Colorado CNA Requirements and State Approved CNA Programs

CNAs or Certified Nursing Assistants play a vital role in the healthcare industry. They provide basic care to patients and assist them in the daily activities they’re unable to do themselves. The very nature of the job calls for individuals who are naturally compassionate and helpful towards others, especially towards seniors and disabled members in society. The nature of the work also demands regulations from state agencies. Colorado, in accordance with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA ’87), takes an active role in the training, certification and monitoring of CNAs. The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), with the help of the Board of Nursing and Pearson Vue, oversees the training and licensing of nurse aides.

CNA Classes in Colorado:

  • Other Colorado cities: Please scroll down below or use CTRL+F (Command+F on Mac) to search this page.

Certification Requirements

Colorado’s mandatory Nurse Aide Practice Act prohibits uncertified nurse aides from providing direct care to patients. Prospective nurse aides can acquire certification by completing a state-accredited training program and passing both components of the state nurse aide competency exam. CNA classes prepare nurse aides for their demanding role on the job and should also give them the confidence to succeed at the state exam. Graduates of state-approved training programs are eligible to challenge the state exam. If you fall within any of the following categories, you may skip training:

  1. Licensed Psychiatric Technicians who wish to practice as nurse aides
  2. Nursing students who complete at least five (5) credits of nursing fundamentals
  3. Foreign nurses

Colorado issues a temporary license giving students the opportunity to work while pursuing nurse aide training and testing. The temporary license remains valid for four months and gives nurse aides legal rights to practice in a nursing home or a home health agency.

Prerequisites to Training

Federal and state agencies do not stipulate educational requirements for nurse aides. However, they do require nurse aides to have clean backgrounds, free from felonies and misdemeanors, before working in the healthcare industry. Training providers may request a high school diploma before enrollment, or they might administer an entrance exam to determine your ability to complete the program. Training providers, in accordance with state requirements, must also perform background checks on students before placement in the clinical component of the training.

  • High school diploma (recommended)
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Criminal background check and fingerprint report
  • Proof of citizenship or legal residency
  • Negative TB test report
  • Report of a recent physical exam
  • Proof of immunization

Colorado’s Certified Nurse Aide Training Requirements

Colorado’s state-accredited nurse aide training programs deliver 75 hours of combined lecture, lab and clinical experience in an approved setting. The curriculum adequately prepares graduates to sit the state exam and execute their duties on the job. Program facilitators use lectures, interactive discussions, audio-visual presentations, demonstrations and hands-on labs to present the course material. Upon completion of 59 hours of in-house training, students transfer to an approved facility to commence 16 hours clinical experience under the direction of a Registered Nurse instructor.

Both components of the training are equally critical, so students must commit to attending the entire program to get the benefits of 75 hours of training. The state does not recognize online training programs as these do not provide for the clinical aspect of nurse aide training.

In keeping with state guidelines, training providers may disqualify candidates who skip segments of the training. Essential topics for training include infection control, communication, patients’ rights, patient transfers, medical terminology, observation and reporting, rehabilitative and restoration techniques, emergency procedures, HIPPA laws and managing patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Newly trained nurse aides must challenge and pass both components of the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination within one year of graduation in order to obtain placement on the Colorado Nurse Aide Registry.

Cost of Training

Colorado nurse aide classes range from 3 weeks to a full semester in duration. Classes cost between $400 and $1,400 at community colleges, technical institutes, and private institutions. High school students may qualify for free training at their local schools. Several long-term care facilities offer free training and pay a small salary during the clinical portion of the program. They sponsor training on the provision that students commit to ongoing work at the facility after graduation. Acceptance into these free programs is on a first-come, first-served basis, so you may want to consider alternative ways to fund your training.

Tuition payment plans and financial aid are two tools that make training more affordable. If you work at a long-term care facility, your employer should sponsor your training and testing. Finally, federal laws make provision for pro-rated reimbursement of nurse aides’ training and testing as long as you obtain employment at Medicare-funded facilities within 12 months of certification.

Nurse Aide Testing

Pearson Vue administers the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination and manages Colorado’s Nurse Aide Registry. You must fill out the Certification by Examination application and pass both components of the exam within two years of application. If you fail the exam on the third attempt, you’ll have to enroll in another nurse aide training program.

The exam has two segments; both of which you must pass to qualify for the nurse aide registry. The written exam contains 70 multiple choice questions, which you must complete in 90 minutes. There’s an oral option that you can select if you have difficulty reading English. The oral exam comprises of 60 multiple-choice questions and 10 questions to test your reading and comprehension skills – make sure you request the oral option when you submit the application for testing.

