Degree-seekers interested in learning about nurse practitioner (NP) programs in Iowa can review this guide to better understand the profession in the state. It covers online NP programs in Iowa, career and salary outlook, education and experience requirements, available specializations, and licensing for in-state and out-of-state NPs.
Across colleges and universities, students pursuing NP degrees can use these resources to better understand the NP requirements and licensing process in Iowa. Continue reading to begin your path to becoming an NP in Iowa.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in Iowa
Students considering NP programs in IA have opportunities at the master's and doctoral levels. Degree programs have varying components, depending on the school and degree level, including differences in program length, course topics, admission criteria, and delivery formats.
Across colleges and universities, master's programs generally require applicants to hold a bachelor of science in nursing and a current registered nurse (RN) license.
Master's level nurse practitioner programs in Iowa build upon the knowledge and skills developed during bachelor's programs by exploring advanced concepts and topics in the field. Typically, students at the master's level complete the requirements of their degrees within two years of full-time enrollment.
The admission process typically requires applicants to provide a transcript with a minimum undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, professional resumes, and a statement of purpose. Across colleges and universities, master's programs generally require applicants to hold a bachelor of science in nursing and a current registered nurse (RN) license.
Pursuing a specialization allows learners to tailor their degrees to fit their interests and career goals.
Doctoral programs are more specialized, focusing on advanced topics that prepare students with the specific skills and knowledge they need to pursue specialized career opportunities. Doctoral programs vary significantly in terms of program length, but some programs allow learners to complete their degrees in 3-4 years. However, it is more common to graduate in 5-7 years. Admission at the doctoral level requires a master's degree, active and current RN licensure, and clinical experience hours covering specific topics, which can vary by program.
Master's and doctoral students pursuing NP degrees can specialize in providing care for specific patient populations. Pursuing a specialization allows learners to tailor their degrees to fit their interests and career goals.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Iowa
Iowa Nurse Practitioner Career Information
NPs practicing in Iowa earned wages slightly lower than those at the national level, with Iowa NPs taking home mean annual wages of $106,290 in 2018, and the U.S. reporting a figure of $110,030. In terms of projected job growth, Iowa also falls slightly beneath the U.S. figure, with Iowa reporting about 33% and the country coming in at 36%. Among its neighboring states of Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, however, Iowa has the third-highest salary rate for NPs and the second-highest projected job growth.
NPs can also pursue national certifications to further their professional credentials. The certified family nurse practitioner credential is the most common certification in Iowa -- 52% of NPs in the state hold the certification.
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Iowa and Nearby States
An individual seeking NP licensure in Iowa should start by earning a graduate degree. Licensing requirements include a master's degree specific to a clinical nursing specialty and clinical experience related to that specialty. The Iowa Board of Nursing approves in-state nursing programs but does not approve out-of-state offerings, so if you want to make sure your education will count, it's best to attend an Iowa school if you intend to work in Iowa.
Master's programs must have institutional, programmatic, or specialized accreditation from an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education. Advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) education courses must cover health promotion and maintenance, advanced physiology/pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, education/counseling of patients and families, and advanced health assessment.
Advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) education courses must cover health promotion and maintenance, advanced physiology/pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, education/counseling of patients and families, and advanced health assessment.
Students in Iowa can choose to work in clinical settings, which might require them to work with fluoroscopy x-ray equipment. These students must complete coursework in radiation management, radiation physics, radiological safety, and radiobiology.
Once individuals meet educational criteria, they can earn their national certification in the nursing specialty they intend to practice. The Iowa Board of Nursing recognizes the following categories of ARNPs: clinical nurse specialists, certified NPs, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse-midwives. The state also recognizes a variety of subspecialties and patient population focus areas for NPs.
Other Requirements for Iowa Nurse Practitioners
The Iowa Board of Nursing accepts continuing education courses from providers who maintain American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) accreditation. The board also accepts NetCE courses that are accredited by ANCC, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, or the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.
ARNPs in Iowa must maintain national certification to retain licensure in Iowa.
ARNPs in Iowa must maintain national certification to retain licensure in Iowa. ARNPs responsible for supervising the use of fluoroscopic x-ray equipment must also complete a one-time requirement on the safe clinical use of fluoroscopy.
Nurses in Iowa must complete nursing continuing education credits during their license renewal periods, which happen every three years. The time frame for completing continuing education credits begins on the 16th of the professional's birth month and runs until they renew their license for the next renewal period. Nurses must renew 30-60 days before their expiration date, and they must provide documentation of continuing education credits. Nurses must keep this documentation for four years, in case of a credit audit.
Nurses in Iowa must complete nursing continuing education credits during their license renewal periods, which happen every three years.
NPs with prescribing power may also need to apply to the Iowa Prescription Monitoring Program, which provides authorized pharmacists and prescribers with information about their patients' use of schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances. This authorization allows them to determine the appropriate prescription method and treatment for patients while preventing addiction or dependence.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
Prescriptive authority details and requirements vary by state; Iowa allows ARNPs to practice independently within their specialty area of nursing, meaning that they have prescriptive authority so long as they maintain ARNP licensure.
NPs who have previously held a license in Iowa and are applying for the same level of license must reactivate their license instead of applying for endorsement. Professionals licensed in a state belonging to the nursing licensure compact can continue to practice with a multi-state compact license, but they should seek Iowa licensure and endorsement as soon as they establish residency in Iowa. Nurses licensed in a non-compact state or with an active single state license from an NLC state cannot practice in Iowa until they hold a local license.
Iowa Nurses Association As the preeminent professional organization for nurses in Iowa, INA connects, supports, and advocates for nurses and other healthcare practitioners in the state.
Iowa Board of Nursing IBON issues licenses for nurses in Iowa, and it regulates and enforces nursing practice policies. IBON also oversees nursing education and continuing education for nurses in the state, offering a variety of licensing opportunities and specializations.
Iowa Nurse Practitioner Society As a statewide NP organization that includes NPs of all disciplines, INPS aims to promote and support ARNPs through networking opportunities, continuing education resources, and professional assistance.
Iowa Action Coalition Dedicated to improving healthcare quality and access to healthcare across the state of Iowa, the Iowa Action Coalition addresses specific healthcare needs and challenges to create innovative solutions.