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Nurse Practitioner Zone

Iowa Nurse Practitioner Certification

The Iowa Board of Nursing regulates Iowa NPs, who are called APRNs. An Iowa APRN can be certified as a nurse–midwife (CNM), NP (CNP), clinical nurse specialist, or registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). In Iowa, APRNs may examine and assess patients; order diagnostic tests; perform diagnoses; establish treatment course and management plans for critical and acute care; and advise patients on how to prevent illness and promote health. In addition, Iowa APRNs may prescribe medications or devices, including controlled substances or devices. They may also have hospital privileges, practice independently, and receive third-party reimbursement. APRNs are not required to have a collaborative relationship with a physician, but collaborative relationships are recommended.


In order to be certified as an APRN, you must show current licensing as an RN in the state of Iowa or in one of the compact states. In addition, you must have graduated from a Board-approved, advanced practice master’s program or have completed of a formal advanced practice education program. Some campus-based schools that offer these programs include: University of Iowa, Briar Cliff University, Allen College, and Clark College. You can also elect to pursue your advanced education online through an accredited school, such as Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, Liberty University, South University, Philadelphia University, and University of Cincinnati. Because clinical studies are required, online schools set up clinical sites for students in their in local areas.

After you have completed your advanced practice program, you must successfully pass an advanced level certification exam in your area of specialty. The exam must be offered by a national professional nursing certification body that is recognized by the Iowa Board of Nursing. The ANCC and the PNCB are among the major recognized certifying bodies.

In addition to passing your exam, you must receive a current advanced level certification from one of the recognized national professional nursing certification organizations and then register as an ARNP in the state of Iowa. Once you have received your ARNP license, you must register as a practitioner with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to be able to prescribe controlled substances within your area of specialty.

ARNPs in Iowa earn an average of $77,000 per year, but this amount can vary greatly depending on experience, education, facility, location, and area of specialty.

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Last Updated: 05/19/2014