The second aspect of the exam involves the skills evaluation. The set-up is similar to an actual caregiving situation, and you’ll have to demonstrate your nurse aide skills. The evaluator will assign 5 skills; Hand-washing, a measurement skill and three other randomly selected skills. You’ll have 25 minutes to demonstrate the skills, and you must pass all five in order receive a passing grade.

Certification Costs

Testing fees are as follows:

  • Written and skills exam – $ 123
  • Oral and skills exam (English) – $123
  • Oral and skills exam (Spanish) – $123
  • Written retest – $45
  • Oral retest (English) – $45
  • Oral retest (Spanish) – $45
  • Skills retest – $78

First-time testers must pay for both the written and skills exam.

On exam day, you must walk with the following:

  • Two forms of current previously signed IDs
  • Two number 2 pencils and an eraser
  • Watch with a second hand
  • Arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled start time

Out-of-State CNAs

Out of state CNAs can apply for certification in Colorado through reciprocity. Before you apply for transfer of certification, you must ensure your license in your home state is in active status. Review the list of required documents for certification by endorsement. Then, register an online account at the Colorado Division of Professions and Occupations Online Services for faster processing of your application.


Nurse aide certifications expire on January 31 of even-numbered years. You must renew your license before this period to continue practicing as a nurse aide. If you receive your first-time certification within 120 days of the upcoming expiration date, your license will be good until the subsequent expiration.

Contact the Registry: 

Colorado Nurse Aide Registry 

Colorado Board of Nursing

1560 Broadway, Suite 1350, Denver, CO 80202

Phone: (303) 894-2430

State Approved CNA Training Programs in Colorado

Alamosa, CO CNA programs:
Trinidad State Junior College
1011 Main St, Alamosa, CO 81101

Aurora, CO CNA programs:
Pickens Technical College
500 Airport Blvd., Aurora, CO 80011

APL Medical Academy
10730 E Bethany Dr. Ste 355 Aurora, CO 80014
(303) 752-0000

Accent Learning Systems
2620 S Parker Rd, Ste, Aurora CO 80014
(303) 696-7664

Tenderhearts PC
10190 Montview Blvd, Aurora CO 80010
(303) 364-2022

Bright Beginnings Nursing Assistant School
2600 S Parker Rd Bldg 1 Ste 211 Aurora, CO 80012
(720) 775-2849

Boulder, CO CNA programs:
Boulder Technical Education Center
6600 Arapahoe Rd, Boulder, CO 80303

Brighton, CO CNA programs:
Brighton High School
270 South 8th Avenue, Brighton, CO 80601

Burlington, CO CNA programs:
Morgan Community College
340 S. 14th Street, Burlington, CO 80807

Canon City, CO CNA programs:
Pueblo Community College-Fremont Campus
51320-Highway 50, Canon City, CO 81212

Centennial, CO CNA programs:
South Denver School of Nursing Arts
7853-Arapahoe Ct, Centennial, CO 80112

Littleton Public Schools Health Sciences Technology
7300 S Clemont Dr, Centennial CO 80122
(303) 347-4124

Colorado Springs, CO CNA programs:
Avanza Training
2598 Palmer Park Boulevard Colorado Springs, CO 80909

Beo Nurse Aide Training Program
1442 Hancock Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

3645 Citadel Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80909

Pikes Peak Community College
5675 S. Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Pikes Peak Community College
11195 Hwy 83, Colorado Springs, CO 80919

Cortez, CO CNA programs:
Unlimited Learning
640 East 2nd Street, Cortez, CO 81321

Craig, CO CNA programs:
Colorado Northwestern Community College
2801 West 9th Street, Craig, CO 81625

Sandrock Ridge Care and Rehab
943 W 8th Drive Craig, CO 81625
(970) 826-4100

Delta, CO CNA programs:
Delta Montrose Technical College
1976 U.S. Highway 50, Delta, CO 81416

Denver, CO CNA programs:
College America
1385 South Colorado Blvd. 5th floor, Denver, CO 80222

Community College of Denver
1070 Alton Way Building 849, Denver, CO 80230

Emily Griffith Technical College
1250 Welton St., Denver, CO 80204

Fred N. Thomas Career Education Center Middle College
2650 Elliot, Denver, CO 80211

Community Health Institute
4705 Paris Street #100, Denver, CO 80239

New Beginning Nursing Assistant Program
6795-Tennessee Ave, Ste 210, Denver, CO 80224

