Components of nursing licensure include verification of graduation from an approved prelicensure nursing education program.
State Certification examination eligibility requirements can be found at NCSBN.
Registered Nurse Licensing
Qualifications for Licensure in Iowa:
- Graduation from a board-approved RN or LPN nursing program. (RN Program applicants or RN graduates who did NOT complete or graduate from an LPN Program are NOT eligible to take the LPN Examination.)
- Prior to being licensed, approval by the board of those with a past felony conviction or a record of prior disciplinary action, regardless of jurisdiction.
- Passing NCLEX examination as prescribed by the board.
Exam applications are valid for the dates indicated on the Authorization to Test (90 days). If your Authorization to Test expires you will be required to re-submit both applications and fees.
Exam applications are completed online.
The following items are required before authorization to test is issued:
- Iowa Application for Exam - Fee $93 Payable to the Iowa Board of Nursing - (Personal Check, Money Order or Cashier's Check is acceptable.)
- Two Completed Fingerprint Cards and Signed Waiver Form - Fee $50 (All applications will be returned if received without the Fingerprint Cards).
- Exam and Fingerprint Card fees may be combined for a Total of $143.
- Official Transcripts from the School of Nursing denoting date of graduation and degree conferred.
- NCLEX Registration including Fee of $200 submitted to NCLEX Operations (Payable to NCSBN-no personal checks accepted).
THE FEE IS NON-REFUNDABLE AND MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH EACH APPLICATION TO TEST.
Information regarding criminal conviction:
- Send a copy of the Court records; i.e. trial information, judgment entry and sentencing order with the application by exam.
- A written assessment of your life before, at the time of, and after the conviction.
- Parole/Probation Officer's assessment if currently under active supervision or a letter from your parole/probation officer stating that you completed the requirements of your probation.
- Employment history (please include in your written assessment).
- Enclose copies of all substance abuse evaluations with treatment discharge summary and aftercare recommendations.
- Letters of recommendation may also be included.
Continuing Education: The Basic Requirements
Continuing education is mandated by Iowa law as a prerequisite to renewal of an Iowa nursing license. The requirements are as follows:
- For renewal of a three-year license, the requirement is 36 contact hours or 3.6 CEUs.
- For renewal of a license that has been issued for less than three years, the requirement is 24 contact hours or 2.4 CEUs. This applies to the first renewal after any one of the following:
Initial Iowa licensure by examination
Initial Iowa licensure by endorsement from another state
Reactivation from an inactive status
A license issued for less than three years is granted for two years, plus the number of months to the birth month. Thereafter, the license must be renewed every three years.
- For reactivation from an inactive status, the requirement is 12 contact hours that are not more than 12 months old at the time the credit is submitted for reactivation.
Special Testing Circumstances:
Pursuant to 655 Iowa Administrative Code, Nursing Board, individuals with disabilities may request special testing accommodations. Inquiries should be directed to the Iowa Board of Nursing as early as possible, preferably prior to graduation to expedite the approval process. You may phone (515) 281-5535 or e-mail email@example.com for additional information.