LPN to RN Program Rankings
LPN to BSN Program Rankings
RN Job Outlook

LPN to RN Programs in Iowa

Nursing education at the community college level in Iowa is typically offered as a "ladder program."  The ladder program allows the student to initially obtain their practical nursing certificate - this takes about one year.  After completion of the practical nursing portion of the program, students can opt out of the program or continue immediately for the RN license.  Many community colleges also offer partnerships with local universities, making it easy for graduates to continue for their BSN degree after graduation.

 

Iowa Licensing Requirements

Iowa has strict regulations nurses must complete in order to gain licensure. There are three ways a nursing candidate can obtain licensure: by exam, by endorsement, and in some cases, by completing a program abroad.

RN Licensure by Exam

Before a candidate can register for test, he/she must have received authorization to do so. The following items must be completed in order to be authorized to test:
  • Completed Application for Exam
  • Two fingerprint cards and signed waiver form (they must be received from the Iowa Board of Nursing to the nursing program.
  • $93 application fee and $50 fee for fingerprint cards. Fees can be paid online, by check, or money order. All fees are non-refundable.
  • Official transcripts
  • Separate application submitted online to NCLEX which includes the $200 fee

RN Licensure by Endorsement

Nurses who have gained licensure in one of the other 50 states can obtain licensure in Iowa through an endorsement. The following documentation must be submitted in order to complete this process:
  • Proof of graduation from a board-approved RN program
  • Criminal background check
  • Passing the NCLEX exam
  • $169 fee payable to the Iowa Board of Nursing
  • Verification of original license

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

In some cases, nurses who were educated abroad will be able to obtain licensure in the state of Iowa. In order to do so candidates must complete the Professional Report application of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools Credentials Evaluation Service (CES). In order for the report to be complete, the candidate must submit validation of license/ registration. Candidates will also be required to pass an English as a Foreign Language test. This does not apply to nurses who used a textbook and program that was presented in English.

Total Schools: 22

Ranked Schools: 16

Ranked: 1 ADN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.8196.00%

North Iowa Area Community College

500 College Dr, Mason City, IA - 50401 (641) 423-1264

North Iowa Area Community College is located in Mason City, Iowa. NIACC is proud to boast that it is Iowa's oldest community college, having been founded in 1918.  NIACC offers an LPN and an ADN program.  They also have a partnership with various universities that allow ADN graduates to pursue their BSN after graduation; the University of Iowa is local, and there are also various other education options for the ADN graduate.

Campus: Mason City, IA
Net Price: $7,532.00
Enrollment: 3,207
Transfer Out Rate: 20.30%
Loan Default Rate: $20.20
Institution Accreditation: NCA
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Public
Net Price Change: $13.33%
Graduation Rate: 38.30%
Median Borrowing: 7,203.00%
Median Payment: 75.21%
Award Levels: Associate
Program Accreditation(s) : ACEN

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 2 ADN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.7625195.25%

Southwestern Community College

1501 W. Townline Street, Creston, IA - 50801 64178312

Southwestern Community College is located in Creston, Iowa.  Their nursing program is unique; they describe it as a “ladder program.”  Their students first complete their LPN.  This allows them to earn their LPN degree and work within a year, and simultaneously obtain the AAS in nursing.  They also have the option of opting out of the RN portion.

Campus: Creston, IA
Net Price: $6,922.00
Enrollment: 1,573
Transfer Out Rate: 20.90%
Loan Default Rate: $21.40
Institution Accreditation: NCA
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Public
Net Price Change: $20.61%
Graduation Rate: 41.90%
Median Borrowing: 9,293.00%
Median Payment: 97.03%
Award Levels: Associate
Program Accreditation(s) :

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 3 ADN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.6192.00%

Kirkwood Community College

6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA - 52406-2068 (319) 398-5411

Kirkwood Community College is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Kirkwood offers a “ladder” program, meaning that the first year of the program earns the student an LPN degree and the second year earns the student an RN degree.  They also offer a non-degree pre-BSN option, which allows the student to obtain prerequisites for a BSN program and subsequently transfer to University of Iowa, Coe College, or Mount Mercy University for their nursing program.

