Nurse Practitioner Programs in Colorado

In Colorado, the present number of 3,540 Nurse Practitioners paints a picture of a sizable workforce. But the future need for an extra 4,190 NPs by 2030 indicates how the profession is set to expand further. The state’s Full Practice status and NPs’ prescriptive authority underscore Colorado’s trust in these healthcare professionals, amplifying opportunities for their direct impact on patient care.

  1. Educational Requirements: Colorado mandates an RN license and a graduate degree from an accredited nursing program for the Nurse Practitioner role. This advanced education equips NPs to handle more sophisticated patient care responsibilities.
  2. Licensure and Certification: To practice professionally, a Nurse Practitioner in Colorado must secure state licensure from the Colorado Board of Nursing and a national certification in their chosen specialty. These form the bedrock of credibility for NPs.
  3. Scope of Practice: Colorado follows the Full Practice model. This model permits Nurse Practitioners to evaluate patients, diagnose conditions, interpret diagnostic tests, and initiate and manage treatments, including prescribing medications. This broad scope provides a greater level of autonomy and decision-making in patient care.
  4. Prescriptive Authority: Colorado Nurse Practitioners have full prescriptive authority. They can prescribe all medications, including controlled substances, thus expanding the scope of patient care that they can provide independently.
  5. Employment and Salary Statistics: In Colorado, 2% of the U.S.’s Nurse Practitioners are employed, earning an average of $112,580 per year. The state’s recognition of their contribution is evident in these competitive salaries.
  6. Job Outlook: The anticipated need for 300 new NPs annually until 2030 signals a bright job outlook. This steady demand highlights the state’s commitment to strengthening its healthcare system by embracing the skills of Nurse Practitioners.
  7. Regulatory Body: The Colorado Board of Nursing is the primary regulatory body, responsible for regulating nursing practices, issuing licenses, and maintaining high profession standards.

Colorado’s Full Practice model, alongside its projected demand for Nurse Practitioners and competitive salary structure, suggests a thriving environment for these professionals. For those aiming to make a positive difference in healthcare, Colorado offers vast opportunities for growth and substantial impact in the field.

What are the 5 Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Colorado?

#1 in Colorado

University of Northern Colorado

School of Nursing

  • Pin1
    Carter Hall - Rm 4000, Greeley, CO - 80639
  • Tel1
    (970) 351-1890
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, CNL, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, Doctor of Nursing, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to BSN
Person
Nurse Admin: Melissa Henry, PhD, RN, FNP-C
Title: Interim Director

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 441
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $10,666
  • Book Book and Supplies: $1,200
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 99%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $7,560
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 88%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 17%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 52%

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC)'s nursing program adopts a holistic approach to patient care. A standout feature of its curriculum is the semestral Poverty Simulation for Nursing Students. Through this simulation, aspiring nurses develop empathy through immersion with patients of varying socio-economic backgrounds.

Whether a bachelor's or a master's degree holder, students can become Nurse Practitioners through UNC's diverse program offerings. These include post-bachelor's to DNP, post-master's to DNP, and MSN with FNP concentration. Additionally, the working professions can take advantage of UNC's online Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

School of Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration

  • Part-Time and Flexible: Designed for working BSN RNs with on-campus classes once a week and a blend of online coursework.
  • Extensive Clinical Experience: Incorporates 660 clinical/simulation/lab hours starting from the sixth semester, offering rich hands-on experience.

Post Bachelor's to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration

  • In-depth Knowledge: A five-year program for BSN RNs focusing on primary care health promotion and disease management across varied life stages.
  • Hybrid Learning: Features both on-campus and online learning components, providing flexible learning solutions for working professionals.

