4 Best Nursing Schools in Utah – 2024 Rankings

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

The outlook for new graduates of accredited nursing schools in Utah is very rosy. Fully one-third of the Beehive State’s nursing workforce is planning to retire within the next five to 10 years. Hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities throughout the state are open to hiring new grads and committed to providing new hires with the types of on-job training that will get skill sets up to speed quickly. Utah is looking at a nursing shortage, but one of the reasons is that health care facilities throughout the Beehive State are more committed than most to implementing low nurse-patient staffing ratios. Low nurse-patient staffing ratios mean less nurse burnout. If you want to be a nurse, Utah is a great place to study and work.



(After closely assessing all nursing schools approved by the Utah State Board of Nursing, based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the best accredited nursing schools in Utah offering BSN programs.)

1. University of Utah, Salt Lake City

About University of Utah College of Nursing: Though the University of Utah was founded by Brigham Young, it’s a public institution, and its student body is quite diverse. The College of Nursing at the University of Utah was one of the first nursing schools in the U.S. to be selected to participate in the Veteran Affairs (VA) Nursing Academic Partnership, an honor that’s only bestowed upon top nursing education providers. This college is known for innovative initiatives like the Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program, and the Student and Community Engagement Program; these projects are dedicated to finding creative solutions to challenges in the rapidly changing nursing industry.

The 12,600-square-foot Intermountain Healthcare Simulation Learning Center is located in the College of Nursing’s Annette Poulson Cummings Building. This simulation lab is a virtual hospital setting where nursing students learn critical thinking and acquire fundamental skills by practicing on life-sized, high-tech manikins. Once you’ve developed your clinical skills, you’ll have the opportunity to work with patients at the University of Utah Medical Center, Primary Children’s Hospital, VA Medical Center and other health care facilities throughout Salt Lake City.

Financial Aid: The University of Utah’s College of Nursing designates a number of scholarships for the needs of undergraduate and graduate nursing students. The College also offers subsidies for students who are traveling to present research at professional conferences. Filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may qualify you for state and federal funding.

2. Brigham Young University, Provo

About BYU College of Nursing: The College of Nursing at Brigham Young University is one of the nursing colleges in Utah with a nationwide reputation according to ratings from U.S. News & World Report. Brigham Young University is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and while you don’t have to belong to the LDS church to attend the university, you will have to follow an honor code while you’re enrolled there that mandates behavior according to LDS standards. The college maintains rigorous academic standards and offers nursing students the opportunity to study abroad in Ecuador, Russia, Finland, India, Tonga, Taiwan and other international locations.

Nursing students participate in hands-on patient care simulations at the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertson Nursing Learning Center where they learn how to insert IVs, draw blood and apply critical thinking skills. Once they have sufficient grounding in bedside fundamentals, students go on to clinical rotations in acute care hospitals, ambulatory clinics and community health care agencies throughout the metropolitan Provo area.

Financial Aid: BYU’s College of Nursing has earmarked 20 scholarships for the needs of nursing majors. Qualifying students will need to submit both a scholarship application form from the College of Nursing and a FAFSA. Submitting a FAFSA will also qualify you to be considered for state and federal financial aid.

3. Western Governors University, Salt Lake City

About WGU College of Health Professions: The Western Governors University is a completely online school. Though its College of Health Professions is nominally a nursing school in UT, students from all over the nation take advantage of the learning opportunities it offers. Indeed, Forbes Magazine called this nonprofit university one of the best-kept secrets around and ranks it highly as an outstanding value. This is a school where self-starters shine. Nursing students are assigned a faculty program mentor who provides one-on-one support throughout your academic career. If you’ve always dreamed of becoming a nurse but other obligations stand in your way, this could well be the school that’s your avenue to success because it’s very flexible.

As a nursing student, you’ll be able to work at your own pace. In addition to offering interactive virtual stimulations online that are integrated with curriculum offerings, WGU may also be able to help you make arrangements to practice hands-on nursing skills at a clinical simulation lab that’s local to you. WGU will also help you locate health care facilities in your area so that you can participate in clinical rotations.

Financial Aid: The WGU Loves Nurses Scholarship is designed for students who are entering the college’s nursing track. Students may also be eligible for other WGU institutional scholarships if they meet the qualifying criteria. WGU participates in Title IV, so nursing students who submit FAFSA forms will be considered for state and federal financial aid.

4. Westminster College, Salt Lake City

About School of Nursing and Health Sciences @ Westminster College: Westminster College is the only accredited liberal arts college in the Beehive State, and it’s consistently ranked by the Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report as a place where students can receive a topnotch education. Nursing students here build on a liberal arts foundation that enables them to develop excellent communication skills as well as the empathy and understanding that will help them relate to patients from all walks of life. The college is loosely affiliated with the Presbyterian Church although students of all faiths are welcome here. If you’re interested in attending a nursing school whose small class sizes help ensure that instructors give you the personalized attention you crave, this may well be the school for you.

State-of-the-art adult and pediatric simulation laboratories are located in the Dolores Dore Eccles Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center. Using real hospital equipment and sophisticated computerized manikins, nursing students practice the hands-on skills they will need to achieve career success. Once these skills become second nature, students continue on to clinical learning experiences at hospitals, clinical and community health care facilities throughout Salt Lake and the adjacent intermountain region. Westminster also participates in student exchange programs with nursing schools in Thailand.

Financial Aid: Although Westminster College doesn’t offer any nursing-specific scholarships, all students who fill out FAFSA forms are automatically considered for other institutional scholarships. Filling out a FAFSA form may also make you eligible for other types of state and federal loans and grants.


Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.

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