Certified Nursing Assistants/Aides (CNAs) play an integral role in America's healthcare system. As direct patient caregivers, they are on the frontlines helping LPNs, RNs, and physicians do their jobs effectively. Thus, a CNA's educational training is extremely important. Individuals who are considering a career in the healthcare field as CNAs in Colorado should therefore seek out the very best programs available to them.
Those considering a career as a CNA are advised to attend one of the state's top programs in order to find the best employment opportunities upon graduating. To find Colorado's best programs, prospective CNA students should take the following into consideration:
First and foremost, all prospective nurse aides must successfully complete a state approved program. Following the completion of a state approved program (5 credits), CNA candidates need to take the state competency exam.
Colorado is one of the twenty-five states that uses the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) to test CNA students. Pearson VUE administers the exam. Students must take and pass two tests - one that tests their knowledge of CNA theory, and one that tests their clinical skills.
With so many program choices in the state of Colorado, it can be challenging to find the best fit. We have narrowed down the top CNA programs in the state to make narrowing down the list a bit easier. Take a look at these recommended CNA programs and schools and see for yourself.
Red Rocks Community College is a 2-year, state-funded community college with locations in Lakewood and Arvada—two cities in Jefferson County. Originally established in 1969, RRCC now offers over 650 courses and certificate programs.
RRCC offers students a one semester, 5-credit hour CNA certificate program that’s approved by the Colorado State Board of Nursing. The program also offers job placement assistance after completion of the program.
The estimated cost to attend RRCC's CNA program is between $837 and $1255.
Founded in 1967, Aims Community College is a 2-year college which serves the northern part of the state. ACC maintains campuses in Greeley, Windsor, Fort Lupton and Loveland.
ACCs 5-credit Nursing Aide program seeks to provide its students with the fundamental skills needed to take adequate care of patients in a wide variety of healthcare settings, and to successfully pass the state Nurse Aide Certification exam. ACCs Greeley campus reports an 83% pass rate while its Fort Lupton campus reports a 92% pass rate.
CNA students at ACC who are ‘In District’ will be required to pay $676.
CNA students at ACC who are ‘Out of District’ will be required to pay $867.
CNA students who are coming from out-of-state will be required to pay $2,465.
The Community College of Denver is a publicly funded community college located in the state’s capital. CCD has campuses in 3 locations in the Denver metropolitan area. CCD focuses on serving under-privileged, first generation, and minority students.
The Community College of Denver’s 5-credit Nurse Aide program is offered year-round to interested parties, and is available during day, night or weekend hours. The program can either be completed in 7 or 15 weeks, and is offered at both the downtown Denver campus and at the Aurora campus. NUA 101 – Nurse Aide Health Care Skills (1 unit) and NUA 170 – Nurse Aide Clinical Experience (4 units) are the two courses which make up the program’s entirety. Both seek to teach students fundamental nursing skills for direct patient care. These skills are taught throughout the theory, lab and clinical portions of the course.
Students who wish to attend CCD’s Nurse Aide program can expect to pay $1,317.
Front Range Community College is a 2-year higher learning institution and the largest community college in the state. It maintains campuses in Brighton, Longmont, Fort Collins and Westminster.
FRCC offers a one semester, 5-credit CNA program composed of 2 courses that must be taken as corequisites. The two courses cover both the theory and clinical skills portions students need to learn in order to succeed in the field. The theory portion of the class is 75 contact hours, while the clinical skills portion is 30 contact hours. Students can receive advanced CNA training via two additional courses: Advanced Nurse Aide Clinical and Acute Care Nurse Aide Skills. These two courses are 2 additional credits and 52.5 additional contact hours.
In-state students enrolled in FRCC’s 5-unit program will pay an approximate cost of $1,545 total, whereas out-of-state students will pay $3,135.
In-state students who enroll in FRCC’s 7-unit Advanced CNA program will pay an approximate cost of $2,163 total, whereas students from out-of-state will pay $4,389.
Originally established almost a century ago, Trinidad State Junior College is a two-year higher learning institution located in the city of Trinidad, which lies in the southern region of the state. TSJC also has a sister campus located in Alamosa.
