Schools in Colorado offer a variety of nursing undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including those for aspiring practical nurses, registered nurses (RNs), nurse educators, nursing administrators and nurse practitioners. Associate's degree programs are most commonly available in the fields of practical and registered nursing, although many bachelor's programs for aspiring RNs exist. Such programs include a clinical component and prepare graduates to take a licensure exam for their chosen nursing profession, such as the National Council Licensure Examination - Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) for aspiring RNs.
Master's degree programs are typically geared toward nurse practitioners, specialty nurses and administrators, while doctoral programs are suitable for aspiring nursing educators and researchers. Graduate-level nursing programs normally require a bachelor's degree in nursing to enroll, and some schools provide the opportunity to enroll in a combined master's and doctoral program.
University of Colorado - Denver
Located in Aurora, the University of Colorado - Denver's College of Nursing was named the 15th best nursing school in the country by U.S. News and World Report in 2011. Nursing students can choose from bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in the field.
The bachelor's degree program in nursing prepares students to become RNs and is available in traditional, accelerated and online RN-to-BSN formats. Courses include topics in patient care, medical terminology, nursing communication and leadership, pharmacology and health assessment. Designed for aspiring nurse practitioners and specialty nurses, the nursing master's degree program offers ten specialties, including pediatrics, family nursing, nursing midwifery and informatics. Master's program students can also pursue post-master's certificates while enrolled.
Doctoral students can pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing degree. Graduates are prepared for supervisory and management positions within the nursing field. The PhD program is designed for nursing professionals interested in positions as teachers, researchers or policy-makers. A combined master's and PhD program is available for students with a nursing bachelor's degree.
Metropolitan State University of Denver
With three campuses in the Denver area, Metropolitan State University of Denver serves more undergraduate students than any other school in Colorado. The Department of Nursing offers a bachelor's degree program with two tracks for students at different career stages.
The Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Completion Option is designed for current registered nurses with diplomas or associate degrees in nursing who wish to prepare to work in a specialty area like community health, public health, school or pediatric nursing. Courses include nursing research, health assessment, advanced patient care, health care management and nursing leadership. Students with a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing can enroll in an accelerated program that provides both general education and nursing coursework. The 17-month intensive program combines classroom instruction with nursing workshops, health care labs and clinical training opportunities. Graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School||School Type & Setting||Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|University of Colorado - Denver||4-year, public; large city|| BS in Nursing
MS in Nursing
Doctor of Nursing Practice
PhD in Nursing
|$9,283 (in-state), $25,771 (out-of-state)*|
|Metropolitan State University of Denver||4-year, public; large city||BS in Nursing||$7,666 (in-state), $20,847 (out-of-state)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator