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Best Nursing Schools in Colorado in 2018 (On-Campus & Online)

Best Nursing Schools in Colorado in 2018 (On-Campus & Online)

Working as an RN provides you with a fulfilling career that is not only prestigious, stable, and financially rewarding, but one that will also give you the opportunity to provide important healthcare to patients which will improve the overall health of your community.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average nurse’s yearly salary is now $65,470 with an estimated shortage of RNs by 2025 estimated to be as high as 500,000. There will be 1.05 million job openings for RNs by 2022.

A BSN degree leading to licensure as an RN can also lead to exciting careers as a nurse anesthetist, a nurse midwife, a family nurse practitioner, a flight nurse, a trauma nurse, a travel nurse or a nurse manager.

Now that you have selected to pursue a career in the ever- expanding and critical field of nursing, it is essential to educate yourself on the most important factors to consider when picking from the best nursing schools in Colorado.

The most important factors to consider when choosing a nursing school include: the NCLEX-RN exam pass rate, the program’s length or number of accredited hours required, the admission requirements, the amount of tuition and the nursing school’s accreditation.

Read on to learn about the top nursing schools in Colorado.

1. Pikes Peak Community College

Pike’s Peak Community College is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado and offers an RN Associate of Applied Science degree. It also offers an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) program, an LPN to RN program, and an LPN to RN “Bridge Program.”

  • NCLEX RN Exam Pass Rate: 99.4%
  • RN Program Length: 80 credit hours/2-year program.
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: Resident – $15,117.95;  Non-Resident – $33,432.15;  Books – $2,284.15
  • Accreditation: ACEN

2. Regis University

Regis University is a private Jesuit University first established in 1877.  Regis University has approximately 1900 undergraduate students who most commonly live on its 100-acre campus that is located about 15 minutes from downtown Denver. Regis University’s BSN program through its Loretto Heights School of Nursing was rated as the best RN program in Colorado in 2017.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam pass Rate: 95.2%
  • RN Program Length: 120 Semester Hours/4-year degree leading to eligibility to take the NCLEX -RN national licensing exam
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: The full-time tuition for 12 to 18 credits is $18,230 per semester
  • Accreditation: CCNE

3. University of Northern Colorado

The University of Northern Colorado is a public, 4-year college with 12,000 students attending. The average class size is from 25-35 students per class. All graduates of the BSN program complete 1,000 clinical hours.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 93.9%
  • RN Program Length: 125 Credit Hours
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Tuition: $6,072
  • Accreditation: CCNE

4. University of Colorado College of Nursing – Aurora

The University of Colorado College of Nursing located on the Anschutz medical campus in Aurora, Colorado has been ranked 9th best nursing program by US News and World Report.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 93.5%
  • RN Program Length: 126 Credit Hours
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Cost per credit hour: Resident – $655; Non-resident – $1,060
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

5. Pueblo Community College

Pueblo Community College has campuses offering nursing curriculums in Pueblo, Fremont, and Mancos (Southwest).

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 90.6%
  • AAS (Associate of Applied Science) LPN-RN  Program Length: 80 Credit Hours/4 semesters
  • Admission Requirements: Admission to the ADN-AAS nursing program requires a  minimum 2.5 GPA and completion of a CNA curriculum or having an active Colorado CNA certificate; applicants must obtain a grade of C or better on prerequisite courses
  • Tuition: In-state tuition and fees – $7,713; Out-of-state tuition and fees $28,950; Books and Supplies – $3,750
  • Accreditation: National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses

6. Arapahoe Community College

Arapahoe Community College was first founded as a junior college in 1965, becoming the first 2 -year community college in the Denver area in 1970. Arapahoe Community College accepts students with or without a high school diploma.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 96%
  • Program Length: 71.5 Credit Hours
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $6,072; Cost per credit hour – $184.85 – $205
  • Accreditation: ACEN

7. Front Range Community College – Larimar Campus

Front Range Community College is celebrating its 50th anniversary having been founded in 1968 as the first college in the newly created Community College System of Denver. The job rate for RNs after graduation and licensure is 97 percent.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 94.8%
  • Program Length: 71.5 Credit Hours
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition for 2 years:
    • In-state – $7.250
    • Out-of-state – $27,213
    • Books and supplies – $3,525
    • Cost per credit hour – $294.45
  • Accreditation – ACEN

