MSN Programs in Colorado

The higher level of education that a nurse obtains, the more doors to varying job opportunities he or she will see open. Across the nation, a growing number of health care professionals are pursuing an advanced degree in nursing, and the state of Colorado is no different. Graduates of an MSN program in Colorado are able to fill positions that include administrative duties and education. This is the route a nurse must go if they wish to research, teach or become a leader within the field.

Schools with MSN Programs in Colorado

Finding a MSN Program

There are many different MSN programs to choose from. Though some people prefer campus based programs, the online option has become increasingly popular, especially in the nursing industry. See a Complete List of MSN Programs...

  • The Department of Nursing at Colorado State University-Pueblo has an NLNAC-accredited MSN program that allows nurses to concentrate their studies to become an Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), Adult/Gerontology Acute Care/Family Nurse Practitioner (ACNP/FNP), Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), or Nurse Educator. It is reported that eighty percent of graduates will complete the curriculum within one and one half times the length of the program. The majority of graduates also tend to pass the national certification exam the first time around, and generally find employment in a related role within six months to one year of graduation.
  • Regis University, located in Denver, is home to a CCNE accredited master’s degree program for nurses looking to specialize in Family Nurse Practitioner, Leadership in Health Care Systems, or Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. This online program is comprised of an assortment of core and specialization courses that concentrate on boosting the knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with ethics, health care policy, and research regarding the nursing field.
  • The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs offers campus-based instruction for nurses looking to pursue an advanced degree in the nursing field. There are two options of CCNE accredited studies to consider that will lead to a Master of Science in Nursing degree (Primary Care Nurse Practitioner – Adult/Gero or Family, or Nursing Education), which requires the completion of a minimum of 38 to 47 credits at the graduate level. One of the requirements for applying to the University’s MSN program is possessing an accredited baccalaureate degree in nursing that demonstrates the completion of the following prerequisite undergraduate courses: Introduction to Statistics, Nursing Research, and Health Assessment.
  • The University of Colorado-Denver provides a graduate-level nursing degree program that is considered one of the highest ranked of its kind across the nation. Preparing nurses for advance practice roles, the program concentrates on molding future leaders of the field. Registered nurses with a BS in Nursing can choose from one of eleven campus-based specialty tracks that are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwifery, Nursing Leadership: Pediatric Special Needs, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner. The curriculum for the Health Care Informatics concentration is offered online.
  • The School of Nursing at the University of Northern Colorado provides an on-campus CCNE accredited MSN program with an emphasis in gaining credentials as a Family Nurse Practitioner. There is also a hybrid Master’s program available at the school that prepares Clinical Nurse Leaders for advanced generalist practice at the bedside. Some graduates of the University may also opt to earn a post-Masters certificate in Nursing Education (online) or Family Nurse Practitioner (on-campus) through the school.
  • In Denver, nurses encounter the opportunity to study at Aspen University as a way to earn a Master of Science in Nursing through online instruction. The CCNE accredited program is available for any registered nurse who has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The school offers two areas of specialization to consider – Nursing Administration and Management or Nursing Education. There is also an online RN to MSN Bridge program that allows nurses to graduate with a MSN degree without having to complete a bachelor’s degree curriculum.
  • To earn a Master of Science in Nursing through a program that is delivered entirely online, students may pursue an education through Grand Canyon University – a private Christian learning institution based in Arizona. Here, nurses may choose to focus on the following specialties while earning their MSN degree: Nursing Education, Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems, or Health Care Administration. The school also offers a Bridge program for RNs looking to concentrate their studies on Health Care Informatics or Public Health. All of the online classes start every month, and are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Colorado MSN Checklist

  • Become licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN) in Colorado.
  • Complete a graduate-level MSN program approved by the Board that is also accredited by a nursing accreditation body.
  • Fulfill all nursing requirements, and complete expected number of supervised clinical experience hours, if applicable.
  • Become nationally certified in the area of nursing that a nurse wishes to practice.
  • Apply for licensure with the Colorado Board of Nursing (~$88 fee) as either an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) or an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), when applicable. A nurse must attach official, sealed college transcripts that highlight his or her graduate nurse education.
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Colorado.
  • After becoming authorized in Colorado, nurses may apply for prescriptive authority.

Salary Data

Nurses who complete an MSN program in Colorado possess the added skills and knowledge required to pursue advanced placement within their field. Oftentimes, a Master of Science in Nursing opens the doors to job opportunities in administration and education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that professionals with an MSN earn a range of median salaries when applying to the following job positions in Colorado: medical and health service manager ($100,290), nursing instructor or teacher ($62,260), nurse practitioner ($90,190), and nurse midwife ($92,930).

For more details regarding MSN programs in Colorado, consider the following information below on available programs: