Utah outpaces all but one state for projected job growth for nurse practitioners (NPs), ranking fifth in the nation among states with a predicted deficit of primary care physicians. NPs in Utah may help fill the gap. They can work independently, without ongoing physician supervision, with the authority to prescribe most medications.
Utah's unemployment rate for bachelor's degree-holders or higher sits just below 2%. With world-class ski areas and national parks, such as Zion and Bryce Canyon, the state offers plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities. A recent ranking gave Utah high scores for its economy, infrastructure, and fiscal stability.
Our guide describes typical features of NP programs in UT and includes a listing of the best nurse practitioner programs in the state. You'll find information on the admissions process, specialization options, steps to become licensed, potential salary, and resources for students and practitioners. Read on to discover if NP programs in Utah align with your educational and career goals.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in Utah
NP programs in Utah offer master of science in nursing (MSN) degrees and doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degrees. Currently, a master's degree constitutes the minimum educational requirement for becoming licensed in Utah, but that could change. A nationwide effort by advocacy groups seeks to require a DNP to become licensed, so students should consider this option going forward.
Other benefits of obtaining a DNP include higher salaries and more opportunities for leadership and higher-level specialty positions.
Other benefits of obtaining a DNP include higher salaries and more opportunities for leadership and higher-level specialty positions. Students typically start by earning a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), which takes four years, or pursuing a master's degree, which generally takes two years. Some students progress to DNP programs, which add 2-3 years to the educational process. However, more institutions offer BSN-to-DNP pathways that students can complete in three years.
Utah NP programs feature online or hybrid class delivery options, with in-person attendance required for clinical hours. MSN students complete several hundred clinical hours, while DNPs usually complete at least 1,000 hours providing supervised patient care.
MSN students complete several hundred clinical hours, while DNPs usually complete at least 1,000 hours providing supervised patient care.
Admission requirements often include one year of nursing experience; current registered nurse (RN) license; BSN or MSN from an accredited institution; professional statement; resume or CV; letters of recommendation; and official academic transcripts. Some programs may require an interview.
Before applying to programs, students choose a specialization, such as adult-gerontology, family care, neonatal, psychiatric-mental health, or women's health. Different specialties impose different admission and curriculum requirements, such as minimum GPAs, test scores, or prerequisite coursework.
NP program details vary, so applicants should research specific schools to ensure a good fit.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Utah
Utah Nurse Practitioner Career Information
The data below shows that Utah's mean annual wages for NPs fall below the average of all U.S. states, while its job growth projection exceeds the national figure by nearly 15%. Compared to its neighboring states, Utah NPs earn more than their Idaho counterparts but make less than NPs in other nearby states. However, Utah's job growth projection rises well above the other states, except Arizona.
Family nurse practitioner (FNP) ranks as the most popular specialty certification role at 56%, and for those interested in FNP programs, Utah schools offer them at the MSN and DNP levels. The state's top employment setting, hospital inpatient care at 19%, employs NPs and FNPs in such specialties as geriatric, neonatal, oncological, pediatric, and primary care.
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Utah and Nearby States
Official transcripts documenting completion of an MSN or DNP degree program
Documentation of passing a national specialty certification exam and current national certification
Completion of 4,000 clinical hours, 3,000 of which candidates must log after passing a national certification exam
Completed application and $135 fee
For holders of non-Utah RN licenses, verification of current RN or APRN license from the issuing jurisdiction
For applicants who will prescribe medication, an application for a controlled substance license with $100 fee
APRN licenses expire each even-numbered year on January 31. Each licensee must complete a renewal application and pay a $68 fee, along with maintaining their national specialty area certification.
APRNs with prescriptive authority must complete 3.5 hours of continuing education in controlled substances prescribing, with 30 additional minutes from the DOPL online tutorial. Their renewal fee totals $146, and they must maintain their national specialty area certification.
Late renewers pay reinstatement fees for up to two years. APRNs with licenses that have been expired more than two years cannot renew. They must submit a new application.
The state recognizes NPs as primary care providers that can provide direct care to patients independently. They can also prescribe drugs, devices, and controlled substances.
Utah's practice and prescriptive authority fall within the category of reduced practice, due to limits on the scope of prescriptive authority. The state recognizes NPs as primary care providers that can provide direct care to patients independently. They can also prescribe drugs, devices, and controlled substances. However, if the NPs work independently, have held their licenses for less than a year, have logged less than 2,000 hours of practice experience, or own a pain clinic, they can only prescribe under a consultation and referral plan with a physician.
Psychiatric-mental health NPs must complete 3,000 hours of clinical practice experience before they receive prescriptive authority.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
Utah participates in the nurse licensure compact (NLC), which allows RNs and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in NLC member states to practice in other NLC states on a single multi-state license. The compact only applies to RN and LPN licenses. Utah has not yet joined the APRN compact.
NPs licensed in other states can obtain a Utah APRN license if the board determines that the educational standards in their licensing state equal those of NP programs in Utah. Out-of-state NPs who need to complete additional coursework obtain temporary licenses. Practice and prescriptive authority vary by state.
International nurses must obtain CGFNS International certification to practice in Utah. APRNs must demonstrate competence with a passing score on an English proficiency test, professional licensed work experience in the U.S., completion of a board-approved refresher course, earning an advanced nursing degree, or qualifying for a license upgrade.
Resources for Utah Nurse Practitioners
Utah Nurse Practitioners This group seeks to promote the NP profession through clinical excellence, communication, education, legislative advocacy, research, and scholarship. Students can join at two membership levels: entry-level and NPs returning to school for additional education.
Utah Nurses Association This association collaborates with other organizations to unite and advocate for Utah's 40,000 RNs. As part of the American Nurses Association, it offers practitioners and students dual membership in both associations.
Utah Board of Nursing As the licensing agency for Utah's nurses, the board provides information on licensure requirements and renewal procedures, examinations, laws and rules, continuing education, and practicing under a multi-state compact license.
Utah Student Nurses Association Member benefits of this student group include mentoring, opportunities to serve on the board, educational resources, and an annual convention featuring speakers and breakout sessions geared to students.
Utah Action Coalition for Health As part of the network of national action coalitions, this Utah group focuses on enhancing nursing education and training, increasing diversity among nurses, and breaking down barriers that affect patient care.