Utah Nursing License

utah-sealIn Utah, the licensing and education of nurses is monitored and regulated by the Boards of Nursing, which were established over a century ago by the state government to ensure the safe practice of nursing and make sure all working nurses acquire a Utah nursing license along with an appropriate degree.

The different boards in Utah each report to either the governor of Utah, a state agency, or both, and they also may report to another state organization or official. The decision-making powers and board structures are different for each board, with the personnel mix consisting of RNs, LPNs and LVNs, advanced practice RNs and consumers.

The duties of the boards are to enforce the Nurse Practice Act and the laws governing licensing, and to accredit or approve nurse education programs in colleges and universities. The also develop practice standards, policies, administrative rules and regulations. Information about the various responsibilities and duties of the boards can be found at https://www.ncsbn.org/index.htm.

For nurses, though, the bottom line remains the same when it comes to state requirements: Nurses must have a current, valid license, and they also must be able to prove graduation from an approved school with at least an associates degree in nursing.

RN Licensing

Qualifications for licensing are described in the Nurse Practice Act, which also provides information about which nursing titles are appropriate for use in different environments, along with an outline of the scope of practice. It also describes appropriate procedures for situations in which nursing laws are broken.

RNs in Utah must take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. The passing standard for the examis periodically reviewed by the NCSBN Board of Directors every three years. The passing standard is measured in units called logits, which account for relative differences between the ability of the candidate and the difficulty of the items in the exam.

Utah is a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which means both RNs and LPNs can have one multistate license that allows them to practice in Utah as well as other compact states.

In addition, Utah is a member of the APRN compact, which allows advanced practice RNs to hold a single multi-state license that in turn allows them to practice in other states.

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LPN Licensing

According to the US Department of Labor, Utah is expected to see an increase of approximately 28 percent in licensed LPNs by 2020. To qualify to be part of this ongoing growth, nurses must pass the NCLEX-PN exam, which requires an application fee of $100.

They can also apply via endorsement, and there are separate licensing procedures for international LPNs. BCI and FBI background checks are required for LPNs, along with fingerprinting. International LPNs must undergo a credential evaluation report conducted by the Foundation for International Services, Inc. to be eligible for the NCLEX-PN.

In addition, LPNs must renew their licenses every two years.

To renew, LPNs and RNNs must attain one of the following three requirements: 400 hours of practice, 200 practice hours plus 15 state-approved continuing education hours, or 30 state-approved education hours.

RN Education

RNs in Utah must have at least an associates degree in nursing from a college or university approved by the Utah Board of Nursing.

Nursing schools that offer an associates in nursing include Dixie State College of Utah, Provo College, Salt Lake Community College and Utah Valley State College. A complete list of schools offering nursing degrees can be found at http://www.degreetree.com/resources/how-to-become-an-rn-in-utah.

Utah also supports the efforts of LPNs seeking to become RNs, with a variety of programs available to meet their needs. A list of these schools can be found at http://www.bestnursingdegree.com/programs/lpn-to-rn/utah/.

LPN Education

The high rate of job growth for LPNs in Utah is fostering an accompanying growth in LPN education programs as well as an influx of LPNs with multistate licenses.

A partial list of LPN programs in Utah includes Davis Applied Technology College, Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College and Weber State University, with these schools ranked first, second and third in NCLEX passing rates. A more complete list of programs can be found at http://www.practicalnursing.org/lpn-programs/utah.

Most of these programs take approximately a year to complete, and they include both coursework and hands-on practice. Students are expected to obtain a CPR card during the education process.

Salary and Career Info

The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Utah licensed nurse compared to the national annual salaries, all based on the latest May 2013 Occupational Employment Statistics figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

RN-to-BSN Options

Due to an anticipated nursing shortage that was first recognized in 2005, Utah began preparing education programs to help RNs earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Both online and long-distance options are available, and these can help Utah nurses advance the relatively annual salary of $58K for RNs.

The state’s top-ranked nursing school, the University of Utah at Salt Lake City, offers a 16-month part time RN-to-BSN program, with all classes completed online. Other schools offering this path include Southern Utah University and Weber State University.

A complete list of these programs can be found at http://www.bestnursingdegree.com/programs/rn-to-bsn/utah/.

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