LPN Programs in Iowa

ASO Staff Writers
by
Updated June 23, 2023
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According to a recent article from the Associated Press, Iowa’s nursing shortage, which spans across multiple nursing categories, has reached an alarming stage. Many nursing leaders have beefed up their efforts to provide better training programs to help prepare for a growing number of vacancies in the upcoming decade, as well as encourage current and prospective nurses to stay in the profession long-term.

If you’re considering the practical nursing field and are interested in opportunities in Iowa, keep reading to search LPN programs, learn about state licensing requirements, and get salary and employment information.

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Top LPN Programs in Iowa

#1 LPN Programs in Iowa

Hawkeye Community College

  • Location-markerWaterloo, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,368
  • Out-of-state$6,078
  • Retention Rate61%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled5,112
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment34%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 LPN Programs in Iowa

Northwest Iowa Community College

  • Location-markerSheldon, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,190
  • Out-of-state$5,490
  • Retention Rate73%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled1,777
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment67%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 LPN Programs in Iowa

Indian Hills Community College

  • Location-markerOttumwa, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,320
  • Out-of-state$5,760
  • Retention Rate59%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled3,612
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment36%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 LPN Programs in Iowa

Northeast Iowa Community College

  • Location-markerCalmar, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,220
  • Out-of-state$5,940
  • Retention Rate63%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled4,408
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment36%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 LPN Programs in Iowa

Western Iowa Tech Community College

  • Location-markerSioux City, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$3,672
  • Out-of-state$3,696
  • Retention Rate64%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled5,976
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment45%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 LPN Programs in Iowa

Southwestern Community College

  • Location-markerCreston, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,310
  • Out-of-state$5,520
  • Retention Rate62%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled1,581
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment62%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 LPN Programs in Iowa

Iowa Lakes Community College

  • Location-markerEstherville, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,856
  • Out-of-state$6,208
  • Retention Rate68%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled2,035
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment35%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 LPN Programs in Iowa

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges

  • Location-markerDavenport, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,376
  • Out-of-state$7,520
  • Retention Rate64%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled8,002
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment37%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 LPN Programs in Iowa

Kirkwood Community College

  • Location-markerCedar Rapids, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,280
  • Out-of-state$6,870
  • Retention Rate65%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled13,788
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment36%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 LPN Programs in Iowa

Southeastern Community College

  • Location-markerWest Burlington, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,520
  • Out-of-state$5,670
  • Retention Rate73%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled2,478
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment47%
  • AccreditationYes
#11 LPN Programs in Iowa

North Iowa Area Community College

  • Location-markerMason City, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,793
  • Out-of-state$7,189
  • Retention Rate66%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled2,894
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment73%
  • AccreditationYes
#12 LPN Programs in Iowa

Des Moines Area Community College

  • Location-markerAnkeny, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,800
  • Out-of-state$9,600
  • Retention Rate59%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled23,258
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment33%
  • AccreditationYes
#13 LPN Programs in Iowa

Iowa Central Community College

  • Location-markerFort Dodge, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,980
  • Out-of-state$7,480
  • Retention Rate52%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled5,237
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment26%
  • AccreditationYes
#14 LPN Programs in Iowa

Iowa Western Community College

  • Location-markerCouncil Bluffs, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$5,696
  • Out-of-state$5,856
  • Retention Rate50%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled5,977
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment51%
  • AccreditationYes
#15 LPN Programs in Iowa

Marshalltown Community College

  • Location-markerMarshalltown, IA
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,272
  • Out-of-state$4,608
  • Retention Rate66%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled1,947
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment71%
  • AccreditationYes

Explore LPN Degree Programs

Search for the Right LPN Program in Iowa

There is no getting around the licensure process if one wishes to practice and find employment as a practical nurse in Iowa. One crucial requirement for licensure is completion of state-approved postsecondary nursing education, either in the form of a diploma, certificate, or associate degree. Accredited LPN programs in Iowa offer quality education and training to prepare its graduates for employment within state borders. Use the search tool below to filter for and compare available academic options across the state.

[School Searches]

Explore LPN Degree Programs

Obtaining LPN Licensure in Iowa

There’s no getting around it – Iowa state licensure is an absolute must for LPN practice within the state, and responsibility for meeting all licensing requirements rests solely with the nurse. Below is a description of those requirements and what an applicant must do to meet them.