Post-Master's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

  • Specialized Advanced Practice: Prepares students for advanced nursing practice with a scientific knowledge base.
  • Online classes: A completely online program offered through UNC Extended Campus, welcoming students through a competitive admission process every fall.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Emphasis (Post-Master's Graduate Certificate)

  • Part-Time and Flexible: Designed for working BSN RNs. Classes are on-campus classes once a week supplemented with online coursework.
  • Extensive Clinical Experience: Minimum of 660 clinical/simulation/lab hours beginning from the sixth semester. Hands-on learning through advanced practice clinical simulations and didactic coursework

Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP) Emphasis (Post-Master's Graduate Certificate)

  • Part-Time and Flexible: Allows students to continue current FNP careers while attending the program. Mostly online asynchronous delivery format with two on-campus experiences in Greeley, Colorado.
  • Extensive Clinical Experience: Prepares practitioners for emergency settings, focusing on rural environments.
  • Certification: Enables recognition as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner post-national certification.

Key Takeaways

  • Flexible Learning Options: Whether you prefer on-campus learning or online classes, UNC offers a variety of programs to suit different needs.
  • Career Readiness: The programs focus on readying students for the real-world challenges they will face in their nursing careers, providing theoretical knowledge and extensive practical experience.
  • Leadership Training: Courses are structured to cultivate leadership skills, preparing students to take on pivotal roles in the future of healthcare.
  • Community Engagement: Engaging in community programs fosters a sense of responsibility and connectivity with the community, enhancing the learning experience.

#2 in Colorado

Colorado State University-Pueblo

  • Pin1
    2200 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, CO - 81001-4901
  • Tel1
    (719) 549-2100
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, Nursing Administration, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, Doctor of Nursing, RN to BSN, RN to MSN

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 171
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $9,005
  • Book Book and Supplies: $1,854
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 98%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $7,638
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 94%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 28%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 37%

At the gateway to Southern Colorado stands the School of Nursing at Colorado State University-Pueblo. The manageable student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1 guarantees individual attention and personal mentorship. CSU’s nursing students are prepared to spearhead positive transformations in healthcare, adeptly maintaining competencies throughout their careers. This is thanks to a rich blend of in-person, online, and hybrid learning formats, high-quality simulation labs, and empowering student organizations.

The university offers three options to becoming a nurse practitioner.

School of Nursing

Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)

  • Eligibility: MS, MSN, or doctorate prepared nurses.
  • Study Plan: Individualized based on academic completion and gap analysis evaluation.
  • Program Outcome: Prepares students to work in chronic, acute, and emergent care settings, and to be eligible to take the AGACNP certification examination.
  • Credit Hours: Minimum of 16 postgraduate hours at CSU-Pueblo.
  • Clinical Hours: 585 documented clinical hours.
  • Certification: Eligible to take the Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification examination.

Adult/Gerontology Acute Care/Family Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP/FNP)

  • Eligibility: Individuals with a nursing graduate degree seeking a post-master’s certificate or DNP Degree.
  • Study Plan: Individualized based on the students' academic credentials.
  • Program Outcome: Enables students to provide patient-centered care in a variety of settings and to be prepared for primary care practice across the lifespan.
  • Credit Hours: Minimum of 16 postgraduate hours at CSU-Pueblo.
  • Clinical Hours: 585 documented clinical hours.
  • Certification: Eligible to take both the AGACNP and Family Nurse Practitioner certification examinations.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

  • Eligibility: MS, MSN, or doctorate prepared nurses.
  • Study Plan: Individualized following a gap analysis evaluation of academic completion and requirements.
  • Program Outcome: Preparing students to provide quality patient-centered care in psychiatric-mental health across different age groups.
  • Credit Hours: Minimum of 16 postgraduate hours at CSU-Pueblo.
  • Clinical Hours: 585 documented clinical hours.
  • Certification: Eligible to take the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification examination.

Key Takeaways

  • Individualized Learning Pathways – The school utilizes a gap analysis evaluation to create a customized plan of study, ensuring you build on what you already know.
  • Diverse Learning Formats – Choose from online, in-person, or hybrid formats to suit your learning style and life commitments.
  • High-Quality Simulation Labs – Benefit from state-of-the-art facilities that offer real-world experiences in a controlled, safe environment.
  • Networking Opportunities – Leverage a platform that fosters connections with peers and professionals, paving the way for fruitful collaborations in the future.
  • Broad Spectrum of Career Opportunities – The programs open doors to various rewarding career paths, be it in health promotion, wellness, illness care, or disease prevention.

