Colorado DNP Programs

Get your Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree in Colorado - online & campus-based options.
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Online DNP Programs & nursing PhD programs may be available for Colorado students. Check current course listings.

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Colorado DNP Programs

Colorado DNP programs provide a terminal level nursing degree that is concentrated on clinical practice. There are currently approximately six DNP programs in Colorado, though this number is likely to grow quickly as the AACN pushes for advanced practice to move from the MSN requirement to the DNP.

Though different, Colorado's DNP programs have a similar mission. The programs aim to prepare nurses to be clinical experts with leadership, decision making, and political policy skills who can transform healthcare practice.

Addmission Requirements

Some DNP programs in Colorado have multiple entry-points, while others are open only to those with master's degrees and advanced practice certification. Regis University offers a post-master's online DNP program that takes six semesters of full-time study to complete. Sentinel University offers both an Educational Leadership and Executive Leadership DNP programs, both of which admit post-MSN students only. The University of Colorado and University of Northern Colorado, on the other hand, offer programs for both post-bachelor's and post-master's degree students.

Admissions requirements vary depending on the particular program in question, but there are many similarities. The University of Colorado, for example, requires that applicants submit an essay, four reference letters, official transcripts, copies of RN license and advanced practice certification, proof of graduation from a NLN or CCNE accredited school, a current resume, and an on-site or phone interview. Those who speak a language other than English primarily must prove English proficiency through TOEFL. The University of Northern Colorado, among other requirements, states that post-BSN applicants must have completed at least one year of clinical experience and post-MSN applicants must have completed a minimum of 500 clinical practicum hours in the APN master's program.

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The programs are slightly different in terms of completion requirements. University of Northern Colorado, for example requires that students complete a Capstone project and 1000 hour clinical practicum (1065 for post-BSN, at least 200 of which are with a Nurse Practitioner). The total credit hours for the two-year MSN-DNP pathway is unavailable, but the four-year BSN-DNP pathway is comprised of 81 credits. American Sentinel University also requires a Capstone project, and the post-MSN program consists of 42 credit hours and one 10-day residency per year of program. There is a capstone project in this program as well.


Tuition ranges between schools, and is higher for out-of-state students than for residents. Generally speaking, in-state tuition ranges between $500-800 per credit. For example, resident tuition at UC Denver is approximately $520 per credit, while non-residents pay around $990 per credit.

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Colorado Board of Nursing
1560 Broadway, Suite 880
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (303) 894-2430
Fax: (303) 894-2821

Colorado Nurses Association


Schools with Doctoral & PhD Nursing Programs Accepting Students in Colorado

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Other Schools with DNP Programs in Colorado

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
University of Colorado Denver
1250 14th Street
Denver, CO 80217
Mesa State College
1100 North Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81501
University of Northern Colorado
1862 10th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80639

Colorado Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Programs (CO)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a post-graduate level practice nursing degree. A DNP focuses on the clinical aspects of nursing as opposed to working on medical research or teaching.

Due to the fact that most Colorado DNP degree seekers are working professionals, there are a number of flexible educational options available including RN-DNP (BSN-DNP) bridge programs and specialized programs for certified advanced practice nurses.

Colorado DNP Degree Prerequisites

In Colorado, nurses seeking DNP certification must already hold both BSN and MSN degrees. Being the final and most advanced degree offered to professionals in the nursing field, there is strict educational criteria. Since the DNP is a relatively new status in the profession, there has not been much national standardization of academic criteria. Therefore, it is essential for you to check with your Colorado educational institution of choice to find out what specific prerequisites they require for program admission. You can also check with the Colorado Board of Nursing to find out more about how Colorado recognizes DNPs.

Although every school has differing entrance requirements, here is an example of one Colorado schools current requirements for admission to their DNP program.

Online DNP Programs for Colorado Nurses

Online education is also known as distance learning. As this level of certification becomes increasingly popular in Colorado, more and more Colorado higher learning institutions are offering their DNP programs online. This will make it far more convenient for current RNs to take the next step without having to sacrifice time on the clock or professional responsibilities.

Benefits of DNP Certification

There are benefits in Colorado to holding this advanced degree. Having a strong focus on advanced practice, leadership, and actual application of clinical research, DNPs are often depended on to fill the gap between doctors and nurses.

Also, Colorado nurses holding this certification are quickly becoming favored for parity with other health professionals when and where a doctorate status is required. This includes being called upon for involvment in advanced diagnosis, legal consultation, and highly specialized clinical research. With their focus on actual clinical application, DNP nurses are typically viewed as the most experienced.

As a nurse, earning a DNP degree will also foster enhanced leadership skills and the knowledge to deliver superior healthcare service to patients, which will in turn advance you professionally.

Resources for Colorado Nurses Seeking a DNP Degree

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