5 Best Colorado LPN Programs – 2023

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

If you have your heart set on providing vital patient care in the state of Colorado but do not wish to spend years of your life in the classroom, consider becoming an LPN. The need for practical nurses is expected to rise over the coming years, providing you with a range of opportunities to work in the healthcare field. Choosing from the available LPN programs in Colorado can seem like a daunting task. That's why we've made it easier for you to choose by ranking the best programs that are approved by the Colorado Board of Nursing.


LPN Program Length in Colorado

The length of time that it will take to complete your coursework can vary. You can get your certificate or a diploma in a year or more, while it generally takes about two years to get your degree.

Type Length
Certificate / Diploma 12 to 18 Months
Associate Degree 2 Years
(Source: In-House Research)

LPN Program Cost in Colorado

If you get a diploma or certificate, it could cost as little as $2,610. For a degree, you can expect to pay no less than around $8,000.

Type Cost
Certificate / Diploma$2,610 - $41,520
Associate Degree$8,000 - $59,630
(Source: In-House Research)

Why NCLEX-PN Pass Rate is an Important Factor While Selecting an LPN Program in this State?

As there are only five practical nursing programs available in this state that are approved by the Colorado Board of Nursing, there are several factors you might want to consider before making your final choice for schooling. Perhaps the most important of these is the NCLEX-PN pass rate. When compared to the national average, graduates in CO have a slightly higher pass rate overall. However, you want to be sure that the educational facility you choose has consistently high passing rates. Not only do you want to ensure you will be able to pass this test to obtain your license as a PN, but prospective employers also typically prefer graduates from those schools with higher pass rates.

NCLEX-PN Pass Rates
YearColorado National
Taken % Passed Taken % Passed
201338794.83%58,575 84.63%


Based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the 5 best LPN programs in Colorado (Online & Campus).

1) Emily Griffith Technical College - Denver

Emily Griffith Technical College
Emily Griffith Technical College is synonymous with the slogan “opportunities for all.” And true to its philosophy, it makes concerted efforts to make education accessible to all without barriers. With a proud 100-year-old history, the college encourages apprenticeship opportunity, giving students a real hands-on experience of the professional world.

This college offers the LPN course in two formats, full-time and part-time. Both enroll 35 students each. The full-time program is 11-month long. It starts in August and incudes a combination of classroom and clinical and laboratory hours. Classes are scheduled on weekdays and sometimes on weekends. The part-time evening program is 18-month long and starts every alternate January (now in Jan 2020). Both the formats include 16 nursing courses such as Pharmacology Calculations, Pharmacology for Practical Nursing, Basic Concepts of Geriatric Nursing and IV therapy. Entailing a total of 39 credit hours, you will receive clinical training in psychiatric, pediatric, adult and medical/surgical nursing, as part of the clinical practice experience.

2) Colorado Mesa University - Grand Junction

Colorado Mesa University
Colorado Mesa University (CMU) is known for offering quality nurse training in the state of Colorado. It takes pride in its top-notch faculty and beautiful campus spread across 86 acres of land in the center of Grand Junction. Located between high-desert canyons and mountains, the university offers excellent outdoor recreation and scenery to students.

The LPN course at CMU is of two years duration. It starts in August and ends in May. The course prepares you to become a proficient nursing professional with skills and knowledge to take care of the sick. In a class strength of 35, you will learn to demonstrate excellent clinical decision‐making skills. Critical thinking will also be a key component of your training. You will study human anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, foundations of nursing, obstetrics and pediatrics as part of your curriculum. You must complete a total of 57 credit hours to graduate. On completing this program, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN exam and work as an entry level nurse.

3) Technical College of the Rockies - Delta

Technical College of the Rockies
Technical College of the Rockies strives to offer nursing education that is affordable and imparts job ready skills to aspiring students in Colorado. This professional training enhances students’ employment and broadens career prospects. The teaching staff is well trained to pass on the knowledge to future workforce and ably guide them to succeed.

This LPN program in Colorado is a 10-month course. It is spread over two semesters and runs from August to May. The curriculum is designed to accommodate theoretical, clinical and technical aspects of nursing profession. You will enhance your critical thinking, decision making, therapeutic nursing interventions and effective communication techniques, among other skillsets during the training. The highlight of this program is that you will receive first-hand acute care clinical experience, as part of which you are offered rotational shifts in all functioning departments, from an emergency room to the operating room.

