Utah Nurse Practitioner Programs
Nurse practitioners have seen a huge growth in the demand for their level of expertise in recent years. This is due to a number of reasons, including our aging population, the constant growth in population, the changes in insurance and the cost associated with employing more nurse practitioners and less physicians. While nurse practitioners earn a very sizable income, it is less than that of a physician and in Utah, NPs have no need for physician oversight, so an employer stands to help their bottom line by turning to these highly trained nurses.
You will need to spend six to seven years total in college to earn your Masters of Science in Nursing degree, but if you already hold a RN license you are only a couple years away from entering the field. Many NPs will work as a RN through the final years of their education and may find financial aid coming from their employer in this way.
In Utah, some of the top employers include University of Utah Health Care in Salt Lake City, Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, and Fresenius Medical Care in Ogden. There are plenty of smaller employers throughout the state, so don’t feel trapped into these particular areas. In actuality, Provo and Salt Lake City have the highest number of employees in the field relative to population and Logan and Ogden see the lowest percentage. If you are looking for the highest average salary, Salt Lake City and Provo will meet your needs.
In 2011, there was a total of 51 nurse practitioners per 100,000 people, just below the national average of 58 per. With just under 1,500 practitioners working in the state, there is plenty of room for you to fill the required positions that employers are constantly looking for. As previously mentioned, Utah does not require physician oversight for diagnoses, treatment and prescribing of medications (except for consultations for controlled substance license II-III), so you will have more freedom than you would in a number of other states.
Utah Nurse Practitioners earn a little less than a handful of other states (not accounting for cost of living) at an annual median wage of $83,000 a year. While some states will pay close to $100,000 a year, the cost of living is not averaged into this figure. If you can find a very low cost of living area in Utah, you will be able to keep even more than some of the NPs in other states, so don’t let the slightly lower number dissuade you.
Utah is also home to the Utah Nurse Practitioners Association which promotes the NP professions, through scholarship/research, recognition of excellence, education and communication. You will find career resources, events, provider resources and networking tools for other people in your profession throughout the state.
The financial side of your education can be stressful, but the college of your choice and a number of foundations are there to help. Each school will have a number of grants and scholarships available to help, so make sure you spend time looking at each school to see who has the aid that will help you most. Also, visit the American Association of Colleges of Nursing for countless resources to help you with the financial aid needed to become a Nurse Practitioner.
There are a number of popular schools throughout Utah, but some of the best choice for nurse practitioners include the following:
With more than 1,000 physicians and researches and 22 clinical and basic-science departments the School of Medicine will train a majority of Utah medical students. The school is also recognized for its interdisciplinary research in genetics of disease, cancer, infectious diseases, biomedical informatics and other areas of leading-edge medicine.
University of Phoenix is a hugely popular university for students in a number of disciplines. With a location in Salt Lake City, you will have a large satellite campus for lab work and other on campus courses in your education. UoP focuses on online learning and this can give you the freedom to learn at your own pace. Your only scheduled courses will include lectures and campus based classes, so much of your education can be handled when you aren’t working.