About Our Programs

Denver College of Nursing offers programs and services to support and fulfill its mission by providing:

  • Programs that prepare nursing students to apply to take the national nursing licensing examination as applicable; 
  • Degrees at the Associate,  Bachelor and Master's levels that build on prior education or support a student entering postsecondary education for the first time; 
  • At the ADN and BSN degree level, expertise and services to support the student who is pursuing his or her goal to become an RN or to further his or her career by building upon an existing RN license to earn a Bachelor’s or Master's degree.

The college offers on-ground programs and distance education programs.  

Please review the programs closely before making a program choice.  If a student has earned a BS or BA degree, it is recommended that the student consider the BSN program first to see if it meets his/her education goals.  

Both the BSN and ADN degrees are designed to prepare the student to apply to take the licensing examination required for practice as a registered nurse.  The State Boards of Nursing who approve our programs expect that these programs show academic differences in breadth and depth of content.  Moreover, the American Nurses Association (ANA) also notes differences and identifies the BSN as the professional entry into practice and the ADN as the standard entry into practice. DCN teaches a differentiated practice model in which the BSN students are provided additional training regarding the role of the BSN nurse vs. that of the ADN nurse. 

"I felt that I was ready to get into the program, focus on it solely, and get out to be a nurse - a good nurse as soon as possible."

Heather Leck, Graduate


Academically, the BSN professional entry nurse is expected to have knowledge beyond the standard entry level. Those areas include: 

  • Research & Evidence-Based Practice
  • Quality Improvement
  • Collaboration
  • Education 
  • Professional Practice Evaluation
  • Collegiality
  • Ethics
  • Computer Informatics
  • Leadership
  • Teambuilding
  • Relationship-Based Care

The BSN student generally has more experience with reading, critiquing, and using current evidence-based practice research as they enter practice.  

The ADN student is prepared for direct bedside patient care with fundamental medical/surgical, childbearing, and mental health concepts. The ADN program takes less time to complete as it has fewer required general education courses than the BSN program demands. ADN graduates who plan to enhance their career mobility can obtain their BSN degree by completing our Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program. 

Through the RN to BSN option, registered nurses will expand their knowledge and skills in evidence based practice, patient safety, teamwork and collaboration, quality improvement, leadership, technology integration, and healthcare systems and policies. 

The Master’s program is open to registered nurses who have earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and are interested in developing expertise in nursing education and leadership.  The program is designed to promote higher level critical thinking and problem solving skills.  This prepares our students to train other nurses, develop administrative policies and procedures, evaluate and manage care for patients.  We provide a foundation for future instructors, professors, and indirect care leaders. Earning a Master’s degree in nursing will provide opportunities to seek careers in higher education, hospital administration and other health care leadership positions.    

General Education Courses

General education provides a foundation and breadth of skills and attitudes that every lifelong learner should possess.  This broad perspective is especially important when dealing with the diverse, multi-cultural, and individual aspects of how human beings think and feel.

General education provides a framework for dealing with the human aspects of health as well as helping students acquire the skills essential to assess information critically.  Framing and delivering reasoned and persuasive arguments both orally and in writing, and acquiring information that will be utilized to solve problems is critical in the nursing profession. Nursing students are required to successfully complete a number of general education courses and learn to appropriately apply the concepts embedded in most nursing courses. Thus, general education is a foundation of a Denver College of Nursing education that includes courses in physical/core sciences, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and communications. 

General Education Curriculum

The general education curriculum course offerings provide a level of general knowledge across disciplines, and an awareness of multiculturalism, diversity, and ethics that we believe every graduate of Denver College of Nursing needs for lifelong learning.  These attributes and skills will provide an opportunity for ethical practices, successful careers, and effective citizenship.  The following areas of concentration are the core in the general education curriculum: 

  • English/Communication/Language              
  • Mathematics
  • Social Science
  • Humanities/Psychology
  • Biology/Science/Chemistry
  • Human Growth & Development

General Education Outcomes

Students achieve general education outcomes as they:

  1. Develop creative and critical analytical skills across a wide range of clinical and human knowledge situations
  2. Develop skills in written, technical, and oral communications 
  3. Function ethically and meet professional standards with integrity 
  4. Demonstrate evidence of and caring for a diverse and multicultural society
  5. Develop skills for independent decision making and leadership.

Distance Education Courses

Some general education courses are delivered online or partially online and partially on ground as a hybrid course. At DCN, any student enrolled in an online course must meet the Admissions requirements for his/her desired program as outlined in this College Catalog.  Any pre-requisite requirements for courses at DCN (online or otherwise) are noted in the Course Descriptions in the College Catalog. Online courses adhere to the same grading scale as on-ground courses at DCN.  Students enrolled in an online course are expected to adhere to the same standards for student conduct and meet all program requirements as outlined in the College Catalog and Student Handbook.  Students enrolled in online courses have access to all resources available to students (e.g., Learning Resource Center, copiers, computer lab, student groups, etc.).  Students may access the college’s virtual learning resources by visiting www.mydsn.net.

Each course syllabus explains expectations for participation, assignments, learning outcomes, and other assessments for the course.  In order to graduate from DCN’s programs, all students must meet the graduation requirements outlined in the College Catalog.

Denver College of Nursing uses the Canvas Learning Management System to deliver online courses. There are many tools within Blackboard for student interaction and support.

Additional information regarding online student verification, including identity verification, student responsibilities, and a statement of authenticity is included in the Student Handbook.

Technology Requirements

In order to participate in courses at DCN, students need daily access to a computer with an Internet connection.  For Windows and Mac users, Canvas recommends the use of Chrome.  To complete certain assignments and be able to upload them to Canvas, students will need standard Microsoft Office or comparable software products (e.g., Microsoft Word).  Use of a printer is optional; a printer is not required to participate in DCN’s courses.

Any student without the standard equipment listed above is invited to use the equipment available at the DCN campus (e.g., computer lab, printers, Learning Resource Center) during regular campus hours.  For Canvas-related questions, please contact Academic Support at DCN_Canvas@edaff.com, or by visiting the Technical Support tab located on the Canvas student landing page. For other technical questions, please contact the Denver College of Nursing Help Desk at dhelpdesk@edaff.com.

Global Health Perspectives

Global Health Perspective (GHP) is a cross-cultural, inclusive outreach program for undergraduate students that is focused on student development in global health settings in our local communities and around the world. GHP combines classroom training with in-field service-learning internships and is integrated throughout the Denver College of Nursing curriculum path. Students are invited to participate in GHP from their first quarter of enrollment, through their coursework and even as DCN alumni. Student membership in GHP requires attendance at global development symposiums on and off campus and service learning volunteer hours each quarter at many nonprofit organizations in the Denver metro area. After successful completion of GHP membership for a minimum of two quarters and completion of Advanced Medical/Surgical nursing courses, students are eligible to apply for a GHP Service Learning Internship. DCN faculty members mentor and precept GHP students in both domestic and international internship locations. Upon successful completion of GHP internships students earn clinical credit for their work and, most importantly, gain the tools and experiences to broaden their perspectives in global health care.