According to the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence, 32 percent of Colorado’s nurses are over the age of 55. This translates to 2,000 nurses retiring annually and means the state of Colorado will face a shortage of nurses in the near future. The Colorado Department of Labor and employment expects the need for nurse aides to grow 29 percent through 2016. Becoming a certified nursing aide, CNA, will get you in on the ground floor of nursing.
Colorado has numerous certification programs to become a CNA in its community college system. Some of the prerequisites required to entering a CNA program in Colorado includes: up to date immunizations, drug screening, criminal background check and current CPR certification. Most colleges require the student to maintain a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average.
The community college programs offer core course work and then clinical experience for hands on learning. The core course work gives you all the information needed to take the state nursing board exam. The clinical work gives you hands on experience with the basic skills needed to pass the skills portion of the state board exams. The core course usually can be taken concurrently with the clinical work which means you can finish your work in a 12 week semester.
Front Range Community College, FRCC, located in Westminster County at 3645 West 112 Avenue in Westminster, CO offers a CNA program. FRCC has two other campuses serving the community in the metropolitan Denver area. The other Front Range campuses are located at the Boulder County Campus and the Larimer Campus in Fort Collins, CO.
The Front Range campuses offer both day and evening classes that provide 87 hours of instruction. The FRCC CNA program consists of two courses. The first course provides a one four- credit course which teaches basic nursing. The second, one- credit course gives the student hands on clinical experience with a medical or health care facility.
Front Range designed the program to make the program affordable to students by keeping unnecessary costs to a minimum. Nurse Nancy LLC developed the core curriculum followed by the college. A well trained team of professional nurses teach the program. The program has trained over 1375 nursing aides.
Arapahoe Community College CNA program has two campuses. Littleton has one Arapahoe campus and the other lies in Parker 24 miles from Denver. The college has a one semester part time program that allows you to keep your day job. The program has been approved by the Colorado State Board of Nursing and it exceeds the federal training requirements. The following courses must be taken: Nurse aide health care skills, Nurse aide clinical experience and Advanced nurse aide clinical.
Pueblo Community College lies two hours south of Denver on Interstate 25 in Pueblo, CO. This program is similar to Front Range. It has a base four-credit core nursing course which gives a student the information needed to pass the Colorado Nursing Board exam. In addition, the college provides two one-credit hour courses that give students the necessary hands on clinical experience.
Western Colorado Community College in Grand Junction, CO at 2508 Blichmann Avenue offers a condensed version of their CNA program that can be finished in one semester. The college offers the basic course 4-credit core course and a one-credit clinical experience course.
The advantage of taking your courses at Community Colleges is they offer the basic courses needed at a cost savings to students. The disadvantage of community college course work may be over crowed class rooms.
The following is a list of other community colleges in the state of Colorado that offer a CNA program:
Aims Community College 2040 Clubhouse Drive
Greeley, CO 80632
Colorado Northwestern Community College 50 College Drive
Craig, CO 81625
Community College of Denver 1070 Alton Wy Bldg 849
Denver, CO 80230
Morgan Community College — Burlington 340 S. 14th Street
Burlington, CO 80807
Northeastern Junior College (Adult
100 College Dr.
Sterling, CO 80751
Otero Junior College 1802 Colorado Ave.
La Junta, CO 81050
Pikes Peak Community College (Adult
11195 Hwy 83
Colorado Springs, C
Red Rocks Community College 13300 W. 6th Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80228
Southwest Colorado Community College
PO Box 970
Mancos, CO 81321
Western Colorado Community College 2508 Blickmann
Grand Junction, CO 81505