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Accelerated Nursing Option (ANO)

Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Accelerated Nursing Option (ANO) is a 17 month, semester based program.  It is designed to offer students who have a non-nursing baccalaureate degree the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  Graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Admission Requirements

To be eligible to apply to the Accelerated Nursing Option applicants must:

  • have completed a non-nursing baccalaureate degree in any field prior to application deadline;
  • have completed all pre-requisite courses prior to start of program; any in progress courses at time of application must be at least 50% complete by October 15.  If a prerequisite course is in progress at time of application, a letter from the course faculty with the current grade in the course must be sent to the MSU Denver Nursing Department between October 1- October 15.  GPA will be calculated with the current grade in the course and if offered admission, the grade must be maintained throughout the course to be eligible for admission.  The Nursing Department will require a transcript showing the final grade in the prerequisite course before nursing courses begin in January;
  • have a minimum recommended GPA of 2.5 in all pre-requisite courses; and
  • have completed the HESI Nursing Admission Assessment Exam (HESI A2) within one year of the application deadline.  Applicants are allowed to take the exam a maximum of two times in the twelve months prior to the application deadline at a Prometric Testing Center.  The subject areas tested are reading comprehension and math.

HESI Testing Instructions

Applications that are submitted with one or more of the above criteria missing by the application deadline will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required documentation is submitted.  Meeting admission requirements does not guarantee admission.

Application Deadline:  5pm on September 1st each year.  No applications will be accepted after the deadline. 

Admission Process

A competitive selection process is completed for applications received by the September 1st deadline.  The ANO does not maintain an ongoing waitlist. The application is available at between May 1st and September 1st each year.   

A Cohort of 48 students is selected based on the applicants' prerequisite GPA, credits taken at MSU Denver, average cumulative HESI score, health care employment, and health care certifications/licenses.  Applicants must provide employer verification of health care employment.  Applicants will receive an additional point on the application for employer verification of 250 hours as a CNA.

Applicants must successfully pass a criminal background check and drug screen prior to admission.  The drug screen will test for controlled substances, including marijuana and marijuana derivatives.  Re-testing is not allowed.  Admitted students must attend a required orientation with the Department of Nursing before beginning nursing courses.

Admission ranking criteria is currently being revised for the next application cycle. Please check back soon for updated information.

ANO Prerequisites/GPA

  • Non-nursing baccalaureate degree
  • Anatomy and Physiology I with lab* (4 credits)
  • Anatomy and Physiology II with lab* (4 cr)
  • General Microbiology with lab* (4-5 cr)
  • Introductory Statistics (3-4 cr)
  • Human Growth and Development** (3 cr)
  • Introduction to Nutrition (3 cr)
  • Clinical Pathophysiology (4 cr)
  • Minimum recommended GPA of 2.5 (the majority of students accepted have well above the minimum GPA)

*MSU Denver Biology department will not accept online lab courses.

**Often referred to as Psychology over the Lifespan.

 Note:  In some cases, additional courses may need to be taken prior to the required prerequisite courses to apply to the ANO.  Reference the online university catalog for further information.   

In addition to academic requirements, MSU Denver Department of Nursing requires other information for students offered admission including immunization records, CPR certification, drug screening, and criminal background checks.  Candidates must be able to meet the rigorous physical, mental, emotional and academic standards required to become a professional nurse. The admission process does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, creed, gender, national origin, disability or veteran status.


The curriculum for the ANO is extremely rigorous and completed in 17 months. Students are admitted in January and complete the nursing curriculum in four consecutive semesters, including summer. Students are required to attend classes, complete laboratory experiences and fulfill clinical requirements.  Students must be available for day, evening, and night assignments seven days a week.

ANO Curriculum Progression Plan

Program Cost

The estimated cost of the ANO is approximately $38,000, which includes tuition, MSU Denver student fees, health insurance, uniforms, books and supplies.  Please note that program costs are subject to change.  This is a cash funded program and receives no state funding; therefore the cost is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.

Financial Aid / Scholarships

Scholarships, stipends and loan forgiveness programs may be available to help students with their educational expenses. Students may apply for scholarships after they have been accepted into the ANO through the MSU Denver Financial Aid Office.

Working While in the Program

Due to the fast pace and heavy academic demands in the Accelerated Nursing Option, students who work while in the program are strongly encouraged to have employment that provides for a flexible schedule to accommodate student course, laboratory and clinical schedules and demands.  Clinical shifts may be 8 to 12 hours and may include days, evening, and weekends. Clinical shifts are subject to last minute changes. Therefore, students’ personal commitments must remain flexible to accommodate program requirements.

Multicultural Course

To be awarded a bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver all students are required to complete a 3 credit hour Multicultural course.  This course may be transferred or taken at MSU Denver. Due to the rigors of the ANO, it is recommended that the Multicultural course requirement be completed before applying or prior to beginning the ANO.  For multicultural course requirements and guidelines please visit or contact the Office of Transfer Services at 303∙556∙3774 for verification of transfer of a course. 

Additional Information

  • All students must have completed a Bachelor’s degree before applying to the program
  • All prerequisites need to be completed or in progress (must be 50% completed by October 15th) before applying to the program.
  • Transcript documentation of successful completion of prerequisite courses is required regardless of a previously earned academic degree.
  • Contact MSU Denver Transfer Services Office at 303∙556∙3774 for questions or transfer approval of prerequisite courses.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) consists of a series of national standardized examinations. They are designed to evaluate non-accredited college-level learning in order to award credit for successful demonstration of this knowledge. Based on the results of one or more of the CLEP examinations that are accepted at MSU Denver, the University may award up to 30 credits toward the General Studies requirements.

Credit earned will be entered on the student’s transcript with the title of the examination(s) and without reference to any specific MSU Denver course(s). CLEP examinations are recorded without reference to a letter grade and are not figured into the student’s GPA. Credit earned through CLEP examinations does not count toward residency credit requirements and therefore may not be awarded as part of the last 12 credit hours applicable to a degree.

Please reference the Metropolitan State University of Denver University Catalog for details of the CLEP guidelines and policy.

International Transcripts/Credentials

Students who have graduated from an institution outside of the U.S. are required to submit Official Transcripts with a “certified translation” into English.  The Office of Admissions at MSU Denver recommends Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) for official translations (

Please reference the MSU Denver guidelines for admission of International Students and/or the transfer of foreign credentials. You may also contact the Office of Admissions at 303∙556∙3058 or, for a preliminary review of foreign transcripts, contact Janet Ludwig at 303∙556∙3984.