U of U or Rocky Mountain? Online or hybrid? Our practical guide & directory can help you decide! It contains rankings of the best and most affordable DNP programs in Utah, details on online UT doctorates, and advice on BSN to DNP tracks. Ready to make a decision? Skip ahead to our listings.
Top Utah DNP Programs
Ranking the best DNP programs in Utah is a little bit of a fool’s errand—there are only a few universities that offer the doctorate. We did it anyway because we wanted you to have a sense of each school’s unique quality factors. The order is based on a number of elements, including U.S. News & World Report placements, pass rates, reputation, research opportunities, and independent reviews.
1. University of Utah
U of U’s DNP program is far & away the best doctorate in Utah. It’s offered in all kinds of BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP tracks. It’s backed by superb nurse midwifery & APRN certification pass rates (see data in the Annual Reports). And it comes from a College of Nursing with excellent national rankings for graduate programs (e.g. top 25 for the DNP) and individual specialties (e.g. top 10 for Nursing Informatics and Nurse Midwifery). We particularly like that fact that College is thinking toward the future with multiple strategic initiatives to improve teaching and practice.
Plus there are all the resources! The College is a major recipient of NIH funding, and has research strengths in informatics (e.g. Utah PRISMS Informatics Center), aging & end-of-life issues (e.g. Family Caregiving Initiative and Hospice Today Project), and adult gerontology (e.g. Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program). Instructors are active in faculty practices, including local primary care clinics and the BirthCare HealthCare Midwifery and Women’s Health Faculty Practice. And the College itself has close connections to U of U Health. If U of U is on your radar for the DNP or PhD, have a look at the pre- and postdoctoral fellowships and the section on graduate funding.
2. Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions
First things first—Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions is a for-profit university. However, it is regionally accredited, CCNE-accredited, and nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for the DNP (e.g. top 150). So we were okay with putting its online DNP program in the #2 spot. You’ll find FNP certification pass rates quoted on the program website. First-time pass rates are around average; final pass rates are usually 100%.
If you want to dig deeper into the program, you can read through RMUoHP’s annual student satisfaction & alumni surveys and the bios of DNP faculty. A number of instructors are involved in faculty research projects, some are fellows, and plenty are currently practicing in the field. RMUoHP posts DNP testimonials, but we recommend you contact the Alumni Association so you can talk to recent graduates without the filter of the university.
3. Westminster College
#3 was a toss-up between Weber State and Westminster. WSU has a BSN to DNP track in FNP, but Westminster’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences has the only COA-accredited nurse anesthesia program in the state. In the end, we went with Westminster’s more established DNP program and CRNA program because WSU’s DNP is still relatively new.
If you’re interested in the nurse anesthesia program, we can tell you that Westminster has low attrition rates (e.g. 0%), positive evaluations from employers & alumni, and solid—if not spectacular—NCE pass rates (e.g. 100% over 2-3 attempts). CRNA graduates on independent review sites praise the small class sizes, the supportive learning environment, and the variety of clinical experiences. It’s indicative that Westminster’s program includes a lot of case work (e.g. 900+ cases).
Most Affordable DNP Programs in Utah
To find the cheapest DNP programs in Utah, we used the per credit tuition rate for the doctorate. There are a limited number of options in Utah, so take this ranking with a grain of salt. RMUoHP isn’t super-affordable—it’s just the school with the third lowest tuition rate.
1. University of Utah
U of U’s tuition & fees schedule is a little confusing—we estimated the overall per credit cost by dividing the maximum tuition rate & mandatory fees (nursing graduate) by the total number of credits. The result was an affordable in-state tuition rate and an expensive out-of-state rate. Be aware that full-time distance students who access College of Nursing courses synchronously must pay an additional per semester distance fee.
2. Weber State University
WSU’s DNP tuition rate, including all fees, is clearly stated on their tuition page. The in-state rate is similar to small private universities; the out-of-state rate is comparable to super-expensive ones.
3. Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions
RMUoHP is a private, for-profit university, so the per credit tuition rate is the same for all students, regardless of their state of residency. You’ll also need to budget for the scholarly project fee, a per semester university resources fee, and an additional lab fee for the BSN to DNP.
Online DNP Programs in Utah
All DNP programs in Utah are either online or hybrid—we’ve flagged the online pathways in our state listings. Before you make a decision, have a look at the program website. Each distance DNP has unique quirks. For instance:
- Online BSN to DNP Programs in UT: RMUoHP’s BSN to DNP is primarily online, but there will be one week of on-site work during 5 of 9 semesters. Meanwhile, U of U’s distance learning tracks still include a campus orientation, intensives, exams, and project defenses. Plus the program can only guarantee clinical placement sites along the Wasatch Front.
- Hybrid BSN to DNP Programs in UT: WSU’s blended program has some hybrid coursework and on-campus skills labs. And certain tracks at U of U (e.g. AGACNP) are only available in a hybrid format, with campus and online coursework.
You’ll see similar patterns at the post-master’s level. Some MSN to DNP programs in Utah are online, some are hybrid, and some have unique set-ups. For example:
- Online Post-Master’s DNP Programs in UT: RMUoHP’s DNP is 100% online, with asynchronous coursework and occasional synchronous sessions. But WSU’s DNP in Leadership contains one on-campus meeting—to disseminate the DNP project.
- Hybrid Post-Master’s DNP Programs in UT: Coursework for U of U’s Post-MS is offered in a combination of online & executive formats. And Westminster’s post-master’s DNP is a mix of online & traditional residency-style learning. Ask the DNP program coordinator what this means in plain English!
Coming from out-of-state? Check with the DNP program coordinator and your local State Board of Nursing on APRN licensure requirements. Because of distance learning restrictions, some schools are unable to accept certain applicants.
Note: Interested in expanding your search? See our directory of Online DNP Programs. They are organized by state.
BSN to DNP Programs in Utah
To speed your search, we’ve listed individual BSN to DNP tracks under each school in the Utah listings. Here’s a summary of what you’re likely to find.
- Multiple APRN Specialties: U of U is your only choice in the state for these kinds of programs. Fortunately, it has plenty of them, with options in popular areas (e.g. FNP), adult gerontology, pediatrics & neonatology, nurse midwifery, and even women’s health.
- FNP: Aspiring Family Nurse Practitioners can also add RMUoHP and WSU to their shortlists. RMUoHP’s program is online, with one week on-campus intensives; WSU’s program is hybrid in nature.
- Nurse Anesthesia: As of 2020, Utah had one COA-accredited program—Westminster College’s MSN, which was in the process of transitioning to the DNP. Check with the program coordinator to make sure all accreditations are up-to-date.
Utah Nursing Organizations
- Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL): Nursing
- Utah Nurse Practitioners (UNP)
- Utah Association of Nurse Anesthetists (UANA)
- Utah Organization of Nurse Leaders (UONL)
Below you'll find a list of all of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs available in Utah.