Campus: Cedar Rapids, IA
Net Price: $9,831.00
Enrollment: 15,076
Transfer Out Rate: 7.10%
Loan Default Rate: $24.60
Institution Accreditation: NCA
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Public
Net Price Change: $6.33%
Graduation Rate: 19.70%
Median Borrowing: 9,168.00%
Median Payment: 95.72%
Award Levels: Associate
Program Accreditation(s) :

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 4 ADN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.55191.00%

St Luke’s College

2720 Stone Park Blvd, Sioux City, IA - 51104-0263 (712) 279-3149

St. Luke's College is located in Sioux City, Iowa.  Their college is unique because it is a medical center based college – it is the only one in their area, and one of a handful in the entire country.  The college is devoted entirely to healthcare degrees.  They offer both an ASN and a BSN program.

Campus: Sioux City, IA
Net Price: $21,626.00
Enrollment: 184
Loan Default Rate: $6.40
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Private Not-For-Profit
Net Price Change: $36.90%
Median Borrowing: 18,301.00%
Median Payment: 191.08%
Award Levels: Associate
Program Accreditation(s) : ACEN

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 4 ADN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.55191.00%

Des Moines Area Community College

2006 Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA - 50023-3993 (515) 964-6241

Des Moines Area Community College is located in Ankeny, Iowa.  DMACC currently offers an LPN program and an RN program.  They do not have an LPN to RN program, but it is in the developmental stages and will be available at a later date.

Campus: Ankeny, IA
Net Price: $10,215.00
Enrollment: 20,167
Loan Default Rate: $28.70
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Public
Net Price Change: $7.77%
Graduation Rate: 17.40%
Median Borrowing: 7,500.00%
Median Payment: 78.31%
Award Levels: Associate
Program Accreditation(s) : ACEN

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 6 ADN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.4625189.25%

Northeast Iowa Community College-Calmar

1625 Hwy 150, Calmar, IA - 52132-0400 (563) 562-3263
Campus: Calmar, IA
Net Price: $10,345.00
Enrollment: 5,201
Transfer Out Rate: 19.80%
Loan Default Rate: $22.90
Institution Accreditation: NCA
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Public
Net Price Change: $9.45%
Graduation Rate: 28.90%
Median Borrowing: 9,339.00%
Median Payment: 97.51%
Award Levels: Associate
Program Accreditation(s) :

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 7 ADN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.375187.50%

Northwest Iowa Community College

603 W Park St, Sheldon, IA - 51201 (712) 324-5061
Campus: Sheldon, IA
Net Price: $10,607.00
Enrollment: 1,628
Transfer Out Rate: 11.80%
Loan Default Rate: $11.70
Institution Accreditation: NCA
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Public
Net Price Change: $6.59%
Graduation Rate: 51.50%
Median Borrowing: 8,000.00%
Median Payment: 83.53%
Award Levels: Associate
Program Accreditation(s) :

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 8 ADN / BSN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.3625187.25%

Mercy College of Health Sciences

928 Sixth Ave, Des Moines, IA - 50309-1239 (515) 643-3180
Campus: Des Moines, IA
Net Price: $17,897.00
Enrollment: 831
Loan Default Rate: $7.90
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus, Online
Type: Private Not-For-Profit
Net Price Change: $35.80%
Graduation Rate: 36.60%
Median Borrowing: 16,500.00%
Median Payment: 172.28%
Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
Program Accreditation(s) : ACEN, CCNE

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 9 ADN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.325186.50%

Southeastern Community College

1500 West Agency Road, West Burlington, IA - 52655-0180 (319) 752-2731
Campus: West Burlington, IA
Net Price: $7,502.00
Enrollment: 3,225
Transfer Out Rate: 15.60%
Loan Default Rate: $23.50
Institution Accreditation: NCA
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Public
Net Price Change: $30.61%
Graduation Rate: 25.10%
Median Borrowing: 7,490.00%
Median Payment: 78.20%
Award Levels: Associate
Program Accreditation(s) :

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 10 ADN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.2375184.75%

