Types of Nursing Degrees

There are a variety of ways to become a nurse. Once students complete training through any one of the programs below, they take the NCLEX exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (also called Licensed Vocational Nurse- LVN) or a Registered Nurse (RN).

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Training obtained at career/technical colleges or by taking the first two semesters of an AAS/Nursing then exiting to take the LPN licensing exam.

Associate of Applied Science - Nursing (RN) Completing an AAS/Nursing Degree with all clinicals at a community college.
RN to BSN Dual Enrollment (RN-BSN)

While completing an AAS/Nursing Degree with all clinicals, starting upper division Nursing coursework at a university and then transferring to complete the BSN after graduating from the AAS/Nursing.

RN then BSN

(RN+BSN)

Completing an AAS/Nursing Degree with all clinicals, and then transferring to a university or college to finish upper division nursing courses for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Traditional University Nursing Program (RN&BSN) Completing all general education, nursing courses and clinicals at one university or college.
Accelerated Nursing Program (RN&BSN) Intensive 1-1.5 year program of Nursing coursework and clinicals for students who have already earned a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree in any subject.

Pre-Nursing at PPCC

The best online resource for prospective Nursing students is the Nursing Department site. It is imperative that Pre-Nursing students stay in touch with this website for the most recent information.

Students who have not yet been accepted to the Nursing program are considered Pre-Nursing and should meet with their Program Advisor in Career Planning and Advising each semester. Find your Program Advisor on the Health Sciences advising website.

Pre-Nursing students heading toward PPCC's program are required to attend a Nursing Information Session. These are offered throughout each semester. View the short version of the requirements for the PPCC Nursing program.

RN to BSN Programs

Many Colorado colleges and universities (as well as those in other states) not only have traditional Nursing programs, but also RN to BSN options. These programs enable students who are in or have graduated from AAS/Nursing degrees to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies has an excellent Board of Nursing: Education Resources page where you can find all of the Colorado approved options for not only BSN degrees but also for other AAS/Nursing degrees and NCLEX pass rates. The Colorado Department of Higher Education also maintains an RN-BSN Transfer Guide for Colorado Nursing Programs. Review the Typical BSN Gen Ed Requirements list to consider taking other courses that can apply to most BSN programs.

Local Dual-Enrollment Programs

Colorado State University - PuebloUniversity of Colorado - Colorado Springs

Students accepted into PPCC's Nursing program can take general education courses to transfer to CSU-Pueblo. In addition to that, they can start upper-divison BSN Nursing courses while in our program. Review their program information and admissions requirements. Review their general education requirements and contact them directly for further questions.

Consult with your PPCC Program Advisor and CSU-Pueblo each semester for possible updates.

Students accepted into PPCC's Nursing program can take general education courses to transfer to UCCS. In addition to that, they can start upper-divison BSN Nursing courses while in our program. Review the UCCS Traditional BSN or RN to BSN programs and contact them directly for further questions.

Note: UCCS has general education requirements for Global-Social Electives, which include a broad range of courses.

Consult with your PPCC Program Advisor and UCCS each semester for possible updates.

Applying Broadly

Nursing programs are competitive entry and focus on GPA, especially in the science coursework. It is recommended that students explore all of their options and apply broadly.

Find other Associates degrees and BSN options on the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) website and more BSN programs on The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (CCNE) web site. Students should apply early and stay in touch with their target institutions to understand their admissions requirements.

Discover Nursing Videos

Future Nurses Start Here Link

Pre-Nursing Advising Syllabus

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TEAS Test Information

Find it on the Nursing Department website and on the Testing Department website.

Certified Nursing Assistant

Find El Paso County Certified Nurse Aide Training programs through the Colorado DORA website.


Attending a Nursing Information Night can expand your knowledge of the PPCC program and it is a requirement in the application process. See the available sessions on the Nursing Department landing page.