How to Become a Nurse in Utah
The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing is in charge of issuing licenses and enforcing continuing education requirements for nurses. Students attending nursing schools in Utah face strong job prospects since the state is ranked third in the nation for the most severe nursing shortage. In 2018, reports revealed 1,200 vacancies for RN positions across the state. With quality nursing schools in Utah and plenty of job openings, nursing students will be well prepared for their chosen career path. Aspiring nurses can read more about specific licensing requirements for CNAs, LPNs, RNs, and APRNs below.
How to Get Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification in Utah
Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in Utah is a two-part process. The first step is to complete an approved CNA training program. There are more than 50 locations across the state that are approved, making it convenient for aspiring CNAs to find a local program. Once that is successfully completed, applicants must pass a state certification exam which includes a skills exam portion. After that, CNAs may sign up with the Utah Nursing Assistant Registry.
Renewal for Utah nursing registry occurs every two years. CNAs will be mailed a notice 90 days in advance. In order to maintain an active Utah nursing assistant registration, CNAs must have worked under a licensed nurse for at least 200 paid hours during the preceding 24 months. The renewal notice must be signed either by a licensed LPN or RN. If these employment requirements are not met, a licensee may take the knowledge and skills certification exams in order to recertify.
How to Get a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) License in Utah
The application process for an LPN license in Utah is the same as the process for an RN license. Applicants for a Utah LPN license must first complete an approved LPN education program. After completion, they can apply to take the NCLEX-PN exam by filling out an application on the DOPL website, registering for the NCLEX-PN, and requesting that their nursing program transcripts be sent to the DOPL. When their application to test is approved by the DOPL, applicants may take the NCLEX-PN.
After passing the exam, LPN candidates can apply for an LPN license with the DOPL by filling out a license application manually or online, paying a $95 fee, and submitting fingerprints as part of a criminal background check.. All of the application materials must be completed within 30 days or the application will automatically be denied.
LPNs must renew their Utah nursing licenses every two years. The continuing education requirements offer three different options for LPNs. The first is to accumulate 400 hours of licensed practice during the renewal period. The second option is to have 200 hours of licensed practice in addition to 15 contact hours. The third option is for the LPN to complete 30 contact hours during the two-year licensing period in order to renew.
How to Get a Registered Nurse (RN) License in Utah
After completing an approved nursing program in Utah, aspiring RNs must take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Applicants must first apply for permission from the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) to take the NCLEX exam. To apply, applicants must graduate from an approved nursing program, request that their transcripts be sent to the board, register for the NCLEX with Pearson Vue, and fill out an application on DOPL’s website. When they are granted authorization to test, they can take the NCLEX-RN exam.
After they pass the NCLEX, applicants may fill out an RN license application form either online or manually and send it to the DOPL; there is also a $95 processing fee required at the time of application. They must also undergo a background check, including a fingerprint check.
In Utah, RN licenses need to be renewed every two years. Licensees must choose one of three paths: complete at least 400 hours of licensed practice; 200 hours with 15 hours of approved continuing education; or alternatively, they can complete 30 hours of approved continuing education. The board lists approved courses for Utah nursing licenses through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing as well as the Utah Nurses Association.
How to Get an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) License in Utah
Before applying for a Utah advanced practice registered nurse license, prospects must complete an MSN or DNP degree. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the university to the Utah Board of Nursing. The transcripts should also show completed coursework in patient assessment, diagnosis and treatment, and pharmacotherapeutics.
Applicants must also have official documentation demonstrating that they’ve passed the required exam and also have a current national certification. Finally, aspiring APRNs must hold an active RN license.
As part of the application process, prospective Utah APRN licensees must submit fingerprints as part of a background check. Once all of these steps have been completed, an application form may be submitted either online or manually to the Utah Board of Nursing.
APRNs must maintain their national certification in order to renew their Utah nursing license. They must also be currently certified in a specialty area or complete 30 hours of continuing education as well as 400 hours of practice during the licensing period.