Becoming an LPN in Iowa

The state of Iowa strives to provide quality treatment to a wide range of people, helping maintain a higher quality of life. Iowa is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NCL) that makes up 24 states, allowing nurses to work in any state in the network without additional licensing. Licensed practical nurses (LPN's) outside of the compact are must apply for a license by endorsement. LPN jobs are on the rise and said to increase 10% in Iowa by 2024, according to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • LPN Programs in Iowa

    Des Moines Area Community College
    1100 7th St, Des Moines, IA 50314
    (800) 362-2127 Visit Homepage
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    Eastern Iowa Community College District
    306 W River Dr, Davenport, IA 52801
    (563) 441-4001 Visit Homepage
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    Hawkeye Community College
    1501 E Orange Rd, Waterloo, IA 50701
    (800) 670-4769 Visit Homepage
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    Indian Hills Community College
    525 Grandview Ave, Ottumwa, IA 52501
    (800) 726-2585 Visit Homepage
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    Iowa Central Community College
    1 Triton Cir, Fort Dodge, IA 50501
    (515) 576-7201 Visit Homepage
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    Iowa Lakes Community College
    300 S 18th St, Estherville, IA 51334
    (712) 362-7231 Visit Homepage
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    Iowa Valley Community College District
    3702 S Center St, Marshalltown, IA 50158
    (641) 752-4643 Visit Homepage
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    Iowa Western Community College
    2700 College Rd, Council Bluffs, IA 51503
    (712) 325-3200 Visit Homepage
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    North Iowa Area Community College
    500 College Dr, Mason City, IA 50401
    (641) 423-1264 Visit Homepage
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    Northeast Iowa Community College District
    1625 Hwy. 150, Calmar, IA 52132
    (563) 562-3263 Visit Homepage
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    Northwest Iowa Community College
    603 W Park St, Sheldon, IA 51201
    (712) 324-5061 Visit Homepage
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    Southeastern Community College
    1500 W Agency Rd, West Burlington, IA 52655
    (319) 752-2731 Visit Homepage
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    Western Iowa Tech Community College
    4647 Stone Ave, Sioux City, IA 51106
    (712) 274-6400 Visit Homepage
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    Source: Practical nursing programs appearing on these pages have been retrieved from their respective state board overseeing practical or vocational nursing licensure. The data was retrieved on Sept 14, 2016.

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  • Iowa LPN Licensing Requirements

    Iowa has educational requirements that must be fulfilled by attending a state-certified LPN program. Once the student has completed the required coursework, he or she must sit for and pass the NCLEX exam.

    In order to receive state licensure, the applicant must submit an application to the state, including:

    • Official transcript of state-approved nursing program.
    • Completed fingerprint cards and signed waiver.
    • Information regarding criminal offenses—submit a criminal background check.
    • NCLEX registration.

    Application for License by Examination (http://nursing.iowa.go

    An LPN's day-to-day may consist of strenuous activity requiring certain strength requirements. This activity is not just limited to heavy lifting, there is a great deal of standing, squatting, walking, and possibly even running for extended periods of time.

    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. 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:

    • Official transcripts from state-approved nursing program.
    • Verification of original license.
    • Completed fingerprint cards and signed waiver.
    • Information regarding criminal offenses—submit a criminal background check.

    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.

    Iowa LPN Licenses must be renewed every 3 years, and the license holder is responsible for 36 contact hours of continued education.

    Learn more about Iowa LPN Jobs, Salary, and Employment Outlook.

    Additional IA Nursing Resources

    Iowa Board of Nursing

    River Point Business Park
    400 S.W. 8th Street, Suite B
    Des Moines, IA 50309-4685
    Phone: (515) 281-3255
    Fax: (515) 281-4825

    1. Iowa Nurses Association (

    For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Iowa LPN to RN programs page.