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Best Nursing Schools in Utah: Top Online & Campus Programs

Nursing is one of the most in-demand and rewarding careers today. Learn more about the best nursing schools in Utah and how to find the right program for you.

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Turret arch through the North Window at Arches National Park in Utah

As the fastest-growing state according to the 2020 Census, Utah has an increasing need for nurses at all levels to care for its citizens. In fact, along with the rest of the U.S., Utah expects its job growth rate for registered nurses to be well above average. This means now is a great time to become a registered nurse in Utah and for licensed RNs in the state to expand their credentials.

With many nursing programs in Utah to choose from, finding the right one for you can be challenging. Read on to learn about top-ranked and accredited nursing programs and about the factors to consider when choosing which school and program to attend.

Best-in-Class Nursing Schools in Utah

Many nursing programs in Utah can help you become a registered nurse or take your existing nursing career to the next level. However, some programs stand out in terms of educational quality, accreditation, affordability, and student support. We’ve spotlighted three of the best-in-class nursing schools in Utah below to help you begin your search.

University of Utah

The University of Utah’s College of Nursing offers a range of nursing degree options, including both undergraduate and graduate programs and certificates. Undergraduate offerings include the traditional pre-licensure BSN track and the online RN to BSN track. There’s also a Nursing Early Assurance Program for high school seniors and college freshmen with fewer than 30 credits and an RN to BSN Express Pathway for second-semester Salt Lake Community College nursing students.

Graduate nursing students can choose from three MSN concentrations, ten DNP specializations, a PhD in nursing, a dual PhD-DNP program, and nine graduate and undergraduate certificate options. The online MSN offers specializations in Nursing Education, Nursing Informatics, and Gerontology while the DNP focuses on teaching leadership, innovation, and best practices for complex healthcare systems.

Utah State University

The Department of Nursing at Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University, with its graduation rate of 94% and first-time NCLEX passage rate of 91%, focuses on training at the undergraduate level. Program offerings begin with the Practical Nursing Certificate to prepare students to become LPNs. Those who want to become RNs but don’t want bachelor’s degrees can choose the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program.

Students interested in supervisory responsibilities can enroll in the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. There’s also the RN to BSN program for those who already have their RN credentials. In addition to reducing the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree, the RN to BSN program track is 100% online.

Weber State University

When it comes to having a wide selection of nursing degree programs to choose from, it’s hard to beat Weber State University’s Annie Taylor Dee School of Nursing. Each program level creates a foundation for the next level, and nurses build their skills as they progress from one to the next.

Weber State University has a wide range of undergraduate nursing programs available, especially for those with nursing experience. Current LPNs can enroll in the PN to RN program. Current RNs can complete the RN to BSN program. Those without any nursing experience can enroll in the Associate Degree Nursing Program and graduate in two years. Graduate students can choose from one of two MSN degree tracks, a post-MSN graduate certificate program, or the DNP.

Types of Nursing Programs Available in Utah

There are various levels of nursing practice with varying degrees of responsibility and patient care. Because of the differences in skills and training for different types of nurses, nursing schools in Utah offer a range of program choices. Below are some of the more commonly available nursing programs in Utah.

Pre-Licensure Nursing Programs in Utah

ADN Programs

Earning an ADN is ideal for those wishing to become RNS but who don’t yet want to earn traditional four-year BSNs. ADN coursework focuses on nursing-related, hands-on training and prepares students to sit for the NCEX-RN.

Examples of Utah Nursing Schools with this Program

Traditional BSN Programs

Earning a BSN prepares students for the NCLEX-RN and includes core nursing coursework along with more theoretical nursing topics and general education requirements. This broad learning opens opportunities for management positions and pursuing graduate nursing degrees.

Examples of Utah Nursing Schools with this Program

Accelerated BSN Programs

An Accelerated BSN is ideal for students with prior college courses that transfer into the accelerated BSN program. It also prepares students for the NCLEX-RN.

Examples of Utah Nursing Schools with this Program

Nursing Bridge Programs in Utah for Current Nurses

LPN to RN and LPN to BSN Programs

These bridge programs are perfect for individuals with prior nursing experience and training. They allow LPNs to become RNs and current RNs with LPNs to quickly earn their BSNs by recognizing the academic nursing credits and nurse licenses they already have.

Examples of Utah Nursing Schools with this Program

RN to BSN Programs

An RN to BSN program is available to RNs looking to take the next step in their nursing careers. Incoming students use their earlier training as RNs to shorten the time it takes to earn their BSN degrees.

