Utah RN Certification and Schools - UT
The story of Utah’s lack of qualified registered nurses (RNs) has been told often. Even after a $1 million gift in 2002 to found the Emma Eccles Jones Nursing Research Center at U of U, the shortage continues. If the field interests you, rest assured, there will still be plenty of jobs available in the Beehive State for you to choose from after you graduate and obtain your license.
While stories of lack of nurses haven’t changed much, tales of how RNs are on the front lines of Utah’s healthcare system are just as powerful. A 2006 Deseret News article reported both on how school nurses are spread thin, but also recounted the heroics of one nurse in Highland who saved a child’s life with an “epi-pen” injection after the boy suffered an allergic reaction. She and a Springfield nurse who saved a girl in a similar way were honored by the Utah School Nurses Association for their timely reaction.
Grace under pressure, preparedness, compassion and hard work are some of the skills you need to become an RN.
Education Required to Become a Registered Nurse in Utah
To enter a healthcare profession, you need to be adept with math and science. In high school, if you enjoy this course of study, work hard to earn good grades in biology, physics, chemistry and math. Upon graduation, you have several choices of college.
- You may attend a community college or another one of Utah’s RN schools to earn an associate’s degree in nursing.
- You may attend the university of your choice and earn a four-year degree in nursing.
- You may earn a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than nursing, then enter an accelerated program that will build upon your four-year degree to teach you to be a nurse.
In all cases, you will learn more science and math, learn the laws and regulations on nursing, spend a lot of time working with the sick and injured, and possibly pursue a specialty within the field, such as obstetrics, oncology, surgery or emergency-room operations.
After receiving your nursing degree, you may consider pursuing a master’s degree in nursing, which will require at least two more years of study, but can enable you to earn more money and take on a wider variety of jobs in nursing.
Some nurses pursue their doctorate degrees and go on to teach, administrate or supervise. Others with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree or a Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) diploma may become nurse practitioners, with the authority to prescribe medicine to patients. Earning a DNS involves conducting original research and writing (and defending) a doctoral dissertation. A DNP is more clinical, involving spending more time with actual patients.
There is some irony (and some dispute) over the fact that a nurse with a DNP or DNS might sometimes be called “doctor.”
Through campus or online programs, aspiring Registered Nurses in Salt Lake City, West Valley, Provo and West Jordon, Utah may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including the Intermountain Medical Center, Saint Mark's Hospital, University of Utah Health Care and Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.