University of Utah Nursing School Review
Founded in 1850, the University of Utah (U of U, The U) is located in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City. It is within a 40 minute drive of seven different world-class ski resorts, and is the perfect place for students who are dedicated to maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle. The University also has plans to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
More than 31,000 students enroll in the University of Utah each semester. There are over 72 undergraduate majors and over 90 graduate majors available to choose from. The University Hospital is ranked as one of the nation’s best hospitals, and the University of Utah Health Care system is ranked first in the country in patient satisfaction, mortality rates, readmission rates, patient safety, and core quality measures.
The College of Nursing at the University of Utah is located in the Annette Poulson Cumming Building and lessons there combine in-class lectures, laboratory work and clinical practice. The University of Utah is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and the College of Nursing’s programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The College of Nursing also has approval from the Utah State Board of Nursing.
The Undergraduate Programs offered at the College of Nursing at the University of Utah include; Nursing Early Assurance Program, Baccalaureate Program, Accelerate Baccalaureate Program, and the Registered Nurse – Bachelor of Science Online Program (RN to BSN Online Program).
The Nursing Early Assurance Program is available for high school students who are interested in pursuing a career in nursing. The Nursing Early Assurance Program allows high school students to pre-secure a place in the Baccalaureate Nursing Program, while still in high school. Applicants must submit an application by February for the Fall semester.
The Baccalaureate Program at the College or Nursing is for students who would like to pursue a career in nursing at the university level. In order to apply to the program, students must provide their prerequisite GPA as well as their cumulative GPA. Students must also submit letters of recommendation, as well as a short personal essay, samples of community service work, work experience and a personal interview. The College or Nursing also offers an accelerated baccalaureate degree in nursing (Acclerated BSN program), which is for students who already hold a baccalaureate degree, and are interested in pursuing a career in nursing. The application deadline for the baccalaureate program is January or tfhe Summer semester.
The Registered Nurse – Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) transition program starts in the Fall semester and requires four semesters to complete. The program is available online, and targets the working Registered Nurse, who is likely employed. The program can be completed in 16 months and requires prerequisite courses.
This program is for students beginning their nursing career. Those who complete the program will earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nursing degree, and will be able to take the state Registered Nurse (RN) licensing exam. This program admits 64 students once a year in the fall, and is highly competitive. There is no waiting list for this program.
Students will spend the first two years at the University in Pre-Nursing, taking general education courses. To be eligible to apply to the nursing program, students must have taken at least 45 credit hours of general education classes, completed the prerequisite classes with a grade of at least a C and a GPA of 3.0, have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8, and submit transcripts for any schools attended outside of the University of Utah. They will also need to have three letters of recommendation, complete the essay questions from the College of Nursing, have a professional resume, and have an interview.
The prerequisites for this program are General Biology, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Elementary/General Chemistry, Bio-Organic Chemistry, Statistics, Nutrition Intervention, Growth and Development, Intro to Medical Microbiology, and Pathophysiology.
Students that are admitted to the program must complete the following before they will be allowed to enroll in clinical courses: have a physical exam, current immunizations, a current TB test, be certified in CPR/Basic Life Support, complete OSHA/HIPAA training, have a drug screen and a background check.
Accelerated Baccalaureate Program
This program is for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field of study, and now want to pursue a career in nursing. It is an accelerated, four semester course of study.
The admission requirements and prerequisites for this program are the same as for the traditional Baccalaureate program, except that students must have a bachelor’s degree in place of the 45 credit hours of general education classes.
RN to BS Online
This program is for students who are already licensed RNs, who wish to earn their BS in Nursing degree. This program admits students each fall. It is a part time, online program that is designed for the working nurse, and can be completed in 16 months.
To be eligible to apply to the online RN to BS program, students must have completed an associate degree in nursing program, be currently licensed as an RN, completed the prerequisite classes with a grade of at least a C and a GPA of 3.0, have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8, and submit transcripts for any schools attended outside of the University of Utah. They will also need to have three letters of recommendation, complete the essay questions from the College of Nursing, and have a professional resume.
The RN to BS program prerequisite classes are Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Elementary/General Chemistry, Bio-Organic Chemistry, Statistics, Nutrition Intervention, Growth and Development, Intro to Medical Microbiology, and Pathophysiology.
