Programs in metro Denver, northern Colorado, and southern Colorado

Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™ at UCHealth

Metro Denver

  • University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora
  • Broomfield Hospital
  • Highlands Ranch Hospital
  • Longs Peak Hospital, Longmont

Northern Colorado

  • Poudre Valley Hospital, Fort Collins
  • Medical Center of the Rockies, Loveland
  • Greeley Hospital
  • Yampa Valley Medical Center, Steamboat Springs

Southern Colorado

  • Memorial Hospital Central, Colorado Springs
  • Memorial Hospital North, Colorado Springs
  • Grandview Hospital, Colorado Springs
  • Pikes Peak Regional Hospital, Woodland Park

As a new graduate RN in the UCHealth Nurse Residency Program, you will participate in an established, evidence-based one year program that is designed to provide the necessary support while you continue to gain knowledge and leadership skills. This program has proven to provide a strong foundation for your nursing career. In fact, many graduates of this program are now charge nurses, nurse educators, preceptors, team leads, and clinical managers.

Participants in our program receive a year of education, comprised of:

  • 10-24 weeks of orientation and precepted experience on the clinical unit of hire. Length of orientation varies based on unit specifics.
  • Paid specialty courses designed for your specific unit occurring throughout the year
  • Paid monthly residency seminars, providing additional curriculum and mentoring support

The Nurse Residency Program at UCHealth had its beginnings in 2002 at University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), with a partnership with the University of Colorado College of Nursing (CU-CON).  The employee-based Nurse Residency Program at UCH is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( The accreditation status was awarded in 2009 and 2014, making it one of the first nationally accredited nurse residency programs in the United States.

In 2012, University of Colorado Hospital entered into a joint operating agreement with Poudre Valley Health System and Memorial Health System to form University of Colorado Health (UCHealth). As of 2015, nurse residency programs in all regions have aligned and are structured according to the guidelines and recommendations provided by the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™.

Mission statement

Through a shared mission, UCHealth and our partnering academic nursing program(s) seek to improve the safety and quality of patient care by providing excellent education and support to the new graduate nurse transitioning into professional practice. Our Nurse Residency Programs are designed to promote the development of competent nurses able to demonstrate leadership in providing patient and family centered care based on evidence and reflecting the values of a magnet hospital environment.

Program goals
  • Transition from entry-level advanced beginner to competent professional nurse in the clinical environment.
  • Develop effective decision-making skills related to clinical judgment and performance.
  • Develop strategies to incorporate research-based and other evidence into practice.
  • Implement clinical leadership skills at the point of patient care.
  • Practice collaboratively as members of the interprofessional healthcare team.
  • Formulate an individual career plan that promotes a life-long commitment to professional nursing.

2022 Program start dates: February, July, August, and October

Applications will be accepted year round!

  • Applicants will be considered for the next available cohort (you do not need to have graduated or have obtained RN license to apply). Please apply early to ensure that you will have more choices for available units.
  • Selected candidates will be required to have a Colorado RN license or multi-state eNLC compact RN license by the program start date.
  • Applicants will apply online and attach a supplemental document (see “Application information” below prior to applying).

Application information

Applicant eligibility
  • Graduated from an ACEN- or CCNE-accredited nursing program. A Bachelor’s in Nursing is preferred, but candidates with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing will also be considered. ADN graduates who are hired for our program are required to obtain a BSN within 2 years of their hire date.
  • Must have graduated from an accredited nursing program within the past twelve months of a cohort start date.
    • See FAQ tab below if seeking an Exemption Submission application
  • Must be seeking first nursing role since graduation.
    • See FAQ tab below  if seeking an Exemption Submission application
  • In order to be considered for a graduate nurse position in ANY area of Critical Care (ICUs, Neonatal ICU, and/or the Emergency Department) a candidate must have previous paid experience (CNA, ACP, nurse intern, EMT, etc.) or a “non-paid” position (Senior Practicum, externship, etc.) in ANY area of Critical Care.
Application requirements


  • Turn off pop-up blockers
  • Visit (or click link at bottom of this page) within a cohort application window, search “Residency,” and click the “Apply Now” link. If you are a current UCHealth employee, please go to Employee Space, click on Job Openings, and search “Residency.”
  1. The first step will be to upload the required supplemental document (see below for more information on the supplemental document). You will see a place to upload a resume at the top of the first page of the application; this is where you will attach your supplemental document.
  2. Once you have uploaded your supplemental document, proceed with the application below. Ensure that required information, education, and work history are accurate and up-to-date. The email and phone number you list will be the primary means of communication for program updates.
  • Pages 1 and 2 – Supplemental Application. Select the [Word document]. Please answer ALL the questions on the supplemental application.
  • Page 3 – Cover letter. This should give a brief overview of why you’re interested in this cohort and also reiterate why you’re a good fit for your Unit(s) of choice and UCHealth overall.
  • Pages 4 and 5 – Comprehensive resume
  • Page 6 – Letter of Recommendation. The letter has no template or fixed criteria. Instead, this is a character reference submitted on your behalf from your past manager, clinical educator, instructor, supervisor, family, friend, peer, fellow student, etc. PLEASE ONLY INCLUDE ONE SINGLE LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION.
  • Page 7 – (typically) 9 – Nursing School Unofficial Transcripts

**Please ensure that when the document is uploaded, it is in a printable Microsoft Word or PDF format. Only apply if you truly have all your multi-step seven (+)-page document ready to upload. Incomplete applications receive a follow-up from a member of the Talent Acquisition team to resolve.

