Colorado Nurse Practitioner Licensure Guide - 2022

Nurse Practitioner Licensing Guide for the state of Colorado

Last Reviewed: September 21st, 2022

Nurse practitioners are quickly becoming the provider of choice in Colorado. As a key player in the effort to lower healthcare costs, provide expert and quality care, and serve as knowledgable health care policy advocates, Colorado nurse practitioners are some of the most valued healthcare professionals in the state.

Colorado NP Licensing & Scope of Work



Colorado NP Licensing Summary

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) are holders of a valid registered nurse (RN) license in a state, licensed to carry out healthcare-related tasks that are more advanced for regular RNs. Some of these tasks are in the league of duties that were traditionally under the jurisdiction of physicians. Hence, we see fragments of this concept expressed in collaborative practice between APRNs and physicians.

There are four recognized major classifications of APRNs:

  • Certified Nurse Specialists (CNS)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)
  • Certified Nurse Practitioners (CNP)
  • Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)

The licensing authority for APRNs in Colorado is the Board of Nursing, Division of Professions and Occupations (DPO). They issue licenses to RNs and APRNs who satisfy specific licensing requirements. To practice as a certified nurse practitioner (CNP) in Colorado, you must have obtained at least a master’s in a graduate-level nurse practitioner preparatory program and been certified by a national certifying agency. Certifying agencies verify the credibility of the graduate-level nurse practitioner training received and different agencies certify practitioners with different specialties. The application process also involves the verification of all licenses held during one’s career and a finger-print based background search.

Holders of multi-state RN licenses from member states of the Nurse License Compact (NLC) have achieved the most basic step in getting licensed in Colorado, which is having an RN license. This is because Colorado is a party to the enhanced NLC which allows nurses to practice physically and virtually in member states. Holders of multi-state licenses are required to practice in other member states only within the jurisdiction of nurses as allowed by the state laws. They are also not required to apply for an RN license to practice in Colorado unless they intend to change their primary state of residence to Colorado.