CNA/PCT gives you a leg up on jobs, but it still sounds hard.
Community Colleges are the best bang for the buck apart from a public university where you can get a BSN (more marketable). The BSN programs are all merit based, so no wait, but you have to be the best of the best to get in.
If you need to stay in the Denver area, you choices are UCD or for a BSN and CCD for an ASN.
Colorado has 6 public university traditional BSN programs that I am aware of: UCD, CUCS, UNC, CSUP, ASC, and MSC (that's Mesa, not Metro which only has ABSN). There is also a private non-profit university, Regis University, where I am going, but it isn't cheap. For ASNs, there's many to choose from.
I'm starting my BSN program in August. I'm praying the market improves by the time I finish, but things aren't looking up yet.