Interviewing process
  • Applications will be reviewed by a recruiter and forwarded to the hiring manager for review.
  • Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted by the hiring manager, and may be asked to interview via Microsoft Teams, by phone, or in person.

Offers are contingent and are not considered official until the following items are received:

  • Final, “official” transcripts from your school with nursing graduation date.
  • Completed reference check.
  • Current and active American Heart Association Basic Life Support card, current (and not expiring) for 60 days from the program start date.
  • Passing a post-offer, pre-employment health screen and completion of hospital background check.
  • Successful completion of the NCLEX exam. Candidates for this program are highly encouraged to take the NCLEX 4 to 6 weeks prior to Orientation.
  • Current and active Colorado RN licensure or (eNLC) compact RN license must be verified by the Friday prior to Orientation.
Nurse licensure

Colorado State Board of Nursing:  or (303) 894-2430 

For additional questions on RN licensure, endorsements and/or NCLEX, please contact that state’s Board of Nursing.


How can I tell if the program I graduated (or will graduate) from is an “accredited nursing program”?
UCHealth requires all nurses to have graduated from a program accredited either by the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) or the ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.); formerly NLNAC. Most programs have both CCNE and ACEN accreditations. The minimum requirement is that the program has, at least, one of the two accreditations.

To determine if your program is accredited, please check on the CCNE or ACEN databases.



I will be graduating from an entry level Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) program; am I eligible for the Nurse Residency Program?
Yes, if you are graduating from an entry level Masters of Science in Nursing program and have no previous nursing experience, you would qualify to apply for our nurse residency program.

Under the applicant eligibility criteria it mentions an opportunity for an exemption application submission. What is this?

Occasionally and with committee approval, we are able to consider an “Exemption Submission” from applicants who have graduated from a BSN program outside of the 12-month window or who possess less than 6 months of previous nursing experience. Exemption criteria examples:

  • Required military obligations
  • Personal medical emergencies
  • Relocation

We are not able to consider applicants for the Nurse Residency Program who have more than 6 months of nursing experience for any reason. If you have more than 6 months of nursing experience, please visit and apply to any experienced RN positions that you feel would be a good fit.

If you believe you may be eligible for an “Exemption Submission,” please follow these instructions:

  • Apply for the program that you are currently eligible for, following posted requirements and deadlines.
  • Follow application requirements as outlined on the nurse residency program website, but use the Exemption Supplemental Application for your first two pages. Complete the remainder of the application as instructed on the site.
  • After the application deadline, you will be notified if your Exemption Submission was approved via email. All decisions will be final.

I will graduate or I currently reside outside of Colorado. Am I eligible for the program?
Yes, out-of-state candidates are absolutely eligible for the program if they meet the other eligibility requirements. No preference is extended to Colorado candidates. A significant percentage of program participants are out-of-state residents at the time of offer and we encourage candidates to consider all of the wonderful things that Colorado has to offer!

If currently residing in an Enhanced Nursing License Compact (eNLC) state, we encourage you to receive an RN licensure in your home state and BE SURE THAT IT IS A MULTI-STATE LICENSE. Compact RN licensures will satisfy UCHealth onboarding requirements. If testing directly for Colorado RN licensure from a different state, out-of-state applicants are highly encouraged to apply for Colorado licensure at the time of their NCLEX. Request ATT as soon as possible and do not delay in testing for NCLEX. Applicants can sit for the NCLEX in any state.

Applying for Colorado endorsements after being issued an out-of-state licensure will take an additional period of time after receiving your initial licensure. All offers are contingent on verification of Colorado (or NLC) licensure. Offers have been withdrawn due to lack of licensure to practice in Colorado (or compact state) by the start date.

We encourage you to perform your due diligence, do a ton of research, and choose the most appropriate licensure route for your situation to achieve a Colorado or compact-state endorsed RN licensure in the soonest way possible after BSN graduation.

For more information or questions on the NCLEX, Colorado endorsement process, or other licensure questions, please contact the Colorado Board of Nursing.

Application questions

I applied for the last cohort. Do I need to re-submit my application?

You must go online and re-submit an online application for each cohort you would like to be considered for. We will only use the most current submissions. If you completed an electronic reference check for a similar position within the last 6 months you will not need to complete this reference request again. If you completed an electronic reference check over 6 months ago, you will be asked to complete this reference check again.

I attached my application to my online profile and am worried it was not received. How can I confirm you received all of my application?

If your supplemental document was not uploaded or there are any missing pieces, you will be notified by a recruiter via email and provided with instructions on how to resolve this.

Learn about nursing units at UCHealth

Go to our nursing units descriptions page

How to apply

To apply online during an active application window:

  1. Click the “Apply online” button.
  2. Search for “Residency” and apply.
Apply online

CCNE Accredited
The employee-based UCHealth Nurse Residency Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( The accreditation status was awarded to University of Colorado Hospital in 2009 and 2014, expanding to the system-wide UCHealth Nurse Residency Program in 2019. The UCHealth Nurse Residency Program is one of under ten healthcare systems in the country to receive this recognition.