PIMA Medical Institute
7475 Dakin Street, Suite 100, Denver, CO 80221

St. Joseph Hospital Foundation
1835 Franklin Street, Denver, CO 80218

St. Lukes Ministry
915 E. 9th Ave, Denver, CO 80218

Eads, CO CNA programs:
Weisbrod Memorial County Hospital and Nursing Home
PO Box 817, Eads, CO 81036

Edwards, CO CNA programs:
Colorado Mountain College
150 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards, CO 81632

Estes Park, CO CNA programs:
Innovage Home Care North, formerly Caring Hands, Inc.
1191 Woodstock Driver, Unit C, Estes Park, CO 80517

Falcon, CO CNA programs:
Pikes Peak Community College
255 Lambert Rd, Falcon, CO 80831

Florence, CO CNA programs:
Florence High School
2006 Highway 67, Florence, CO 81226

Fort Morgan, CO CNA programs:
Morgan Community College
920 Barlow Rd, Fort Morgan, CO 80701

Frisco, CO CNA programs:
Summit High School Health Sciences
PO Box 7, Frisco, CO 80443

Grand Junction, CO CNA programs:
Larchwood Inns
2845 N. 15th St., Grand Junction, CO 81506

Western Colorado Area Health Education Center
744 Horizon St, Ste 220, Grand Junction, CO 81506

Western Colorado Community College
2508 Blickmann, Grand Junction, CO 81505

Greeley, CO CNA programs:
Aims Community College
5401 West 20th St, Greeley, CO 80632

Aims Community College
2040 Clubhouse Drive, Greeley, CO 80632

Fairacres Manor
1700 18th Ave, Greeley, CO 80631

Gunnison, CO CNA programs:
Senior Living Community at Gunnison Valley Health
1500 W. Tomichi Ave, Gunnison, CO 81230

Lakewood, CO CNA programs:
Red Rocks Community College
13300 W. 6th Ave., Lakewood, CO 80228

Lamar, CO CNA programs:
Lamar Community College
2401 S. Main St, Lamar, CO 81052

Limon, CO CNA programs:
Morgan Community College
940 2nd St, Limon, CO 80828

Littleton, CO CNA programs:
Arapahoe Community College
5900 S. Santa Fe Dr. A2325, Littleton, CO 80160

Longmont, CO CNA programs:
Career Development Center
1200 S. Sunset St., Longmont, CO 80501

C.A.R.E Training Applewood Health Care
1800 Stroh Pl Longmont, CO 80501
(303) 776-6081

Front Range Community College
2121 Miller Dr, Longmont, CO 80501

Life Care Center of Longmont
2451 Pratt St., Longmont, CO 80501

Loveland, CO CNA programs:
Aims Community College
104 E. 4th Street, Loveland, CO 80537

Front Range Community College
800 South Taft, Loveland, CO 80537

Mancos, CO CNA programs:
Southwest Colorado Community College
33057 Highway 160, Mancos, CO 81328

Pagosa Springs, CO CNA programs:
Pine Ridge
119 Bastille Dr Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

Pueblo, CO CNA programs:
IntelliTec College
3673 Parker Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81008
(719) 542-3181

Pueblo Community College
900 W. Orman Ave., Pueblo, CO 81004

Rifle, CO CNA programs:
Colorado Mountain College
3695 Airport Road, Rifle, CO 81650

Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home
851 East 5th St., Rifle, CO 81650

Springfield, CO CNA programs:
Southeast Colorado Hospital
373 E. 10th St, Springfield, CO 81073

Steamboat Springs, CO CNA programs:
Colorado Mountain College
330 Bob Adams Dr., Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Colorado Senior Residence
2855 Owl Hoot Trail, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
(970) 457-4881

Sterling, CO CNA programs:
Devonshire Acres Ltd
1330 N. Sidney Ave., Sterling, CO 80751

Sterling, CO CNA programs:
Northeastern Junior College
100 College Avenue, Sterling, CO 80751

Thornton, CO CNA programs:
Bollman Technical Education Center
9451 N. Washington St., Thornton, CO 80229

New Directions
2501 E 104th Ave, Thornton, CO 80233
(720) 550-9090

Walsenburg, CO CNA programs:
Spanish Peaks NATP
23500 US Hwy 160, Walsenburg, CO 81089

Westminster, CO CNA programs:
Agape Angelicum School of Nursing Arts, Inc.
5005 81st Pl Westminster, CO 80031

Ann Rose School of Nursing Arts, Inc.
7280 Irving Suite B205, Westminster, CO 80030

Front Range Community College
3645 W. 112th Ave., Westminster, CO 80031

Westminster High School Health Studies
6993 Raleigh Street, Westminster, CO 80030

Wray, CO CNA programs:
Morgan Community College
32415 Highway 34, Wray, CO 80758



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