If you’re considering a career in nursing, choosing the right nursing school is an important step towards achieving your goals. Utah has many accredited nursing schools that offer a range of programs and degrees to help students get started in this rewarding field. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about accredited nursing schools in Utah, including what accreditation means, what types of nursing programs are available, and how to choose the best school for you.
What Does Accreditation Mean?
Accreditation is a process by which an external organization reviews and evaluates educational institutions or programs to ensure that they meet certain standards of quality. The purpose of accreditation is to provide assurance that students are receiving a high-quality education that meets industry standards and prepares them for their future careers.
In the United States, there are two main accrediting bodies for nursing schools: the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Both organizations evaluate nursing programs based on predetermined criteria related to curriculum, faculty qualifications, student outcomes, and other factors.
Types of Nursing Programs
Nursing programs come in many shapes and sizes, depending on the level of education you’re seeking and your career goals. Here are some common types of nursing programs offered by accredited schools in Utah:
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
A CNA program typically takes about 6-12 weeks to complete and teaches basic skills such as taking vital signs, bathing patients, assisting with mobility, and administering medications under the supervision of a nurse. CNAs work under licensed nurses or doctors in hospitals, long-term care facilities or clinics.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
An LPN program usually takes 12-18 months to complete and provides training in more advanced skills such as administering medication via injections or intravenous routes; performing wound care, and basic patient education. LPNs work in a variety of settings under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians.
Registered Nurse (RN)
An RN program can take anywhere from 2-4 years to complete, depending on whether you pursue an associate degree (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree (BSN). In addition to coursework in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and other nursing subjects, RN programs also require extensive clinical rotations where students gain hands-on experience working in hospitals, clinics or other healthcare settings.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
An MSN is an advanced nursing degree that prepares graduates for specialized roles such as nurse practitioner or nurse midwife. MSN programs often require applicants to hold a BSN and have several years of nursing experience before enrolling.
Accredited Nursing Schools in Utah
Utah has many accredited nursing schools that offer a range of programs at various levels. Here are some of the top schools to consider:
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University offers both an ADN and BSN program through its College of Nursing. The school has been accredited by CCNE since 1989 and boasts a high pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
Dixie State University
Dixie State University offers both ADN and BSN nursing programs accredited by ACEN. The school also offers an online RN-to-BSN program for working nurses who want to further their education.
Salt Lake Community College
Salt Lake Community College offers an ADN program that is accredited by ACEN. The program combines classroom instruction with extensive clinical rotations to prepare students for careers as RNs.
Weber State University
Weber State University offers both an ADN and BSN program through its School of Nursing. The school has been accredited by CCNE since 2003 and boasts a high job placement rate for graduates.
How to Choose an Accredited Nursing School
With so many accredited nursing schools in Utah to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:
Make sure the nursing program you’re considering is accredited by CCNE or ACEN. This will ensure that your education meets industry standards and will prepare you for licensure as a nurse.
Consider what level of education you want to pursue (CNA, LPN, RN, MSN), and whether the school offers programs at that level. You may also want to consider whether the school offers any alternative learning options such as online or hybrid classes.
Location and Accessibility
Consider how close the school is to where you live or work, and whether it’s easily accessible by public transportation if needed.
Look into the cost of tuition and any other fees associated with the program. You may also want to research available financial aid options such as scholarships, grants or loans.
Choosing the right nursing school in Utah is a critical step towards achieving your career goals in this fulfilling field. By understanding what accreditation means, what types of nursing programs are available, and how to choose the best school for you, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that sets you up for success. Consider reviewing multiple schools before deciding which one best suits your needs.
What are the benefits of attending an accredited nursing school in Utah?
Attending an accredited nursing school in Utah ensures that the program meets national standards for education and will provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to pass your licensure exam. Additionally, it can increase your chances of finding employment as many hospitals and healthcare facilities prefer to hire graduates from accredited programs.
How do I know if a nursing school in Utah is accredited?
You can check the accreditation status of a nursing school in Utah by visiting the website for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). These organizations accredit nursing programs at both the associate’s and bachelor’s degree level.
Is it possible to attend an online, accredited nursing program in Utah?
Yes, there are several online nursing programs offered by accredited schools in Utah. However, be sure to research each program carefully to ensure that it is reputable and meets your educational needs before enrolling. Additionally, some online programs may require occasional on-campus visits or clinical rotations.
Can I transfer credits earned at a non-accredited nursing school to an accredited one in Utah?
It depends on the policies of the individual schools involved, but transferring credits from a non-accredited nursing program to an accredited one can be challenging as they may not meet certain requirements for accreditation. Be sure to check with both schools before attempting any credit transfer process.
Are there any scholarships available specifically for students enrolled in accredited nursing schools in Utah?
Yes, many organizations offer scholarships specifically for students pursuing careers in healthcare or attending accredited nursing programs in Utah. Contact your chosen school’s financial aid office or search online scholarship databases for more information about available opportunities.
Can attending an non-accredited nursing school have negative consequences for my career in Utah?
While attending a non-accredited nursing school may not necessarily prevent you from earning your nursing degree or becoming licensed, it can make finding employment more difficult as many employers prefer to hire graduates of accredited programs. Additionally, some states only recognize licenses earned from accredited programs.
How long does it typically take to complete an accredited nursing program in Utah?
This depends on the type of program you choose. Associate’s degree programs in nursing usually take around two years to complete, while bachelor’s degree programs take four years. Some schools also offer accelerated programs that can be completed in less time.
What factors should I consider when choosing an accredited nursing school in Utah?
Some important factors to consider include the school’s accreditation status, location, cost and financial aid options, faculty experience and qualifications, clinical opportunities and job placement rates after graduation. It is also a good idea to talk to current students and alumni about their experiences with the program.
Can I work as a nurse while completing an accredited nursing program in Utah?
It is possible to work while attending an accredited nursing program in Utah, but this will depend on your schedule and the demands of your coursework and clinical rotations. Be sure to discuss your plans with your academic advisor before committing to a job that could potentially impact your studies negatively.
What kind of licensing exams do I need to pass after completing an accredited nursing program in Utah?
In order to become licensed as a nurse after completing an accredited nursing program in Utah, you will need pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for either registered nurses (RNs) or practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VN). These exams test for knowledge and skills related to patient care and are designed to ensure that nurses meet certain standards of practice.