Upon graduating from an LPN program, students are required to take and pass the NCLEX-PN exam in order to earn their license. This exam consists of roughly 100 questions spanning various aspects of nursing. For more information about the NCLEX-PN exam, check out our comprehensive guide here. Students are also encouraged to take an NCLEX-PN practice test to prepare for the real thing.
The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) consists of 24 states—1 of which is Iowa, which allows nurses to register a primary state but work in other states within the NLC without additional licensure. As of January 2018, the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC) will go into effect, which adds extra protections to the original NLC. Nurses already under the original NLC will be grandfathered in to the new eNLC.
Nurses from other states, outside of the compact, are required to apply for an Iowa state license by endorsement if they are seeking licensure in the state. They will also be required to submit the following:
Graduates from a foreign nursing school, holding a license in another country, can apply for a license in the state of Iowa. As well as the items listed above, they will be required to also submit the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) evaluation of their official transcript and proof of English proficiency.
For detailed information about LPN endorsement by application in Iowa check out:
The table below lists career information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for licensed practical nurses in Iowa. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Des Moines, West Des Moines||990||$20.06||$41,730|
|Davenport, Moline, Rock Island||660||$20.19||$41,990|
|Waterloo, Cedar Falls||480||$18.30||$38,070|
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Iowa LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
Iowa Valley Community College District is made up of two schools offering LPN programs, 1) Marshalltown Community College (MCC) is located in Marshalltown, IA and 2) Ellsworth Community College (ECC) located in Iowa Falls, IA. With small class sizes and one on one attention it's a wise decision to consider their offerings considering the successful NCLEX-PN pass rates over the past 5 years.
Mason City’s North Iowa Area Community College offers an LPN program designed to train nurses to assist physicians and RNs in complex situations. Enrolled students are prepared through classroom curriculum as well as off-site clinical experiences. Upon completion of the program, students are able to sit for the NCLEX-PN examination.
Iowa Central Community College provides quality educational opportunities in and out of the classroom. ICCC's Practical Nursing (PN) Program prepares students for entry-level positions, to provide nursing care under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or Physician. The Practical Nursing Program prepares students for a career in a wide-range of health care settings.
Northwest Iowa Community College’s LPN program prepares students to provide compassionate nursing care for patients across the lifespan. The curriculum includes courses in medical-surgical, maternity, geriatric, pediatric, and mental health care, amongst other topics. Supervised clinical experience is offered through area healthcare clinics, giving students a well-rounded educational base.
West Burlington’s Southeastern Community College boasts a practical nursing program which prepares students for effective nursing care and encourages life-long learning. The curriculum emphasizes evidence-based clinical practice and teaches students to provide support under RNs and other healthcare providers. Graduates of the program go on to work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other medical settings.
1625 Hwy. 150, Calmar, IA 52132
4647 Stone Ave, Sioux City, IA 51106
2700 College Rd, Council Bluffs, IA 51503
306 W River Dr, Davenport, IA 52801
300 S 18th St, Estherville, IA 51334
525 Grandview Ave, Ottumwa, IA 52501
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