Ruth Clayton was one of a group of 80 or so nurses from Utah cared for wounded soldiers during World War I. While in France during the war, she worked in a hospital tent and helped blind men as well as those with disfigured faces survive. After the war, Clayton pursued a career in public health nursing and even volunteered as a nurse at Bushnell Military Hospital in Brigham City during World War II.

Today, nurses can be found enjoying rewarding careers in a variety of environments in Utah. Many of them work in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, schools and patient homes. If you’re thinking about pursuing a rewarding career in nursing, we’ve got the information you need.

This page goes into detail about how to become a nurse in Utah, provides rankings lists of the state’s top nursing colleges at multiple degree levels and discusses the basics of nursing certification and licensing requirements. Read on to learn more.

Best Nursing Schools in Utah

Utah Badge ImageWith a total of 20 schools offering nursing degree programs at different levels in Utah, it can be difficult to find the one that’s just right for you. To help you narrow down your options, we’ve ranked the best nursing programs in Utah in two separate lists — one for undergraduate nursing students and one that covers graduate programs for mid-career nurses.

To create these rankings, we gathered a large set of data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and ran the numbers through a weighted statistical analysis. Feel free to visit the bottom of this page for more information on our ranking methodology, and continue reading below for our lists of the best nursing schools in Utah for undergraduate and graduate students.

Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$3,196
Undergraduate graduation rate
47%
Undergraduate retention rate
63%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
85%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$7,408
Undergraduate graduation rate
65%
Undergraduate retention rate
90%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
87%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$13,441
Undergraduate graduation rate
76%
Undergraduate retention rate
91%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
92%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$4,840
Undergraduate graduation rate
29%
Undergraduate retention rate
63%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
74%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$5,814
Undergraduate graduation rate
47%
Undergraduate retention rate
73%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
84%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$4,104
Undergraduate graduation rate
33%
Undergraduate retention rate
54%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
84%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$4,611
Undergraduate graduation rate
32%
Undergraduate retention rate
62%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
86%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$31,584
Undergraduate graduation rate
62%
Undergraduate retention rate
79%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
99%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$14,222
Undergraduate graduation rate
58%
Undergraduate retention rate
92%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
93%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$5,300
Undergraduate graduation rate
83%
Undergraduate retention rate
90%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
71%
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$6,473
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$6,680
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
4
Graduate Tuition
$13,412
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$6,500
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$7,192
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$7,677
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$15,616
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
2

Nursing Accreditation in Utah

Attending an accredited nursing school in Utah sets you up to qualify for a range of financial aid options, transfer credits to other institutions with ease and position yourself well as a job candidate after graduation. Check to make sure that the programs available at your chosen school are accredited by at least one of the following agencies:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Utah Nursing Licensure

Those interested in becoming licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in Utah are required to complete a state-approved LPN program, which usually takes 12 to 18 months. Then, they must sit for and pass the NCLEX-PN and submit an application for licensure to the Utah State Board of Nursing. Applicants are required to pay a fee, submit their official transcripts and undergo a criminal background check.

Registered nurses (RNs) in Utah must earn an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing and pass the NCLEX-RN. The application process also involves a background check, paying a fee, and sending official transcripts and an application for licensure to the Utah State Board of Nursing.

Nurse practitioners (NPs) in Utah need to hold an RN license, earn a master’s degree in nursing or a related field, and pass an approved exam. They must submit the application for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) to the Utah State Board of Nursing and request prescriptive authority for controlled substances if they wish. NPs are required to complete a criminal background check and pay a fee as well.

Utah Nursing organizations

There are several professional nursing organizations that Utah nursing students and working nurses may find valuable, whether they aim to take advantage of career resources or attend industry conferences and networking events. Let’s take a closer look at a few such organizations:

  • Utah Nurses Organization (UNA):

    UNA’s mission is to be a voice for all Utah nurses. Its members can attend nursing webinars, receive access to nursing publications such as American Nurse Today, join grassroots advocacy efforts and network with others in the nursing industry.

  • Utah Nurse Practitioners (UNP):

    This non-profit, volunteer organization strives to promote the nurse practitioner profession through communication, education, research and clinical excellence. It awards scholarships to NP students, hosts a variety of conferences and provides a forum for discussion of NP-related issues.