TSJC offers students a 5.5 unit Basic CNA program and a 6.5 unit Advanced CNA program. Its Basic CNA program is comprised of 3 courses: Nurse Aide Health Care Skills, Nurse Aide Clinical Experience and a CPR certification course. Students must complete at least two of these courses to be eligible to take the state certification exam. The Advanced program is comprised of requires an additional course that goes by the name NUA 171: Advanced Nurse Aide Clinical. The Advanced CNA program can be completed in 7 weeks at TSJCs Valley Campus, while at the Trinidad campus it takes 15 weeks to finish.
Colorado residents who are enrolled in TSJCs Certified Nurse Aide program can expect to pay $1,105, and out-of-state students can expect to pay $1,729.
Emily Griffith Technical College is a publicly funded technical school located in the heart of downtown Denver. The college has three campuses throughout the Denver metropolitan area.
EGTC offers students a six week, 5-credit CNA certification program that’s approved by the Colorado State Board of Nursing. The Nurse Assisting program includes a didactic, in-class portion and a hands-on lab and clinical skills portion. The program is conveniently offered during daytime and evening hours. EGTC boats one of the lowest tuition rates in the Denver metropolitan area.
The total estimated cost for the CNA program is $801.
Pickens Technical College is located in the Denver suburb of Aurora and offers around 50 certificate programs to high school students and adults. PTC is part of the Colorado Community College System and Aurora Public Schools.
PTC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program is comprised of several courses: NUA 101 - Nurse Aide Health Skills and NUA 170 - Nurse Aide Clinical Experience. These courses make for a total of 105 clock hours and 5.5 credit hours. The length of the program is 1 quarter or 9 weeks. The in-class lecture portion of the course meets three days a week from 8:30am to 3:00pm.
CNA students attending PTC should expect to pay $1,314 for the entire program.
Arapahoe Community College is a publicly funded, 2-year community college that’s located in the Denver suburb of Littleton. It’s founding in 1965 marked the very first community college to open its doors in the Denver area.
ACC offers a single semester part-time CNA program that is made up of Nurse Aide Theory and Practical Lab sections as well as two clinical courses (4 units in total). The program is specifically tailored to working students so that they’re able to continue their current employment while attending college.
The CNA program can be taken in a traditional classroom setting that meets during weekdays, an in-class/online hybrid format that meets during weekdays, or an in-class/online hybrid format that meets on weekends. Each format’s duration is 9 weeks.
Colorado residents who are enrolled in ACC's Certified Nurse Aide program can expect to pay $932, and out-of-state students can expect to pay $2,440.
Northeastern Junior College is a community college in the city of Sterling, in the northeast corner of the state. It is one of the member colleges in the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and offers its students more than 80 programs of study.
NJCs 5-unit Nurse Aide program seeks to provide students with fundamental skills like feeding, dressing, and moving patients. The program has small class sizes which allow individual students to get the attention they need to succeed. Additionally, NJC has a significant number of partnerships with healthcare facilities in the region.
For the Nurse Aide program, students coming from inside Colorado are required to pay $307 per unit, while out-of-state students are required to pay $327 per unit for tuition. The approximate total cost of the program comes to $1,535 for Colorado residents and $1,635 for non-residents.
Pikes Peak Community College is a 2-year community college located in the central Colorado city of Colorado Springs that offers more than 150 academic programs. PPCC has a 6-unit Nursing Assistant course that’s comprised of an 82-contact hour classroom theory/lab portion (4 units), and a 30-contact hour clinical skills portion (2 units).
In-state CNA students will be required to pay an estimated tuition cost of $876, while out-of-state students will be required to pay $3,558.
Pueblo Community College is a state-funded higher learning institution located in Pueblo, a city just south of Denver. PCC was originally founded in 1933.
The college has an 8-week, 6.5 unit Nurse Aide program that teaches students the basic procedures and skills required to care for home health clients, long-term care residents, and hospital patients. The program has a total of 123 clock hours, which exceeds the required minimum of 75 hours. PCC reports that their students pass rates are ‘consistently above the state average’. Courses are offered during the day and evening at the school’s three campuses: Pueblo, Fremont, and Southwest.
Students coming from inside Colorado should expect to pay an estimated tuition cost of $2,132, while those students coming from states other than Colorado should expect to pay $4,166.