LPN Schools in IowaThe 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 credential 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

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

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:

• Is the program accredited by the ACEN or ACCET?
• Recent graduate pass rates on the NCLEX-PN
• Availability of training at convenient times
• Availability of online courses
• Tuition cost

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 link below will get you to a complete list of all the authorized Licensed Practical Nurse training courses in your area.

Accredited Iowa LPN Programs

Step 4 – Pass 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 below.

  • Health promotion and maintenance (12%)
  • Safe Care Environment (21-33%)
  • Physiological integrity (43-67%)
  • Psychosocial integrity (12%)

Practical Nurse salary and jobs in Iowa

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.

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
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA MSAHourly$15.92$20.93$24.22
Dubuque, IA MSAHourly$16.43$20.86$24.35
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA MSAHourly$16.03$20.48$25.86
Iowa City, IA MSAHourly$15.77$20.25$24.39
Cedar Rapids, IA MSAHourly$15.82$20.18$23.84
Northeast Iowa BOSHourly$15.41$19.63$23.92
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL MSAHourly$15.77$19.62$25.98
Ames, IA MSAHourly$15.93$19.34$24.05
Southeast Iowa BOSHourly$15.48$19.13$24.15
Northwest Iowa BOSHourly$15.57$18.78$23.59
Southwest Iowa BOSHourly$14.75$18.58$23.65
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA MSAHourly$15.75$18.55$23.26
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD MSAHourly$15.72$18.02$22.45

MedicalFieldCareers.com takes a closer look at the factors that impact practical nursing job opportunities in every state. We have rated each state on a scale of 1-50 in a range of areas that affect the Licensed Practical Nursing occupation.