Earn Your LPN in Colorado
The nursing profession is booming across the US, including the state of Colorado. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reports 5,563 LPNs worked in the state in 2014 and by 2024, that number is expected to grow to 7,427. Reasons behind the increase in demand for LPNs include more healthcare services for an aging baby boomer population, a rise in chronic conditions, and higher numbers of insured individuals and families due to federal healthcare insurance reform. The potential for more nursing employment opportunities in Colorado makes it an ideal time to enroll in one of the state's LPN programs. These programs usually take one to two years to complete, after which practical nurses can find work in a wide variety of medical settings across the state, including hospitals, doctor's offices, and nursing homes. Read on to learn more about Colorado's LPN programs, state licensure requirements, and LPN salary and employment.
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Top LPN Programs in Colorado
- Student-to-faculty ratio
- In-state tuition
- Graduation rate
- Count of programs available
- Public and not-for-profit schools
- Normalized on a 100 percent curve
These rankings include
#1 Best LPN Programs in Colorado
Pickens Technical College
- 2 years
With online and on-campus options, Pickens Technical College delivers associate and certificate programs from its campus in Colorado. Associate degrees and certificate programs help prepare graduates for entry-level positions in nursing requiring modest technical training. Before pursuing employment, graduates can also earn a bachelor's degree, which can increase career opportunities.
With online and on-campus options, the school educates enrollees in Aurora and throughout the country. Additionally, online programs can benefit busy students by allowing them to complete assignments and view lectures on evenings and weekends. Prospective applicants should look into the associate and certificate programs offered and see if any meet their needs.
Pickens Technical College at a Glance:
Number of Certificate Programs: 34
#2 Best LPN Programs in Colorado
Colorado Mountain College
Glenwood Springs, CO
- 4 years
With online and on-campus options, Colorado Mountain College delivers associate and certificate programs from its campus. While earning an associate degree or certificate in nursing, students gain technical skills necessary for positions in the field. Before pursuing employment, graduates can also earn a bachelor's degree, which can increase career opportunities.
With remote programs, the school provides opportunities for enrollees in any location to study online. Additionally, online nursing programs can benefit busy students by allowing them to complete assignments and view lectures on evenings and weekends. Before enrolling, applicants can speak with an admissions counselor to ensure the institution offers a program aligning with their goals.
Colorado Mountain College at a Glance:
Number of Associate Programs: 37
Number of Certificate Programs: 60
#3 Best LPN Programs in Colorado
Morgan Community College
Fort Morgan, CO
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
With associate and certificate programs in nursing, Morgan Community College maintains a campus in Colorado. Featuring crucial technical training, associate and certificate programs help students gain nursing-specific skills necessary for entry-level positions. After completing their associate or certificate program, graduates can enroll in bachelor's programs to increase their job options and earning potential.
The school's online programs eliminate costs associated with transportation and relocation. Online learning also benefits working professionals, who need to schedule their studies around full-time employment. The institution's admissions counselors can help applicants select the best program for their goals and interests.
Morgan Community College at a Glance:
Number of Associate Programs: 14
Number of Certificate Programs: 22
Number of Certificate Programs Available Online: 1
#4 Best LPN Programs in Colorado
Otero Junior College
La Junta, CO
- 2 years
With online and on-campus options, Otero Junior College delivers associate and certificate programs from its campus in Colorado. While completing an associate or certificate program, students undergo technical training and gain the nursing-specific skills employers value. After completing their associate or certificate program, graduates can enroll in bachelor's programs to increase their job options and earning potential.
Enrollees not located near La Junta can pursue the school's programs remotely, without relocating. Additionally, online nursing programs can benefit busy students by allowing them to complete assignments and view lectures on evenings and weekends. The institution's admissions counselors can help applicants select the best program for their goals and interests.
Otero Junior College at a Glance:
Number of Associate Programs: 13
Number of Certificate Programs: 26
#5 Best LPN Programs in Colorado
Northeastern Junior College
- 2 years
- Online + Campus
A public institution, Northeastern Junior College delivers nursing programs at various academic levels. Students located in Colorado can attend classes at the school's Sterling campus, while others can enroll online. With flexible scheduling options, online programs allow learners to maintain full-time employment while completing their program.
