Denver Nursing Schools: Find the Best College & Online Programs (2023)

If you live in the Denver, Colorado area, you may already be aware of the current critical shortage of qualified nurses in the state. This scarcity ispartly due to the Covid crisisand will increase due to the retirement expectation of at least 2,000 nurses per year in the next ten years, according to theColorado Nursing Center of Excellence. High demand is drivingsharp increases in nurses' salaries and signing bonuses, which means there has never been a better time to enter the field of nursing.

This guide highlights the best nursing schools in Denver and details their many program offerings. It also provides an overview of the different types of degree options and includes information on financing your degree, obtaining your nursing license, and salary and job expectations.

Best Nursing Schools and Programs in Denver for 2022

We researched all the nursing schools in Denver and put together a list of the best programs for 2022. Below are three of the best schools overall, along with three leaders in online nursing education. These schools were chosen based on factors such as accreditation, accessibility, convenience to study, quality of the curriculum, availability of support services, and more. These top-rated schools will help you begin your search for the right Denver nursing program for you.

Best General Nursing Schools in Denver

Front Range Community College

Denver Nursing Schools: Find the Best College & Online Programs (1)

Front Range Community Collegeoffers two options for those seeking DNA that leads to eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN and become an RN license. The Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AASN) is a full-time, five-semester program for students with little or no college or nursing experience and is available at the Front Range campuses in Westminster and Larimer. Current licensed practical nurses intending to become a fully licensed RN can save one semester off their graduation completion times by opting for the four-semester DNA LPN program available on the Westminster campus.

Front Range differs from most community colleges by offering a completely online RN to BSN program for students who already have ADN or have completed the first year of an ASN program. A three-semester Practical Nursing Certificate program is also available.

Denver Metropolitan State University

Denver Nursing Schools: Find the Best College & Online Programs (2)

ONursing departmentat Denver Metropolitan State University focuses exclusively on four degree options, all of which are highly affordable. Campus-based Traditional BSN students complete all prerequisite general education and nursing courses in their freshman and sophomore years and all BSN clinical and nursing courses in their junior and senior years. Students with a non-nursing bachelor's degree can opt for the 17-month accelerated BSN. Along with their previous bachelor's degrees, candidates for this highly competitive program must have completed all prerequisite courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and have taken the HESI exam.

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MSU Denver's Dual Enrollment and RN to BSN options combine 100% online coursework with a clinical practicum. Both programs can be completed in less than a year.

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Denver Nursing Schools: Find the Best College & Online Programs (3)

A leading healthcare provider in the Denver and Rocky Mountain region, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is home to a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and certification programs through itsNursing school. This includes four pathways to a BSN degree, beginning with a 24-month, traditional, full-time BSN completion program for students who require all upper division nursing courses and clinical hours. The accelerated BSN program allows non-nursing undergraduate students to earn their BSN and NCLEX-RN eligibility with 12 months of full-time study. CU Anschutz also offers a 100% online RN to BSN option and an RN to BSN early decision option for current DNA students.

Nursing degree options at CU Anschutz include a partially online MSN program and graduate certificates, each with a dozen specialty tracks. In addition, its DNP Nursing and PhD programs combine online courses with intensives on campus.

Best Online Nursing Programs in Denver

colorado christian university

Denver Nursing Schools: Find the Best College & Online Programs (4)

Colorado Christian University offers undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, all of which have distance learning components. EITHERRN para BSNfeatures 100% online courses of instruction and clinical hours taken at practice facilities in students' local areas. The program is part-time to accommodate working nurses and can be completed in as little as 14 months. For undergraduate students, CCU offers aBSN Adult Graduate Student PathwayIt is primarily campus-based, but students can complete prerequisite courses online.

CCU's online graduate nursing programs include aMSNwith specialization options in Nursing Education and Clinical Care Management in Adults and Geriatrics and aDNPwith online courses and a 525-hour clinical experience requirement that can be completed with two years of full-time study. Tuition rates for CCU nursing programs are surprisingly competitive.

Denver College of Nursing

Denver Nursing Schools: Find the Best College & Online Programs (5)

ODenver College of Nursingis a private institution focused on educating and training registered nurses and nurse leaders. DCN offers two online programs for current RNs seeking career advancement and additional knowledge and skills. The RN to BS program offers fully online and asynchronous courses along with 24/7 online tutoring and support services and can be completed in 15 months. The curriculum consists of 90 quarter credits of general education and advanced nursing courses. Students receive an additional 90 quarter credits from their DNA degrees for a total of 180 credits. The MSN Online program consists of six quarters of courses and can be completed in 15-18 months.

Costs at DCN are surprisingly competitive, especially for a private university. The current estimated total program cost for the RN to BSN program tuition, fees, and books, for example, is just under $15,000.

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Regis University

Denver Nursing Schools: Find the Best College & Online Programs (6)

Regis University, a private Jesuit-affiliated institution, is home to the most comprehensive and convenient line of online nursing degree and certificate programs of any Denver nursing school. The RN to BSN Undergraduate Completion Program offers the option of completing all requirements through 100% asynchronous or synchronous web-based class formats or a combination of both. All classes are eight weeks long and students can complete the entire program in 10 months, taking two classes at a time, or in 20 months, taking one class at a time.

Regis MSN online offerings include a low-residency program for Family Nurse Practitioners: Rural and Underserved Communities, consisting of one synchronous class per week, in addition to local clinical rotations. There is also a fully online and asynchronous or synchronous Health Systems and Leadership program, a neonatal nursing program with one synchronous class per week plus local clinical rotations, and an RN for MSN program that combines synchronous and asynchronous classes. Additional online programs at Regis include an MSN for DNP, Post-BSN for DNP, and an FNP Postgraduate Certificate.

