ADN Programs in Colorado

There are two paths to becoming a registered nurse in Colorado: by examination, which requires attendance of either an ADN program or a baccalaureate program, or by endorsement.

Endorsement only applies if you already hold a license in another state. To learn more about the requirements necessary to become a registered nurse in Colorado by endorsement, contact the Colorado Board of Nursing.

What if I don’t already have my Colorado nursing license?

To become a registered nurse in Colorado, you first must graduate from a state approved education program in professional nursing. There are approximately 23 recognized schools in Colorado offering ADN (Associate’s Degree in Nursing) programs that will enable you to obtain a license by examination in Colorado. Once you have graduated from a state approved nursing program, then you must fill out an application to the Colorado Board of Nursing. As part of your application, you will be required to submit a transcript from the school which you attended as proof of the completion of your degree. While your application is pending, you will need to register to take the NCLEX-RN, which is the National (Council of Nursing) Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses. Contact the Colorado Board of Nursing if you are interested in learning the pass rates on the NCLEX-RN for the various Colorado approved ADN programs.

What kind of courses do I take to obtain an ADN degree in Colorado?

The courses in an ADN program in Colorado will concentrate on science and health courses, including biology, anatomy, physiology, and nutrition, as well as courses specifically centered on nursing care and communication. Some basic math courses, such as algebra, are also required. A typical Colorado ADN program takes anywhere from two to three years to complete. You also, towards the end of your ADN program approved by the Colorado Board of Nursing, will be required to take one semester of a clinical, which is where you are provided the opportunity to test all of the skills you have learned as a student nurse in a hospital or clinical setting with a skilled nursing mentor at your side.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Training Schools: 2 Year Nursing Programs in Colorado

Aims Community College

5401 W 20th St

PO Box 69

Greeley, CO 80632

(970) 339-6251

The admission program for this nursing program is broken down into five phases. The first phase involves attending a mandatory orientation session along with a mandatory pre-nursing advisory appointment with a counselor. During the first advisory session, the student and the advisor will go through transcripts and assessment scores, and then develop a plan to obtain the courses necessary for entrance into the nursing program. The second phase is completion of the course prerequisites, and then the third phase is to apply for the nursing program. The application is taken in person during an interview with a health advisor. After the interview, the applicant’s qualifications are ranked during phase few, and the applicant is ranked for admission purposes. Finally, if the student is one of those selected for admission to the nursing program, the student needs to submit some additional records regarding health qualifications and proof of CPR certification, after which the student is cleared to begin nursing courses.

Arapahoe Community College

5800 S. Santa Fe Dr.

Littleton, CO 80160-9002

(303) 797-5939

Accredited by the NLNAC, last year, this nursing program achieved a 100% pass rate for the NCLEX-RN, which is the licensing examination for obtaining a Colorado registered nursing license. One of the secrets behind this success is a program testing sequence that has progressively more difficult questions as the student advances in the program in order to simulate the level of difficulty that will be required by the NCLEX-RN.


1385 South Colorado Blvd. 5th Floor

Denver, CO 80222

(303) 300-8740

This ADN-RN program is a 20 month program leading to an associate’s degree. Because the nursing program is relatively new, the Colorado Nursing Board has granted the program interim approval, which will last until one year after the first nursing graduates. By that time, the program is expected to have applied for permanent approval. Interim approval allows new schools to accept students and allows students graduating from the new program to take the licensing exam and apply for a Colorado license.

Colorado Christian University

Western Colorado Center

2452 Patterson Road

Grand Junction, CO 81505

(970) 242 1811 (800) 44-FAITH

The ADN program offered at this college is only for practical nursing desiring to advance their career and become Registered Nurses. The program appears to be relatively small, since there were less than 10 members of the program taking RN licensing examination in the most recent years. Small class sizes can often be an advantage in any academic situation.

Colorado Mesa University

1100 North Ave

Grand Junction, CO 81501

(970) 248-1398

This ADN program is another one of the programs designed for LPN’s who wish to advance their education through obtaining their Registered Nurse (RN). The approval status of this program current is conditional approval by the Colorado Board of Nursing, which means that the Board determined there were certain deficiencies in the program when compared against the Board’s educational requirements. Conditional approval does not affect the status of existing and new programs in terms of their ability to take the licensing exam and obtain their Colorado RN license.

Colorado Mountain Jr College

3000 County Rd 114

Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

(970) 947-8257

This nursing program is available at the Glenwood and Spring Valley campuses of this college. It is a two year, four semester program that allows a student to stop after year one, if necessary, to obtain his or her LPN license. Applications for the following year’s program are due on February 1.

Colorado Northwestern Community College

2801 West 9th Street

Craig, CO 81625

(970) 824-1104

In order to help pre-nursing students obtain their prerequisite courses, this ADN program has recently begun an online program that will allow pre-nursing students to obtain their prerequisite courses using a virtual classroom at night, rather than attending classes during the day. This effectively helps those students ultimately admitted to the nursing program by decreasing the amount of time they will be required to spending daytime courses to the nursing courses themselves.