Examples of Utah Nursing Schools with this Program

RN to MSN Programs

The RN to MSN is a nursing bridge program tailored to RNs without bachelor’s degrees to earn MSNs. Some programs allow students to earn their BSNs on their way to earning their MSNs.

Examples of Utah Nursing Schools with this Program

Advanced Nursing Programs in Utah

MSN Programs

MSN programs are for individuals looking to reach more advanced levels in nursing. Traditional MSN programs accept students with BSN degrees while direct-entry MSN programs accept those with bachelor’s degrees in non-nursing fields.

Examples of Utah Nursing Schools with This Program

DNP and PhD Doctoral Programs

DNP and PhD programs are for individuals who want to take their nursing careers to the highest level possible. DNP degrees are ideal for those who want to continue working in clinical practice while a PhD is more appropriate for someone looking to teach at the college level or to engage in research.

Examples of Utah Nursing Schools with This Program

Post-Graduate Certificates

Post-graduate nursing certificates are for nursing professionals who want to move into a more advanced or different area of practice. Certificates offer a way to specialize without getting another degree.

Examples of Utah Nursing Schools with This Program

Top Online Nursing Programs in Utah for 2024

Many nursing programs are now hybrid with much of their coursework offered online and hands-on training obtained at clinical sites and/or in simulated or controlled lab settings. Some schools allow for in-person clinical requirements to be completed at approved sites close to where a student works or lives. Additionally, some graduate programs are fully online for students who already possess the necessary clinical training and want to shift from a clinical role into a non-clinical one in leadership or management.

If an online nursing program sounds right for you, begin your search with our college rankings list below. We’ve showcased the best overall online nursing programs in Utah based on important criteria like accreditation, affordability, student teacher ratio, and study flexibility.

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About the ranking

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Base Methodology for EduMed’s 2023 Online College Rankings

1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

2. Assign Weightings

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.

Affordability

  • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2022

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 University of UtahSalt Lake City, UT Public $$ 3

The University of Utah offers numerous nursing programs, many of which can be completed mostly online. For current nurses without a bachelor’s degree, there’s the RN to BSN track. If taking classes full-time, most students can earn their BSN in one year. At the master’s level, there are several concentrations to choose from, including nursing education, gerontology, and nursing informatics. Those seeking a future career as a professor or researcher will be interested in the online PhD nursing program. It requires students to attend school throughout the year and to progress with a cohort. All of these programs are available online with respect to the coursework. However, they each have clinicals, practicums, or on-campus intensives that must be completed in-person.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 30
  • Cost: $260.00/credit
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Mode: partially online

MSN – Nursing Education

  • Credits: 39
  • Cost: $7,237.42/9-credit semester (in-state), $16,541.38/9-credit semester (out-of-state)
  • Length: 2-3 years
  • Mode: partially online

PhD in Nursing

  • Credits: 85
  • Cost: $7,237.42/9-credit semester (in-state), $16,541.38/9-credit semester (out-of-state)
  • Length: up to 7 years
  • Mode: partially online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationNWCCU
2 Utah State UniversityLogan, UT Public $$ 1

To accommodate registered nurses who need a bachelor’s degree to take full advantage of their credentials, Utah State University offers the registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), the program consists of 12 courses, 10 of which can be completed 100% online. The final two are practicum courses that students must complete offline and at an approved clinical site under proper supervision. Despite this in-person requirement, the curriculum is designed to accommodate nursing students who want to continue working while in school.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 31
  • Cost: $3,114.65/semester (in-state), $9,290.44/semester (out-of-state)
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Mode: partially online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationNWCCU
3 Weber State UniversityOgden, UT Public $$ 3

Weber State University takes various approaches to its online nursing program. For example, with the RN to BSN program, students residing in Utah can choose between a 100% online option and a hybrid option where they attend class on campus two days per week. The post-MSN graduate certificate programs can usually be finished fully online, although some programs have an optional residency requirement for students interested in in-person instruction. There’s also a doctorate in nursing practice – leadership program that offers its coursework mostly online. Students will have two in-person requirements: one on-campus meeting concerning the DNP project and completion of the project where the student works within their community.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 28
  • Cost: $5,471.00/year (in-state), $16,164.00/year (out-of-state)
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Mode: partially online

Post-MSN Graduate Certificate

  • Credits: 10 to 14
  • Cost: $5,471.00/year (in-state), $16,164.00/year (out-of-state)
  • Length: 1 year
  • Mode: fully online

