LPN Programs in Iowa
Before taking advantage of the wealth of job opportunities that await a licensed practical nurse in long-term care facilities, home care, rehabilitation center and hospice facilities across Iowa, qualified applicants must first earn a certificate or diploma. LPN training typically revolves around educating students on nursing theory and providing clinical experiences. LPN programs in Iowa are found all over the state with schools in cities such as Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines. Graduates earn a certificate of completion, and are then eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam to gain licensure.
Schools with LPN Programs in Iowa
- The Practical Nursing program at Indian Hills Community College delivers hands-on training in the classroom and through clinical experience. Graduates become eligible to either apply for admission to the Associate Degree Nursing program (Level II) at the school, or to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX–PN) to become an LPN. Students enter the program in the summertime or winter to earn a diploma in a one-year (four terms) program. Classes are offered on the Ottumwa and Centerville campus locations.
- Southwestern Community College offers a nursing diploma program approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing that utilizes a ‘ladder concept.’ New students that apply for the LPN program are eligible to apply to the RN program upon successful completion of the curriculum. However, many graduates of the program opt to take the NCLEX-PN exam to immediately enter the workforce as an LPN. Classes for the LPN program begin every year in late-August with graduation taking place in late-June. Classroom instruction takes place three days a week, and is offered on the Creston campus, which is located 70 miles southwest of Des Moines. Two days per week are devoted to clinical experiences at a health care facility.
- Northwest Iowa Community College is home to an LPN program that awards a diploma to graduates who complete the curriculum, which combines theory, lab, clinical, and preceptor hours. Entry to the program is in the fall, and is comprised of two semesters worth of classes. The acceptance of candidates into the program is dependent upon successful completion of the TEAS test. Other program prerequisites include a high school diploma (with a 2.0 grade point average) or a High School Equivalency Diploma; and satisfactory COMPASS-entrance assessment scores. Three years of science at the high school or post-high school level (with a grade of ‘C’ or better) is also required. Students must also hold a 75-hour Certified Nurse Aide Certificate prior to taking Fundamentals of Nursing, PNN659. Before starting clinical practice, a student is expected to satisfy the following requirements: complete a health assessment, furnish current immunization records, pass a criminal background check, and take the CPR for Healthcare Providers course.
- In Cedar Rapid, students in the LPN program at Kirkwood Community College covers medical, surgical, geriatric, maternal-child, mental health and home health nursing over the course of its five-semester program. Clinical experiences take place in a range of healthcare facilities across the city, including clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, and with home health agencies. Kirkwood students are required to complete Certified Nurse Aid Training, as well as successfully pass the written and skills examination before beginning the technical and clinical portion of the program.
- Iowa Central Community College has a Practical Nursing (PN) Program that prepares students for entry-level LPN positions. Upon completion of the nursing care curriculum, a student may finish his or her studies after the first summer – choosing to take the NCLEX-PN exam or continue on to the school’s Associate Degree Nursing Program. A total of 360 hours of extensive clinical work in a variety of health care settings and concentrated classroom studies make up the curriculum of the program. Campus locations that offer the diploma program are found in Fort Dodge, Storm Lake, and Webster City-Goldfield.
- About fifty-percent of the instructional time associated with the LPN program at Hawkeye Community College is dedicated to actual clinical practice in hospitals and nursing homes while under the supervision of nursing instructors. There are three steps to gain admittance into the Practical Nursing Program at Hawkeye. Applicants must fulfill Basic Skills Competencies requirements, such as earning a ‘C’ grade or higher in the following college success courses: ENG061 College Preparatory Writing II, RDG040 College Preparatory Reading III, MAT063 Elementary Algebra, and BIO042 Preparatory Science for Health Careers. The second step is to take the TEAS test (Test for Essential Academic Skills), and get a composite score of 64% or higher. The third step places applicants on a point system where candidates with the highest points are given priority into the program. The Practical Nursing program at Hawkeye is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing and the Commission on Institutes of the North Central Association.
- Students attending the Practical Nursing (PN) program offered at Iowa Lakes Community College typically follow a full-time schedule of daytime classes held at the Emmetsburg Campus. There is also the option to attend classes on a part-time basis in an evening/weekend program. The nursing program at Iowa Lakes is approved by the Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees, the Iowa Department of Education, and the Iowa Board of Nursing.
Iowa LPN Checklist
- Apply to a state-approved educational program for LPNs to gain necessary training and experience in Practical Nursing.
- After getting a certificate or diploma, pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN) in Iowa.
- Gain licensure as an LPN by submitting an application to the Iowa Board of Nursing, and paying the initial ~$143 fee.
- Renew LPN license every three years, and pay applicable fees.
- Continuing education requirements for the renewal of an LPN license in the state of Iowa is 36 contact hours for a three-year license, and 24 contact hours for the renewal of a license that has been issued for less than three years.
Before an individual can enjoy the salary and benefits that come with an LPN position, gaining the proper education is essential. The credentials and experience gained from an LPN program prepares graduates to enter an industry that shows great promise and job security in the coming years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for entry-level licensed practical nurses in the state of Iowa is $37,410.