Iowa Central Community College

One Triton Circle, Fort Dodge, IA - 50501 (515) 576-7201
Campus: Fort Dodge, IA
Net Price: $7,533.00
Enrollment: 5,697
Loan Default Rate: $22.40
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Public
Net Price Change: $-6.67%
Graduation Rate: 33.90%
Median Borrowing: 7,462.00%
Median Payment: 77.91%
Award Levels: Associate
Program Accreditation(s) :

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 11 ADN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.15183.00%

Eastern Iowa Community College District

306 W River Dr, Davenport, IA - 52801-1221 (563) 336-3300
Campus: Davenport, IA
Net Price: $9,187.00
Enrollment: 8,694
Transfer Out Rate: 18.40%
Loan Default Rate: $21.00
Institution Accreditation: NCA
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Public
Net Price Change: $4.00%
Graduation Rate: 22.50%
Median Borrowing: 8,375.00%
Median Payment: 87.44%
Award Levels: Associate
Program Accreditation(s) :

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 12 ADN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.0875181.75%

Western Iowa Tech Community College

4647 Stone Ave, Sioux City, IA - 51102-5199 (712) 274-6400
Campus: Sioux City, IA
Net Price: $6,797.00
Enrollment: 6,331
Transfer Out Rate: 14.10%
Loan Default Rate: $24.30
Institution Accreditation: NCA
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Public
Net Price Change: $33.67%
Graduation Rate: 20.40%
Median Borrowing: 7,252.00%
Median Payment: 75.72%
Award Levels: Associate
Program Accreditation(s) : ACEN

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Data sources come from US Department of Education, various schools, State Boards of Nursing, and the IPEDS system

Continued List of RN Programs in Iowa

Rank (Modified)
University
NCLEX Pass Rate
Based In
Program Accreditation
13 Hawkeye Community College 3.8375176.75% Waterloo, IA ADA, APTA
14 Iowa Western Community College 3.7375174.75% Council Bluffs, IA ADA, APTA
15 Iowa Lakes Community College 3.6625173.25% Estherville, IA ADA, APTA
16 Indian Hills Community College 3.4168.00% Ottumwa, IA ADA, APTA, AOTA, JRCERT
N/A Ellsworth Community College N/A Iowa Falls, IA ADA, APTA, AOTA, JRCERT
N/A Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus N/A Cedar Rapids, IA ADA, APTA, AOTA, JRCERT
N/A Marshalltown Community College N/A Marshalltown, IA ADA, APTA, AOTA, JRCERT
N/A Kaplan University-Davenport Campus N/A Davenport, IA ADA, APTA, AOTA, JRCERT
N/A Kaplan University-Cedar Falls Campus N/A Cedar Falls, IA ADA, APTA, AOTA, JRCERT
N/A Kaplan University-Des Moines Campus N/A Urbandale, IA ADA, APTA, AOTA, JRCERT

LPN to BSN Programs in Iowa

Tuition for an RN-BSN program in Iowa is approximately $12,000.00. Some colleges also offer free tuition for the first nursing course upon admittance into the school. Many programs are offered online with the exception of a clinical course and a didactic course that have face-to-face components. Site location will be within 100 miles of your current address. The leadership course can often be completed within the employer. The practicum course must be completed in Iowa and nurses must have valid licensure.

 

Iowa Licensing Requirements

Iowa has strict regulations nurses must complete in order to gain licensure. There are three ways a nursing candidate can obtain licensure: by exam, by endorsement, and in some cases, by completing a program abroad.