Basic Eligibility

LPN Education

The Iowa Board of Nursing is responsible for the approval of all LPN programs with a physical presence in the state. The Iowa Board of Nursing does not approve out-of-state programs, but will accept an applicant for initial licensure/endorsement who has graduated from an approved out-of-state program.

The majority of LPN programs in Iowa can be found at community colleges throughout the state. Most of these programs can be completed in two semesters of full-time study, culminating in the award of a certificate. Some programs can lead to an associate of applied science degree (AAS), but this option usually takes two years.

Licensure Fees and Logistics

License Renewal

License renewal can be done online through IBON Online Services and include a $99 fee. Expiration dates are indicated on each wallet card, but can also be viewed online through the Online Verification System. LPNs can renew their license up to 60 days before the expiration date, and Iowa law requires that it be renewed no later than 30 days prior to expiration. There is no monetary penalty for missing this cut off; however, it is not guaranteed that the new license will arrive before the old one expires. Paper renewals that are returned to the applicant for any reason and then resubmitted after the 15th of the applicant’s birth month are considered late renewal and are subject to a $50 late fee. The state does not prohibit the practice of practical nurses who are waiting for a new licensure during the 30-day grace period. Employers, however, can prohibit practice.

Additionally, LPNs must complete a continuing education requirement for license renewal. The first renewal requires 2.4 Continuing Education Units or 24 Contact Hours for renewal. Subsequent renewals require 3.6 CEUs or 36 Contact Hours.

Wages for Iowa LPNs

Iowa is a state whose population is spread throughout a number of modest-sized cities including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, as well as small rural communities and farms. Check the tables below for more detailed information on LPN salaries in Iowa.

Explore LPN Degree Programs

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Top Paying Metropolitan Areas

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Employment Trends for Iowa LPNs

According to the Iowa Center for Nursing Workforce, Iowa has a ratio of three LPNs per 1000 residents, substantially higher than the national average of two LPNs per 1000 residents. Below is a look at some helpful employment statistics and trends for Iowa LPN job seekers.

Top Employment Locations

AreaTotal Employment (2014)
Southeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area1,230
Des Moines-West Des Moines970
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island IA-IL750
Northeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area720
Northwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area720
AreaTotal Employment (2014)
Southwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area700
Waterloo-Cedar Falls460
Cedar Rapids410
Sioux City IA-NE-SD300
Dubuque270

Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Employment of LPNs in Iowa
2012 – 7,630
2022 – 9,210
Average Annual Openings 350

Sources: Projections Central

Resources and Associations

Future of Nursing Campaign for Action: Iowa Action Coalition
This is the state website for the Campaign for Action, a non-profit organization sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). The Campaign’s goal is to promote the implementation of recommendations in the Institute of Medicine’s report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

Iowa Association of Nursing Students
Website provides information on association membership, policy and procedures, and the association’s annual convention. The association is a chapter of the National Student Nurses Association.

Iowa Board of Nursing
The Iowa Board of Nursing oversees all aspects of education and licensing of nurses in the state. Its mission is to protect public health, safety and welfare by regulating the licensure and practice of nurses, and through nursing education and continuing education.

Iowa Department of Education
Website offers useful information on education throughout the state, including info on community colleges, career planning, and veterans and military education.

Iowa Department of Public Health
Government website with information regarding all aspects of public health in the state. Excellent source for Iowa health news and links to other state resources.

Iowa Hospital Association
The Iowa Hospital Association is an organization that represents and supports Iowa hospitals in achieving their missions and goals. Their website offers links to a wealth of nursing and health-related resources.

Iowa Nurses Association
The INA is the professional association of registered nurses in Iowa. INA provides excellent information on a variety of LPN subjects including nursing careers, continuing education and public policy.

Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders (IONL)
The IONL’s mission is to, “represent and support nurse leaders in the state of Iowa as catalysts for innovation.” Its board consists of executives from leading hospitals and medical centers throughout the state

.National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)
The NCSBN is a not-for-profit organization whose members include the boards of nursing for all 50 states, Washington D.C. and four U.S. Territories. The NCSBN provides education, service and research to promote regulatory excellence in patient safety and public protection.

Visiting Nurse Association
Headquartered in Iowa City, the Visiting Nurse Association is a non-profit organization that provides medical services to individuals with acute or chronic illness or disability throughout Johnson County.

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