Senators Aguilar and Neville, co-prime sponsors, presented House Bill 18-1086. Under current law, community colleges that are part of the state community college system may offer two-year associate's degrees and bachelor of applied science degrees, with limited exceptions. The bill allows a community college to offer bachelor of science degree in nursing as a completion degree for students pursuing an associates degree in nursing. Community colleges must seek approval from the state board for community colleges and occupational education and provide the board with information on its partnerships with existing bachelor's of nursing degree programs. The board must consider student and workforce demand, cost effectiveness for students, and accreditation and licensing requirements when considering a request to offer a bachelor's in nursing degree.
Community colleges that wish to offer a bachelor's of science degree are subject to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education's (CCHE) policies for admission to nursing degree programs, and do not have to seek approval from CCHE to offer the degree. Community colleges must notify all institutions of higher education in the state of their intent to seek approval from the board for a bachelor's degree in nursing at least 90 days before submitting the request. All state institutions of higher education that offer a bachelor's degree in nursing must submit an annual report on the degree program to the Department of Higher Education.