For students pursuing higher education degrees, healthcare is one of the most in-demand fields in the country. Many students aspire to nursing positions so they can give back to their communities and improve others’ quality of life. Registered nurses earn a median salary of more than $68,000, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the nursing field will grow 15% over the next decade, more than double the national average.
Nursing schools in Utah are a popular choice for students pursuing higher education. Of all degrees conferred in the state, more than 20% are in a health-related program — more than any other field of study. The Department of Workforce Services in Utah rated nursing as one of the most desirable careers in the state, giving it five stars based on the field’s high demand and high wages. With nearly 1,200 job openings for registered nurses annually, the outlook for graduates of nursing programs in Utah has never been better.
How to Become a Nurse in Utah
Graduates of nursing schools in Utah undergo a licensing process similar to that required in most other states. Aspects unique to Utah’s process include licensing costs and governing bodies. To attain licensure, graduates of nursing schools in Utah must pass the NCLEX and pay the licensure fee to the Utah Board of Nursing. Since Utah is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), nurses who are licensed in Utah may practice in any NLC state.
Choose the Path That's Right for You
Students should make career decisions before applying to nursing schools in Utah. The one requirement of all nurses in the United States is the completion of the NCLEX-RN. To be eligible to take this exam, nursing candidates must hold at least an associate degree in nursing. Online BSN programs in Utah prepare candidates to take the NCLEX-RN and open opportunities for positions as travel nurses or nurse anesthetists. A master’s degree in nursing is an advanced nursing degree that qualifies graduates to become nurse practitioners and advance practice nurses. Students who aspire to positions as healthcare managers or college-level nursing teachers should earn a doctor of nursing practice from one of the nursing schools in Utah.
Earn Your Nursing Degree
After choosing a degree, students must decided whether to consider on-campus or online nursing programs in Utah. The percentage of students who choose online degrees in Utah is nearly double the national average. Admissions requirements for online nursing degree programs are typically the same as those for on-campus programs. Because of the science requirements in nursing programs, most nursing colleges in Utah require applicants to have completed prerequisites in biology and chemistry. Most Utah nursing programs, online and on-campus, include a practicum requirement to provide hands-on training and real-world experience prior to graduation. Completion time varies depending on the school, program, and specific degree. There are many available accelerated nursing programs in Utah, which allow students to earn their degree more quickly.
Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License
The NCLEX-RN, administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), tests candidates on various areas of the nursing field, including safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, physiological integrity, and psychosocial integrity. The exam costs $200 and consists of 75 to 265 multiple choice questions. The NCLEX-RN must be completed within six hours and concludes when the candidate’s competence level has been accurately determined. Though students attending nursing schools online in Utah are prepared for the exam through their coursework, the NCSBN suggests additional preparation. After passing the exam, candidates must apply for their license with the state in which they wish to practice. While the field of nursing is rich with career opportunities, completion of these mandatory steps does not guarantee employment.
Nursing Licensure in Utah
After graduating from an online nursing degree program, nursing candidates must follow Utah’s procedure to become licensed to practice in the state. Candidates must complete an ASN, BSN, MSN, or DNP program to be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN, the exam required to gain licensure.
After passing the NCLEX-RN, prospective nurses must register with the state’s nursing board. In Utah, the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing manages all nursing licensure. Since Utah is part of the NLC, nurses licensed in Utah may practice in other NLC states. Candidates licensed in a non-NLC state may apply for a nursing license verification to practice in Utah.
Nursing Licensing Costs in Utah
Exam Fee $95
Background Check $100
Career Outlook for Nurses in Utah
The Department of Workforce Services in Utah lists nursing as one of the top fields based on demand and salary and notes that nursing has the sixth-highest number of annual job openings in Utah. Of all careers that require degrees and professional licensure, nursing offers the most annual job openings.
While nursing candidates with associate degrees and a nursing license have plenty of career opportunities in Utah, those with advanced degrees are in even greater demand. Specialized nurses, such as nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioners, have enormous earning potential in Utah. Nurse practitioners in the state earn an annual mean wage of more than $100,000, and nurse anesthetists earn a mean wage of more than $155,000. Like RN positions, the BLS projects these advanced nursing positions to grow substantially over the next decade.
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Biggest Hospitals in Utah
Large hospitals are ideal settings for online nursing degree graduates, as hospitals typically have a large number of job openings. Aspiring nurses who wish to work in a particular hospital or medical center should try to acquire an internship or fellowship while attending nursing school in Utah.
- University of Utah Hospital: Opened in 1965, the University of Utah Hospital comprises 4 hospitals and 12 health centers and employs more than 8,000 people. The University of Utah hospital frequently hires talented new graduates. The hospital receives more than 25,000 admissions annually and is consistently ranked as the best hospital in the state.
- Intermountain Medical Center: With 22 hospitals and various clinics, the Intermountain Medical Center is the largest hospital network in Utah and employs more than 34,000 people. Intermountain Medical Center has state-of-the-art equipment, participates in cutting-edge research, and works in a wide range of healthcare specialities.
Additional Nursing Resources in Utah
Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
This government webpage includes information regarding state nursing standards, policies, and licensing. It also provides resources related to testing, application, and compliance for nurses in Utah. The nursing statutes and rules listed are useful for new and veteran nurses.
Utah Nurses Association
The UNA is the voice of nurses in Utah. It promotes the nursing profession and advocates for better healthcare practices, facilities, and employment standards. Members have access to conferences, professional development resources, publications, and networking opportunities.
Utah Health Care Association
The Utah Health Care Association improves the long-term care facilities and patient care in the state. Its webpage provides information on facilities and resources for citizens, care providers, and healthcare professionals. Members have access to professional development opportunities, industry information, and events.
Utah Nurse Practitioners
UNP is a professional organization that strives to improve the profession and care delivery of nurse practitioners in Utah by providing support, professional development, industry resources, and career assistance.
Utah Student Nurses Association
UtSNA, a chapter of the National Student Nurses Association, gives student nurses opportunities to create professional networks, advance their learning, develop leadership skills, and improve their career potential. UtSNA’s website provides information about events, scholarships, state regulations, and industry news.
Accredited Online Nursing Programs in Utah
The following database will help aspiring nurses choose the best online nursing degree program for their academic and professional goals. The list comprises every accredited online nursing degree in Utah, including online ASN, MSN, DNP, RN to BSN, and BSN programs in Utah. Online nursing programs in Utah allow students to satisfy licensure requirements without traveling across the country.