#3 in Colorado

Regis University-Choice

Loretto Heights School of Nursing

  • Pin1
    3333 Regis Blvd, Denver, CO - 80221-1099
  • Tel1
    (800) 388-2366
  • Programs: Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to BSN, RN to MSN
Person
Nurse Admin: Catherine Witt, PhD, RN, NNP-BC
Title: Dean

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 308
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1,460
  • Book Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 99%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $18,660
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 78%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 10%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 67%

At Regis University Loretto Heights School of Nursing, students are nurtured to develop a well-rounded understanding of nursing and healthcare globally. Students at Loretto enjoy a rich, hands-on experience in diverse settings, thus fostering a collaborative and holistic approach to healthcare.

Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

  • Delivery Mode: Face-to-face or synchronous online classes
  • Location: Northwest Denver campus or online
  • Approach: Comprehensive care from a physical, emotional, social, and spiritual perspective.
  • Schedule: Classes held one day per week, allowing students to work simultaneously.
  • Certification Preparation: Curriculum includes preparation for national certification, boasting high pass rates.

Master of Science: Nursing: Remote Family Nurse Practitioner (Rural and Underserved)

  • Delivery Mode: Low-residency, synchronized online format
  • Eligibility: Residing outside specific areas in Colorado or in other states, with specified exceptions
  • Targeted Focus: Designed for nurses passionate about serving rural and underserved communities.
  • Flexible Learning: Participate in classes from a distant location.

Master of Science in Nursing: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)

  • Delivery Mode: Synchronized web-based classroom
  • Specialized Curriculum: Intensive courses catered to the unique learning needs of the neonatal field.
  • Career Progression: Seamless transition to the Regis DNP program available post-graduation.

Master of Science in Nursing: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

  • Focus: Train to fill the significant gap in mental health services.
  • Holistic Training: Learn psychotherapeutic techniques, medication management, and treatment strategies.

Master of Science in Nursing: Completion for Certified Nurse Practitioners

  • Advanced Study: Ideal for certified nurse practitioners looking to further their education without changing their specialty.
  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Courses cover theoretical frameworks, ethics, policy, and research.

Dermatology Nurse Practitioner Fellowship (Post-Graduate)

  • Unique Offering: One of the few programs meeting requirements for national certification in dermatology.
  • Expert Faculty: Learn from recognized experts in dermatology.

Family Nurse Practitioner (Post-Graduate)

  • Eligibility: Must have an MS in Nursing degree or its equivalent
  • Career Advancement: Become a family nurse practitioner with a focused curriculum on health promotion and disease management.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (Post-Graduate)

  • Eligibility: Must have an MS in Nursing degree or its equivalent
  • Specialized Training: Curriculum focused on neonatal and infant health care needs.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Post-Graduate)

  • Experiential Education: Hands-on learning in and out of the classroom with a focus on psychotherapeutic skills development.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Focus: To equip nurses with a high level of scientific knowledge and practical expertise, with a focus on technical know-how, leadership, and policy understanding.
  • Format: Online classes conducted in 8-week terms.
  • Credits Required: 28-33 credit hours.

Post-BSN to DNP

  • Focus: This program puts emphasis on emerging roles and applied research in population-focused healthcare.
  • Format: A blend of on-campus, online, and synchronous web-based classes.
  • Degree Awarded: Successful completion of all program requirements results in the award of both the Master of Science (MS) in Nursing and the DNP.
  • Credits Required: 74-79 credit hours.

Key Takeaways

  • Reputable Institution: Learn from a university known for its rich educational legacy.
  • Hands-on Experience: The high-fidelity simulation health center provides real-world experience.
  • Interprofessional Learning: Collaborate and learn with students from various healthcare disciplines.
  • Community Engagement: Opportunities for community service, echoing the Jesuit value of social justice.
  • High Certification Pass Rates: Benefit from a curriculum designed to excel in certification exams.
  • Career Advancement: Multiple pathways for career growth and progression into higher degree programs.