4) Concorde Career College – Aurora

Concorde Career College
Concorde Career College, as the name suggests, prepares students for a bright career in the fulfilling and challenging healthcare sector. This LPN school in CO is known for producing trained nurses for the future through intense on-field training. Its faculty members comprise experienced professionals who have had successful stints at various healthcare facilities.

At Concorde College, the LPN certificate is a daytime course spread across a period of 10 months. It combines real clinical experiences with high-quality classroom teaching to provide you with a competitive edge at your workplace. The curriculum equips you with knowledge and skills that will assist you in providing excellent patient care by introducing you to nursing concepts, nursing interventions, nursing care of a diverse population.

Post-completion of the course and after passing your NCLEX-PN, you can work under doctors in hospitals, at assisted living centers built for the elderly, at physicians’ private clinics and even at community healthcare centers.

5) Pickens Technical College - Aurora

Pickens Technical College
Pickens Technical College firmly believes in training students with career relevant technical programs that make a positive impact on their job outlook and salaries. Training blends academics and practical knowledge, integrating real-world nursing issues into the curriculum, thereby creating a workforce of skilled nurses.

This LPN program is a daytime course that commences from January and August. It is divided into two semesters with classes held on weekdays. The clinical training comes into effect only after the first quarter wherein you will be required to put in additional hours into the program, at times including weekend and evening shifts too. You will learn patient care skills, including geriatric nursing, pediatric nursing, medical-surgical and basic nursing concepts, as part of the curriculum. To graduate, you need to finish 36 credits of LPN coursework. You must note that you need a CPR Certification from the American Heart Association to be eligible for admission into this program.


How to Obtain My LPN License in Colorado?

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies has provided a checklist to help you with the online application process. Some of the key points you will want to remember about the process are as follows.

• Graduate from an approved practical nursing program in Colorado. Be sure the Office of Licensing receives a hard copy of your transcript.
• Register to take the NCLEX-PN with Pearson VUE.
• Wait for your authorization to test (ATT). Schedule your examination.
• Pass the NCLEX-PN and obtain your CPR card.
• Receive your license.

How Much Will I Earn?

When compared with the national average, LPN salary in CO is nearly 8 percent more per year on average. You may start out making a bit more than $22.50 per hour, but with continuing experience, you could make almost $35.00 an hour. The average yearly salary is just under $61,000 annually.

Type Salary Range Average Salary
Hourly$22.95 - $35.13$29.00
Monthly$3,980 - $6,090$5,030
Annual$47,730 - $73,060$60,310
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

LPN Earnings in this State vs National Average

Colorado National Difference
Number %
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Job Outlook for LPN Graduates in Colorado

Between the creation of new jobs and employment opportunities opening up as people retire from their current positions, there is expected to be a 21.50 percent increase in LPN job availability by 2030. Additionally, Colorado has a large Baby Boomer population. With people living longer due to advances in the medical field, there will be an increased need for LPNs to provide vital services in both medical facilities and for at-home care.

Employment 10 Year New Job Growth
Projection (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
(Source: careeronestop)

Projected LPN Annual Job Openings in Colorado (2023-2027)

Year New Jobs Replacement Jobs Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
2023 115 405 520
2024 125 415 540
2025 140 430 570
2026 150 440 590
2027 160 450 610
Total Job Openings in the Next 5 Years 2,830
(Source: In-House Research)

6 Best Metro Areas in Colorado to Work as an LPN

The Denver metropolitan area has the largest number of LPN jobs in the state. The cities of Aurora and Lakewood are also included in this region. There may not be as many positions for practical nurses within the hospital setting in this state, but there are many opportunities in outpatient care, long-term care, and home health care.

Epic Health Services in Aurora frequently offers bonuses, either as a sign-up incentive or for working primarily weekend shifts. If you would like to work in home health care with children, this is an opportunity you might enjoy.

If you like working with children or the elderly, Evergreen Home Health Care in Denver regularly hires, often offering a sign-up bonus to qualified LPNs.

You don't have to worry if you don't live in the Denver region. There are plenty of opportunities for practical nurses in Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Boulder, and other areas.

Epic Health Services also has opportunities in Colorado Springs. In the Boulder area, HCR ManorCare has options to work in a variety of settings.

Rank Metro Area Current
Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
1 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 2,410 $30.30 $5,250 $63,020
2 Colorado Springs 650 $27.54 $4,770 $57,290
3 Fort Collins 310 $28.74 $4,980 $59,790
4 Boulder 290 $29.85 $5,170 $62,080
5 Pueblo 210 $28.15 $4,880 $58,550
6 Grand Junction 180 $26.67 $4,620 $55,470
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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