Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What background and personality traits are you looking for in a candidate?

Nurses have strong communication and critical thinking skills, demonstrate compassion, are detail and team oriented and should be comfortable with technology.

  1. What is the salary and employment outlook for nurses?

For Colorado: Entry level is $52,000, average is $70,000 to experienced - $78,000. The employment outlook is an average annual growth in openings of 1,482 (source: Colorado Department of Labor – 2014 statistics)

  1. How far back in time can my prerequisites be?

No more than 10 years from the spring semester of the year you are applying. The exception being ENG 121, which can be over ten years old. Note: We look the best grade of these prerequisites if you take them a second time.

  1. Disqualifying degrees and licenses?

If you have any of the following you are not eligible to apply to the INP program:

  • Any bachelors or higher level degree
  • Are a Registered Nurse
  • Are a Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Are a Registered Psychiatric Technician
  1. Health Care Experience?

Although health care experience is not required, it is strongly recommended. Health care experience (even volunteering) can be useful in determining if you would enjoy working in this environment.

  1. What if I’ve already taken classes in the INP program?

If accepted into to the INP program, you will be able to choose to remove one of the courses offered each semester of your first year at Red Rocks. For instance, if you have already taken English Composition II and Anatomy and Physiology I, you would only have to repeat of these courses – such as College Composition II. Your choice, with advisor assistance, may be based on your grades for the respective courses.  There will be a minor penalty in the point system if you have already taken any of these courses.

  1. What do you base acceptance into the program on?

Selection will be based on prerequisite GPA, overall GPA (based on all previous course attempts completed at regionally accredited institutions, regardless of year), personal statement (essays) on the application, two references (one academic is required), interview, taking coursework in the Colorado Community College system and Colorado residency at time of application. Number of required INP program courses taken is also considered (we do not recommend applicants take courses beyond the nine required INP prerequisites).

  1. Can I work while I am in the INP program?

Because of the intense nature of the INP program and the variability of clinical days, times and location, full-time work is not recommended. However, many students continue to work part-time in jobs that allow flexible schedules.

  1. What GPA do I need to have to be competitive?

Strive for as high a GPA as you are able to achieve, with the goal of completing prerequisite courses with A’s and B’s, particularly for BIO 111 and CHE 101. Prerequisite courses can be re-taken to bring up  your prerequisite GPA.

10. I’ve taken courses that I think will substitute for some of the prerequisites.  How do I find out?

Meet with the INP program advisor at Red Rocks or the INP program advisor at CU. They can evaluate your course work and let you know what would be accepted to meet prerequisite requirements.

11.  Do you accept CLEP tests and/or AP/IB exam scores?

Some prerequisite courses can be taken with passing CLEP exams and/or credits completed during high school through AP or IB programs. Here is the CU website which lists these: CLEP:

12.  What does the program cost?

At Red Rocks: $13,317 (with COF) for  62 credits (includes 9 prerequisite courses as well) At 20016-17 costs. Includes fees and estimated book costs. (additional course fees may apply)
At CU: $32,000 (with COF) includes books, supplies and fees (does not include living expenses and insurance)– at 2016-2017 costs

Total estimated cost: $45,317 (Does not  include living expenses)

13. How does the application process work?

The INP application is open through NursingCAS ( from January 1st through March 31st of the program year. There is a $45 application fee.  There will be a written Personal Statement, You will proved contact information for two  character references and your resume. You will be asked to list all college courses and grades you have ever taken. You will also be requesting transcripts which will be mailed directly to NursingCAS from your current/previous institutions. Nursing CAS checks to see if what is on your transcripts matches what information you have provided. It is recommended you complete your NursingCAS application as early as possible. 

14. What will the interview consist of?

Your interview will consist of a discussion with a panel of interviewers. Interview day also includes a spontaneous writing sample that applicants will complete in a computer lab.

15. What if I’m not accepted?  What are my options?

If not accepted you can choose to apply again next year; however, it may be more advantageous for you to apply directly to another nursing program so you can complete the rest of your prerequisites for one of these other programs. Other program options include CU Denver’s Traditional Nursing program, Metropolitan State University’s or Regis University’s Nursing program. Additional programs are listed on the DORA (Colorado Department of Regulatory Agency’s website:

Meet with an advisor to help you sort out your options.

16. What if English is not my first language?

The nursing profession relies on the importance of strong verbal and written English communication skills. If English is not your primary spoken and written language you may be required to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam. For minimum score requirements, please refer to the CU College of Nursing website.

17. Apart from the items included in FAQ #4, what would disqualify one from being accepted into the INP program?

When you complete the NursingCAS application you will be asked to disclose information pertaining to criminal history. Criminal records do not automatically disqualify applicants; each situation is reviewed on an individual bases. Admitted students are also required to complete a background check and drug screen.

18. How large will my classes be once we start taking classes at CU College of Nursing?

Once you transition to CU you will be joined by other INP cohorts as well as all other students accepted into the CU Traditional Pathways nursing program; the total size is approximately 135 students. Clinical groupings typically include six students, while your Senior Immersion Practicum (completed near the end of your program) will be one-on-one.

19. Can I apply to more than one INP program at a time?

No, you must choose between one of the three existing INP programs. Red Rocks Community College, Community College of Aurora or Community College of Denver.

20. What will the clinicals be like at CU?

Clinical hours will total approximately 750 hours and range from 48 to 180 hours per semester in 8 week blocks. Twenty-five percent of your clinicals will be on campus and the remaining will be completed in off campus healthcare settings along the Front Range ranging from Loveland to Colorado Springs.