Learn About Nursing School Options in Colorado
If you’re considering taking your career to the next level, the healthcare industry may have what you’re looking for. As an LPN, RN, or advanced practice nurse, you can make a difference in the lives of patients and strengthen the healthcare industry with the work you do every day.
At Colorado nursing schools, there are several distinct degree options that offer you the training needed for specific nursing roles. Whether you’re looking at using your Bachelor’s degree to jumpstart your nursing career or you’re new to healthcare, accredited nursing schools in Colorado may be your next stop.
There are several nursing programs in Colorado to support new and experienced nurses, so you may have many resources at your fingertips while becoming an LPN or RN. HuffPost Health reports that nurses in Colorado and other states are working to reduce nurse stress caused by long hours, large patient loads, and a high amount of responsibility.
In addition to the professional support available in Colorado, this state also has a positive job outlook for nurses. KKCO reports that there are quite a few job prospects for newly-graduated nurses in the Grand Valley area. Per e-Colorado, nursing is one of the fastest-growing jobs across the entire state, possibly providing you with plenty of different work settings and jobs to consider after graduation.
Does nursing sound like the right field for you? If it’s time to become an LPN or RN, reach out to Colorado nursing schools today.
Nursing Education in Colorado
In the state of Colorado, there are several types of nursing programs you may want to consider. Licensed practical nurses work underneath registered nurses and take on some of the same responsibilities. To become an LPN, you need to earn a one-year diploma or certificate at a nursing school. If you would rather go straight to working as a registered nurse, you can look into two-year associate’s degree programs or bachelor’s degree programs.
Nursing Education & Career Information in your City
Nursing Degree Programs in Colorado
Below, we have compiled a list of nursing programs types. If you already know which direction you want to take your career, just click on the associated link below.
Transition programs for nurses:
Graduate programs for nurses:
- All Masters in Nursing Programs in CO
- All DNP and PhD in Nursing Programs in CO
- All Nurse Practitioner Programs in CO
Entry level nursing programs:
- All LPN/LVN Programs in CO
- All Associate Degree Nursing Programs in CO
- Four Year Bachelor’s Degree (U.S.)
- All Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs in CO
- Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing Programs in CO
Learning outcomes are specific to each school and even different programs within each school, so you may want to become familiar with what is expected of Colorado nursing students at your school. While you work through your curriculum, you may develop competency in evidence-based practice, teamwork with other health care professionals, safety in practice, patient-centered care, nursing informatics, and nursing leadership.
The curriculum for nursing programs in Colorado may be divided into core classes and high-level classes. Early on in your nursing degree, Colorado programs may require classes like Pharmacology for Nurses, Patient-Centered Health Assessment, and Pathophysiology. Later courses in your curriculum may include Nursing Care of the Older Adult, Nursing Care of Childbearing Families, Medical-Surgical Nursing Practice, and Community Health Promotion. Throughout the duration of your program, you should complete a range of clinical hours. Colorado nursing schools tend to require at least 600 clinical hours. They may be spread out among clinics, hospitals, and other practice settings.
One of the major advantages of starting your nursing education in Colorado is the variety of scholarships available to undergraduate nursing students. The Colorado Nurses Foundation provides funding for undergraduate students through scholarships and grants. The Central Colorado AHEC awards scholarships that are worth up to $15,000 per year. The Friends of Nursing is an organization that’s based in Colorado and provides financial aid to nursing students. Scholarships are also available through the Colorado Nurses Association.
To finally become a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse in Colorado, you must apply for licensure through the Colorado Board of Nursing. To become an LPN, you must pass the NCLEX-PN. The NCLEX-RN is required for registered nurses. Once you’re a licensed nurse in Colorado, you can work to the full extent of your knowledge and training.
Nursing Degree Program Requirements in CO
Read on for a brief overview of the acceptance and graduation requirements for different nursing education types in Colorado.
Colorado LPN Programs
If you are just starting to get involved in nursing, you may want to become a licensed practical nurse. This is a fast-paced program that may permit you to get your LPN certification in just one year. Over a period of two semesters, you may study pathophysiology, pharmacology, core nursing procedures, and the basic tenets of patient care. You may be able to use your LPN education to further your training in the future. Some schools allow you to transfer LPN credits to an RN or BSN program.
- Need a high school diploma or GED
- Programs require an average of 33 credits
- No fully online programs are available, since clinical experience is mandatory for graduation
- Must pass NCLEX-PN for license
BSN Programs in Colorado
Many students enjoy the convenience of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. At most nursing schools, the Bachelor’s-level nursing degree in Colorado requires four years of full-time study. Once you graduate with a Bachelor’s degree, you may take the NCLEX-RN and become licensed. This type of program goes into much greater detail than LPN and RN programs, covering a wide array of specialties and care settings.
