Providing comprehensive primary care to patients of all ages, family nurse practitioners fill a vital role in today’s healthcare industry. Two universities offer degree programs in the family nurse practitioner (FNP) specialization in Utah. The Rocky Mountain School of Health Professions and the University of Utah both offer a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) in family health for RNs with bachelor’s degrees in nursing (BSN). A post-master’s certificate is available to nursing professionals with an MSN in another advanced practice concentration.
The DNP through the University of Utah has too many on-campus requirements to qualify as a distance learning program; however, it is briefly described below for students with more flexible schedules or a preference for hybrid (as opposed to fully online) instruction. The online family nurse practitioner programs in Utah are all accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
A description of the online FNP degree offerings in Utah and information on FNP licensing requirements in the state follow.
Program Information: Online FNP Programs in Utah
Designed to train advanced practice nurses to meet the primary healthcare needs of families in diverse settings, the online FNP degree programs at the Rocky Mountain School of Health Professions are structured for working RNs and combine online coursework, clinical practice, and campus visits in a “limited residency” program that prepare APRNs for leadership and advanced clinical practice.
The DPN entails 90 credit hours and eight campus visits completed over eight semesters, while the FNP post-master’s certificate involves 44 credits of coursework and six campus visits completed over six terms. Each visit to the Provo campus is one week long and scheduled ahead of time so that RNs can prepare accordingly. GRE scores are not required of applicants to either program.
Described as rigorously challenging, the Rocky Mountain School of Health Professions boasts a 100 percent pass rate on the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) certification exam among its FNP-DNP graduates. These degree offerings are open to residents of all states except California and Massachusetts.
Located in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah offers a post-APRN certificate for advanced practice nurses already certified in another area of specialized nursing. A unique feature of this 30-credit program is that it is individualized for each student under the guidance of a specialty director. All students must attend six campus visits (two per semester).
The University of Utah also administers an 86-credit DNP program for BSN degree-holders. Courses include common pediatric problems, chronic problems of adults and elders, management of episodic problems, advanced pharmacology, advanced pediatric health promotion, and assessment. Due to the high number of campus visits (16 total) this program is not deemed online enough for those seeking distance-learning programs. However, it may be a viable option for those seeking a hybrid learning experience. Please note that GRE scores are only required of applicants to either program with GPAs below 3.2.
FNP Licensing Requirements in Utah
The State of Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) details the process of applying for an APRN license in the state of Utah. Visit the organization’s website for the most up-to-date version of required documents.
For initial FNP licensure, candidates should submit the following by mail to the DOPL:
- A completed application with fingerprints, which can be done at the DOPL office during regular business hours
- Official transcripts documenting graduate degrees and the completion of the following courses: advanced health assessment, diagnosis and treatment, and pharmacotherapeutics
- Verification of passing an approved national certification examination
- A $140 non-refundable application fee, payable to the DOPL ($100 application license fee plus $40 in surcharges for FBI and BCI fingerprint file searches)
To apply for a Utah Controlled Substance license, candidates must complete and submit the following additional documentation with their application package:
- A completed take-home “Utah Controlled Substances Law and Rules Examination” (included in the application)
- A $100 non-refundable application processing fee
APRN and controlled substance licenses in the state of Utah must be renewed before January 31st of every even-numbered year after initial licensure.
A note on prescriptive authority: APRNs must hold a controlled substance license and DEA registration to enact full prescriptive authority in the state of Utah. They are encouraged to contact the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Salt Lake City for information on this process.