RN Licensure by Exam

Before a candidate can register for test, he/she must have received authorization to do so. The following items must be completed in order to be authorized to test:
  • Completed Application for Exam
  • Two fingerprint cards and signed waiver form (they must be received from the Iowa Board of Nursing to the nursing program.
  • $93 application fee and $50 fee for fingerprint cards. Fees can be paid online, by check, or money order. All fees are non-refundable.
  • Official transcripts
  • Separate application submitted online to NCLEX which includes the $200 fee

RN Licensure by Endorsement

Nurses who have gained licensure in one of the other 50 states can obtain licensure in Iowa through an endorsement. The following documentation must be submitted in order to complete this process:
  • Proof of graduation from a board-approved RN program
  • Criminal background check
  • Passing the NCLEX exam
  • $169 fee payable to the Iowa Board of Nursing
  • Verification of original license

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

In some cases, nurses who were educated abroad will be able to obtain licensure in the state of Iowa. In order to do so candidates must complete the Professional Report application of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools Credentials Evaluation Service (CES). In order for the report to be complete, the candidate must submit validation of license/ registration. Candidates will also be required to pass an English as a Foreign Language test. This does not apply to nurses who used a textbook and program that was presented in English.

Total Schools: 21

Ranked Schools: 14

Ranked: 1 BSN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.8125196.25%

University of Iowa

101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA - 52242-1316 (319) 335-3500

University of Iowa is located in Iowa City, Iowa.  Their College of Nursing offers a BSN program and an RN to BSN program.  For the BSN who chooses to continue his or her education, they also offer an extensive graduate program.

Campus: Iowa City, IA
Net Price: $15,966.00
Enrollment: 21,974
Transfer Out Rate: 24.30%
Loan Default Rate: $4.10
Institution Accreditation: NCA
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Public
Net Price Change: $12.08%
Graduation Rate: 69.60%
Median Borrowing: 22,367.00%
Median Payment: 233.54%
Award Levels: Bachelor
Program Accreditation(s) : CCNE

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 2 BSN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.675193.50%

Luther College

700 College Drive, Decorah, IA - 52101-1045 (563) 387-2000

Luther College is located in Decorah, Iowa.  They offer a BSN program and a Direct Entry Program.  The Direct Entry Program allows a high school senior to apply for entrance into the program their freshman year of college.

Campus: Decorah, IA
Net Price: $24,873.00
Enrollment: 2,466
Loan Default Rate: $3.20
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Private Not-For-Profit
Net Price Change: $6.82%
Graduation Rate: 76.00%
Median Borrowing: 27,000.00%
Median Payment: 281.91%
Award Levels: Bachelor
Program Accreditation(s) : CCNE

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 3 BSN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.65193.00%

Graceland University-Lamoni

1 University Place, Lamoni, IA - 50140 (641) 784-5000

Graceland University is located in Lamoni, Iowa.  They are proud to boast that the Princeton Review called them “The Best in the Midwest” in 2015.  They have traditional nursing degrees available on-campus, but also have a variety of online nursing degrees, ranging from their RN to BSN degree, from graduate degrees.

Campus: Lamoni, IA
Net Price: $16,288.00
Enrollment: 1,559
Loan Default Rate: $9.20
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus, Online
Type: Private Not-For-Profit
Net Price Change: $25.32%
Graduation Rate: 47.00%
Median Borrowing: 21,129.00%
Median Payment: 220.61%
Award Levels: Bachelor
Program Accreditation(s) : ACEN, CCNE

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 4 BSN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.6375192.75%

Allen College

1990 Heath St, Waterloo, IA - 50703-1999 (319) 226-2000

Allen College is located in Waterloo, Iowa.  Allen College is unique in that it is a college that provides only healthcare education.  The following degrees are available: Associate of Science in Radiography, Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Doctor of Education in Health Professions Education degree programs.

Campus: Waterloo, IA
Net Price: $24,065.00
Enrollment: 398
Transfer Out Rate: 32.60%
Loan Default Rate: $1.60
Institution Accreditation: NCA
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus, Online
Type: Private Not-For-Profit
Net Price Change: $28.64%
Graduation Rate: 65.10%
Median Borrowing: 18,750.00%
Median Payment: 195.77%
Award Levels: Bachelor
Program Accreditation(s) : ACEN, CCNE

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 5 BSN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.6125192.25%

Coe College

1220 First Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA - 52402-5092 (319) 399-8000

Coe College is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Their nursing program's slogan is, “The nursing program is elite, selective, and known for educating outstanding nurses. We are not a typical BSN program!”  Their program is unique in that their students have the opportunity to travel abroad, are paired one-on-one with nurse experts, and participate in highly interactive classrooms.

