Utah RN Requirements and Training Programs

There’s a reason nursing has been listed as the most trusted profession for more than 15 years. According to an annual Gallup poll, the public has voted nursing as the most honest and ethical profession within the United States. Nurses are the ones most likely and most qualified to get families through difficult times, support sick patients without judgment or prejudice, and enlist the support of patients’ family members to help restore health. Nurses unselfishly work past their shifts to ensure patients’ comfort and to ease the burden that understaffing has on their co-workers. Although there’s a serious shortage of registered nurses within the health care system, nursing must be a call to positively influence the lives of patients and not just an opportunity to secure employment.

People are living longer and facing more diseases that require chronic care. In Utah, vacant nursing positions can be as much as 1,245 annually and may get worse as a huge part of the workforce approaches retirement. In an effort to ensure the growing population has an adequate nursing workforce, the state has taken steps to educate more nurses. The associate degree in nursing (ADN) and baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN) available at public schools are made affordable through state funding to increase class sizes. The ADN is the most common path to nursing as graduates are just as eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses as the BSN graduate.

ADN graduates may assume an entry-level role in different health care settings. As more hospitals demonstrate their preference for nurses prepared at the bachelor’s level due to evidence of improved health care outcomes, ADN-prepared nurses are having a harder time finding employment in these settings. Measures to boost the percentage of the workforce holding a BSN degree or higher indicate a great need for nurses holding an associates degree to upgrade their education through BSN completion programs.

Utah Nursing Programs

Education Requirements

The associate’s degree in nursing program is a comprehensive preparation for practice as a registered nurse. Intensive knowledge-based sessions and practical learning experiences in a variety of clinical settings ensure students develop the art of health. Graduates become eligible to take the NCLEX to become a registered nurse.

The ADN curriculum includes theory and hands-on learning in the school’s lab and at clinical sites to help students succeed in the dynamic field of nursing. The theory will cover topics such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, introduction to nursing practice, essentials of nursing, nutrition, psychiatric nursing, pharmacology, pathophysiology, care of the adult, and maternal child nursing. The lab sessions emphasize safe patient care and the proper use of medical equipment through the simulation of real-life scenarios in hospitals and long-term care settings.

In addition to the classroom and lab sessions, students will participate in a clinical component, which requires real-world patient care performed under the supervision of a qualified instructor. The clinical experience will take place at one or more facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and long-term care facilities. During the experience, students have the opportunity to apply the principles learned in the classroom and develop confidence in their skills to care for patients, work alongside other members of the health care team, and get a visual and practical understanding of the role and responsibilities of a registered nurse.

Graduates of the program will be able to apply evidenced-based skills to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities and practice as competent and confident health practitioners.

Upon completion of the program, graduates can apply to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to sit the NCLEX-RN and practice as a registered nurse.

Eligibility Criteria

Due to limited space, hundreds of applicants to associate degree in nursing programs are turned away each year. Program administrators often resort to a point system to admit students during the competitive admission process. It is vital that you submit your application and other supporting documents early, complete the prerequisite courses and submit your transcripts, and take the placement tests if applicable. Point based admissions may take grades on the prerequisite courses, cumulative GPA, and health care certifications, such as CNA or CMA, into consideration during the selection process.

Meeting the health requirements is essential for participation in the clinical component of the program. These may include vaccinations or proof of immunity, health insurance, liability insurance, TB clearance, CPR certification, and drug screen.

Other requirements include:

  • A high school diploma, HSE or GED certificate.
  • A completed application submitted according to the school’s specification and before the deadline.
  • A passing score on the admissions test.
  • A grade C or above on the prerequisite courses.

Duration and Cost

After completing all the prerequisite courses, you can complete the ADN program in just three to four semesters with full-time attendance. Graduates have the option to continue through the RN to BSN program, which will require another two to four semesters of college including the additional co-requisite courses. Tuition at public colleges costs approximately $4,670 per year plus extra for fees, textbooks, and supplies.

Utah RN Licensure Requirements

Registered nurse practice in Utah requires a valid license issued by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. Unlicensed practice is prosecutable by law. All applicants submit fingerprints for a state and federal background check. Utah does not issue temporary permits. However, processing time for applications is typically 7 to 14 business days after the Division receives the completed application and required documents. Applications will remain open for 30 days. Incomplete applications will be denied after this period, and the applicant will need to submit another application and fee.

Guidelines for Licensure by Exam

If you’ve never taken a licensure exam to practice as a registered nurse, use the following steps to apply for the NCLEX and licensure in Utah after you’re graduated from an approved nursing education program.

  • Create an NCLEX account on Pearson VUE’s website and pay the testing fee. Make sure you enter the correct program code and enter your name exactly as it appears on your government-issued ID.
  • Submit a completed application for initial licensure to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). Applications not completed within 30 days of submission to the DOPL will be denied.
  • Enclose the $100 non-refundable, application-processing fee using a check or money order made out to DOPL.
  • Complete the required fingerprinting at a local police station and submit the two completed cards on form FD 258 to the DOPL.
  • Request official transcripts of completing a nursing education program to be sent directly to DOPL. The transcript must indicate the degree awarded and the date it was awarded.
  • Enclose additional documentation, such as a police report, personal account of the incident, court records, and probation records if you answered “yes” to any of the qualifying questions.

The processing time for the application is 7 to 14 business days from the time it is received in full. When the DOPL confirms your eligibility to take the NCLEX, you will receive an Authorization to Test from Pearson VUE. It will indicate your deadline for testing that you must meet. If you miss the deadline, you will have to re-register for the exam and pay another fee.

