Nursing isn’t for everyone, but it’s a rewarding and in-demand profession that many feel called to. If you have a bachelor’s degree in another field and dream of becoming a registered nurse, your path to licensure is closer than you may realize. Accelerated nursing programs in Utah allow you to transfer eligible credits from your existing degree toward your brand-new nursing bachelor’s degree. In many cases, this means you’re already halfway there.
This guide will introduce you to some of Utah’s best accelerated nursing bachelor’s degree programs (also known as ABSN programs) and explains how they work. We’ll break down what you’ll learn, provide guidance on choosing a high-quality program, answer common questions, and more. Keep reading to learn how accelerated BSN programs in Utah can help you use your existing education to quickly move into an exciting, fulfilling career in nursing.
2023’s Best Accelerated BSN Programs in Utah
To get you started in your search, we’ve spotlighted a few of Utah’s best accelerated nursing programs. To select these programs, we considered factors such as affordability, accreditation, and student support. These schools also do an excellent job of preparing students to pass the NCLEX nursing exam. Keep reading to learn more about these standout ABSN programs in Utah that will put you on the path to your new nursing career in 2023.
Roseman University of Health Sciences
The competitive accelerated BSN program at Utah’s Roseman University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and designed to get learners through the program with 18 months of full-time study. Students have two attendance options—on-campus or hybrid-online—but labs, group assignments, and clinical rotations are always in person. On-campus students attend class Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, but some labs may require attendance after those hours.
Prospective students are considered for admission based on several factors, including an interview, academic achievement scores, test scores, and writing sample scores. Those who need to take prerequisite courses can do so through the school’s partnership with StraighterLine, which offers affordable, self-paced online classes. According to the university’s website, 94.67% of graduates are hired within six months, which is significantly higher than the national average of 74%, and Roseman’s average NCLEX pass rate is 94.23%. The estimated tuition for this ABSN program in Utah is $58,200.
Arizona College of Nursing
Salt Lake City is home to one of the campuses of the Arizona College of Nursing. Enrollees of the school’s CCNE-accredited accelerated BSN program in Utah can review their transcripts with an advisor to transfer as many credits as possible and finish their degrees in three years or fewer. But, for those who need to fill in some gaps, general education courses are offered in the evenings. Students take foundational courses and attend labs on campus; most of the final year is devoted to completing clinical rotations at partnering Utah healthcare institutions.
Arizona College of Nursing prioritizes preparation for the NCLEX; in fact, one of the program’s courses is entirely dedicated to preparing for the exam. Instructors also incorporate NCLEX-style questions and clinical judgment into their classes. The school’s 2021 NCLEX pass rate was 91.42%, so this approach seems to be working. Students also receive additional career supports such as resume development, interview preparation, job search tips, and connections to possible job opportunities through the school’s network of healthcare partners.
University of Utah
Although the fast-track program at the University of Utah isn’t an accelerated BSN program according to the definition set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, it’s similar to other accelerated BSN programs and allows students to earn their degrees in as few as four semesters. A prior bachelor’s degree isn’t required, but equivalent courses can be transferred toward the degree through a transcript review. In addition to foundational courses and labs, students in the program complete over 1,000 clinical hours.
Applicants must already be degree-seeking students at the university who are in good standing, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all previous college credits (including those at other institutions) is required. In addition, you must complete nine prerequisite courses before entry to the program. Two of the prerequisite courses—human anatomy and human physiology—must be retaken if the applicant completed them more than seven years before the application deadline.
What You Can Expect to Learn in Your ABSN Program in Utah
Most accelerated BSN programs in Utah have similar components and course requirements. In general, expect to take classes from each of the three categories below. Keep reading to learn more about each curriculum component and to see examples from accelerated BSN programs in Utah.
1. Nursing Classes
Core nursing classes form the foundation of your education. You’ll learn general topics such as essentials of nursing and pharmacological principles, but this category also includes specialized topics such as psychiatric mental health nursing and care of the childbearing family. Joyce University, for example, includes these classes and more in its semester-by-semester plan. In hybrid programs such as Joyce’s, this category of classes may be offered virtually.
2. Clinical Training
The clinical component of your education is where you gain real-world experience. To be well-prepared, you will complete many hours of rotations in various healthcare facilities, with your schedule depending on the specific focus of the rotation you are completing. For example, Grand Canyon University’s (GCU) program, which is based near Salt Lake City, includes rotations in behavioral health, care of the childbearing family, and more. A clinical supervisor or instructor assigns you specific duties and oversees your learning.