Colorado Technical University

Pueblo Campus- Midtown

1025 West 6th Street

Pueblo, CO 81003

(719) 595-0200

This program has a little more than 82% completion rate, which means that a little more than 82% of the students who begin the program graduate within the normal ADN time frame. The employment rate for students graduating from the program is listed as 65%. These statistics were calculated by the college in accordance with formulas mandated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Concorde Career College

111 N. Havana Street

Aurora, CO 80010

(303) 861-1151

The Aurora Colorado campus is one of two campuses affiliated with Concorde Career Colleges that offer an AAS degree in nursing that allows the graduate to take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam and apply for licensure in the state where the campus is located. The other is located in Kansas City, Missouri. Concorde Career Colleges is a series of private colleges specializing in training students for various health care professions. It is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a national accrediting body. ACCSC is located in Arlington, Virginia. For more information about the college’s graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit their website at,

School of Nursing

1401 19th St Denver, CO 80202

(303) 292-0015

This school is a private institution offering, among other programs, an ADN-RN nursing program approved by the Colorado Board of Nursing. The ADN program includes a simulation skills laboratory where students are able to learn the skills necessary to care for patients directly when they begin the clinical portion of their nursing education.

Front Range Community College

Three Campuses

Front Range Community College offers an ADN-RN program at three separate courses. At the Boulder campus, the course is limited to LPN’s wishing to advance their careers with an RN license and an associate’s degree, while the other two campuses host a full two year, four semester program for students starting their nursing education from the beginning. The addresses for the program at each campus are the following:

– Boulder Campus

2121 Miller Drive

Longmont, CO 80503

(303) 678-3850

– Larimer Campus

4616 S Shields

Ft Collins, CO 80526

(970) 204-8200

– Westminster Campus

3645 W 112th Ave

Westminster, CO 80020

(303) 404-5272

Lamar Community College

2401 S Main St

Lamar, CO 81052

(719) 336-1594

Lamar is part of the Colorado Community College System. Founded in 1937, it has over 1000 students attending its campus. Its nursing program, accredited by the NLNAC, is a standard ADN-RN program, in which the nursing candidate completing his or her coursework successfully in two years will receive an Associate’s degree, along with the privilege of taking the Colorado licensing examination and applying for a Colorado RN license.

Morgan Community College

920 Barlow Road

Ft Morgan, CO 80701

(970) 542-3119

The nursing program at Morgan achieved a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN in 2010, a rare achievement for any nursing program. Located in Fort Morgan, Colorado, the nursing program is accredited by the NLNAC, which stands for the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission. The program allows LPN’s to apply for admission to it following the second semester in an Advanced Placement setting.

National American University

1325 South Colorado Blvd, Ste 100

Denver, CO 80222

(303) 876-7100

NAU is a private college with a series of campuses across the United States. While it has three Colorado campuses, the ADN-RN program is offered only at the Denver campus, which was founded in 1974 and which remains once of NAU’s central locations. The Denver nursing program recently was awarded candidate status by the NLNAC.

Northeastern Junior College

100 College Ave.

Sterling, CO 80751

(970) 521-6701

This school’s ADN-RN program is offered to LPN’s wishing to advance their education only. The program accepts 20 new students each year, filling 10 slots from the most recent graduating LPN class, and 10 practicing LPN’s from the surrounding community who wish to advance their education to RN status. The program is a one year program, with a January start and a December graduation rate. As all nursing programs do, this course of study includes clinical practice, which may be assigned to the student on weekends or at night as well as during the day, and can consist of anywhere from 8 to 12 hours shifts. The program takes advantage of its location near Colorado’s border with Nebraska and Wyoming to schedule some of the necessary clinical time in those states.

Otero Junior College

1802 Colorado Ave

La Junta, CO 81050

(719) 384-6898

This program offers an Associate of Applied Science in nursing that prepares the student for work as a registered nurse, as well as for passing the Colorado licensing exam and applying for his or her Colorado’s RN license. The nursing department offers several options for students, including a traditional day program as well as an evening and weekend option. In addition, Licensed Practical Nurses can apply to enter the program in the second year of what is normally a two year program.

Pikes Peak Community College

Rampart Range Campus

11195 Hwy 83 RR-13

Colorado Springs, CO 80921

(719) 502-3400

This program has three related ADN-RN tracks. The main program is a two year, four semester program at the end of which the student is awarded his or her ASN, and is eligible to fulfill the rest of the requirements to become a licensed RN in Colorado. The second track contains an “exit option” after the first year. The curriculum is designed so that, after completion of one year of school as well as one additional 3 unit course, a student can take the practical licensing exam and obtain their LPN license in Colorado. The third option is an Advance Placement LPN-RN program that allows students with LPN licenses to enter the program during its second year.

Pueblo Community College

Three Campuses

The nursing program at Pueblo Community College is offered at three separate campuses – the main campus in Pueblo, Colorado, the Southwest Center campus, located in Durango, Colorado and the Fremont Center, located in Canon City, Colorado. The program, which contains the same admission and curriculum requirements at each site, is accredited by the NLNAC. Graduates from the Southwest Center and the Fremont Center that took the NCLEX-RN in the past year achieved a 100% pass rate, an outstanding accomplishment for any group of students and the school that graduated them. The addresses and phone numbers for the three campuses are as follows.

– Main Campus

900 W. Orman Ave.

Pueblo, CO 81004

(719) 549-3409

– Southwest Center

710 Camino del Rio

Durango, CO 81301

(970) 385-4267

– Fremont Center

51320 W. Highway 50

Canon City, CO 81212

(719) 296-6100

Trinidad State Junior College

Two Campuses

At 86 years old, Trinidad is the oldest community college in Colorado, and serves areas in southern Colorado. Another multi-campus community college, Trinidad has a main campus in Trinidad as well as a second campus, the Valley Campus, in Alamosa. Between the two campuses, there are about 2200 students total. Both campuses have an ADN-RN program. The main campus achieved a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN test last year. The addresses for the two campuses are:

– Main Campus

600 Prospect St

Trinidad, CO 81082

(719) 846-5535

– Valley Campus

1011 Main St

Alamosa, CO 81101

(719) 589-7077