  • Utah Organization of Nurse Leaders (UONL):

    UONL provides nurse leaders with opportunities for education and skill development, leadership mentoring and professional networking. It also partners with other organizations to stay informed on legislative issues and patient advocacy efforts.

Utah-Specific Continuing Education

As part of renewing their licenses, LPNs and RNs in Utah must satisfy one of the following conditions every two-year licensing period:

  • Complete at least 400 hours of licensed practice, or
  • Undergo 30 hours of continuing education (CE), or
  • Complete 15 hours of CE in addition to at least 200 hours of licensed practice

If they were licensed before July 1992, NPs and other APRNs must undergo 30 hours of continuing education and complete at least 400 hours of practice each licensing period. In addition, NPs with prescriptive authority are required to take 3.5 hours of controlled substances education and complete an online controlled substance tutorial from the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL).

NPs licensed after July 1992 who hold current certification in their specialty area may not be asked to complete any specific CE requirements.

Hospitals in Utah

Hospitals typically employ a large percentage of recent nursing college graduates, and knowing about your region’s major medical centers can help you make the right choice when it comes time to start your career search. Here’s some information on three of the largest hospitals in Utah:

  • University of Utah Health Care (Salt Lake City) University of Utah Health Care is the only academic health care system in the Mountain West. Its array of specialty centers includes a cardiovascular center, a clinical neurosciences center, the John A. Moran Eye Center, the University Orthopaedic Center and the Utah Diabetes Center.
  • Intermountain Medical Center (Murray) This facility in Murray is the flagship hospital for the Intermountain Healthcare system. Intermountain Medical Center is a Level I Trauma Center that offers specialty services in cardiac, cancer, neurological, transplant and obstetric care. It is also home to cutting-edge technologies such as Gamma Knife radiation therapy and a da Vinci robotic surgery platform.
  • Utah Valley Hospital (Provo) Another member of the Intermountain Healthcare system, Utah Valley Hospital is a designated Level II Trauma Center that provides services for all of Utah County as well as central and southern Utah. In addition, it is recognized as a Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center.
Sources & Methodology

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we gathered data for 6,758 United States institutions. We then filtered that list of schools by state and analyzed the data for each state with two different methodologies, in order to create two different lists: our undergraduate list, based on 11 ranking criteria, and our graduate list, based on 9 ranking criteria.

Final data for the 2016-17 school year was used for these rankings. Schools that did not provide data for all of the required ranking criteria were disqualified from that ranking.

The 11 criteria for the undergraduate school ranking were as follows:

  1. Number of associate- and bachelor’s-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of associate- and bachelor’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of associate- and bachelor’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Average amount of federal grant aid awarded to full-time first-time undergraduates
  8. Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
  9. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  10. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  11. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

The graduate school ranking scored schools based on 9 criteria, different from the undergraduate list. These 9 criteria were as follows:

  1. Number of master’s- and doctoral-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of master’s- and doctoral-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of master’s- and doctoral-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  8. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  9. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools’ tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

 

Sources

  1. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed January 2018, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  2. American Hospital Directory, Accessed October 2018, https://www.ahd.com/
  3. Some 80 Utah Nurses Served in World War I, Utah Department of Heritage & Arts, Accessed October 2018, https://heritage.utah.gov/tag/mabel-bettilyon
  4. Nursing, Utah Department of Commerce, Accessed October 2018, https://dopl.utah.gov/nur/index.html
  5. Utah Nurses Association, Accessed October 2018, https://una.site-ym.com/
  6. Nursing: Apply for a License, Utah Department of Commerce Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, Accessed October 2018, https://dopl.utah.gov/nur/index.html
  7. Utah Nurse Practitioners, Accessed October 2018, https://utahnp.enpnetwork.com/
  8. Utah Organization of Nurse Leaders, Accessed October 2018, http://utahnurseleaders.com/
  9. University of Utah Health, Accessed October 2018, https://healthcare.utah.edu/
  10. Intermountain Healthcare, Intermountain Medical Center, Accessed October 2018, https://intermountainhealthcare.org/locations/intermountain-medical-center/
  11. Intermountain Healthcare, Utah Valley Hospital, Accessed October 2018, https://intermountainhealthcare.org/locations/utah-valley-hospital/

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