3. General Education Coursework
Your degree will also require basic courses in subjects like English composition, mathematics, science, and social sciences. Fortunately, since you already hold a bachelor’s degree, you likely have this part taken care of. GCU gives you credit for the hard work and prior learning that you already have under your belt. Transfer up to 90 credits out of the 123 required for this ABSN program in Utah.
FAQs About Accelerated BSN Programs in Utah
How long does it take to finish an accelerated BSN program in Utah?
The obvious advantage of an accelerated program is that you can finish your degree in less time. However, the actual length of time required varies a bit from school to school and can also depend on how many credits you’ve already earned and can transfer into an accelerated nursing program in Utah. The program at GCU, for example, is on the speedier side—it takes 16 months as long as you are able to transfer at least 60 credits and have all prerequisites taken care of. At the lengthier end of the spectrum, Arizona College of Nursing’s program takes around 24 months unless you have a lot of transferrable credits.
How many credits can be transferred to my Utah ABSN program?
The ability to transfer credits from your prior degree is a major benefit of accelerated nursing programs in Utah. Most programs allow you to transfer general education credits, and some allow you to transfer other relevant credits with certain provisions. The most common number of transfer credits required by accelerated programs in Utah is 60. GCU and Joyce both specify this amount, though GCU actually lists it as a minimum, meaning that you can potentially transfer even more than that. Some schools, like Arizona College of Nursing, provide transcript reviews with academic advisors to ensure that you don’t overlook any transferrable credits for your accelerated nursing program in Utah.
How much do ABSN programs in Utah cost?
A college degree is a major investment. Therefore, it’s wise to do your research to ensure that you are getting the best value for your dollar. But when you’re calculating costs, consider a possible increase in pay as part of your formula: Nurses with BSNs are in demand, so your degree definitely has the potential to pay off. The costs for three of Utah’s accelerated nursing programs are listed below. Use this information as a starting point for your research.
Joyce University of Nursing and Health Sciences
Accelerated Bachelor of
Science in Nursing
Total Credits: 120
Accelerated BSN Degree
Total Credits: 123
Roseman University of
Accelerated Bachelor of
Science in Nursing
Total Credits: 120
What are the admission requirements to get into an accelerated nursing program in Utah?
Although each program has its peculiarities, many of the admissions requirements for Utah’s accelerated nursing programs are quite similar from school to school. Some of the most common requirements for these programs are as follows:
- Transferrable Credits: Not all accelerated programs require a bachelor’s degree, but they all require a minimum number of transferrable credits. Roseman University, for example, requires a minimum of 65 general education credits earned toward a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree. A minimum GPA is a common requirement for transferring credits.
- Prerequisite Courses: Human anatomy, human physiology, and chemistry are common examples of courses that are required before beginning the core nursing curriculum. Although most schools require you to complete such courses before applying, others, such as Joyce University, build these courses into the regular sequence.
- Entrance Exam and Other Screening Measures: Some schools require applicants to pass the Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) exam or the Test of Essential Academic Skills. Particularly competitive ABSN programs in Utah may also require additional screening measures such as an interview or writing assessment.
How do I know if an accelerated Utah BSN program is of high quality?
The main thing to look for when determining the quality of an ABSN program is accreditation. Reputable programs will be accredited by either the CCNE or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. In addition, you need to verify that the program is approved by the Utah Division of Professional Licensing (DOPL). Verifying these items ensures that your selected accelerated nursing program in Utah will prepare you for licensure and beyond.
Is there financial aid that can help pay for my ABSN program in Utah?
If you need help paying for your accelerated nursing program in Utah, various scholarships, grants, and loans are available to assist you. However, since you don’t have to pay back scholarships and grants, it’s best to exhaust those options before resorting to loans. Many universities offer internal scholarships; you can find them by visiting the financial aid section of their websites. For example, Joyce University and Arizona College of Nursing both have a variety listed on their websites. Furthermore, some organizations, such as the Utah Student Nurses Association, offer scholarships. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid will determine your eligibility for federal aid such as Pell Grants and loans. To get started on your search for financial aid options, check out our nursing scholarship guide and main financial aid guide.
Detailed Look at Online Accelerated BSN Programs in Utah
Since Utah ABSN programs are designed for those who hold non-nursing bachelor’s degrees, these programs all require some in-person learning. Nursing involves a great many hands-on skills that cannot be acquired without tangible experience.
However, some programs are offered in a hybrid format that combine online coursework with on-campus training. Typically, the courses that are offered online involve medical theory, but you will report in-person to campus for labs and simulations where you practice and apply the learning from your online courses. In-person clinicals are another indispensable facet of the nursing program experience. Schools work with specified healthcare facilities to supervise students in these real-world medical rotations.