Campus: Cedar Rapids, IA
Net Price: $20,934.00
Enrollment: 1,419
Loan Default Rate: $5.90
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Private Not-For-Profit
Net Price Change: $3.85%
Graduation Rate: 66.70%
Median Borrowing: 25,000.00%
Median Payment: 261.03%
Award Levels: Bachelor
Program Accreditation(s) : CCNE

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 6 BSN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.5625191.25%

Northwestern College

101 Seventh St SW, Orange City, IA - 51041 (712) 707-7000

Northwestern College is located in Orange City, Iowa.  They offer a traditional BSN program and an online RN to BSN program.  Students in their traditional BSN program have an advantage as their Nursing Arts Laboratory is located in a former hospital, which has a nurses station, patient rooms with beds, IV equipment, hospital-based computerized medication system and an electronic health record simulation program.

Campus: Orange City, IA
Net Price: $20,633.00
Enrollment: 1,233
Loan Default Rate: $2.40
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Private Not-For-Profit
Net Price Change: $-0.62%
Graduation Rate: 63.30%
Median Borrowing: 22,000.00%
Median Payment: 229.71%
Award Levels: Bachelor
Program Accreditation(s) : CCNE

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 7 BSN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.4875189.75%

Morningside College

1501 Morningside Ave, Sioux City, IA - 51106-1751 (712) 274-5000
Campus: Sioux City, IA
Net Price: $18,985.00
Enrollment: 1,305
Loan Default Rate: $3.70
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Private Not-For-Profit
Net Price Change: $3.19%
Graduation Rate: 58.00%
Median Borrowing: 21,830.00%
Median Payment: 227.93%
Award Levels: Bachelor
Program Accreditation(s) : CCNE

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 8 BSN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.4625189.25%

Saint Ambrose University

518 W Locust St, Davenport, IA - 52803-2898 (563) 333-6000
Campus: Davenport, IA
Net Price: $21,907.00
Enrollment: 2,743
Transfer Out Rate: 26.90%
Loan Default Rate: $6.70
Institution Accreditation: NCA
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Private Not-For-Profit
Net Price Change: $-1.59%
Graduation Rate: 61.30%
Median Borrowing: 24,250.00%
Median Payment: 253.20%
Award Levels: Bachelor
Program Accreditation(s) : CCNE

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 9 BSN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.3625187.25%

Mount Mercy University

1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA - 52402-4797 (319) 363-8213
Campus: Cedar Rapids, IA
Net Price: $20,577.00
Enrollment: 1,476
Loan Default Rate: $5.50
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Private Not-For-Profit
Net Price Change: $-9.96%
Graduation Rate: 72.90%
Median Borrowing: 21,500.00%
Median Payment: 224.48%
Award Levels: Bachelor
Program Accreditation(s) : CCNE

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 10 BSN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.1625183.25%

Clarke University

1550 Clarke Dr, Dubuque, IA - 52001-3198 (563) 588-6300
Campus: Dubuque, IA
Net Price: $22,675.00
Enrollment: 1,011
Loan Default Rate: $6.10
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Private Not-For-Profit
Net Price Change: $19.29%
Graduation Rate: 69.50%
Median Borrowing: 21,273.00%
Median Payment: 222.11%
Award Levels: Bachelor
Program Accreditation(s) : CCNE

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Ranked: 11 BSN NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 4.0625181.25%

Grand View University

1200 Grandview Ave, Des Moines, IA - 50316 (515) 263-2800
Campus: Des Moines, IA
Net Price: $18,380.00
Enrollment: 2,096
Transfer Out Rate: 29.80%
Loan Default Rate: $9.10
Institution Accreditation: NCA
Programs: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Offered as: Campus
Type: Private Not-For-Profit
Net Price Change: $8.86%
Graduation Rate: 48.00%
Median Borrowing: 21,124.00%
Median Payment: 220.56%
Award Levels: Bachelor
Program Accreditation(s) : CCNE

School Resources: School Site | Net-Price Calculator

Data sources come from US Department of Education, various schools, State Boards of Nursing, and the IPEDS system

