The medical sector showing the highest growth is allied health and the need has reached a record high for people considering attending a Licensed Practical Nurse school in Iowa.

Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Iowa

To be eligible to work as an LPN in Iowa, you must first graduate from an accredited course, pass the NCLEX-PN national licensing test, and hold an up-to-date license awarded by the All of these steps are discussed in detail below.

Step 1 – Complete the standard admission requirements for practical nursing training

Because graduating from a professional training course is a vital step in becoming an LPN, you should first ensure that you can satisfy program entrance prerequisites. The list shown below shows the most-common prerequisites for most educational facilities.

Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful residence
Meet the minimum score on the ACT assessment
A minimum 2.5 collective GPA in high school (or GED)

Step 2 – Decide on the kind of LPN credential in Iowa you intend to acquire

Practical nursing courses give a couple of different types of credentials to their students: an associate-level degree, and a diploma (alternately referred to as a “certificate”). Either kind of credential is accepted by most employers, but make sure you are familiar with the pros and cons of each.

Diplomas and Certificates

The curriculum for diploma or certificate programs focuses only on instructing you on the daily skills you are going to rely on as a Licensed Practical Nurse, and can oftentimes be finished in 18 months. Because these are traditionally the most-popular type of programs among students, they are typically offered both on-campus and online by a wide selection of institutions. This is in contrast to associate’s degree programs which include general education and other college classes too.

Associate Degree

Designed for individuals who want to become employed in specialized settings and advance into other opportunities, associate degree courses are comprehensive and last no less than two years. As regular college degree programs, coursework for this credential is usually provided by junior colleges and trade schools.

Holding an associate degree does provide a lot of benefits that one would not enjoy with just a diploma or certificate, though.

Regardless of the program you choose, be certain that you base your decision on your future professional goals and financial situation. If you need to start your career as soon as possible, and are concerned about tuition costs, then the diploma program may be the better option.

The better option is probably the associate’s degree in situations when you do have a definite career objective which will require higher education at some point.

Step 3 – Sign up for an approved Licensed Practical Nurse training class in Iowa

LPN education in Iowa is managed by the Iowa Board of Nursing. To become eligible to test the NCLEX-PN, you will need to first finish a training course that is authorized by one of these organizations.

What to search for in a LPN program in Iowa

It is important to check for a few factors when deciding on where to register for classes. Take into account the following things when comparing a program to another:

Similar to any decision, it is important to first establish what your main concerns are. In the event that the cost of classes is the most critical issue for you, that should be the first thing you learn about each program. After that, move on to the second-most crucial thing (e.g. course schedules, etc.) and apply that criteria to narrow down your possible choices.

Using this approach, it is possible to limit your options down to only a couple of schools. By deciding between training programs that match your requirements, you are far more apt to have a good outcome with your training.

LPN training in Iowa

The list below is all the Accredited LPN Programs in Iowa.

Western Iowa Tech Community College 4647 Stone Ave Sioux City IA 51102 712-274-6400-1731

Ellsworth Community College 1100 College Ave Iowa Falls IA 50126 800-322-9235

Iowa Lakes Community College 19 S 7th St Estherville IA 51334 712-362-2601

Kirkwood Community College 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW Cedar Rapids IA 52406 319-398-5411

Northwest Iowa Community College 603 W Park St Sheldon IA 51201 712-324-5061

Hawkeye Community College 1501 E Orange Rd Waterloo IA 50701 319-296-2320

Southwestern Community College 1501 West Townline Street Creston IA 50801 641-782-7081

Southeastern Community College 1500 West Agency Road West Burlington IA 52655 319-752-2731

Iowa Central Community College One Triton Circle Fort Dodge IA 50501 515-576-7201-1148

North Iowa Area Community College 500 College Dr Mason City IA 50401 641-423-1264

Eastern Iowa Community College District 306 W River Dr Davenport IA 52801 563-336-3300

Iowa Western Community College 2700 College Rd Council Bluffs IA 51503 712-325-3200

Des Moines Area Community College 2006 Ankeny Blvd Ankeny IA 50023 515-964-6241

Northeast Iowa Community College 1625 Hwy 150 Calmar IA 52132 563-562-3263

Marshalltown Community College 3700 S Center St Marshalltown IA 50158 641-752-7106

Indian Hills Community College 525 Grandview Ave Ottumwa IA 52501 641-683-5111

Step 4 – Take the NCLEX-PN assessment

In Iowa, you’ll be legally required to pass the nationally-recognized NCLEX-PN examination to become licensed as a LPN. This exams consists of segments on every main area of knowledge you would have covered in your training program.

Material included on the NCLEX-PN

A sampling of content normally included on the NCLEX-PN examination is shown here.

Step 5 – Pass the NCLEX-PN and get Head Start on Your Iowa LPN Career

There is a high need for licensed practical nurses throughout the nation and in Iowa. Whereas the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 16% growth in brand new spots for practical nurses nationally through the year 2024, the agency expects to find a 10% in Iowa. The bulk of new positions are likely to be produced in physicians offices, medical laboratories and hospitals.

Practical Nurse salary in Iowa

Below is a listing of the major cities in Iowa and more specifics on LPN salary by area and county.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$15.63$21.20$29.05
Yearly$32,510 $44,090 $60,420
IowaHourly$15.63$19.47$23.96
Yearly$32,510 $40,500 $49,840
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA MSAHourly$15.92$20.93$24.22
Yearly$33,100 $43,540 $50,390
Dubuque, IA MSAHourly$16.43$20.86$24.35
Yearly$34,170 $43,400 $50,640
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA MSAHourly$16.03$20.48$25.86
Yearly$33,350 $42,590 $53,790
Iowa City, IA MSAHourly$15.77$20.25$24.39
Yearly$32,800 $42,130 $50,730
Cedar Rapids, IA MSAHourly$15.82$20.18$23.84
Yearly$32,910 $41,980 $49,580
Northeast Iowa BOSHourly$15.41$19.63$23.92
Yearly$32,050 $40,820 $49,750
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL MSAHourly$15.77$19.62$25.98
Yearly$32,810 $40,810 $54,030
Ames, IA MSAHourly$15.93$19.34$24.05
Yearly$33,120 $40,220 $50,030
Southeast Iowa BOSHourly$15.48$19.13$24.15
Yearly$32,200 $39,790 $50,230
Northwest Iowa BOSHourly$15.57$18.78$23.59
Yearly$32,390 $39,060 $49,060
Southwest Iowa BOSHourly$14.75$18.58$23.65
Yearly$30,670 $38,640 $49,190
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA MSAHourly$15.75$18.55$23.26
Yearly$32,760 $38,590 $48,380
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD MSAHourly$15.72$18.02$22.45
Yearly$32,710 $37,480 $46,690