Colorado MSN Programs

Aspen University: RN to MSN Program Review
Aspen University, 720 South Colorado Boulevard, Suite 1150N, Denver, Colorado 80246
Aspen University offers a Registered Nurse (RN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. A RN to MSN Bridge Program is also offered at the University. Both programs are offered online. Aspen University offers these courses at affordable tuition rates lower than many other online programs charge per credit. Degrees of all levels are offered, including associate degrees, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees. Financial aid is offered in the form of Stafford loans. Many MSN students qualify for tuition reimbursement from their employers.

The masters program at Aspen University prepares nurses for advanced nursing careers that they will qualify for after completing this program. Students receive training needed to fill roles as nurse educators, clinical practice specialists, and as nurse managers. Two specialty areas are offered at Aspen. These are nursing administration and management and nursing education. By working through an online classroom, students connect with other nurses and with their professors. Academic advisors are available online as well.

Nurses may take up to three courses at once, but many students take only one or two courses at a time. Both programs are designed for students to progress at their own pace, and most masters in nursing students finish the program in 12 to 30 months. Proctored exams are required at the middle point and end of the MSN program, and MSN Bridge students require a comprehensive exam at the end of the program. Exams are open book and essay type tests that can take up to four hours to complete.

Admission requirements include a high diploma, a resume, and a goal statement. Registered Nurses who enter the MSN Bridge program must have an associates degree in nursing. Other admission requirements for the RN to MSN Bridge program are that the student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or better in their associates degree work. They must also complete 50 credits of liberal arts coursework and be currently licensed as a RN in the United States. One year of nursing experience is also required, as well as three reference letters. Nurses who want to enter the MSN program must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0. They must be currently licensed as a RN in the United States and have at least a year of nursing experience after receiving their baccalaureate nursing degree.

Colorado State University-Pueblo: RN to MS Program Review

Colorado State University-Pueblo


2200 Bonforte Blvd.

Pueblo, Colorado 81001-4901

Colorado State University-Pueblo (CSU-Pueblo) is located at 2200 Bonforte Boulevard, Pueblo, Colorado 81001-4901. It is a member of the Colorado State University System. It is considered to be the fastest growing university in the state. The University offers small classes and a student to faculty ratio of 18:1. The Department of Nursing at CSU-Pueblo offers a Master of Science (MS) with a major in Nursing with the concentration of Nurse Educator. Other programs leading to Nurse Practitioner careers are offered through doctoral programs at the University.

The MS-Nurse Educator program prepares nurses for a career teaching in universities and health care facilities. Besides teaching student nurses, masters students learn to plan and facilitate staff development activities in health care facilities. Graduates are eligible to take the National league Certified Nurse Educator Examination. Two years of full-time study are required to complete the program, including two summer sessions totaling 44 credits.

Admission requirements are that the applicant must have a bachelors degree in nursing with an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above. Current licensure as a RN in Colorado is also required. Applicants must pass criminal history background check and have all of the necessary immunizations and a Health Care Provider CPR certificate. Three recommendations are also required, and the applicant must submit a letter of intent and a Curriculum Vitae. Applicants who live in the Southern Colorado area are given preferential admission, as are nurses with more than two years of nursing experience. Nurse educators who have over a year of teaching in this capacity are also given preferential admission, as are graduates of CSU-Pueblo.

Regis University: RN to MS Program Review

Regis University

3333 Regis Boulevard

Denver, Colorado 80221-1099

Regis University is a Jesuit university of the Roman Catholic faith located in Denver, Colorado at 333 Regis Boulevard that was established in 1877. Regis University’s Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions Loretto Heights School of Nursing offers a Master of Science (MS) in Nursing. The MS program in nursing prepares students for careers in advanced nursing positions as managers or educators. Regis University offers nursing courses online and on campus as well.

The Master of Science: Leadership in Health Care Systems program is designed for the Registered Nurse (RN) with a bachelors degree in nursing who wants a career in nursing management or education. This program is offered one night each week and online. Before completing the program and taking national certification exams, nurses must take the University’s Masters Comprehensive Evaluation. This exam is designed to assess the student’s understanding of the theories, principles, and protocols of the masters nursing program. Students are graded on a Pass or No-Pass basis.

The RN interested in a career as a Family Nurse Practitioner may apply to Regis University’s Master of Science: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program that is offered online. At the completion of the program, graduates take the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner Certification Examination and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Examination. At the end of the program, students must take a Masters Comprehensive Evaluation, and are graded with a Pass or No-Pass grade. This exam must be passed before the RN qualifies for graduation. Applicants to the program must have a bachelors degree in nursing.