Students in this program may follow the Geriatric Nursing Leadership (GNL) emphasis while pursuing their degree. This specialty track is also available as a Certificate, for students who already have an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Graduate Degrees and Certificates:
The University of Utah’s College of Nursing offers several graduate degrees and certificates in nursing. The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD Philosophy Distance) program is offered as a distance-learning program and is intended for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a master’s degree in nursing.
The Master’s to Doctor of Nursing Practice (MSN to DNP) Program is for advanced nursing practice, for students who hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing and would like to continue their nursing education or progress in their nursing career. The University of Utah also offers a Bachelor’s to Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN to DNP) program, for individuals who hold a baccalaureate degree and wish to complete a doctoral degree in nursing. The specializations and certificate programs include; Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwifery & Women’s Health, Psychiatric/Mental Health, and the Primary Care certificate. All of the programs must be completed in one or two academic years. All of the certificates also require students to hold a baccalaureate degree before applying to the certificate programs. The University of Utah also offers Nursing Informatics (NI), which can be completed as either a Bachelor’s to Master’s of Science program or a post-graduate certificate. Also there is a Teaching Nursing program, which can also be completed as a Bachelor’s to Master’s of Science program or as a post-graduate certificate program.
Primary Care Nurse Practitioner – BS to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
This eight semester program is designed to train nurses the advanced specialty skills needed to care for populations at various stages of the lifecycle. Students must take this program full time over the course of three years, including summer semesters, and will achieve the highest level of clinical practice in nursing.
This program has three specialty tracks, in Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Depending on the specialty chosen, students will complete 81 to 90 credit hours.
It is recommended that students have two years of experience in nursing practice prior to starting this program. Students interested in applying must be admitted to the University’s Graduate School, have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, an RN or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) license, a GPA of at least 3.0, and have a personal interview.
Students must also complete the prerequisite courses of an elementary statistics course and an upper-division advanced physiology or pathophysiology class, each with a grade of B or higher. They will also need to take the GRE if their GPA is lower than 3.2.
This program is also offered as a Distance Program to students living in the Intermountain Region, including Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, or in Utah but at least a one hour drive away from campus. The distance program is offered through internet classes, with clinicals in the student’s home community. Students will be required to travel to campus twice a semester at their own expense.
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner – BS to DNP
This doctorate program is designed to train students to care for acutely and critically ill patients in a variety of settings. It is eight semesters long, and students will take 85 credit hours over the course of three years, including two summer semesters. Students will also complete approximately 1000 hours of clinical study. This program is only available full time.
The program follows the core curriculum of the Primary Care Nurse Practitioner BS to DNP program, and has the same admission requirements. Students will meet with their specialty director to customize their own course of study.
This program is also available as a Post-Graduate Certificate.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner – BS to DNP
This program prepares students to take the certification exam to become Neonatal Nurse Practitioners. This full time program takes 8 semesters (three years to complete), and will require 1000 hours of clinical practice. Some courses in this program are available online.
Students must meet the admission requirements for the Primary Care Nurse Practitioner BS to DNP program. In addition, students will need to have at least two years of experience as an RN in a Level III Neonatal ICU. Students will also need to have taken Clinical Physiology within the last five years.
Nurse Midwifery and Women’s Health – BS to DNP
This is the oldest program of its kind west of the Mississippi, and allows students to complete two specialties at once. Students may complete the final year of this full time, three year program in their home community. Some of the classes have an online option available.
To apply, students must meet the requirements of the Primary Care Nurse Practitioner BS to DNP program. Nurses with a year of labor and delivery experience will be given preference for admission.
This program is also available as a Post-Graduate Certificate, and will take one to two years to complete.
Psychiatric/Mental Health – BS to Master of Science (MS)
This program prepares students to take the state licensure, National Board Certification, and APRN exams for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners. This five semester, full time program takes two years to complete, and students seeking certification will need to complete 3000 clinical hours. Students have the option to take some of the courses for this program online.
To be able to apply, students must be admitted to Graduate School, have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, be licensed as an RN or APRN, have a GPA of at least 3.0, and may have to have an interview. Students will need to take the GRE, unless their GPA is at least 3.2.
Students must also complete the prerequisite courses of an elementary statistics course and an upper-division advanced physiology or pathophysiology class, each with a grade of B or higher.
There is also a Psychiatric/Mental Health Post Graduate Certificate available. The Certificate program takes two years (five semesters) to complete.
