Without a doubt, the field of healthcare is changing. This trend is unlikely to stop anytime soon, with new legislation and care standards affecting medical institutions all over the country.
As a result of new standards, many facilities are turning to BSN-educated nurses to improve patient outcomes, save money for facilities and patients, and work independently within their specialties.
If you’ve been considering colleges for nursing in Colorado, you may want to start your path with a Bachelor of Science in nursing. Check out different Bachelor’s programs below and select the degree that fits your needs.
- Traditional BSN Degree
- Accelerated/Second Degree BSN
- RN to BSN Bridge Programs
- LPN to BSN Bridge Programs
Looking to Become an RN in Colorado?
A Bachelor’s Degree May Be the Best Nursing Program for You
There are many reasons that Colorado healthcare institutions are working toward higher levels of BSN staffing. The research supports the increased hiring of Bachelor’s-level nurses.
A study in The Journal of Nursing Administration looked at the connection between baccalaureate nursing graduates and patient outcomes (2017). The study found that hospitals with higher levels of BSN-educated nurses had lower congestive heart failure mortality, lower rates of failure to rescue deaths, and shorter lengths of patient stays.
These benefits impact everyone; patients enjoy better outcomes and lower costs, while facilities make full use of their staff and minimize their spending (Journal of Nursing Administration, 2017). With these outcomes, earning a Bachelor’s degree may be an investment in your future and in the health of your community.
What Should I Look for in BSN Nursing Schools in Colorado?
What makes a great nursing school the best nursing program for you? First, look at accreditation. Graduates of accredited schools qualify for nursing licensure in Colorado, while the same may not be true for those who attend non-accredited schools. Accredited schools meet strict quality standards, which indicates that they adequately prepare students like you for the NCLEX exam. Typically, nursing schools are accredited by ACEN or CCNE. Along the same vein, look for a school with a high NCLEX pass rate. Schools keep data on NCLEX pass rates to ensure that they are providing students with the education needed for national certification.
After filtering schools in this way, you may want to start touring programs and sitting in on classes. This allows you to get a feel for each school’s teaching style and figure out which one best fits your learning style.
Applying to Colorado Bachelor of Science in Nursing Colleges
Nursing is a profession with high expectations for its graduates, so you should be ready to prove that you meet or exceed these standards if you want to get accepted to colleges for nursing in Colorado.
Looking at your list of schools, you may want to narrow it down to a list of top nursing schools. These schools should be a good match for you in terms of duration, clinical hours, and teaching style.
Check out their admissions standards so you can focus your efforts on schools you’re likely to attend. Typically, you have to submit official transcripts from all the schools you’ve attended, as well as references from past teachers or employers. All nursing schools have health requirements; these often include up-to-date vaccinations, clear drug screens, and a high level of physical strength.
What Are BSN Programs in Colorado Like?
Once you’ve selected the best nursing program for your goals, get ready to work hard, buckle down, and learn all about the field of nursing over the next two to four years. The path you take to a BSN is dependent on your past education and experience.
In total, you must have at least 120 credits to graduate with a BSN. Some colleges for nursing require closer to 130 or 140 credits.
If you have an Associate’s degree in nursing or a Bachelor’s degree in another field, some of your credits may transfer, significantly shortening the duration of your program. A standard BSN program usually lasts between four and five years.
Colorado BSN Degree Basic Requirements
The basic requirements are nearly identical at all nursing schools. You need 120 credits, split between general education courses and nursing courses. General education classes cover English, history, social sciences, mathematics, and physical sciences.
Nursing courses start with core nursing techniques and build up to techniques and knowledge needed in specialized fields.
Courses Required at BSN Nursing Schools in Colorado
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Health Assessment Across the Lifespan
- Foundations of Nursing Practice
- Pharmacology for Nurses
RN to BSN Programs in Colorado
This nursing bridge program serves as a way for Associate’s-level nurses to smoothly transition to the role of a baccalaureate nurse. Some of your courses help you meet the general education requirements of a BSN, but most focus on advanced nursing techniques, theories, and specialties. Most RN to BSN programs can be finished in two years or less.
Courses You May Take at RN to BSN Programs in Colorado
- Healthcare Delivery Systems
- Healthcare Informatics
- Health Promotion in Nursing
- Cultural Dimensions in Nursing
- Research and Evidence-Based Practice
Colorado Accelerated BSN Programs
This is a time-saving option for those who have already earned a Bachelor’s degree in another field. Over a period of 12 to 24 months, you develop core nursing skills, advanced skills, and a complex knowledge of nursing theory.
Accelerated BSN Program Coursework
- Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing
- Clinical Reasoning in Theory and Practice
- Clinical Leadership in Professional Nursing
- Managing Comprehensive Healthcare of the Adult and Older Adult
LPN to RN Programs in Colorado
Those who have earned a nursing diploma and become certified as an LPN may benefit from this bridge program. Often lasting two to three years, LPN to RN programs are primarily focused on nursing coursework.
Courses Offered in LPN to RN Programs
- Transition to Baccalaureate Nursing
- Theory Application in Nursing Practice
- Pharmacological Interventions
- Care of the Medical-Surgical Patient
- Care of the Complex Patient
All Nursing Schools Are Not Created Equal…
How to Make a List of Top Nursing Schools in Colorado
Though there are many standard and accelerated nurse programs in Colorado, not all of them may be a good fit for you. Don’t rush the school selection process; take the time you need to select a school that really has the potential to get you closer to your goals.
As you contact Bachelor of Science in nursing colleges, you should start to receive information in the mail. Sort this information by school and keep it organized in a binder or file folder. Follow up with each school and be ready to ask questions that may help you make an informed decision.
Questions to Ask Your List of Top Nursing Schools
- What is the NCLEX pass rate for each program at your school?
- Which agency are you accredited through?
- Can you tell me about the financial aid options for nursing students?
- Are there any nursing-specific scholarships and grants?
- How many students are in the average nursing course?
The work you put in now may help you choose the best nursing program for your specific needs and career goals.