Utah RN Licensing Guide

  • Compact State
  • Participates in NURSYS
  • Renewal every 2 years

Overview

Utah State Board of Nursing (BON) is a state agency under the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). The Utah State BON consists of 11 members and works in conjunction with DOPL to process applications for Utah nursing licenses and Utah RN license renewals. In April 2024, over 45,000 registered nurses held Utah nursing licenses.

About

Applicants must meet minimum nursing profession standards to obtain professional nurse licensure in Utah. The Utah BON and DOPL develop policies to determine the applications to be reviewed and the applicants to be interviewed by the Utah BON.

All applicants, whether applying for licensure by endorsement or exam, must meet the Utah BON's nurse education requirements. Applicants educated in-state must have completed a Board-accredited RN education program. Applicants educated outside Utah must have completed a program that either meets the BON's minimum requirements for an accredited program completed in Utah or is accredited by the National League for Nursing.

Applicants may apply online, the quickest and most convenient way to apply, or submit a paper application via mail. DOPL doesn't except faxed applications.

Applicants who submit an application have 30 days to submit all required items to DOPL. Applications that remain incomplete at the end of 30 days will be denied.

DOPL no longer issues paper licenses. It sends license certificates through email only. Licensees should confirm they've provided a valid email address during each licensing, reinstatement, and renewal process to ensure they receive their license.

Renewal

Utah RN licenses expire on January 31 of odd-numbered years. At least 60 days before this expiration date, DOPL mails a Utah RN license renewal notice to the licensee's address of record. Applicants needing to update their address or other contact information may log into the eGOV portal to make these changes.

Licensees who fail to renew their license before it expires can still renew online or with a manual Utah RN license renewal form for up to 2 years for an additional fee. Licensee's whose RN license has been expired longer than 2 years aren't eligible for renewal. They must submit a new application, pay the required fees, and demonstrate they meet current requirements for nurse licensure in Utah.

During each two-year licensure period, RNs must have completed one of the following:

  • Practiced at least 400 hours

  • Practiced at least 200 hours and completed 15 hours of approved continuing education

  • Completed 30 hours of approved continuing education

They also must have completed at least one of the following online suicide prevention trainings:

Licensees may submit their Utah RN license renewal online or complete the paper Renewal Application and mail all fees, forms, and documentation to DOPL at P.O. Box 146741, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6741.

Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing education (CE) hours may be required for Utah RN license renewal based on practice hours completed in the two immediately preceding renewal. Required CE hours include:

  • Zero CE hours with 400 hours of licensed practice

  • 15 CE hours with 200 hours of licensed practice

  • 30 CE hours with less than 200 hours of licensed practice

RNs can earn CE hours from:

Requirements

Fingerprinting Requirements

Fingerprints are used by the DOPL for a criminal back search of the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) files.

Providing Fingerprints in Utah

In-state applicants may make an appointment to have fingerprinting completed at the DOPL office (Heber Wells Building, 160 East 300 South, Salt Lake City) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at no additional charge. Applicants may make a fingerprinting appointment online. They must already have an application for nurse licensure on file with DOPL or be prepared to submit their application when they arrive for their appointment. Applicants for a Utah nursing license may submit their application online. If submitting a paper application during the appointment, applicants must arrive at least five minutes early. Applicants must also present a valid government-issued ID, such as as a U.S. driver's license, State ID, U.S. military ID or passport.

Submitting Fingerprint Cards

Applicants who can't submit fingerprints at DOPL's office must provide two completed fingerprint cards (Form FD-258) with their application. These cards must include complete demographic information and signatures from the applicant and the individual who rolled the fingerprints. Incomplete or low-quality fingerprint cards will be rejected and may delay the licensure process.

Contact Information

Utah State Board of Nursing
Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing
160 East 300 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 146741, Salt Lake City, UT 84114
[email protected]
(801) 530-6628

Multistate

Utah adopted the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) on January 1, 2000, which allowed all participating state to mutually recognize each state's RN license. RNs could practice in any Compact state using a single multistate license. The original NLC dissolved on July 18, 2018, and the Enhanced NLC took effect in Utah on January 19, 2018. To qualify for a multistate Compact license in Utah, RNs must meet the Uniform Licensure Requirements for a Multistate License. They must:

  • Meet all Texas nursing licensure requirements

  • Have a valid U.S. Social Security number

  • Graduate from a TXBON-approved nursing education program

  • Pass an English proficiency test if English isn’t the applicant’s native language

  • Pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or predecessor exam

  • Hold or be eligible for an active, unencumbered Texas nursing license

  • Submit fingerprints for state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background checks

  • Not have any federal felony convictions

  • Not have any misdemeanor convictions related to nursing

  • Not be currently participating in an alternative program (impaired provider program)

  • Self-disclose participation in an alternative program

Licensure by Endorsement

Applicants who have held an RN license in an approved jurisdiction that issues licenses deemed equivalent to Utah nursing licenses and has at least one year of nursing experience may apply for licensure by endorsement if their license is in good standing. To apply for licensure by endorsement, applicants must:

  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent

  • Have completed a nursing program that meets Utah's standards

  • Have passed the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN)

  • Submit an online application or a paper application

  • Submit fingerprints for BCI and FBI criminal background check

  • Pay $90.00 non-refundable application-processing fee, made payable to DOPL

  • Provide supporting documentation for any “yes” answers provided on qualifying questionnaires or previous disciplinary actions on any professional license

  • Provide official verification of at least one active RN license deemed equivalent issued at least one year before submitting licensure by endorsement application to Utah

    • Verify through Nursys for participating states

    • Contact the State Board of Nursing in states that don't participate in Nursys to request official verification be sent to DOPL

Licensure by Exam

Graduate nurses who've never held a license in any state or territory and haven't taken the NCLEX-RN yet must apply for Initial Licensure in Utah, or licensure by exam. This is a two-step process that begins with applying to take the NCLEX-RN, then applying for initial licensure.