DNP - Leadership

  • Credits: 41
  • Cost: $5,471.00/year (in-state), $16,164.00/year (out-of-state)
  • Length: 2 years
  • Mode: partially online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
21/1
AccreditationNWCCU
4 Utah Valley UniversityOrem, UT Public $$ 2

The RN to BSN program at Utah Valley University is for licensed nurses who want to move on to the next phase of their nursing career, whether in private practice or with graduate nursing education. Most classes are offered both fully online and in-person. This allows students to pick and choose how much of their BSN education they want to complete remotely or on campus. All RN to BSN students must complete in-person clinicals, however. Utah Valley University also offers an online Master of Science in nursing program. The curriculum focuses on preparing students for future career as a nurse educator. Towards the end of the MSN program students will complete a thesis project that serves as a culmination of the knowledge and skills learned.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 120
  • Cost: $2,162.00/semester (in-state); $260.00/credit (out-of-state)
  • Length: varies
  • Mode: partially online

Master of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 26 to 29
  • Cost: $2,162.00/9-credit semester (in-state); $6,589.00/9-credit semester
  • Length: 2 years
  • Mode: partially online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
24/1
AccreditationNWCCU
5 Southern Utah UniversityCedar City, UT Public $$ 1

The RN to BSN program offered by Southern Utah University has several unique features that make it an attractive option for registered nurses who want to earn a bachelor’s degree while still working as a nurse. There are six start dates each academic year, most courses last just seven weeks. Even though students need 120 credit to earn a bachelor’ degree, many of these credits can be satisfied by passing the NCLEX-RN exam or transferring credits from the associate degree. Students able to dedicate full-time study to the program can graduate in just 10 months.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 30
  • Cost: $300.00/credit
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Mode: fully online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
23/1
AccreditationNWCCU
6 Dixie State UniversitySaint George, UT Public $ 1

Formerly known as Dixie State University, Utah Tech University offers the RN to BSN degree completion program fully online. There are no in-person clinical requirements. It takes 120 credits to earn a bachelor’s degree from Utah Tech University, and only 30 of these credits relate to the RN to BSN program. Twenty-five credits are for the core nursing program and five are comprised of electives. The other credits can be completed at Utah Tech University or through transfer credits. To make learning as convenient as possible, students can start the program during any one of the six yearly start dates. Also, the online classes are asynchronous, meaning students can attend class from anywhere and at any time, as long as they have a broadband internet connection.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 30
  • Cost: $255.00/credit
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Mode: fully online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
25/1
AccreditationNWCCU
7 Joyce University of Nursing & Health SciencesDraper, UT Private for-profit $$$ 1

Nursing students looking to compete their nursing education online will appreciate the various offerings from Joyce University of Nursing and Health Sciences (formerly known as Ameritech College). The RN to BSN program is 100% online with no clinical requirement. Students looking to enter the nursing career for the first time have two options. In the Associate of Science in nursing program, students will complete much of the coursework online but meet their in-person training requirements with on-site clinicals. The direct-entry MSN program is available for students who have bachelor’s degrees in non-nursing fields. Like the associate degree nursing program, students can take most of their coursework online but will have in-person clinicals to complete.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 51
  • Cost: $9,996.00/total program cost
  • Length: 2 years
  • Mode: fully online

Associate of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 69
  • Cost: $49,818.00/total program cost
  • Length: 2 years
  • Mode: partially online

Direct-Entry MSN

  • Credits: 95
  • Cost: $65,550.00/total program cost
  • Length: 4 years
  • Mode: partially online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
13/1
AccreditationABHES

Roseman University of Health Sciences

The College of Nursing at Roseman University of Health Sciences offers two nursing bachelor’s degrees and one nursing master’s degree. The MSN is for BSN nurses looking to become family nurse practitioners. Its accelerated format is online, asynchronous, and has a completion time of only 12 months.

At the bachelor’s level are the accelerated BSN and the Veteran to BSN tracks. The Veteran to BSN track is designed for incoming students with military experience while the accelerated BSN allows students to earn their nursing degrees in a hybrid format. Not only is the hybrid format more convenient, but it’s also faster with a 16-month path to graduation. The didactic portion of the curriculum is online while clinicals, on-campus group assignments, and labs are in person.

Provo College

Provo College, with its generous transfer policy that makes it easier for incoming students to get credit for prior post-secondary learning, offers two online nursing programs. The first is its CCNE-accredited online BSN program that allows students to graduate in as little as three years. The curriculum follows a hybrid model with about 80% of the classes completed online. Clinicals and other hands-on training take place in person.

