.

More information about a degree in nursing from Pueblo Community College

Best Nursing Colleges in the Rocky Mountains Region

Explore all the Best Nursing Schools in the Rocky Mountains Area or other specific states within that region.

View All Rankings >

Rankings in Majors Related to Nursing

One of 30 majors within the Health Professions area of study, Nursing has other similar majors worth exploring.

Nursing Concentrations

View All Nursing Focus Areas >

Majors Similar to Nursing

View All Nursing Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Aleksahgabrielle.

More about our data sources and methodologies.


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10 Best Nursing Schools in California 2021

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