8. Metropolitan State University of Denver

Over its history since opening its doors in 1965, Metropolitan State University (MSU) of Denver has educated 90,000 students in the Denver area. MSU has small class sizes with a student to faculty ratio of 18:1. Ninety percent of 2016 graduates of the nursing program found employment in nursing.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 94.8%
  • Program Length: 71.5 Credit Hours
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $3,676; Cost per credit hour – $245
  • Accreditation: ACEN

9. University of Colorado – Colorado Springs

The University of Colorado in Colorado Springs at the Helen and Arthur E Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences has a small student to faculty ratio and excellent clinical experiences at their primary care clinic and Peak Nutrition Clinic.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 89.5%
  • Program  Length: 120 Credit Hours
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition per credit hour: $771
  • Accreditation: ACEN

10. Aims Community College

Aims Community College has an AAS degree with a nursing major program and is located in Denver. Upon completion of the program, students can sit for the NCLEX-RN national licensing exam.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 100%
  • RN Program Length: 2 years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $7,932; Cost per credit hour – $128.75
  • Accreditation: CCNE

11. Colorado Christian University

Colorado Christian University was founded in 1914 in Lakewood, Colorado, is a non-denominational Christian college, and offers a BSN program.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 95%
  • RN BSN Program Length:  120 Credit Hours
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $28,859; Cost per credit hour – $564
  • Accreditation: CCCN

12. Colorado Mesa University BSN

Colorado Mesa University has a BSN program that integrates nursing theory and practice with a broad liberal arts education.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 95.59 %
  • RN Program Length: 4 semesters
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $13,246
  • Accreditation: CCNE

13. Colorado Mesa University (AND)

Colorado Mesa University has a BSN program that integrates nursing theory and practice with a broad liberal arts education.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 93.82 %
  • RN Program Length: 2 Semesters
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $13,246
  • Accreditation: ACEN/CCNE

14. Colorado Mountain College Adams State University

Colorado Mountain College/Adams State University has an ADN and a BSN program. Ninety-five percent of nursing graduates are employed within 90 days of graduation.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 94.59%
  • RN Program Length: 4 years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $11,739
  • Accreditation: ACEN/CCNE

15. Colorado Northwestern Community College

Colorado Northwestern Community College was founded in 1962 and has 2 main campuses, Craig and Rangely, which are 90 miles apart in the mountains of Colorado.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate 77.27 %
  • RN Program Length –  2 years
  • Admission Requirements – Prerequisites
  • Tuition – $11,739
  • Accreditation – ACEN

16. Colorado State University-Pueblo

Colorado State University’s Nursing Program was established in 1964 and has both a BSN and MSN program available for students to choose from.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 100 %
  • RN Program Length: 14 months
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $11,678
  • Accreditation: ACEN

17. Colorado State University

Colorado State University Nursing Program was established in 1964 and has a BSN and MSN program that are both excellent choices to pursue.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 88.37%
  • RN Program Length: 4 years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $11,678
  • Accreditation: ACEN

18. Lamar Community College

Lamar Community College was founded in 1947 and provides an AAS degree in Nursing to help students get started in their nursing careers.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 94.12%
  • RN Program Length: 71.5 hours
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $9,289
  • Accreditation: ACEN

19. Metropolitan State University Denver

Metropolitan State University Denver opened its doors in 1971 and has a BSN program that can be completed in a traditional or accelerated format.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 89.36%
  • RN Program Length: 4 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $8416
  • Accreditation: ACEN

20. Morgan Community College

Morgan Community College has an AAS in Nursing (ADN) and an LPN to ADN for students to pursue.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate -85.19%
  • RN Program Length –  67.5 Credit Hours – 5 Semesters
  • Admission Requirements – Prerequisites
  • Tuition – $8230
  • Accreditation – ACEN

21. Front Range Community College Westminster

Front Range Community College is celebrating its 50th anniversary having been founded in 1968 as the first college in the newly created Community College System of Denver. FRCC has 3 main campuses with 28,000 students and offers 160 different degrees and certificates. Its nursing program results in a 2-year AAS in Nursing or an ADN (Associate degree in Nursing) which is the minimum amount of education required to become licensed as a registered nurse.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 98.08 %
  • Program Length: 2 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $8,788
  • Accreditation: ACEN