If you pass the exam and the background check, you will receive a hard-copy of your license by mail. You may also verify your license online on the DOPL website. If you fail the exam, you will receive a letter from the DOPL indicating the steps to retake the exam, which will require reregistering for the exam and reapplying to the DOPL.

Guidelines for Licensure by Endorsement

If you were licensed as a registered nurse in another state, you may apply licensure using the endorsement process outlined below:

  • Submit a completed application for initial licensure to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). Applications not completed within 30 days of submission to the DOPL will be denied.
  • Enclose the $100 non-refundable, application-processing fee using a check or money order made out to DOPL.
  • Complete the required fingerprinting at a local police station and submit the two completed cards on form FD 258 to the DOPL.
  • Enclose additional documentation, such as a police report, personal account of the incident, court records, and probation records if you answered “yes” to any of the qualifying questions.
  • Provide official verification of at least one active registered nurse license. The verification must include education and exam information. It may be completed online of the licensure state participates in the NURSYS verification system. If the state does not participate, you must request that the state licensing agency send verification directly to the State of Utah.
  • If you graduated from a foreign nursing equation program, you must submit a CGFNS Certificate and CES Professional Report indicating that your education is equivalent to a Utah approved program and documentation any one of the following:
  1. At least 960 hours of licensed practice as a nurse in the United State.
  2. Graduation from an approved nursing program.
  3. Completion of a recognized refresher course
  4. Qualification and acquisition of a professional license upgrade.
  • As an alternative to the CGFNS Report and documentation of practice/education, you may submit documentation of at least 6,000 hours of licensed nurse practice in the United States.

RN Renewal Requirements UT

Utah’s registered nurse licenses must be renewed by January 31 of odd-numbered years. The application is available for download on the DOPL’s website. In addition to the completed application, you must submit:

  • Answer all four certification questions on the application and provide applicable documents.
  • Sign the Affidavit on page 1 of the application or submit an explanation of why you cannot sign.
  • Enclose the renewal fee of $58 using a money order or check made payable to DOPL.
  • Provide documentation of your legal name change if applicable.

If you do not renew your license on time, you will be subject to a reinstatement fee of $20 if initiated within 30 days of the license expiration. The reinstatement fee rises to $50 if initiated after 30 days but within 2 years of the license expiration.

Continuing Education Requirements for Utah RNs

For every two-year renewal period, registered nurses must complete one of the following:

  • At least 400 hours of licensed practice, or
  • At least 200 hours of licensed practice and 15 hours of approved continuing education, or
  • 30 hours of approved continuing education.

Utah Salary and Job Outlook

With a fast-growing senior population and low death rate, there’s a great need for health care professionals to care for society as a whole. In a time when the need for healthcare is increasing, almost 45 percent of the nurses and nurse faculty are set to retire in the next decade. According to the results of a study published in 2014, having higher nurse-to-population ratios leads to healthier communities through health education, health promotion, disease prevention and health care. More nurses lead to increased screening rates and lower death rates.

Utah needs a huge injection of new nurses to raise its nurse-per-population ratio, which stands at 47th in the country, according to the Utah Medical Education Council. Almost all of Utah’s actively licensed registered nurses are gainfully employed. Likewise, the majority of new nurse graduates begin working within 6 months of graduating as nursing is an in-demand profession. But lengthy waiting lists for entry into nursing programs and repeated rejections of well-qualified applicants pose a huge challenge to expanding the workforce. The inability to accept all the applicants has an upside as it prevents oversupply, which is a growing problem in some states. Those who manage to get into nursing school may have multiple job offers by the time they graduate.

If you’re considering nursing school, keep in mind the supply and demand of nurses fluctuate. Some students discover too late that the nursing shortage all but vanished while they were studying. When this happens, many had to sit tight until an opportunity arose. It might mean going back to school to earn a baccalaureate degree to become more competitive since employers have demonstrated a strong preference for nurses prepared at the BSN level. In general, the population needs and retirement of current nurses will contribute to greater demand for new nurses.

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 report, registered nurses in Utah earned an annual mean wage of $62,360.

Contact the Board of Nursing

Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing
Heber M. Wells Building
160 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 146741,
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6741

Phone: (801) 530-6628
Toll-free in Utah: (866) 275-3675
Fax: (801) 530-6511

Utah Registered Nursing Programs and NCLEX-RN Pass Rates:

Draper, UT ADN programs:
AmeriTech College
12257 Business Park Drive 108, Draper, UT 84020
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 88.9%

Logan, UT ADN programs:
Utah State University
5100 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-5100
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A

Ogden, UT ADN programs:
Stevens-Henager College
1890 South 1350 West, Ogden, UT 84401
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100.0%

Nightingale College
4155 Harrison Boulevard, Suite 100, Ogden, UT 84403
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 54.5%

Weber State University
School of Nursing, Ogden, UT 84408-3903
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87.4%

Orem, UT ADN programs:
Utah Valley University
800 West University Parkway, Orem, UT 84058
801-863-INFO (4636)
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 86.8%

Provo College
1450 West 820 North, Provo, UT 84601
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A

St. George, UT ADN programs:
Dixie State University
225 South University Avenue, St. George, UT 84770
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.0%

Salt Lake City, UT ADN programs:
Eagle Gate College
405 South Main Street, Suite 130, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
801-333-7120, 866-284-9020
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 25.0%

Fortis College
3949 South 700 East, Suite 150, Salt Lake City, UT 84107
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.7%

Salt Lake Community College
4600 South Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, UT 84123
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 81.0%

Crystal is a certified Registered Nurse (RN) with a passion for writing about nursing education. Through her articles, Crystal shares insights and tips to help fellow nurses enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest developments in the field. With a focus on practical advice and relevant topics, Crystal's writing is a valuable resource for nursing professionals seeking to advance their careers.