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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Shannon Lee

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Shannon Lee has been a freelance writer, editor, and novelist for over 25 years. Her work has appeared on Fox Business, Forbes, MSN, Bob Vila, Modernize, Nashville Scene, MoneyGeek, MVP Parent, and many other outlets; her writing on home improvement led to an editorial position with The Spruce in 2021. She's written extensively on higher education, relationships, and the intersection of technology, health, and medicine. When she's not freelancing, Shannon also writes fiction novels.

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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.

2022’s 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

Inside Look at Online Nursing Programs in Utah

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. Below are three of the best online nursing programs in Utah to give you an idea of what to look for in an online nursing program.

Best Online Nursing Programs in Utah

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)
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
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