#4 in Colorado

Colorado Mesa University - Traditional

Department of Health Sciences

  • Pin1
    1100 North Avenue, Grand Junction, CO - 81501-3122
  • Tel1
    (970) 248-1020
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, RN to BSN
Person
Nurse Admin: Lucy J. Graham, PhD, MPH, RN
Title: Director of Nursing Education Programs

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 313
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $9,000
  • Book Book and Supplies: $1,560
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 96%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $7,335
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 75%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 30%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 37%

The nursing school at Colorado Mesa University - Traditional is a reputable public located at Grand Junction, Colorado. Accredited by eminent bodies including ACEN, ACME, CCNE, and COA, it offers various nursing degrees including Family Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nursing through various flexible mediums such as on-campus, hybrid, and online formats.

Graduate Health Sciences Degree

Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Nursing

  • Focus: Primary care across lifespan, advanced nursing knowledge.
  • Course Highlights: Advanced pharmacology, pathophysiology, physical assessment.
  • Clinical Hours: Minimum of 700 required.
  • Format: Online.
  • Credit Hours: 47.
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's in nursing with a 3.0+ GPA.
  • Licensure: Current, unrestricted RN license in their state.

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Nursing

  • Focus: Primary care for adult and older adult populations.
  • Clinical Hours: Minimum of 600 required.
  • Examinations: Regular OSCEs both in-person and virtually.
  • Credit Hours: 42.
  • Prerequisites: BSN with a 3.0+ GPA.
  • Licensure: Current, unrestricted RN license in their state.

Family Nurse Practitioner Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Clinical Hours: Minimum of 1000 required, with placements in primary and specialty settings.
  • Special Features: Opportunities for specialized clinical experiences and intensives.
  • Credit Hours: 78 semester hours.
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's in nursing with a 3.0+ GPA.
  • Licensure: Current, unrestricted RN license in their state.

Key Takeaways

  • Flexible Learning Options: Tailor your learning experience with campus, hybrid, and online format options, allowing you to balance studies with your work commitments and stay in your home community.
  • Focused Intensive Sessions: Despite the online format, enjoy personal interactions with faculty and peers during intensive sessions sprinkled throughout the programs.
  • Hands-on Experience: Gain real-world experience with a substantial number of clinical hours incorporated in each program, including opportunities to work in primary care settings and undertake a scholarly project during the DNP program.
  • High Certification Pass Rates: Step out with confidence knowing CMU graduates consistently perform at or above national averages in nurse practitioner certification pass rates.
  • Career Advancement: Equip yourself with expertise and skills for advanced practice roles, ready to take on expanded responsibilities in the nursing field with a special emphasis on serving rural and underserved populations.
  • Personalized Guidance: Benefit from the advice of a dedicated faculty advisor to guide your course and class selections, helping you navigate your educational journey seamlessly.

#5 in Colorado

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs - Traditional

Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences

  • Pin1
    1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO - 80918
  • Tel1
    (719) 255-3000
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to BSN
Person
Nurse Admin: Deborah Pollard, PhD, RNC-OB, C-EFM, CNE, IBCLC, RLC
Title: Department Chair

University Information

  • Faculty Total Faculty: 489
  • Tuition In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $8,766
  • Book Book and Supplies: $1,800
  • Receiving Aid Percent Received Aid: 85%
  • Scholarship Average Grant or Scholarship: $6,934
  • Admitted Percent Admitted: 90%
  • Enrolled Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 16%
  • Graduation Rate Graduation Rate: 45%

The University of Colorado - Colorado Springs (UCCS) has evolved from a small commuter campus to now being home to over 11,300 students. The Beth-El College of Nursing prides itself in offering a range of programs grounded in evidence-based practices and cultural sensitivity. Students are provided with several pathways towards career advancement including the Master of Science in Nursing Practice (MSN) program and the Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences

MS in Nursing Practice - Primary Care Adult-Gerontology (Adult/Gero)

  • Curriculum: Focuses on the management of acute and chronic conditions and promoting optimum health for gerontology patients.
  • Certification: Prepares students for national certification and prescriptive authority.
  • Clinical Hours: Students are responsible for finding primary care-based clinical hours in their locality.

