Steps to Becoming an ARNP in Iowa

iowa nursing

1Get your Graduate Degree in Iowa
2Earn your National Certification in Iowa
3Apply for your Registration in Iowa
4Renewing your Registration in Iowa

The Iowa  Board of Nursing (515-281-4826 or ibon@iowa.gov) allows qualified registered nurses to register as advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNP) in four general categories:

  • Certified clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
  • Certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
  • Certified nurse practitioner (CNP)
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)

If you wish to register as an ARNP in Iowa, you must hold an RN license issued by the Iowa Board of Nursing or a Board of Nursing from a compact states.

Iowa Job Statistics

  • As of May 2020, nurse practitioners (NPs) in Iowa earn an average of $107,910 per year.
  • NPs in Iowa earn about 69% more than the state’s median household income.
  • Registered nurses (RNs) working in Iowa make an average of $62,570 annually.
  • 2020 NCLEX-RN first-time pass rates for nursing school graduates in Iowa: 86.6%
  • Approximately 32,610 RNs and 2,010 NPs are licensed in Iowa.
  • If you hold a license in a compact state, do not apply for Iowa RN licensure unless you plan to declare Iowa as your permanent residence.
  • If you hold an RN license in another state, request a License by Endorsement Application Packet from the Iowa Board of Nursing at 515-281-4826 or by emailing ibon@iowa.gov.
  • If you received nursing training in a country other than the United States, you must have your credentials verified by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).
  • If you have never held an RN license in Iowa or any other state, call or email the Board to request the Licensure by Examination Application Packet.
  • If your Iowa RN license is inactive, you must reactivate it. Contact the Board to request a Reactivation Form in order to do so.

Once you have your RN license, follow these steps to become a registered ARNP in Iowa.


 

Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

The Iowa Board of Nursing states, that to qualify as an ARNP registration candidate, you must hold at least a master’s degree specific to a nursing clinical specialty with appropriate clinical experience.

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Qualified Graduate Programs

The Iowa Board of Nursing approves in-state nursing education programs but not out-of-state programs. If your program is out-of-state, make sure that the Board of Nursing of that state approves the program given that programs within that state are Board approved. If not, ensure that an institutional, programmatic, or specialized accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) has granted accreditation to the institution or program.

A list of pre-approved Master of Science in Nursing with formal advanced practice certificate programs may be found here. A list of pre-approved Master of Science in Nursing and Doctorate in nursing programs may be found here.

Course Requirements

All ARNP education should include courses in the following areas:

  • Advanced physiology/pathophysiology
  • Advanced health assessment
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Education/counseling of patient/family
  • Health promotion and maintenance

Specialization

You may choose to work in clinical settings that will require you to supervise the use of fluoroscopy x-ray equipment. If you plan to do so, you must complete coursework in radiation physics, radiobiology, radiological safety, and radiation management. This coursework must be repeated annually if you continue to supervise the use of fluoroscopy equipment.

You may also choose to specialize in a specific patient population (pediatrics, geriatrics, women’s health, etc), by taking pertinent coursework or choosing an MSN program with a concentration in you intended area of specialization.


Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

To meet ARNP registration requirements in Iowa, you must earn national certification in the category in which you intend to practice. National certification organizations exist that will certify you after meeting education and experience requirements, and passing a national certification exam.

The Iowa Board of Nursing registers the following ARNP general categories:

  • Certified nurse practitioner
  • Certified nurse-midwife
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist
  • Clinical nurse specialist

This list of ARNP subspecialties and patient population foci within the general categories are recognized by the Iowa Board of Nursing:

  • Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Nurse-Midwife
  • Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Certified School Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Perinatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – Adult Health
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – Perinatal
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – Medical/Surgical
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – Adult Psych
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – Oncology
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – Gerontology
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – Orthopedics
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – Community Health
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – Home Health
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – Child/Adolescent Psych

Certification Programs

The Iowa Board of Nursing accepts ARNP certification programs that are administered by these organizations for the following patient population foci and subspecialties:


Step 3. Apply for Your Registration

Once you have earned your degree and national certification, complete the Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Application. With your application:

  • Submit the registration fee ($81 for a length up to three years)
  • Submit a copy of your RN license if it is from a compact state
  • Submit a copy of your national certification card or certificate (or letter specifying that you have passed the exam if you are applying for registration within 90 days of taking the exam)
  • Ask your college/university to submit an official transcript to the Board
  • If you have any criminal offenses or prior disciplinary action in the past, submit a copy of the sentencing order and/or documentation from the Board
  • If you are and will continue to be an active member of the military, submit evidence to attest to this

Mail all of the above to Iowa Board of Nursing, River Point Business Park, 400 SW 8th Street, Suite B, Des Moines, IA 50309-4685. ARNP registration applications are processed and issued twice weekly.

