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Becoming an RN in Utah

Licensing as a registered nurse requires completion of an approved degree program in professional nursing. The Utah Board currently lists eight associate’s level programs and eleven programs at the bachelor’s level. Both degrees qualify a candidate to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam and, if licensure is granted, to practice under the scope of duty of a registered nurse. Both prepare graduates for a variety of clinical positions in both inpatient and outpatient care. The bachelor’s of science in nursing, or BSN, qualifies a candidate for some additional nursing positions, including those at magnet hospitals and in the military.

The educational journey may begin months or years before admission to the clinical program. Foundation courses include both natural and social sciences. The clinical portion of the program moves from theory to practice. As students progress through clinical studies, they will complete rotations in a variety of settings while practicing nursing care across the lifespan.

Utah is a Nurse Compact state. That means that if a candidate holds a primary license in another compact state, they may practice in Utah. And if their primary residence is in Utah, and they earn licensing there, they are allowed to accept a position in any of 24 Compact states. This can also be a handy license for a travel nurse or one who intends to pursue tele-nursing at some point in the future.

An RN Education Pathway for All

There are two types of experience that can shorten a person’s journey to becoming an RN in Utah. The first is patient care experience. Practical nurses may enroll in LPN to ADN or LPN to BSN courses. Some programs even have multiple exit points. Utah Valley University refers to their new alternate pathway for top LPN candidates as “associate in 3, bachelor in 5”. Students are eligible to sit for RN licensing exams after three semesters; two additional semesters will allow them to complete their BSN degree.

Professionals who already have a degree in another field may enroll in a second BSN program, for example, the one at the University of Utah. Prerequisites include classes in biology, anatomy, and statistics. Students who have completed all prerequisites may complete the four semester program in a little over a year.

Registered Nursing Career Outlook in Utah

Although Utah has a younger than average population, there are still concerns about meeting workforce needs. One factor is a rapidly increasing population; another is the age of the professional nursing workforce. The official government projections in 2008 were a bit startling; Utah was anticipating 41% increase in demand in the span of just one decade.

The AACN notes that nationwide, shortages have been mitigated, at least temporarily, by the economic downturn. This should not, however, fully offset long-term changes in demographics. Many new nurses will still need to enter the workforce. Historically, Utah has depended on graduates from other states -- another source of concern.

Demand can vary greatly from region to region within a state. Rural counties are an issue An analysis of Utah’s Registered Nurse Workforce, published in 2009, reported counties with as few as two licensed RN.

The Application Process

Nursing school spots are determined by a competitive process. Academic factors can include test scores, grade point average, and performance in prerequisite classes. Non-academic factors can include healthcare experience and evidence of leadership ability.

There are some conditions under which outstanding students may be assured a spot. The Early Assurance at the University of Utah is one such program. High school seniors with GPAs of 3.7 or higher are eligible to apply. Having the grades alone doesn’t guarantee a spot; other requirements include an essay and an interview. However, the advantage to this type of program is that a person can begin their pre-nursing studies with the knowledge that a spot has been reserved for them in the clinical program.

ADN Programs Approved by the Utah Board of Nursing

Everest College - Salt Lake City

Graduates of the ASN and BSN program are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The BSN program holds provisional approval through the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

Programs Offered: Associate's - Nursing (ASN), BSN

  • Click Here to request information from to request information from Everest College Salt Lake City.

Stevens-Henager College

Graduates of the ASN program are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Presently, the ASN program is only offered at the Layton campus .

Programs Offered: Associate's - Nursing (ASN), RN to BSN, MSN

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College of Eastern Utah

NLNAC accredited Program

Program Offered: ADN

  • College Of Eastern Utah, 451 E 400 N, Price UT 84501, PH: 435-613-5262

Dixie State College

NLNAC accredited Program

Program Offered: ADN

  • Dixie State College, 225 S 700 E, St. George UT 84770, PH: 435-652-7863

Provo College

NLNAC accredited Program

Program Offered: ADN

  • Provo College, 1450 W 820 N, Provo UT 84601, PH: 801-818-8900

Salt Lake Community College

NLNAC accredited Program

Program Offered: ADN

  • Salt Lake Community College, 4600 S Redwood Rd P.O. Box 30808, Salt Lake City UT 84130-0808, PH: 801-957-4517

Weber State University

NLNAC accredited Programs

Program Offered: ADN, BSN

  • Weber State University, 3903 University Circle, Ogden UT 84408-39, PH: 801-626-6132

BSN Programs Approved by the Utah Board of Nursing

Everest College - Salt Lake City

Graduates of the ADN and BSN program are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The BSN program holds provisional approval through the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

Programs Offered: Associate's - Nursing (ASN), BSN

  • Click Here to request information from to request information from Everest College Salt Lake City.

Brigham Young University

NLNAC accredited Program

Program Offered: BSN

  • Brigham Young University, 500 A SWKT, Provo UT 84602, PH: 801-422-5123

Southern Utah University

NLNAC accredited Program

Program Offered: BSN

  • Southern Utah University, 351 W University Boulevard, Cedar City UT 84720, PH: 435-586-7915

University of Utah

CCNE accredited Program

Program Offered: BSN

  • University Of Utah, 10 S 2000 E, Salt Lake City UT 84112, PH: 801-581-7728

Utah Valley University

NLNAC accredited Program

Program Offered: BSN

  • Utah Valley University, 987 S Geneva Rd West Campus, Orem UT 84058, PH: 801-863-8190

Weber State University

NLNAC accredited Program

Program Offered: ADN, BSN

  • Weber State University, 3903 University Circle, Ogden UT 84408-39, PH: 801-626-613

Westminster College

CCNE accredited Program

Program Offered: BSN

  • Westminster College, 1840 S 13th E, Salt Lake City UT 84106, PH: 801-832-2168 Ext 2168
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