Types of nursing programs available in or near Denver

The highlights above show the variety of degree and certificate programs available at Denver nursing schools. To help you know which program is right for you, below are descriptions of the most common types of programs available at Denver nursing schools. We have also included sample programs for each.

Undergraduate Nursing Programs in Denver

Bachelor of Nursing (ADN)

An ADN is one of the fastest and most cost-effective routes to qualify for the NCLEX-RN. ADN programs combine general education and lower division courses with clinical rotations at local health centers. They generally require two years of full-time study and are available at community colleges.

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Examples of Denver Nursing Schools with this Program

Bachelor of Nursing (BSN Traditional)

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs qualify graduates for the NCLEX-RN. Traditional BSNs are for students with little to no prior nursing and college experience. Many employers prefer to hire nurses with a BSN because of the additional education and skills that a four-year degree provides.

Examples of Denver Nursing Schools with this Program

Accelerated BSN Programs

Accelerated BSNs allow non-nursing undergraduate students to save time earning their BSNs and becoming RNs by applying undergraduate general education credits to their BSN programs. Some accelerated BSN programs require health care experience, such as working as a certified nursing assistant, and certain prerequisite courses.

Examples of Denver Nursing Schools with this Program

Nursing Bridge Programs in Denver for Current Nurses

LPN Programs for RNs

The LPN for RN (ADN for RN) programs are designed for current LPNs looking to advance their career by becoming an RN. Typically available on community college campuses, LPN RN programs typically require three to four semesters to complete.

Examples of Denver Nursing Schools with this Program

RN for BSN Programs

Current RNs with nursing or DNA degrees can broaden their knowledge base and become more attractive in the job market by earning their BSNs through a cost-effective RN to BSN program. Designed with working RNs in mind, these programs often feature 100% online curricula and full-time (one year) and part-time (two years) options.

Examples of Denver Nursing Schools with this Program

RN Programs for MSN

Current RNs with nursing or ADN degrees interested in taking leadership roles in management and advanced practice should consider an MSN through an RN to MSN program. These programs combine undergraduate and graduate nursing courses into a single curriculum that is typically completed in three years of full-time study with part-time options also available. Some programs also award BSNs.

Examples of Denver Nursing Schools with this Program

Advanced Nursing Programs in Denver

Traditional MSN (Master of Nursing) Programs

BSNs looking to move into advanced nursing practice and leadership roles can opt for traditional MSN programs, which are typically offered with specialization tracks. Many are fully or partially online, and program length varies depending on major and pace of study. Most students complete their degrees in approximately two years.

Examples of Denver Nursing Schools with this Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctoral Programs

Nursing doctorates are for highly experienced nurses who want to fill senior leadership positions. The DNP is designed for students seeking senior-level positions in advanced practice nursing and health care administration, while the Doctor of Nursing prepares graduates for postsecondary academic and advanced research careers. Program lengths are typically one to three years for DNP programs and three to six years (or more) for PhD programs.

Examples of Denver Nursing Schools with this Program

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Graduate Certificates in Nursing

Graduate Certificates are for Masters and Doctors of Nursing who want to expand their professional knowledge base by adding a specialization. Areas of specialization often include nurse educators, nursing leadership and administration, family nursing, and any number of primary and acute care nursing fields. Many graduate certificate programs are fully or partially online.

Examples of Denver Nursing Schools with this Program

Financial Aid Opportunities for Nursing Students in Denver

Getting help paying for college is essential for most nursing students in Denver. Fortunately, there are many funding opportunities available, including scholarships and grants, fellowships and fellowships (mainly for graduate students), employer school assistance, and the Veterans Administration (for active duty military and veterans). However, the most affordable financial aid source is the student loan. There are many loan programs available, both public and private, but the most important isfederal student loan.

Student loan repayment programs are also great options for many Denver nursing school students. The federal government, through itsManagement of resources and health services, It's incolorado stateboth offer such programs.

Learn more about financing your nursing degree through EduMednursing scholarships,financial help, minursing student loan forgivenessguides

How to Become an RN in Denver: Licensing Requirements

Working as a registered nurse in Denver requires an RN license issued by theColorado Board of Nursing (CBN)of unoNursing Licensing Agreement (NLC)Member State or US Territory The two methods of obtaining a Colorado RN license are approval and examination. The endorsement method is for current RNs with licenses issued by a non-NLC state or territory. However, if you are seeking your first RN license, you will use the examination method which includes taking and passing theNCLEX-RN. Visit the EduMed guide for thebest nursing schools in coloradoto take an in-depth look at the steps you will take to earn your Colorado RN license through an exam.

Job Market and Earnings for Registered Nurses in Denver

The job market for RNs and other nursing professionals in Denver and across the US is booming and is expected to remain strong for at least the next several years. In the Denver/Aurora metropolitan area, according to theColorado Department of Labor and Employment, job growth for registered nurses is projected to be nearly 30% through 2030. This is more than double the estimate for registered nurses for the country as a whole. The numbers are equally strong for Denver nurse anesthetists (33%), nurse midwives (21%) and registered nurses (44%).

Earnings estimates for RNs in the Denver metro area are also impressive, as indicated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics figures below.Employment opportunitiesafter graduating with your RN from a nursing school in Denver, include those in hospitals, which employ nearly 60% of RNs in the area, ambulatory health services, and nursing and residential facilities.

How much can you earn as an RN or Advanced Practice Nurse in Denver?

Average Hourly Wageaverage hourly wageAverage Annual Salary
registered nurses$ 37$ 38$ 79.300
nursing professionals$ 55$ 54$ 112.590
nurse midwives$ 56$ 55$ 114.980
nurse anesthetists$ 89$ 88$ 182.330

Fuente: Department of Labor StatisticsMay 2020


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