Training Programs to Become an LPN in Iowa
Nursing is a demanding but rewarding career and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) will continue to be called to action.
Iowa is a member of the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) which means once an LPN is licensed in their own state of residence, as long as their home state is a member of the NLC, they have the ability to practice in other NLC states without additional licensing.
LPN Training in Iowa
The first step to becoming an LPN is to successfully complete a nursing program accredited and approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing. The programs are designed to train the students to care for patients with a combination of medical knowledge and clinical skills. The LPN programs also prepare the student to take the NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Most LPN programs take 12 to 18 months, typically 2 or 3 semesters of study to complete and award a diploma or an Associate’s degree upon successful completion of the program. Class work includes introduction to math and medication, foundations of nursing, practical nursing I, II and III, nutrition, pharmacology, anatomy, nutrition and public speaking. Some nursing programs require an applicant to be a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or complete a series of course work that includes developmental psychology, composition, anatomy and physiology along with the appropriate lab work before being admitted to the LPN program.
LPN programs must also include clinical training to allow students to experience hands on patient care under the direction of a registered nurse who is also a certified nursing instructor. The healthcare facility is typically a nurse and the students participate in clinical training in all units in the facility.
Applications to nursing schools are competitive and applicants can sometimes apply previous college credit to a nursing school application. In addition to academic performance, nursing school applications include a criminal background and drug check and documentation of a recent TB and Hepatitis test with clear results. Admission to the nursing program is dependent upon approval of the school admissions board.
Students are requires to receive a passing grade in all classes, as well as the clinical training portion of the program. If the school requires students to wear uniforms, such as medical scrubs, it is usually up to the student to supply their own uniforms.
LPN License Requirements in Iowa
The next step to becoming an LPN in Iowa is to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for LPNs (NCLEX-PN) exam. It is a national exam, mandated by all states in the United States. The applicant submits an application to test to the local nursing board. The board will review the application for completeness and if the application is complete, the applicant will be given the authorization to test (ATT). With an ATT in hand, the applicant has permission to register with Pearson VUE to take the exam. Applicants can register and schedule an exam either online or via telephone.
When the applicant receives their ATT, they have a 90 day time period to schedule and take the NCLEX-PN exam. Appointments for testing can be made up to one day in advance. Requests for extensions beyond 90 day time frame will not be honored.
Applicants who pass the exam will receive their license via postal mail and applicants who do not pass the exam will have the opportunity to schedule a retest.
LPN’s are required to renew their license every two years. Licenses must be renewed no later than 30 days before the expiration date. LPNs have the option to renew their license online as the licenses renewal is instantaneous. The licenses expire on the 15th of the LPN’s birth month.
Iowa LPN Salary, Job Duties and Career Outlook
The average entry level salary for an LPN is $15 per hour for an annual salary of $31,200. The average salary for an LPN clocks in at $18.31 per hour at an annual salary of $38,068 and an LPN salary will top out at $76,000, but that will depend on level of responsibility, type of facility where employed and number of years experience.
The duties of an LPN will vary depending on the facility, but typically an LPN will dispense medications prescribed by a physician, remove staples and sutures, change or dress wounds, perform patient history and track progress, vital signs and reaction to medication, draw blood samples and perform diagnostic procedures, including blood draw, newborn screening and implementing care plans. LPNs also work under the direction of a registered nurse or physician.
The future of nursing, especially for LPNs, is on the fast track. Nursing positions are expected to increase by 24 to 26% through the year 2020. The demand will be mainly in long and short term care facilities. Positions in hospitals will be open to more competition, but LPNs will find opportunities in hospitals, as well.
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List of Approved IA Practical Nursing Schools
2006 South Ankeny Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50023
Campus Locations: Ankeny, Boone, Carroll, Newton, Urban
306 West River Drive
Davenport, IA 52801
Campus Locations: Scott Community College Bettendorf, Muscatine Community College, Clinton Community College
1501 East Orange Rd.
P.O. Box 8015
Waterloo, IA 50704
525 Grandview Avenue
Ottumwa, IA 52501
721 N. First Street
Centerville, IA 52544
One Triton Circle
Fort Dodge, IA 50501
Campus Locations: Fort Dodge, Storm Lake, Webster City
3200 College Drive
Emmetsburg, IA 50536
Campus Locations: Emmetsburg, Algona, Spencer, Spirit Lake
3702 S. Center St.
Marshalltown, IA 50158
Campus Locations: Ellsworth Community College, Marshalltown Community College
2700 College Rd.
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
Campus Locations: Council Bluffs, Clarinda Shelby County Center
6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
8342 NICC Drive
Peosta, IA 52068
1625 Hwy 150 South
P.O. Box 400
Calmar, IA 52132
500 College Drive
Mason City, IA 50401
603 W Park St
Sheldon, IA 51201
301 S. 68th St. Place, 5th floor
Lincoln, NE 68510
Campus Locations: West Burlington, Keokuk
1501 W. Townline St.
Creston, IA 50801
2300 North 4th Street
Red Oak, IA 51566
4647 Stone Avenue
P.O. Box 5199
Sioux City, IA 51102
Campus Locations: Sioux City, Denison