2023 - Best LPN Programs in Colorado
Interested in a rewarding job in the healthcare field? Many Coloradans are turning to licensed practical nursing (LPN) programs, thanks to their wide availability and relatively short duration. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 9% increase in LPN employment through the year 2029. With demand at an all time high due to a nursing shortage, there’s never been a better time to go back to school and enter the nursing workforce. LPNs in Colorado earn approximately $29.00 per hour, which equates to an average annual salary of $60,310. This is roughly $4,450 per year more than the national average.
Are you looking to become a licensed practical nurse in Colorado? The school you choose is important when it comes to getting your license. Approved programs in Colorado are offered at community colleges, technical centers, and private career schools - we list 8 schools across the state. After careful review of NCLEX-PN exam first-time pass rates over the past several years, we have ranked the top 3 programs. For more information on our LPN program rankings, see our Methodology page.
To see all the top ranked LPN programs in Colorado click here.
Details on Colorado LPN Schools & Classes
The process to become an LPN in Colorado is straightforward: enroll in and graduate from an accredited LPN program, and then pass the NCLEX-PN exam. Once these items are checked off your list, you will be poised for employment in the field. There are several schools in Colorado that offer LPN programs, including community colleges, technical schools, and more.
Your school of choice’s LPN program curriculum may include courses like the following:
- Human Anatomy & Physiology
- Human Growth and Development
- Pharmacology Calculations
An accredited school can make or break your LPN program experience. Proper accreditations ensure that the school and program is up to par, and employers take note of this. Aside from regional accreditations, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing is considered the gold standard of national accreditation organizations for nursing. It’s also a good idea to check that the program is approved and endorsed by the Colorado Board of Nursing.
While admissions requirements may vary from school to school, most LPN programs require that you meet the following in order to gain admission:
- Valid high school diploma or GED
- Proof of current CNA certification may be required
- Minimum score on TEAS aptitude test
- Completion of any and all prerequisite courses
- Must be at least 18 years of age
Tuition and Costs
LPN programs tend to be more affordable than other nursing programs (such as RN programs) and are shorter in length as well. Students enrolled in an LPN program in Colorado will need to cover the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, textbooks and other course materials, and more. Financial aid and student loans are typically available for those who qualify. The estimated program cost of the LPN program at Emily Griffith Technical College in Denver is just under $12,000, not including textbooks.
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Colorado LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
Colorado LPN Licensing Requirements
Much like the rest of the 50 states, Colorado requires an individual to complete a Board-approved nursing program as well as pass the NCLEX-PN exam. They may also require a background check and additional paperwork when applying for licensure. Here are the LPN applications and forms from the Colorado Board of Nursing.
Keep in mind that daily activities of an LPN may be physically demanding, requiring nurses to lift patients over 100 lbs. and spend long hours on their feet.
Colorado LPN licenses expire every 2 years and require 20 hours of continued education every 2 years for renewal.
NCLEX Exam Information
Upon graduating from an LPN program in Colorado, students are required to take and pass the NCLEX-PN exam. This exam consists of roughly 100 questions that touch on various nursing topics. A detailed overview of the NCLEX-PN can be found here, and students can also take this NCLEX-PN practice test to study for the real exam.
LPN Reciprocity and NLC
As part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, Colorado allows nurses from other NLC states to practice within their borders without additional licensure. LPNs outside of the compact area must apply for a Colorado license to practice in the state. They must provide proof of current license and Verification of Licensure form, and complete a criminal background check.
For detailed information about LPN endorsement by application in Colorado, click here.
- Total Number of State Approved LPN Schools: 8
- Total Number of Test Takers in 2021: 230
- 2021 Average Statewide Colorado NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 73.8%
Colorado Mesa University
Grand Junction's Colorado Mesa University prepares students to become direct caregivers through an excellent practical nursing program. This selective-admission program begins in August of each year, and graduates have consistently high NCLEX-PN test scores as well as employment rates.
Pueblo Community College Southwest
Pueblo Community College, located in Mancos, is home to a practical nursing program that gives students the knowledge and skills needed to enter a nursing career. PCC's limited-entry program consists of general education courses and core requirements, including course titles such as Practical Nursing Arts and Skills, Basic Assessment for the PN, and much more.
Technical College of the Rockies
Technical College of the Rockies, located in Delta, offers a practical nursing program in the Fall semester. This 36-credit program can be completed in just 2 semesters. Program graduates earn a certificate and are prepped for the NCLEX-PN exam and employment in a variety of medical settings, including nursing homes, clinics, and more.
Continued List of All Programs in Colorado
Concorde Career College
111 Havana St, Aurora, CO 80010
Pima Medical Institute
13750 E. Mississippi Avenue, Aurora, CO 80012
Pickens Technical College
500 N Airport Blvd, Aurora, CO 80011
Programs Not Included In Rankings
Emily Griffith Technical College
1860 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80203
Front Range Community College Larimer Campus
4616 S Shields St, Fort Collins, CO 80526
Are we missing your school's program or need to make changes to the information listed? Please contact us.
Additional CO Nursing Resources
- Colorado Board of Nursing
1560 Broadway, Suite 880
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (303) 894-2430
- Colorado Nurses Association
2851 S. Parker Road, Suite 1210
Aurora, CO 80014
The table below lists career information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for licensed practical nurses in Colorado. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Denver, Aurora, Lakewood||2,410||$30.30||$63,020|
Table data sourced from 2022 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292061.htm)