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Nursing Education Career Ladder

Colorado Mesa University offers a unique opportunity for students that are interested in progressing through various levels of nursing licensure. CMU is the only program in the state that encourages the student to obtain an entry level license, enter the work field and then return to further their education.

Completion of the Practical Nurse certificate allows students to progress to the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program or apply for advanced placement in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Graduates from the CMU Practical Nurse program will receive preferential consideration for admission to the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (RN) program.

Our Colorado Mesa University campus in Montrose, Colo. also offers the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Associate of Applied Science in Nursing option. The Montrose campus offers more rural health clinical opportunities and is designed to expose students to healthcare in a small town atmosphere.

Practical Nurse

This program is designed for students interested in becoming a Practical Nurse as an entry into the nursing career ladder program.

The Practical Nursing program prepares the student to be a direct care giver in hospitals, long-term facilities and ambulatory care-clinic settings. The potential student must demonstrate college level proficiency in reading and writing in order to be admitted to this program. This program has selective admission requirements and requirements may change from year-to-year. It is the student's responsibility to obtain the current admission requirements.

The application deadline is March 1 of every year. Classes begin in August. The student completes the program in May and is eligible to take the State Board examination (NCLEX) for LPN Licensure.


LPN-AAS (Registered Nurse)

This program is designed for Licensed Practical Nurses to achieve an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (RN) degree, opening up greater employment opportunities, increased compensation and more job security. The Associate of Applied Science in Nursing Program prepares the graduate as a generalist to provide competent nursing care in a variety of healthcare settings.

Students will develop nursing skills in caring for a diverse population in today's health care settings. They will utilize data related to the client's biological, psychological, socio-spiritual, cultural and developmental needs to promote, maintain and restore health.

Classes begin in January, The student completes the program in December and is eligible to take the State Board examination (NCLEX) for RN Licensure.

The application deadline is October 1 of every year. Applicants must have their LPN License and be IV Certified at the October 1 deadline. Call the Colorado State Board of Nursing for information on availability of IV Certification courses.


Registered Nurse-Bachelors of Science in Nursing Online Program

Colorado Mesa University’s RN to BSN Online Program provides a foundation for excellence in professional nursing practice. It is designed to prepare graduates who have met state licensure requirements to practice as a professional nurse, pursue graduate education and assume leadership roles.

Program Details

The program integrates nursing theory, practice and science and prepares a highly competent professional. You'll gain the education necessary to meet the increasing need for quality health care in society today.

What You'll Gain

  • Deeper insight into contemporary issues like gerontology, informatics and the emerging role of nursing in community-based care
  • Faculty dedicated to your success: the same top-quality instruction as our on-campus program
  • Extensive knowledge of nursing theory, practice and science
  • More opportunities for nursing leadership and management positions
  • The ability to become a more holistic caregiver

Colorado Mesa faculty members give you personalized attention and valuable real-world insight so you can take your career to new levels. This CCNE-accredited program has full approval from the Colorado Board of Nursing.

Learn more about the RN to BSN Online Program.

Advising/General Questions

If you need more information, please contact Susan Stark, RN-BSN Faculty Advisor at or 970.248.1756.

Program Accreditation

LPN-AAS (RN) Program

The LPN-AAS in Nursing program

is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

Practical Nurse Program

The practical nurse program received accreditation in October 2014 by the

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN).

RN-BSN Program

The RN-BSN program is accredited by AACN-CCNE.

State Board of Nursing Approval

The Practical Nurse, LPN-AAS program and RN-BSN programs are fully approved by the Colorado State Board of Nursing.

Program/Student Info

State Board of Nursing Screening

Mental/Physical Capacity Requirements

RN to BSN Online

Program Requirements:

Course Descriptions

Application Information

How do I apply to the Department of Health Sciences?

Practical Nurse information packet, including application

LPN-AAS information packet, including application


Kaplan Nursing School Entrance Exam

The Kaplan Nursing School Entrance Exam is available to take throughout the academic year. 

Kaplan exam results are required to be turned into the Department of Health Sciences by the March 1 deadline for the Practical Nurse Program.

Students are allowed to take the KAPLAN only ONE time.

Kaplan testing is not required for the LPN-AAS Program

Kaplan Nursing Entrance Exam

Kaplan Nursing School Entrance Exam Study Guide

Student Information:

CPR Information

Professional Caregiver CPR Classes

Miscellaneous Information

Request for Grade Form

Map of Campus

Background Check Information

F.A.Q.s and Costs

Career Ladder Model

Colorado Nursing Articulation Model