The highest educational credential in the field of nursing is the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Nurses progressing through DNP degrees have the choice to concentrate their studies on advanced practice nursing or organizational/educational leadership. Advanced practice nurses who've obtained DNPs often work as nurse practitioners or university nursing faculty. They can also be found working in executive roles like nursing administration and leadership and as clinic or hospital directors.

In Utah, post-master's DNP programs generally require the completion of 28 to 38 credit hours in addition to supervised clinical hours. BSN to DNP students need to complete between 66 to 75 unit hours with a number of supervised clinical hours.

Expected Learning Outcomes for DNP Programs:

  • Integrate nursing science with knowledge from ethics, the biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sciences to provide the basis for advanced nursing practice
  • Provide, manage and evaluate care of individuals and populations using evidence-based concepts related to physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, as well as community, environmental, cultural and socioeconomic dimensions of health
  • Demonstrate advanced levels of clinical judgment and decision-making, systems thinking, and accountability in designing, delivering, and evaluating evidence-based care
  • Develop and evaluate initiatives that will improve the quality of care delivery
  • Analyze and communicate critical elements necessary to the selection, use, and evaluation of healthcare information systems and patient care technology
  • Actively engage in interdisciplinary collaborations aimed at improving healthcare delivery, care coordination, and policy
  • Demonstrate professionalism, value lifelong learning and recognize the need to adapt practice to changing social, political, and global healthcare environments

Choosing a DNP Program

Choosing to pursue a DNP degree is a life changing decision. Before prematurely jumping into anything, there a few considerations that would be wise to address.

What to Consider When Choosing a DNP Program

  • Online Options— Of the two universities with DNP programs in Utah, one delivers the program to students in an online or hybrid online/in-class format:
    • Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions— Post-master's Family Nurse Practitioner where courses are delivered in a hybrid format
  • Accreditation— DNP programs in the state of Utah are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • Clinical Residencies— Residencies and fellowships where DNP students get hands-on training are important to the learning process. Many schools have affiliations with local hospitals and healthcare facilities in which students can complete a residency; your school of choice should be able to provide you with further information.

Admission & State Licensing or Certification Requirements


  • At least one year of clinical experience is preferred
  • An applicant must hold a current unencumbered RN license in his/her state of residence
  • Be a registered nurse with a BSN or MSN degree in nursing from an accredited institution (or foreign equivalent)
  • Provide a statement of professional goals to include current intellectual and professional interests and personal motivations as to why the student is applying to the degree program
  • Resume/CV including detailed employment history, career history, extracurricular activities, etc.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from each prior undergraduate and graduate institution from which a degree was earned


Utah DNP programs allow successful students to sit for state board certification after completing the programs. DNP tracks offered at universities in Utah allow students to become certified as:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Midwifery
  • Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner


In Utah, after completion of the DNP track, students will need to be licensed by the Utah State Board of Nursing. Requirements for licensure consist of the following:

  • Complete an application
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Provide transcripts from all educational institutions
  • Submit verification of specialty certification
  • Complete fingerprinting

Utah BSN to DNP Program Options

Of the 2 universities with DNP programs in Utah, both programs deliver BSN to DNP pathways to students:

  • Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions— Post-baccalaureate DNP pathway for Family Nurse Practitioners
  • University of Utah— Offers both BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP

Related Education Paths

Helpful DNP Agencies and Organizations in Utah

List of Campus and Online DNP Programs in Utah

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