Continued List of RN Programs in Iowa

Rank (Modified)
University
NCLEX Pass Rate
Based In
Program Accreditation
12 University of Dubuque 4.0375180.75% Dubuque, IA CAATS, CCNE
13 Iowa Wesleyan College 3.725174.50% Mount Pleasant, IA CAATS, CCNE, ACEN
14 Briar Cliff University 3.175163.50% Sioux City, IA CAATS, CCNE, ACEN
N/A Upper Iowa University N/A Fayette, IA CAATS, CCNE, ACEN
N/A Mercy College of Health Sciences N/A Des Moines, IA CAATS, CCNE, ACEN, APTA, JRCERT
N/A Dordt College N/A Sioux Center, IA CAATS, CCNE, ACEN, APTA, JRCERT
N/A Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus N/A Cedar Rapids, IA CAATS, CCNE, ACEN, APTA, JRCERT
N/A Kaplan University-Davenport Campus N/A Davenport, IA CAATS, CCNE, ACEN, APTA, JRCERT
N/A Kaplan University-Cedar Falls Campus N/A Cedar Falls, IA CAATS, CCNE, ACEN, APTA, JRCERT
N/A Kaplan University-Des Moines Campus N/A Urbandale, IA CAATS, CCNE, ACEN, APTA, JRCERT

Iowa Licensing Requirements

Iowa has strict regulations nurses must complete in order to gain licensure. There are three ways a nursing candidate can obtain licensure: by exam, by endorsement, and in some cases, by completing a program abroad.

RN Licensure by Exam

Before a candidate can register for test, he/she must have received authorization to do so. The following items must be completed in order to be authorized to test:
  • Completed Application for Exam
  • Two fingerprint cards and signed waiver form (they must be received from the Iowa Board of Nursing to the nursing program.
  • $93 application fee and $50 fee for fingerprint cards. Fees can be paid online, by check, or money order. All fees are non-refundable.
  • Official transcripts
  • Separate application submitted online to NCLEX which includes the $200 fee

RN Licensure by Endorsement

Nurses who have gained licensure in one of the other 50 states can obtain licensure in Iowa through an endorsement. The following documentation must be submitted in order to complete this process:
  • Proof of graduation from a board-approved RN program
  • Criminal background check
  • Passing the NCLEX exam
  • $169 fee payable to the Iowa Board of Nursing
  • Verification of original license

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

In some cases, nurses who were educated abroad will be able to obtain licensure in the state of Iowa. In order to do so candidates must complete the Professional Report application of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools Credentials Evaluation Service (CES). In order for the report to be complete, the candidate must submit validation of license/ registration. Candidates will also be required to pass an English as a Foreign Language test. This does not apply to nurses who used a textbook and program that was presented in English.

Iowa LPN Jobs by City

Iowa RN Job Outlook

A lot of medical facilities prefer nurses that have obtained a Bachelor’s degree. Nurses who have completed a program are likely more knowledgeable when employed in some of the following areas:
  • Areas requiring administrative and leadership skills
  • Research departments that compile statistical nursing data
  • Legal units to handle nursing problems and mishaps
There is a high need, not only for nurses, but also for educators to teach new nurses. By obtaining a BSN, you will be closer to becoming a MSN and becoming an educator if this is a desired path.

Iowa Registered Nursing Salaries

Iowa City has the highest hourly and annual median wage, while Des Moines highest RN employment for nurses. Almost all cities within Iowa are within 10% in salary range.
Area name Employment Hourly median wage Annual median wage
Ames, IA 700 $26.81 $55,760
Cedar Rapids, IA 2,630 $24.77 $51,510
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL 3,220 $25.37 $52,770
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA 6,510 $26.87 $55,880
Dubuque, IA 1,150 $23.61 $49,110
Iowa City, IA 3,320 $28.81 $59,910
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD 1,590 $22.99 $47,810
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA 2,080 $25.72 $53,500
Northeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area 2,130 $24.24 $50,420
Northwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area 3,180 $23.20 $48,260
Southwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area 1,970 $24.41 $50,770
Source: http://www.dol.gov/, 2014 Data