MS in Nursing Practice - Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner

  • Curriculum: Includes the management of both acute and chronic health conditions while fostering family health.
  • Certification: Steers students towards meeting the standards for national certification and prescriptive authority.
  • Clinical Hours: Students source their primary care-based clinical hours locally.

MS in Nursing Practice - Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

  • Curriculum: Courses equip students to offer services in both primary and acute care settings.
  • Certification: The program outlines the pathway to achieve national certification.
  • Clinical Hours: Students find suitable psychiatric mental health clinical hours in their residing area.

Post Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate

  • Modality: 100% online, with primary care-based practicum hours arranged locally.
  • Certification: Prepares students for prescriptive authority.

Post-BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Curriculum: The program curriculum emphasizes the use of science and theories geared towards honing critical thinking and collaborative skills.
  • Capstone: The program culminates in a project showcasing the learner’s acquired knowledge and their potential impact on healthcare.

Post-Masters's Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Elevates Master’s Degree holders in Nursing to the pinnacle of academic qualification, equipping them to become leaders in nursing practice.

  • Curriculum: The program follows the guidance from AACN and NONPF, focusing on enhancing practice based on validations by standard sets of competencies in national certification processes and specialty credentials.
  • Accreditation: Based on the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice, resonating with the standards of AACN and NONPF.

Key Student Takeaways

  • Respected and Accredited Institution: The programs are backed by the reputation of the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs and accredited by noted bodies including ACEN, ACME, CCNE, and COA, guaranteeing quality education.
  • Personalized Education Pathway: Students can choose from a variety of programs that cater to different career stages and aspirations, allowing them to sculpt their educational journey as per their needs.
  • Skill Development: The programs are structured to endow students with not just knowledge but also the critical thinking and ethical understanding necessary for modern healthcare environments.
  • Online and Flexible: Several programs, including the MSN program and the post-master's certificate, offer online education, enabling students to learn from anywhere, coupled with the convenience of finding clinical hours locally.
  • Research Opportunities: Being associated with a well-established university, students can avail numerous research opportunities, enhancing their learning experience and credentials.

See our Ranking Methodology

Eight Steps to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Colorado

  1. Earn an RN Degree First – All Nurse Practitioners (NPs) must first become RNs. Earning your RN through an accredited ADN or BSN program is your first step. If you earn your RN from school accredited by the ACEN or CCNE, your credentials are more likely to be accepted by your NP program. Here is listing of the best ranked nursing schools in Colorado.
  2. Pass The NCLEX-RN Exam – Our practice tests  and NCLEX-RN exam study guide are just the tools you need to help you prepare for test day.
  3. Earn Your MSN or DNP – To become an NP you can either get your masters or doctorate. Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs take about 2 years while Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs take about 4 years. You will choose a population foci such as gerontology, family, neonatal when you start your program:
  4. Complete Supervised Clinical Hours – If you earn your MSN you will need to between 500-600 clinical hours depending on your population focus. To earn your DNP you need 1000 hours.
  5. Become Board Certified – Your certifying body to become an NP depends on your population foci:
  6. Obtain Licensure – Licensure is done on a state-by-state basis. Contact the Colorado State Board of Nursing for more information.
  7. Obtain a DEA Number – DEA registration is required in order to prescribe medication in Colorado. Once you are licensed, apply for your NPI number which is free. Read and follow the Colorado Board of Nursing laws for Controlled Substances.
    Then apply for your DEA registration so that you can prescribe medications.
  8. Maintain Active Certification and Licensure – Your certifying body and BON in Colorado will tell you what is required to maintain certification and licensure. Usually this requires a certain amount of continuing education (CE) credits as well as clinical practice. You may also have to fill out an application and pay a fee every 2-3 years.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Colorado

How much time it takes to become an NP in Colorado really depends on your background. Depending on the path you take it will be 2 to 4 years of education before you can become a Certified Nurse Practitioner. If you’re already an RN it can take as little as 2 years by earning your MSN. If you are not an RN some direct entry programs are as short as 2 years as well. If you already have your MSN but are not an NP you can do a DNP program in 2-3 years and become and NP while also earning your doctorate.