22. Northeastern Junior College

Northeastern Junior College has several nursing options for students to choose from, including a nursing aid program, practical nursing certificate, 2-year ADN, an LPN to ADN (2nd year of ADN program), and a nursing transfer degree.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: N/A
  • Program Length:  2 years
  • Tuition: $11,049
  • Accreditation: ACEN

23. Otero Junior College

Otero Junior College has a nursing aid program and an AAS in Nursing available for students to choose from. The AAS requires five semesters of full-time study.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 80.77 %
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Admission Requirements: prerequisites
  • Tuition: $11,027
  • Accreditation: ACEN

24. Platt College

Platt College has an LVN associate degree program as well as a Certified Nursing Assistant certificate for those just starting their nursing careers.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 86.89 %
  • Program Length: 16 months
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $19,286
  • Accreditation: ACEN

25. Pueblo Community College Fremont Center

Pueblo Community College offers an AAS in Nursing, a nursing aid certificate, and an LPN certificate and has three different campuses in Pueblo, Fremont, and Mancos. The average class size is on the larger end at 36 students.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 86.89 %
  • RN Program Length:  2 years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $9,736
  • Accreditation: No

26. Southwest Colorado Community College

Southwest Colorado Community College located in southwest Colorado has modern facilities and up to date technology. It has a “West Site” located between Mancos and Cortez and an “East Site” located in Durango.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 91.67%
  • RN Program Length: 2 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $9737
  • Accreditation: No

27. Trinidad  State Junior College Alamosa

Trinidad State Junior College was established in 1925 and was the first junior college in Colorado. It offers an Associate degree in Nursing, a BSN through dual enrollment and an LPN to ADN option.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 93.33 %
  • Program Length: 2 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $10,239
  • Accreditation: No

28. Trinidad State Junior College Trinidad

Trinidad State Junior College was established in 1925 and was the first junior college in Colorado. It offers an Associate degree in Nursing, a BSN through dual enrollment and an LPN to ADN option.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 85.71 %
  • RN Program Length: 2 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $10,239
  • Accreditation: ACEN

29. University of Colorado South Denver

The nursing school the University of Colorado South – Denver which first opened in 1898 has 4 pathways toward an RN degree which include: Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, an accelerated UCAN pathway, an online BS program for current AAS-Nursing students or RNs and an Integrated Nursing Pathway.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 87.1 %
  • RN Program Length: 4 years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $12,568
  • Accreditation: CCNE

30. Adams State University

Adams State University has a BSN program with 95% of graduates employed within 90 days of graduation.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 40 %
  • RN Program Length: 4 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $12, 905
  • Accreditation: CCNE

31. Delta Montrose Technical College (Delta)

Delta Montrose Technical College located in Delta, Colorado and is a public 2 to 4 years public institution. The largest program at Delta Montrose Technical College is the Licensed Practical/Vocational Nursing Program.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 96.3 %
  • RN Program Length: 2 years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $7,385
  • Accreditation: ACEN

32. Emily Griffin Technical College

Emily Griffin Technical College has a Practical Nursing curriculum.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 90.91 %
  • RN Program Length: 2 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $6,304
  • Accreditation: No

33. Pickens Technical College

Pickens Technical College has a Practical Nursing Program as well as 50 certificate programs and was voted the #1 Community College in Colorado in 2017.

  • NCLEX-PN Exam Pass Rate: 93.3 %
  • Program Length: 2 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $8,881
  • Accreditation: No

34. National American University-Colorado Springs (North)

National American University has locations throughout the United States both online and on campus with sixty degree programs.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 55.56 %
  • RN Program Length: 4 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $15,075
  • Accreditation: CCNE

35. National American University-Colorado Springs (South)

National American University has locations throughout the United States both online and on campus with 60 programs.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 55.56 %
  • RN Program Length: 4 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $15,075
  • Accreditation: CCNE

36. Denver College of Nursing

Denver College of Nursing is a private, single purpose college that provides ADN and BSN degrees designed to prepare students to take the national nursing licensing examination.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 85.82 %
  • RN Program Length: 80 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $48,145
  • Accreditation: CCNE

37. Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University provides flexible schedules designed by nurses for nurses. The school is committed to continued innovation in technology and online education.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 73.08 %
  • RN Program Length: 9 months
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $12,480
  • Accreditation: CCNE

