University of Northern Colorado (UNC)

The University of Northern Colorado offers CCNE accredited BSN, ABSN, RN to BSN, MSN, BSN, MSN to DNP and PhD degree programs including programs as a Nurse Practitioner and Post-graduate certificates. Schools Scholarships Student Support

Best ProgramsAccredited Hybrid On-campus Online Public

BSN   DNP   MSN   RN-to-BSN   Entry-Level BSN   MSN-to-DNP   NP   PhD   Accelerated BSN   Post-grad Certificate   Other  

The University of Northern Colorado is a public institution that was founded in 1890.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN - Traditional)

The traditional degree program is designed to be completed in approximately 4 years. 

Frequently Asked Questions

A friend of mine is starting this program later. Does she have to be CNA-certified?

In January 2019, completion of the CNA course and certification will not be required.

What about pre-requisites? Mine are 8 years old. Will they be accepted?

In January 2019, all prerequisite courses will have to have been completed within the past 10 years.

Application Selection Criteria (not all inclusive)

  • GPA will be calculated similar to previous application cycles and will include grades on the last 45 college credits and pre-requisite courses
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Essay
  • Standardized Admission Test (HESI)

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Second Degree

Open to students who already hold a non-nursing bachelor's (or higher) degree, this is a five-semester program.

Students admitted to this full-time, on-campus program begin in the Summer term and will complete the nursing courses in 20 months (five consecutive semesters), graduating in December of the following calendar year. Clinical experiences are concurrent with nursing theory (classes) and are guided by nursing faculty.  


This is a part-time online option for working and prepared Registered Nurses who want to pursue a baccalaureate degree. Applicants must provide proof of current, valid, unencumbered RN license.

Dual Enrollment Nursing Program - Registered Nurse (RN) Students at a Colorado Community College

This program is for students currently enrolled in a Colorado Community College toward an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing.  Students are eligible to apply for Dual Enrollment; taking courses toward their AAS and BSN at the same time.  Dual Enrollment students will graduate with their BSN approximately one year after the completion of their AAS degree.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with AGACNP Emphasis

Specifically designed for licensed RNs with full-time jobs, this three-year master's degree program is built around online courses.

The program includes extensive practicum experience, providing students with more than 500 hours of supervised instruction in clinical settings. Graduates will be able to apply for national certification as an AGACNP-BC or ACNPC-AG.

Post-Master's Certificate - Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nursing Practice

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to go part-time?  And, is it online?

Yes. This part-time graduate program is an asynchronous online delivery format the majority of the year. There is a 1-week Summer intensive session in Greeley, Colorado, during the program.

How long is the program?

The program can be completed in less than two years.

What about clinicals?  Can I do these where I live?

Practicums are planned in student's regional areas with existing clinical partners.

Master of Science in Nursing with Family Nurse Practitioner Emphasis

The FNP emphasis area provides in-depth instruction in primary care health promotion and disease management across the lifespan. The program combines online and on-campus instruction one day each week. Graduates are eligible for national certification and state licensure as an advanced practice nurse with the title of Family Nurse Practitioner.

The program requires a minimum of 540 clinical hours in the live clinical setting with a qualified preceptor. Students and faculty work together to secure clinical site placements for these live clinical experiences.

Post-Master's FNP Certificate Option

Students with an MSN can obtain a post-master's certificate to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Coursework for the certificate will depend on courses completed in the previous master's degree.

Post-Master's Nursing Education Certificate – 100% Online

This online Nursing Education Graduate Certificate program can be taken as a stand-alone certificate by master's prepared nurses or as an additional certificate for matriculated master's and doctoral nursing students. The online courses can be completed while continuing personal or professional obligations, in a year or less. Completing this UNC certificate will fulfill the education portion of the National League for Nursing's Option A pathway for the Certified Nurse Educator designation.

BSN-DNP with Family Nurse Practitioner Focus

The BSN-DNP FNP program is designed for nurses with a bachelor's degree. The DNP is a clinical doctorate, incorporating courses to prepare graduates for the family nurse practitioner (FNP) role and the role of leader in clinical research.

The DNP program is a part-time, hybrid program with a mixture of online and on-campus educational experiences.

BSN-DNP with Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Focus

The two-year, online AGACNP doctoral program is open to employed nurses with a BSN. Almost all courses are online. UNC's program fulfills the requirements for nurse practitioner education set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. Allow three-and-a-half years to complete the program.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (Post-Master's)

The post-master's online DNP program requires 33 to 37 credits of coursework and about 1,000 clinical hours. Students can apply the clinical hours logged in the previous master's program toward the 1,000-hour requirement. The DNP program includes three required visits to the UNC campus. Students finish the degree with a capstone project that addresses issues encountered in professional practice.

PhD in Nursing Education (Post-Master's)

The program includes visits to UNC's campus, while enabling stuents to integrate knowledge and experience from current professional practice.

Accreditation and Approval

The University of Northern Colorado is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is recognized as a comprehensive baccalaureate and specialized graduate research university by the State of Colorado.

The Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing, Master's Degree in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Post-Graduate APRN certificates at the University of Northern Colorado are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The UNC School of Nursing is approved by the Colorado State Board of Nursing.

2019 NCLEX Pass Rate



US News & World Report (2020)

  • #230-#301 in National Universities
  • #29 (tie) in Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #91 (tie) in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs
  • #115 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Master's
  • #119 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice

NICHE (2019)

  • Best College Dorms in America #176
  • Best College Food in America #481
  • Most Diverse Colleges in America #493
  • Most Liberal Colleges in America #522
  • Best College Campuses in America #564
  • Colleges with the Best Professors in America #729
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in America #833
  • Best Value Colleges in America #860
  • Best College Dorms in Colorado #3
  • Best College Food in Colorado #7
  • Most Liberal Colleges in Colorado #7
  • Best Value Colleges in Colorado #9
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in Colorado #10
  • Best College Campuses in Colorado #10
  • Most Diverse Colleges in Colorado #11
  • Colleges with the Best Professors in Colorado #14

Forbes (2018)

  • #579 Top Colleges
  • #210 in Public Colleges
  • #228 in Research Universities
  • #108 in the West

College Factual (2018)

  • #4 Best Colleges for the Money in Colorado
  • #482 Best Colleges for the Money in the Nation

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