Iowa Nursing License

Iowa is definitely a state for outdoor and nature lovers. A wonderful place to work, play and live, Iowa is a charming state cradled between two rivers — the Missouri on the west and the mighty Mississippi on the east. Located in the center of America's heartland, Iowa is a diverse state with thriving communities immersed in history and natural beauty.

The Onward Healthcare team is standing by to help you navigate the Iowa licensure process and find your next Iowa travel nursing job.

Tips To Apply For or Renew Your Iowa Nursing License

Nurses who are licensed in another state or jurisdiction can apply for an Iowa RN license or LPN license by endorsement. Those who are not yet licensed in another state would apply for licensure by examination.

Applying for an Iowa Nursing License

  • Graduation from a board-approved RN or LPN nursing program.
  • Having held the same type of licensure in another state (RN or LPN).
  • Passing the NCLEX examination in effect at the time of licensure.
  • Review and approval of a nurse’s background information by the state board, if there are any criminal convictions or record of prior disciplinary action.

Need to Renew Your License?

Nurses who want to continue practicing in Iowa must renew their nursing license every three years, and demonstrate that they have completed 36 contact hours of continuing education. Nurses who wish to renew their license can apply to renew an Iowa license as early as 60 days before it expires. Online applications through the IBON site are preferred.

Top Iowa Nursing License Q&As

How Long Does it Take to Get a License? After the state board has received all of the required documentation, applications are processed in the order received. It then takes approximately 2-3 weeks to receive a nursing license, but the timing can vary due to seasonal demand.

Is Iowa part of the Nurse Licensure Compact? Yes, which now encompasses nearly 40 states. If a nurse claims another compact state as their primary state of residence and holds a multistate nursing license, they can pursue travel nursing jobs in Iowa—without having to pay additional fees or obtain another license.

Is Online Application Needed? The Iowa Board of Nursing encourages nurses to complete an online application through IBON Online Services. A packet of other required materials and instructions will be sent to the applicants by ground mail after they have completed the application and paid the endorsement fee of $169.00. Paper applications are available but will delay the process for licensure.


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