- Must have a high school diploma or GED, clean background check, and good physical health; most schools require a GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Programs require no fewer than 120 credits
- Clinical rotations are mandatory, limiting online study options to blended programs
- Must pass NCLEX-RN to become licensed
Colorado MSN Schools
If you already have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing or another field, a Master’s degree may fit your needs. By earning a graduate degree, you may give yourself the chance to apply for much more advanced nursing jobs. In the world of clinical care, you may specialize in nurse practitioner care, nurse anesthesia, nurse midwifery, or clinical nurse specialist care.
Those who are focused on the administrative side of nursing also have several options. Options include nursing informatics, nurse administration, and nursing research. From start to finish, an MSN degree typically lasts two to three years. There are some graduate-level online nursing programs in Colorado, although these programs are usually restricted to administrative specialties.
- Must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a current nursing license
- Credits range from 30 to 55 credit hours
- Certain MSN programs are available in an online format
- Tests determined by each national certification agency
DNP and PhD Nursing Programs in Colorado
Depending on which type of doctoral degree you earn, you may have the opportunity to pursue an online nursing degree in Colorado. Doctoral programs vary in length, but often range from four to six years in duration.
- Need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a current Colorado nursing license
- Must earn up to 90 credits of graduation
- May be able to complete some coursework online
- Testing requirements set by each national certification agency
Nursing Bridge Programs in CO
You may already have a degree, and you’re hoping that you don’t have to start from the beginning in your nursing education. You’re in luck; many Colorado schools have bridge programs that accommodate the needs of nontraditional students.
If you began your education with an LPN or RN degree and you want to take it up a notch, you may use your experience to save time. Many LPN-to-BSN, RN-to-BSN, and RN-to-MSN programs have stringent education requirements. You need at least one to two years of nursing experience to be accepted. Your work experience counts for some or all of your required clinical hours, permitting you to do some or all of your training online.
You may have a Bachelor’s degree from another field of study. If so, your general education credits may transfer and help you complete your BSN in as little as 12 months. These programs are accelerated in nature, so they require a full-time commitment. Many Colorado schools forbid outside employment for the duration of your program. Rather than focusing on your general education courses, you move straight into nursing theory and clinical rotations. You must get experience in a variety of clinical settings prior to graduation.
Tips for Choosing the Top Nursing Schools in Colorado
Now you know what nursing degree you need to get your career going. The next step is to choose a school that fits your learning style and talents. You may want to start by requesting information from Colorado nursing schools near you. As you receive information from them, you can learn more about their student success rates and the features they offer.
It’s recommended that you set aside time to visit each of the schools on your list. Nothing compares to actually seeing a school in person and listening to your gut instincts. By talking to students and teachers, you may find a nursing program that is well-suited to you. You may want to draw up a list of questions to ask schools as you talk to admissions representatives. The following questions are a good starting point.
Questions to Ask Nursing School Colorado Options
- What is the NCLEX pass rate?
- How many students are employed in a nursing role six months after graduation?
- What types of clinical rotations do students complete?
- Are there additional support options for struggling students?
- What types of financial aid are available to nursing students?
- What percentage of students qualifies for financial aid?
2017 Career Outlook for Nursing Professions
If you’re like many nursing students, you may look into the job outlook for each nursing role before deciding which type of degree is a good choice for you. Across the board, job growth in Colorado exceeds national job growth, so this may be the perfect place to get established as a nurse.
Students who graduate from Colorado licensed practical nursing degree programs may go on to seek licensure via the Colorado Board of Nursing. Licensed practical nurses earn an average of $48,690 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). From 2014 through 2024, job openings for licensed practical nurses may swell 31% (O*Net, 2017). LPNs often work in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and home care facilities.
Students who earn their degree through RN programs or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree programs may seek registered nursing licensure. On average, Colorado RNs earn $70,550 per year (BLS, 2017). The demand for registered nurses may increase 33% between 2014 and 2024 throughout Colorado (O*Net, 2017).
There are numerous career paths that require a Master of Science in Nursing degree. However, one of the most in-demand roles is that of a nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners can provide primary care to people of all ages, so they do a lot to help the growing healthcare shortage throughout the United States. Colorado NPs earn, on average, $107,160 per year (BLS, 2017). A 43% boost in job openings is expected between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2017).
In response to the growing shortage of nurses, some nursing schools have expanded their nursing degree options (Durango Herald, 2017). It’s clear that this may be the ideal time to start building your nursing career.
The school you choose plays a big role in your success and your long-term career options, so don’t be afraid to spend some time looking for the best nursing degree in Colorado.
Changes in health care have made this an excellent time to consider a nursing career. Take your career to the next level by contacting nursing schools in Colorado for more information.