Associate degrees and certifications introduce participants to the basic ideas and practices used in nursing. Individuals often use the training from their degree or certificate program to succeed in entry-level roles in nursing and related fields. Graduates can also choose to transfer to a bachelor's program for continued education and expanded opportunities, often with a reduced course load or fewer prerequisites.
Northeastern Junior College at a Glance:
Number of Associate Programs: 20
Number of Associate Programs Available Online: 7
Number of Certificate Programs: 27
Number of Certificate Programs Available Online: 5
Requirements for LPN Licensure in Colorado
Although all practical nurses must undergo the licensing process to qualify for employment, the requirements can vary by state. This section examines the licensing process, including renewals, in the state of Colorado.
- Must be at least 17 years old
- Must hold a high school diploma or GED
- Complete criminal background check and drug screen waiver
Education & Training Requirements
LPNs must complete a nursing degree program approved by the Colorado State Board of Nursing. Those who have graduated from an out-of-state nursing school must have completed a program approved by that state. Official transcripts must be submitted to the Board as evidence of successful completion. Immunizations and drug testing are both included in Colorado LPN programs.
Additional Requirements for Licensure
- Apply for licensure with the Colorado State Board of Nursing and pay a fee of $88
- Complete an Online Healthcare Professions Profile at the Colorado State Board of Nursing website
- Complete an Affidavit of Eligibility
- Answer a series of screening questions regarding criminal history or pending complaints against you
- Pay a nonrefundable $200 registration fee to National Council of State Boards of Nursing for the National Council Licensing Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX) and earn a passing score
- Obtain CPR certification
- Submit fingerprints to the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation for a background check
- Out-of-state LPNs who want to work in Colorado must submit the “Original Verification” form for proof of licensure and pay the applicable fee
How to Renew a License
Continuing education is not required by the Colorado State Board of Nursing for renewal. LPN licenses must be renewed every two years on September 30. A delinquency fee of $25 will be enforced for late renewals (October 1 to November 30). Failing to renew a license within the 60-day grace period will result in an expired license. LPNs with an expired license will be ineligible to practice until paying a fee and becoming reinstated.
Inactive LPNs must also go through the renewal process and pay the appropriate fee. If licensure has lapsed more than two years, the applicant must demonstrate competency and may be required to complete remedial or refresher courses.
LPN Employment in CO
According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the number of LPNs in the state is expected to grow 25 percent from 2012 to 2022, which equates to 1,774 new jobs. Larger metro areas such as Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins will experience higher employment growth compared to smaller areas such as Grand Junction and Pueblo.
Top Locations for Employment
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|East and South Colorado nonmetropolitan area||360|
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|West Colorado nonmetropolitan area||260|
|Central Colorado nonmetropolitan area||100|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
This site includes information on the licensing requirements for LPNs, including application forms and documents. Other helpful information for current and prospective LPNs includes an online checklist for the examination and license reactivation guidelines.
CCNE advocates for excellence in all nursing professions including LPNs. The site offers member access to courses and details about special nursing initiatives.
This Department regulates nursing laws such as the Nurses Practice Act, which states rules for LPN students. Visitors can access the full version of the Nurses Practice Act from this page.
Colorado Mesa University publishes a copy of the Colorado Nursing Articulation Model on this page. It is a statewide model that enables LPNs and other nurses to advance their education more easily through public, private, and proprietary nursing programs.
NAPNES promotes and defends the practice, education, and regulation of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN), Practical Nursing Educators, Practical Nursing Schools, and Practical Nursing Students. Its members span the United States, including the state of Colorado.
This page explains the Nurse Licensure Compact, a multi-state licensure program open to LPNs in Colorado and other states. LPNs that become licensed in Colorado have reciprocity in these other participating states.
This LPN association supports the needs of nurses by providing continuing education opportunities, lobbying services, and an annual convention. NFLPN is located in Colorado Springs, CO.
NONPF is devoted to promoting quality nurse practitioner education at the national and international levels. The organization represents a global network of NP educators, including professionals located in Colorado.
All of the approved programs offered for LPN students in Colorado are located on this page. It is published by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.