The hybrid Master’s Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) Overview is designed for working professionals who already have bachelor’s degrees but in a non-nursing field. Depending on the student’s prior academic training, they can earn their MSN degree in less than two years.

Southern Utah University

Southern Utah University’s Department of Nursing offers several CCNE-accredited BSN degrees. The HP (Health Professional) to BSN program is intended for LPNs wishing to become RNs. LPN students from Southwest or Dixie Community College are eligible for direct entry into the HP to BSN program.

Southern Utah also offers a traditional BSN program for incoming students with no prior nursing experience or credentials as well as an RN to BSN program. Depending on prior coursework, RN to BSN students can graduate in less than a year after completing just 30 credits. Much of the coursework for these programs is online, but some classes have in-person clinical hours built into their academic requirements.

Financial Aid Opportunities for Nursing Students in Utah

There are various types of financial aid available to help alleviate the financial challenges associated with earning a nursing degree. Two of the most sought-after are scholarships and grants, which don’t have to be paid back and are provided by the nursing schools themselves as well as by private organizations like corporations and nonprofits. School loans are also common funding options, but they need to be paid back.

To learn more about how you can pay for your nursing education in Utah, check out our nursing scholarship guide and guide to graduating from nursing school debt-free

How to Become an RN in Utah: Licensing Information and Requirements

As in other states, you must become licensed to practice as an RN in Utah. Each state has its own regulatory body that oversees the licensing process. In Utah, it’s the Utah Department of Commerce Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). The overall process to become a registered nurse in Utah is like most other states, but it’s still important to understand how the process is unique to the state.

Step 1

Enroll in an approved RN nursing program

To be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN, students must be first complete an RN program approved by the DOPL. A program that’s accredited by either the ACEN or CCNE will also probably be a DOPL-approved program.

Step 2

Register for the NCLEX-RN exam

You must pass the NCLEX-RN to become a registered nurse. Most students register for the NCLEX-RN a few months before they plan to graduate from nursing school. Registration requires an NCLEX account through Pearson VUE and a $200 testing fee.

Step 3

Submit necessary paperwork to the DOPL

Necessary paperwork required before taking the NCLEX-RN includes completing the Request for Authorization to Test application and submitting your official nursing school transcripts.

Step 4

Take and pass the NCLEX-RN

NCLEX questions cover four main categories: safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. Questions are multiple-choice, and test-takers receive a pass/fail score.

Step 5

Apply for a Utah registered nursing license

After passing the NCLEX-RN, apply online or by mail to the DOPL for your RN license. You’ll also pay a $90 fee and submit fingerprints to conduct a criminal background check.

Job Outlook for RNs in Utah

The demand for registered nurses in Utah is strong with annual growth estimates projecting more than 1,000 new registered nurses needed each year. The greatest number of registered nurse openings is in the Salt Lake Metro area with more than 600 new RNs needed each year. The Utah Department of Workforce Services classifies registered nursing as a five-star career with a faster than average employment growth outlook. Most of these new jobs are at major hospitals in Utah.

Employment Projections for RNs in Utah

New Jobs (2018-2028)Job Growth Rate (2018-2028)Average Annual Openings (2018-2028)
Utah6,59028.2%2,090
United States371,50012.1%210,400

Source: Projections Central

Nursing Salaries in Utah: How Much You Could Make as an RN

The median salary for RNs in Utah is well above the national median salary for all occupations within the United States. Even though the median salary for RNs in the state is lower than the national average, it’s still substantial at over $67,000. Additionally, RNs in large metropolitan areas like Salt Lake City make significantly more with top earners bringing in over $97,000.

Annual Earnings for Registered Nurses in Utah

10th PercentileMedian Earnings90th Percentile
Utah$54,560$67,180$92,160
United States$53,410 $75,330$116,230
Logan, UT-ID$50,860$64,790$86,420
Ogden-Clearfield, UT$53,770$65,650$84,330
Provo-Orem, UT$53,980$64,960$86,480
St. George, UT$54,580$67,040$86,820
Salt Lake City, UT$55,650$68,680$97,230
Logan, UT-ID$50,860$64,790$86,420
Ogden-Clearfield, UT$53,770$65,650$84,330
Provo-Orem, UT$53,980$64,960$86,480
St. George, UT$54,580$67,040$86,820
Salt Lake City, UT$55,650$68,680$97,230

Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020