Overall, online ABSN programs in Utah allow learners a greater degree of flexibility versus traditional programs. We’ve spotlighted two of Utah’s excellent online programs below, so keep reading to get a better understanding of how they work. Also, check out our online accelerated BSN programs page for even more information on what to expect.
Examples of Quality Online Accelerated BSN Programs in Utah
Joyce University of Nursing & Health Sciences
Joyce University’s CCNE-accredited accelerated BSN program in Utah prepares students to enter a new career in nursing in as few as 20 months. Over the course of five semesters, students complete 60 credit hours and 427.5 clinical hours. All requisite courses are built into the curriculum, so there are no prerequisites for entering the program. This makes it easy for students to start working on their degrees as quickly as possible.
Most of the program’s 14 courses are completed online through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous delivery. However, students must report to campus for labs and simulations during their second, third, and fourth semesters. Clinical experience hours are completed at healthcare facilities near the campus site, but there are occasional opportunities for international clinical experience. The school boasts a 91% student retention rate and 2022 NCLEX pass rate of 87.80%. The estimated tuition for Joyce’s program is $50,800, and graduates can avail themselves of the university’s job placement services.
Grand Canyon University
The accelerated BSN program at GCU’s Sandy, Utah, learning site allows students to complete their core nursing courses in 16 months. The degree requires a total of 123 credits; students must have at least 60 transferrable credits to qualify for admission. In addition to this requirement, prospective enrollees must complete nine ABSN prerequisite courses with a GPA no lower than 3.25 and take the HESI admissions assessment.
Like most prelicensure nursing programs, some components must be completed in person. However, the foundational nursing courses of GCU’s program are completed online. Learners then report in person to complete labs and simulations, which allows them to apply their learning in hands-on experiences. The program’s supervised clinical rotations are completed at top healthcare facilities around the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. GCU’s baccalaureate programs are accredited by the CCNE; its 2021 NCLEX pass rate was 90.37%. The estimated tuition for this ABSN program in Utah is $53,550.
How to Get Licensed After Your ABSN Program in Utah
Completing your degree program is obviously a huge step toward becoming an RN. But even after you graduate, a few more tasks stand between you and licensure. Follow these steps from the Utah DOPL to avoid any missteps:
- Create your NCLEX account through Pearson VUE and pay the $200 fee.
- Complete the request for authorization to test form online or by mail.
- Have your school’s registrar submit your official transcripts by mail or email to the Utah DOPL. Your school may charge a fee for this service.
- Request any Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations that you will need for the test. The DOPL requires three letters to grant this request—one from your diagnosing physician, one from your nursing program that verifies you received the same accommodations while in school, and another from the tester explaining why accommodations are needed.
- Once you receive approval to test, schedule your NCLEX, take it, and pass it! You’ll get your results via email in three to five business days.
- Apply for licensure online or by mail. Pay the $90 application fee and include fingerprint cards. You’ll receive your license in about two weeks.
Earnings and Job Demand for BSN Nurses in Utah
Even if your heart leads you to nursing, your head might still be full of questions. You may be wondering what your actual job prospects will be, or you might be pondering whether you’ll be able to earn your desired salary. We’ve answered these very practical questions, so keep reading to learn more.
Are BSN registered nurses in high demand in Utah?
The job market is wide open for BSN-educated nurses in Utah. Along with the rest of the country, Utah is experiencing a severe nursing shortage. And, although the pandemic is a major exacerbating factor, the state’s scarcity of nurses existed even before 2020. A brief examination of the data below reveals the depth of this crisis: Compared to the projected national growth rate of 9%, Utah’s projected growth rate is an astronomical 20%. Given these figures, it’s safe to say that BSN-educated nurses in Utah will continue to find plenty of job opportunities.
Job Outlook for Registered Nurses in Utah (2020-2030)
|New Jobs||Job Growth Rate||Average Annual Openings|
Source: Projections Central
How much do nurses with a BSN make in Utah?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs in the United States earn an average salary of $82,750. The typical pay for RNs in Utah falls below this number at $72,790. However, having your BSN can help you command a much higher salary over nurses with only an associate’s. Some of the states that border Utah share comparable figures ($73,640 in Idaho and $73,130 in Wyoming) while others are closer to the national average ($80,670 in Colorado, $81,600 in Arizona, and $88,800 in Nevada).
Meanwhile, ZipRecruiter estimates an average salary range of $63,287 per year for BSN-educated nurses in Salt Lake City. The majority of the highest earners here take home about $76,000.