Step 1: NCLEX-RN

  • Register with Pearson VUE and pay the $200 testing fee

  • Submit a Request for Authorization to Test application with DOPL online or through a paper application

  • Submit official transcripts from an approved prelicensure nursing program

  • Registrar mails transcripts directly to DOPL

  • Registrar emails transcripts directly to DOPL through a third-party clearinghouse

  • Transcripts must include the school seal, graduation date, and degree conferred

  • Receive ATT from DOPL and schedule NCLEX-RN

DOPL notifies applicant of the test results via email within 3 to 5 business days. Applicants who pass proceed to Step 2. DOPL mails a detailed candidate report to applicants who fail within 5 to 7 business days. They must register with Pearson VUE and pay the $200 testing fee again and email DOPL to be made eligible to take the exam again. Applicants must wait 45 days before re-attempting the NCLEX-RN.

Step 2: Initial Licensure

Frequent phone calls delay the processing of applications. DOPL will follow up with applicants if it needs any items to complete their applications. License numbers appear on DOPL’s website the day after they become active. Applicants receive a PDF copy of their license via email within 24 hours of its issuance.

Applicants must not live in another Compact state and will be required to provide proof of residency. DOPL can't authorize out-of-state applicants to take the NCLEX-RN if they're a resident of an eNLC state. Residents from Compact states must receive authorization to test from their state of residence.

Licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses

Foreign graduates must complete additional steps and submit related documentation. They must:

  • Contact the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)

  • Complete all three components of the CGFNS Certification Program and CES Professional Report within the year immediately preceding the date of their application

  • Contact the Utah BON for further instructions if it's been more than a year since completion

All applicants must have passed the NCLEX-RN. No other tests are accepted. Those who haven't taken the NCLEX-RN must complete a Request for Authorization to Test application and pass the NCLEX for Utah. Follow the same steps as an applicant educated in the U.S. applying for initial licensure as detailed above.

Timing

The processing times for Utah RN licensure applications without special circumstances can take up to 14 business days. Graduate nurses applying for a Utah nursing license by exam can expect to receive their exam results within two weeks. Those who pass receive their license via email within three weeks of taking the exam.

Temporary Nurse License

Applicants for a Utah RN license may apply for a temporary Graduate Nurse license if they've met all requirements except passing the NCLEX-RN. Applicants must:

  • Have graduated from an approved nursing education program within three months of applying for temporary licensure

  • Be registered with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX-RN

  • Submit an application for a permanent Utah RN license upon passing the NCLEX

  • Practice under the direct supervision of a licensed RN

A temporary Graduate Nurse license expires within one year of issuance or within 60 days of the applicant being notified they failed the NCLEX, whichever comes first. Once an applicant applies for and receives their permanent RN license, it supersedes the temporary license. Temporary licenses are only valid in Utah and aren't eligible for use as a multistate Compact license.

Fees

Unless otherwise indicated, application/processing fees should be made payable to DOPL and are non-refundable. Applicants may pay with a credit card if applying online or by check or money order made payable to DOPL if applying with a paper application. Never send cash with any forms. Application, renewal, and related fees for Utah RN licensure are subject to change annually. Current fees through June 30, 2023, include:

  • Application Fee: $60

  • BCI Fingerprint Check: $20

  • FBI Fingerprint Check: $10

  • NCLEX-RN (Paid to Pearson VUE): $200 (per attempt)

  • Utah RN License Renewal: $68

  • Reinstatement Fee (30 Days or Less): $20

  • Reinstatement Fee (31 Days to 2 Years): $50

When submitting an application for licensure by exam or endorsement, the total fee collected upon submission is $90 (application fee, BCI check, FBI check fees combined). Applicants for licensure by exam must also pay a fee of $200 to take the NCLEX-RN, but this fee is made payable to Pearson VUE.

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Frequently asked questions

What happens if I fail the NCLEX-RN in Utah?

If you fail the NCLEX-RN in Utah, you will receive a detail candidate report from the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) within 5 to 7 business days. You must email the DOPL to made eligible to retest, and re-register with Pearson VUE and pay the $200 exam fee. You must wait 45 days between exam attempts.

Does RN licensure renewal in Utah require continuing education?

Yes RN licensure renewal in Utah may require continuing education. The amount of continuing education hours required is based on the practice hours completed in the two years immediately preceding renewal.

Is Utah a Nurse Licensure Compact state?

Yes Utah is a Nurse Licensure Compact state.

Does Utah require fingerprinting for a background check?

Yes Utah requires fingerprinting for a background check.

How often do you need to renew your RN license in Utah?

You must renew your RN license in Utah every two years. Utah RN licenses expire on January 31 of odd-numbered years.