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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.
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.
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.