Nursing Degrees in Colorado

The state of Colorado has a hard time staffing all of their medical centers. Being a state that is very popular with tourist  means that their hospitals and clinics have to cope with extra strain during vacation season, and the state’s geography poses a challenge when it comes to the logistics of reaching students seeking nursing degrees in Colorado, placing teachers, and luring new graduates out to the areas of the state where nurses are needed the most.

Though Colorado is a good-sized state, it doesn’t have as many Board of Nursing-approved programs as more populated areas do. Schools that currently have approval for licensed practical nursing (LPN) programs include:

–        Concorde Career College

–        Community College of Denver

–        Delta Montrose Technical College

–        Emily Griffith Opportunity School

–        Front Range Community College

–        Northeastern Junior College

–        Pueblo Community College

For baccalaureate degree programs (Bachelors of Science in Nursing) , the following Nursing Schools in Colorado have full Board approval:

–        Colorado Mesa University

–        Colorado State University

–        Metropolitan State College of Denver

–        SON at Platt College

–        Regis University

–        University of Colorado Denver College of Nursing

–        University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

–        University of Northern Colorado

Some practical nursing (PN, LPN) and baccalaureate programs (BSN), like those offered by Pickens Community College, Denver School of Nursing, and Adams State College, currently only have interim or conditional approval by the Board. Interim approval is for schools that have not yet graduated their first nursing class. Conditional approval is for schools that currently have deficiencies that need to be corrected. For the sake of clarity, schools without full, current Board of Nursing approval were omitted.

Some of the schools above also offer DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) and PhD in Nursing degrees.

Colorado‘s Board of Nursing

What does the Board of Nursing do? Colorado’s Board of Nursing is a portion of their Department of Regulatory Agencies. This organization is responsible for approving and enforcing educational requirements, licensing, examination, changes in legislature, and other subjects related to nurses and nursing degrees in Colorado. This includes determining which of Colorado’s nursing programs are suitable for approval.

The Colorado Board of Nursing should be a prospective nursing student’s first contact, even before they ever turn in a college application. The Board can give students important information on which schools are worth applying to, which examinations they will have to pass, and which financial aid programs they may qualify for. Since Colorado’s list of approved nursing programs is subject to change as new schools gain approval and existing schools lose it, it’s important for prospective nursing students to contact the Board of Nursing for a full, up-to-date listing of approved schools.

Don’t Be Taken in By Degree Scams

Nursing program approval is never straightforward. All nurses must pass licensure examinations, like the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, in order to be able to practice nursing legally. What type of nurse they are depends on the extent of their education, and which licensure examination they take. This determines what scope of practice they can follow, be it that for a licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), or other type of nurse. Without a passing exam grade, nurses can’t get licenses. Without licenses, they can’t practice.

Therefore, in order to even be able to take nursing license exams, students must first have graduated from a nursing program approved by the Colorado Board of Nursing. This sounds simple enough, but the unfortunate issue is that students can’t trust schools when it comes to fully disclosing whether or not they have Board of Nursing (BoN) approval. Approval and accreditation don’t always go hand in hand, and it is the student who will end up losing out if they mistakenly take an unapproved nursing course. Graduates from these courses cannot take licensing exams, and thus end up with nursing degrees that they can’t ever use. Some schools may even claim to be approved when they aren’t, which is why getting the Board of Nursing’s list of approved schools first is so important.

Getting nursing degrees in Colorado is a little bit more of a challenge than it is in some other states, but it’s worth it. Colorado hospitals are always in need of new graduate nurses, and they’re willing to pay extremely well to get them. New nursing graduates with licenses can get generous sign-on bonuses, competitive annual salaries, and excellent benefits packages.