Here are examples of how long it will take you to become an Nurse Practitioner in Colorado depending on what degree you are starting with:

Starting Degree

How Many Years to Become an NP

Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)

2 years
Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) 2 years

Bachelor’s in a non-nursing field 2 – 3 years

Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN)

1 – 2 years

Types of NP Programs Available in Colorado

BSN to MSN

If you are getting your MSN after having your BSN in the state of Colorado, you can expect to spend 2 years earning your degree to become NP. If you have your RN, but not your BSN, you can complete a program that is similar in length and will give you an MSN. General requirements to enter and complete your BSN to MSN program in Colorado include:

  • A 3.0 GPA or the equivalent of a B average
  • Must be licensed as an RN in Colorado
  • Complete about 50 credits of classroom work
  • Complete 500 to 800 hours of supervised clinical experience depending upon the University

Direct Entry MSN Programs

Direct Entry MSN programs or accelerated MSN programs give people who are not nurses but have a bachelors degree in something else the opportunity pursue nursing. These programs prepare you to be an NP without having you repeat non-nursing college courses that you have already taken. There are a handful of these programs in Colorado. Direct entry programs take between 2 and 3 years to complete. After the program you will be an RN and an NP. General requirements to enter and to complete your accelerated MSN program in Colorado include:

  • A 3.0 GPA or the equivalent of a B average
  • Completion of pre-requisites such as anatomy and physiology, developmental psychology, microbiology, organic and inorganic chemistry, and more
  • Complete about ## credits of classroom work
  • Complete 500 to 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience depending upon the University

MSN to NP Certificate

If you already have your MSN but are not an NP you can complete a certificate program to train you to be an NP. This may be the right path for you if you have your MSN in something like nursing education, nursing administration, or if you are a clinical nurse specialist. In general MSN to NP certificate programs take about one year and to enter and to complete your NP to Certificate program requires the following:

  • You must be an RN in Colorado to be eligible to apply for these programs
  • Typically you are not required to take the GRE again for these programs
  • You will have to submit an application with your resume, references, past transcripts and more
  • Complete 500 to 700 clinical hours depending on the school and your population focus

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

DNP programs are the doctorate level programs that prepare nurses to be NPs. In these programs you will be trained to provide nursing care at the expert level and will also be able to teach in most universities. DNP programs are becoming more popular as the entry pathway into becoming an NP.  Program length varies from 3 to 5 years depending on whether or not you already have your masters. The eligibility requirements vary a little between the BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP programs.

BSN to DNP: These programs are for bachelor’s level trained nurses.

  • You must be a licensed Colorado nurse and have had a GPA of at least 3.0 (B average) or better.
  • The BSN to DNP programs will take about 5 years depending on the university.
  • Your application will need to include GRE scores, letters of recommendation, previous transcripts, and more.
  • You will need to complete 1000 hours of supervised clinical experiences.
  • Some programs will require you to have nursing experience.

MSN to DNP: These programs take into account that you are already a nurse trained at the master’s level. Depending on the program you may be required to already be an NP in Colorado.

  • All programs will require you to have your Colorado RN license.
  • These programs will take between 2 and 3 years to complete.
  • Like the BSN to DNP programs you need to submit an application with letters of recommendations, past transcripts, and more.
  • You do not have to take the GRE however, as it is assumed that you already had to take it for your MSN.
  • At the end of your DNP education you will not only be an NP but you will also have completed the highest level of clinical nursing education available.

Where Do Nurse Practitioners Typically Work?

As an NP the world is at your fingertips. You can work in a variety of settings and will have the flexibility throughout your career to change it up. Here are some examples of where you may work.