Criminal History Background Check

You do not have to submit to a criminal history background check as part of the ARNP registration process in Iowa. You must, however, disclose any criminal offenses on the application and submit supporting documentation.


Step 4. Renewing Your Registration

Your Iowa ARNP registration and RN license are both valid for three years. Renewals for ARNP may not be done online. The Board will mail you a renewal form.

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Continuing Education

The Iowa Board of Nursing does not require ARNPs to complete continuing education (CE) to renew registration, nor does it require CE to renew an RN license. You must, however, keep your national certification current, which may involve completing CE requirements. Contact the appropriate certification agency for more information.

If you are selected for audit at renewal, you must submit proof that your national certification is current.

If you are an ARNP who regularly examines, treats, and/or counsels adults or children in Iowa, you must complete at least two hours of training on identification and reporting of child/adult abuse every five years. The Iowa Department of Public Health Abuse Education Review Panel must approve the course. A list of approved courses may be found here.

Registration Renewal Notice

The Board will mail you an ARNP renewal application 60 days prior to expiration. If you do not received the application, contact the Board at 515-281-6488 or newnurs@iowa.gov. You must pay a renewal fee of $81 for each ARNP category you are renewing, plus an RN license renewal fee of $99.

Expired Registration Renewal

You are allowed a 30-day grace period in renewing registration/licensure. After that, you must contact the Board for reinstatement information. You will be assessed a late fee.

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Associations in Iowa

Consider becoming a member of one of the organizations that support advanced registered nurse practitioners in Iowa:


Iowa Nurse Practitioner Salary

Want to make six figures working as a nurse? It’s doable, especially if you become a nurse practitioner. NPs in Iowa earn an average $107,910 per year. With experience, they make even more: $141,180 and upwards per year.

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Ames
50
99410
Cedar Rapids
120
111750
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island
230
108340
Des Moines-West Des Moines
490
96220
Dubuque
80
112290
Iowa City
260
112010
Northeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area
120
117660
Northwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area
120
101340
Sioux City
120
120790
Southeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area
220
115960
Southwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area
130
117240
Waterloo-Cedar Falls
210
109270

Registered Nurse Salary

You’ll make a good living as a registered nurse (RN) in Iowa. The average annual salary for RNs in this state is $62,570. Top earners make north of $80,610 – more than enough in a state with a moderate cost of living.

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Ames
840
64030
Cedar Rapids
2420
61540
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island
3820
59840
Des Moines-West Des Moines
6740
64140
Dubuque
1270
59560
Iowa City
4000
68940
Northeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area
2060
59760
Northwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area
2840
60020
Sioux City
1830
60160
Southeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area
3940
60580
Southwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area
2090
58000
Waterloo-Cedar Falls
2090
61080

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

Is teaching a passion you wish to explore sometime in your career? You could transition into becoming a nursing instructor. These folks make an average of $77,170 a year.

Area Name
Employment
Annual median wage
Des Moines-West Des Moines
70
64980
Iowa City
110
NA
Northwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area
80
70270
Sioux City
100
72850
Southeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area
40
76240
Southwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area
50
63710

Nurse Administrator Salary

(Includes Nurse Managers, Directors, and Chief Nursing Officers)

Think you have leadership potential? The average annual salary for a nurse administrator in Iowa is $91,160. If you build a career in this role, your future looks strong: top earners report making $135,430 and up annually.

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Ames
190
93210
Cedar Rapids
500
94670
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island
450
87160
Des Moines-West Des Moines
1270
93380
Dubuque
250
92600
Iowa City
640
96780
Northeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area
510
88480
Northwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area
650
84110
Sioux City
330
89110
Southeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area
760
93280
Southwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area
470
88780
Waterloo-Cedar Falls
390
94270

Nurse Anesthetists Salary

This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in a nursing career. Anesthetists in Iowa report an average annual salary of $198,480 a year. That’s the average. Top earners make well over what the Bureau of Labor Statistics includes in its reporting.

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Des Moines-West Des Moines
80
206920
Northeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area
30
162090
Northwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area
NA
208570
Southeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area
50
201090
Southwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area
40
216050

Nurse Midwives Salary

Have a passion for natal care? It could help you earn six figures. The average salary for midwives in Iowa is $102,830 per year. Those who have worked their way to the top 10 percent make far more: $153,050 per year.

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson
40
114870


2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends and salary figures for 1)
Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Midwives; 2) Medical and Health Services Managers (Nurse Administrators); 3) Registered Nurses; and 4) Postsecondary Nursing Instructors and Teachers reflect state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. 2019 US Census Bureau figures for state median household income provided for comparison. Data Accessed December 2021.

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