Nursing Informatics – BS to MS
This program is unique in that it gives students the chance to work with Informatics students in other divisions. This program may be taken full time in two years or part time in three years, and requires 40 credit hours. Some courses have online options.
The entry requirements for this program are the same as for the Psychiatric/Mental Health Master’s program, except that the only prerequisites are the bachelor degree in nursing and licensure.
Students also have the option of a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Nursing Informatics. This 15 credit hour program is ideal for working nurses, or for those who are pursuing another degree option. It can be completed in two semesters. Students may choose courses that allow them to take the certificate program solely online, but should be aware that doing so may lengthen their time of study.
Teaching Nursing – BS to MS
Students interested in becoming nursing faculty may take this 36-40 credit hour program. Students may complete the program in two years if attending full time, or three years if part time.
The entry requirements for this program are the same as for the Master’s program in Psychiatric/Mental Health, including the prerequisite courses. Students will also need to take Clinical Physiology.
Those who are interested in earning a Teaching Nursing Post Graduate Certificate may take the 15 credit hour program in as little as two semesters. The Post Masters program is offered as distance learning for students in the Intermountain Region, who are at least an hour’s drive away from campus.
Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program
This program is the study of the process and issues related to aging. Students may earn a master’s degree, undergraduate certificate, or graduate certificate in this program. Though this is not a nursing degree, it is a recommended course of study for nurses, and students may develop a personalized degree program to suit their needs.
The master’s program is a full or part time, two to three year course of study. Students may apply if they have a bachelor degree and a GPA of at least 3.0. They will need to take the GRE if their GPA is less than 3.2.
Both certificate programs can be completed online, and are each 15 credit hours. Students applying to the graduate certificate program need to have a bachelor’s degree.
MS to DNP
This program of study is based on the Essentials of Doctoral Education as outlined by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). It prepares students for the increasing complexity and technology use in health care. This program requires at least 33 credit hours of coursework, and may be taken full or part time. The program is offered as a combination of online courses and monthly campus visits.
Students who wish to apply must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, but their master’s degree may be in any subject. They must also be admitted to the Graduate College, be a licensed RN or APRN, have a GPA of at least 3.0, and have a personal interview. Students with a GPA of less than 3.2 will need to take the GRE. There are no prerequisites for this program.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Distance Program
This program is for nurses who wish to pursue a career in research. Students may be admitted with either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or a Master’s Degree in Nursing or a related course of study. Students admitted that do not have a master’s degree will have to take an additional nine credit hours of classes.
Students in the PhD program will complete nine semesters of coursework and must pass written and oral exams to be admitted into the dissertation phase of the program. Dissertations must be completed within seven years of starting the PhD program, but otherwise have no set schedule.
This is a distance program that students may take from anywhere without relocating to Utah. All students, however, must attend an annual three-week campus immersion experience, and an annual research conference.
Students applying with a bachelor’s degree in nursing must have a GPA of at least 3.3, GRE scores, and demonstrate potential for a research career. Those with a master’s degree must meet the same requirements and have a GPA of at least 3.5.
All applicants need to provide a writing sample, a written statement of research goals and interests, professional references, a resume or curriculum vitae, RN or APRN license, and have an interview.
University of Utah Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence
This center is one of nine in the nation that was established to increase the nursing faculty specializing in geriatric nursing.
Through the support of the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, the University of Utah is able to offer geriatrics/gerontology individualized learning opportunities at all degree levels.
Veteran’s Administration (VA) Nursing Academy
This is a partnership with the Salt Lake VA Medical Center and the College of Nursing. It provides recruitment of VA nurses and staff into the College of Nursing, and supports increased student enrollment. This partnership is designed to improve nursing practice, education, and research.
Center on Aging
This interdisciplinary program supports research and educational programs on gerontology at the University. The Center sponsors undergraduate and graduate certificate programs, such as the Interdisciplinary Gerontology Program, listed above.
Undergraduate Research Scholar Program
This program is designed to foster research for undergraduates in nursing and gerontology. Students will work toward the Undergraduate Research Scholar designation with mentoring and support from faculty. Students that participate are eligible to work with faculty on research or creative projects. There is funding available for these studies.
Students that participate in two semesters of research with a recognized faculty member, participate in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), present at a UROP symposium, and publish in the Undergraduate Research Abstracts Journal are eligible for the designation of Undergraduate Research Scholar, which will appear on their transcript in the Awards section.
University of Utah
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