The Master of Science, Nursing (MS) Neonatal Nurse Practitioner program offered at Regis University provides training for nurses who want to pursue a career working with newborn infants that have health problems. Admission requirements are a bachelors degree in nursing with a grade point average of 2.75 or above and a current RN license. Also, two years of Level 3 NICU experience is required. The program takes two years to complete, and students meet one day each week from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Online courses are also part of the program. The MS concentrations at the University are a convenient combination of in-class and online studies.

A RN to MS (Registered Nurse to Master of Science) in nursing program is offered by Regis University for the Registered Nurse with an associates degree who wants to complete the upper level courses of the bachelors degree program as well as the MS program in education or in management. Nurse Practitioner options are not offered in the RN to MS option.

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs: RN to MS Program Review

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway

Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) is located in Colorado Springs and is part of the University of Colorado system. U.S. News and World Report has ranked UCCS as Number 6 of public universities in the Masters Universities-West category. It has been rated among the top ten for the past ten years. The University was founded in 1965 and is located at 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918. The Beth-El College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers a Master of Science (MS) in nursing program. Two options are available in the masters degree nursing program. These are Nurse Practitioner (Adult/Gero or Family) or Nursing Education.

Program requirements are the completion of 38 to 47 credits with at least a grade of B in all nursing courses and successful completion of the Comprehensive Exam or a Thesis. A bachelors degree in nursing is one of the admission requirements, and students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for all undergraduate course work. Prerequisite courses of Introduction to Statistics, Nursing Research, and Health Assessment must also be completed. The applicant must have current licensure as a Registered Nurse and must submit a Curriculum Vitae with an application. Computer technology skills are also required, and if the applicant is not a native English speaker, a passing score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language is also required.

Nurse Practitioner students with an Adult/Gero focus must complete 47 credits plus 630 contact hours. The Family Nurse Practitioner program requires that 46 credits plus 630 contact hours are completed. Nursing Education students must complete 38 credits, including 225 hours of practicum.

University of Colorado-Denver: RN to MS Program Review

University of Colorado-Denver

13120 East 19th Avenue

Aurora, Colorado 80045

The University of Colorado-Denver (UC Denver) is located in Denver, Colorado at 13120 East 19th Avenue. It is one of three schools in the University of Colorado system. One of the University’s campuses is located in the downtown area at the Auraria Campus. The other is at the Anschultz Medical Campus in Aurora, which is also the location of the University of Colorado Hospital. This medical facility is affiliated with Children’s Hospital, the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, and the Denver Health Medical Center. The University was founded in 1898 and awards more graduate degrees than any other college or university in the state.

UC Denver’s College of Nursing was the first in the country to offer a nurse practitioner and school nurse program in 1965. The College of Nursing was rated 15th in the United States by U.S. News and World Report for its masters program and 5th in the country for its Pediatric Nurse Practitioner option. A Master of Science program is offered with specialties as follows:

Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist

Adult Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioner

Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse practitioner

Health Care Informatics

Nurse Midwifery

Pediatric Nursing Leadership and Special Needs

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Special Studies

Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner

One of the features of this University is that many specialties are available for Registered Nurses who are interested in training for an advanced nursing position. Admission requirements are a bachelors degree in nursing and four reference letters. Prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of at least C or higher. Applicants must submit a copy of their current RN license, and those accepted into the program must obtain their nursing license in Colorado before beginning clinical experience. A grade point average on all college-level work is expected to be at least 3.0. If an applicant’s grade point average is lower, the GRE is highly recommended.

University of Northern Colorado: RN to MSN Program Review

University of Northern Colorado

Gunter Hall 3080, Box 125

Greeley, Colorado 80639

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is located at Gunter Hall 3080, Box 125, Greeley, Colorado 80639. The University has a satellite campus in Lowry in Denver, Colorado as well. The University was established in 1889 as a normal school. The National Institute for Nursing Education & Scholarships is an organization that sets standards for teaching and learning in the field of nursing. UNC offers a masters program in Family Nurse Practitioner, nurse educator, and a masters program with training to prepare Clinical Nurse Leaders in advanced generalist practice.

The Master of Science: Nursing (MS Nursing) with a Family Nurse Practitioner Emphasis provides training for nurses to enter this advanced nursing career after graduation. The program is designed for the working RN who must attend classes only one day each week. Some courses are taught online, and the program is offered only on a part-time basis. Admission requirements are a bachelors degree in nursing with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on baccalaureate level, two reference letters, and a goal statement. One year of clinical experience is preferred.

The Education Emphasis MS program prepares the RN with a bachelors degree in nursing to work in an academic or in-service setting with clinical emphasis in case management of the chronically ill child or adult. Either full-time or part-time programs are available. Admission requirements are CPR certification, background check, and health policies. The third concentration of Clinical Nurse Specialist in Chronic Illness Emphasis prepares the post-baccalaureate RN to care for the chronically ill adult or child. This program is also available on either a full-time or part-time basis.