  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP: Cardiology,  neurology, emergency departments, intensive care units, medical surgical units, military settings, and more.
  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care NP: primary care clinics, nursing homes, correctional facilities, college health, occupational health, military settings, and more.
  • Family NP: Primary care clinics, community health, urgent care, college health, occupational health,  military settings, dermatology, shelters, and more.
  • Neonatal NP: neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), emergency departments, labor and delivery units, and more.
  • Pediatric Acute Care NP: Emergency departments, specialty units in children’s hospitals, urgent care.
  • Pediatric Primary Care NP: community health centers, schools, children’s hospitals, private practices.
  • Psychiatric Mental Health NP: outpatient therapy, inpatient psychiatric units, partial hospitalization units, nursing homes, and more.
  • Women’s Health NP: Community health centers, women’s prisons, private practices, urogynecology practices, adolescent health, and more.

Colorado Nurse Practitioner Practice Authority

Prescriptive AuthorityBoard of NursingLegislation Information
Full privileges after 1,000 hours with “provisional prescriptive authority”Colorado Board of NursingColorado Nursing Laws

Campus and Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Colorado

University Offered asCity/State
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs – Traditional Campus, OnlineColorado Springs, CO
Colorado Mesa University – Traditional Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGrand Junction, CO
University of Northern Colorado Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGreeley, CO
Regis University-Choice Campus, Hybrid, OnlineDenver, CO
Colorado State University-Pueblo CampusPueblo, CO

NP Program Costs in Colorado

Nurse practitioner programs vary in price depending on the school; however, they usually fall within the following ranges:

• RN to MSN nurse practitioner program: $22,000 – $235,000
• BSN to MSN nurse practitioner program: $19,000 – $1750,000
• Direct entry MSN nurse practitioner program: $23,000 – $220,000
• BSN to DNP nurse practitioner program: $27,000 – $255,000
• MSN to DNP nurse practitioner program: $18,000 – $170,000
• Post-master’s certification nurse practitioner program: $9,800 – $84,000

Online Nurse Practitioner Schools

Programs in

NP Salaries in Colorado

CareerOneStop projects that demand for Nurse Practitioners in Colorado will grow 30 percent in the next 10 years. On average graduates from Colorado accredited nurse practitioner schools earn more than $100,000 annually.

Here are the average Salaries for NP specialties in Colorado.

Nurse Practitioner Title

Average Annual NP Salary

Adult Gerontology Acute Care

$90,050

Adult Gerontology Primary Care $85, 163

Family Nurse Practitioner

$91, 573

Neonatal

$108, 804

Psychiatric Mental Health

$101, 577

Pediatric Acute Care $91, 906
Pediatric Primary Care $86, 916
Women’s Health$90, 981

Colorado Organizations for Nurse Practitioners

Below is a list of organizations in Colorado that support and advocate for Nurse Practitioners:

  • Colorado Society of Advanced Practice Nurses (CSAPN)
    CSAPN is a professional organization representing advanced practice nurses, including nurse practitioners, in Colorado. The organization provides networking opportunities, educational events, and legislative advocacy to promote the interests of its members.
  • Colorado Nurses Association (CNA)
    The CNA is a membership-based organization dedicated to advancing the nursing profession in Colorado. They offer resources, continuing education opportunities, and advocacy for nurses, including nurse practitioners, to enhance their professional development and improve healthcare outcomes.
  • Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence
    Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence focuses on developing nursing leadership, promoting workforce diversity, and fostering collaboration among nursing professionals. They provide resources, workshops, and mentorship programs for nurse practitioners and other nursing professionals in Colorado.

Remember to verify the accuracy of these links by visiting each website manually, as I cannot access the websites directly.

Best Ranked Nurse Practitioner Programs in Your State

Embark on an enriching pathway in healthcare with our handpicked list of top Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs in each state. Whether initiating your voyage or elevating your proficiency, the right program is paramount. Our guide illuminates esteemed programs in close proximity, establishing a robust foundation for your progressive nursing career ambitions.