38. University of Phoenix-Colorado Springs

The University of Phoenix provides a “Nursing Pathways Program” that allows students to enroll in courses that count toward both degrees.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 76.47 %
  • RN Program Length: 4 years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $9,960
  • Accreditation: CCCN

39. National American University Centennial (Denver Metro)

National American University has locations throughout the United States both online and on campus with 60 degree programs

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 55.56 %
  • RN Program Length: 4 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $15,075
  • Accreditation: CCNE

40. University of Phoenix Lone Tree

The University of Phoenix provides a Nursing Pathways Program that allows students to enroll in courses that count toward both degrees.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 76.47 %
  • RN Program Length: 4 years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $9,960
  • Accreditation: CCCN

41. College America (Denver)

College America has the highest educational standards and was established in 1964. It has 5 campuses in Colorado and Arizona including the Fort Collins campus opened in 2001 and the Colorado Springs campus opened in 2002.

  • • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: Not listed
  • • RN Program Length: 2 Years
  • • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • • Tuition: $16,968
  • • Accreditation: CCCN

42. College America (Colorado Springs)

College America has the highest educational standards and was established in 1964. It has 5 campuses in Colorado and Arizona including the Fort Collins campus opened in 2001 and the Colorado Springs campus opened in 2002.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: Not listed
  • RN Program Length: 2 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $16,968
  • Accreditation: CCCN

43. College America (Fort Collins)

College America has the highest educational standards and was established in 1964. It has 5 campuses in Colorado and Arizona including the Fort Collins campus opened in 2001 and the Colorado Springs campus opened in 2002.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: Not listed
  • RN Program Length: 2 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $16,968
  • Accreditation: CCCN

44. Colorado College

Colorado College has an enrollment of 2,000 students and has a “Block Plan” in which one class is taken per block which lasts 3 and 1/2 weeks.

  • Program Length: 4 Years
  • Pre-Nursing Program
  • Tuition: $30,000

45. Colorado Technical University Online

Colorado Technical University has an online BSN program which provides a flexible schedule with a BSN degree in as little as 9 months. It was voted the Best Online Bachelors program by US News and World Report.

  • 6- month Employment Rate: 78.8 %
  • RN Program Length: 180 Credit Hours
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $12,480
  • Accreditation: CCNE

46. Concorde Career College (Aurora)

Concorde Career College has a campus in Aurora. Colorado and offers an Associate Degree in Nursing along with Diploma programs in Practical and Vocational Nursing.

  • LPN Program Length: 12 months
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $16,160

47. Red Rocks Community College  (Arvada)

Red Rocks Community College was founded in 1969 and has campuses in Lakewood and Arvada. It provides flexible course schedules with some of the finest faculty in Colorado.

  • Program Length: BSN in 2 Years with Integrated Pathway. Guaranteed acceptance to University of Colorado School of Nursing RN program
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $1,786.80
  • Accreditation: Per University of Colorado School of Nursing Program

48. Community College of Denver

Community College of Denver has been providing quality education for the Denver area for the past 50 years.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: Per University of Colorado School of Nursing Program
  • RN Program Length: 4 Years
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $3,509 In-state, $13,179 Out-of-State
  • Accreditation: Per University of Colorado School of Nursing Program

49. Aspen University (Denver)

Aspen University is a private, for-profit distance learning university which achieved national accreditation in 1993 and provides online degrees in nursing, specifically an RN to BSN.

  • Program Length: 1 Year
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $ 18,000
  • Accreditation: CCNE

50. Technical College of the Rockies

Technical College of the Rockies received accreditation for its practical nursing program in 2010 and prepares nursing students to administer all aspects of basic nursing care.

  • NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rate: 97 %
  • Program Length: 2 Semesters
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: In-state – $140 per credit hour; Out-of-state – $280 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN

Click on the school above that best suits you today to get started in the exciting career of nursing!

 

Ranking Methodology

In ranking the best Nursing Schools in Colorado we took into consideration the schools with the top NCLEX-RN pass rates, the length of each program, the amount of tuition, the graduation rate, student ratings, student-to-faculty ratios and if the school was accredited.

Edits, Additions and Comments

We do understand that other factors can also affect the ranking of nursing schools and welcome any suggestions, recommendations or additions to the list. Please send any comments or questions via our contact form.

References

https://coloradostateplan.com/VE135.htm

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm#tab-6

 

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