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Iowa LPN Programs

Directory of state-approved LPN training classes


Practical Nursing (LPN) Careers in Iowa

Iowa, as well as many other mid-western states, is facing a tough challenge finding enough skilled nursing personnel to staff its nursing homes, hospitals and elderly care facilities. Iowa Work Force Development, a state agency, forecasts that there will be 365 job openings for licensed practical nurses every year from now through 2014.


In the United States, the median expected starting salary for a licensed practical nurse is around $41,171. In Iowa the average starting LPN salary can range from $29,000 to $36,000 per year. The Iowa Department of Administrative Services estimates the current average to be around $34,278 per year for an LPN in the state of Iowa.

Practical nurses are responsible for monitoring patients, measuring and recording vital signs, monitoring mental and physical conditions and dietary requirements. The licensed practical nurse maintains patient’s medical charts with daily updates and works with a team of other skilled health care professionals to provide total patient care. Often the licensed practical nurse is responsible for giving the patient medications and injections amongst other things. To meet the growing shortage of nurses while demand is outpacing supply dramatically, Iowa has expanded it’s nursing educational programs. There are now at least 15 community colleges throughout the state that have diploma nursing programs or two-year Associate degrees in nursing.

Minimum requirements for entering the LPN diploma program at Hawkeye Community College are a high school diploma and a passing score on either the ACT or the Compass examination. The training course is three semesters long and includes a total of 42 credits. The cost for the licensed practical nursing course is roughly $8,000 and includes tuition, books and supplies.

Amongst the courses required to receive a Practical Nursing diploma at Hawkeye Community College are three human anatomy and physiology courses, two with labs and one as an overview, plenty of nurse-specific courses such as fundamentals I and II, client care, nutrition, clinical practice, psychology, med/surg, nursing A and B, nursing practice, mental and psychiatric patient care. There are also a handful of nursing courses on issues, thought and perspectives, as well as mental health nursing.

Hawkeye Community College has a 78.2% placement record, meaning that 78.2% of the students that complete the licensed practical nursing course go on to find jobs in nursing. In Iowa, there are current opportunities for licensed practical nurses in nursing care facilities, home health, elderly communities, care facilities and psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals.


List of LPN Programs in Iowa (IA)

Des Moines Area Community College

Nursing Department
Phone: 515-964-6324

Eastern Iowa Community College

EICCD Department of Nursing
Phone: 563-441-4256

Hawkeye Community College

Department of Nursing
Phone: 319-296-4013

Indian Hills Community College

Nursing Department
Phone: 800-726-2585, x5164

Iowa Central Community College

Health Science Department
Phone: 800-362-2793

Iowa Lakes Community College

Nursing Department
Phone: 800-242-5108

Iowa Valley Community College District

IVCCD-Health Occupations Division
Phone: 641-752-7106

Iowa Western Community College

Nursing Department
Phone: 800-432-5852, ext 3392

Kaplan University

Nursing Department
Phone: 319-363-0481

Kirkwood Community College

Health Science Department
Phone: 319-398-5563

Mercy College of Health Sciences

Nursing Division
Phone: 515-643-6615

Northeast Iowa Community College

Nursing Department
Phone: Calmar 800-728-2256
Phone: Peosta 800-728-7367 x204

North Iowa Area Community College

Nursing Department
Phone: 641-423-1264

Northwest Iowa Community College

Nursing Department
Phone: 712-324-5061

Southeastern Community College

Nursing Department
Phone: 866-722-4692

Southwestern Community College

Nursing Education Department
Phone: 641-782-7081

St. Luke’s College

Department of Nursing Education
Phone: 712-279-3149

Western Iowa Tech Community College

Nursing and Allied Health Division
Phone: 800-352-4649


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Iowa LPN Schools

Our directory lists all Iowa schools that currently offer approved practical nursing programs. The Iowa state board of nursing is the regulatory organization in charge of approving LPN education programs. To gain approval, educational institutions must demonstrate to the board of nursing that their program sufficiently prepares students with the knowledge and skills expected of a licensed practical nurse. The on-going approval of a program depends largely upon their graduation rates and the NCLEX pass rates of their graduates. If a program starts to produce poor results in either of these two categories they can quickly lose their state approval or be placed on probationary approval status until their results improve.

Required LPN Classes in Iowa

The specific course work required in practical nursing programs can differ from institution to institution. However, there are some subjects that are almost always included in most programs. Typical LPN classes include Anatomy & Physiology, Basic Nursing Skills, Nutrition, Math for Nurses, Psychology and Pharmacology. Topics covered within these subjects prepare students with the knowledge base required to perform the work of a licensed practical nurse.

How to Become an LPN in Iowa

Start the process by researching available education programs to find one that suits your schedule and preferences. The next step is to enroll and complete an LPN training program that is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Most LPN programs take roughly one year to finish. Upon successful completion of all course requirements you are eligible to challenge the NCLEX-PN exam. After passing the test you can register with the state of Iowa as a licensed practical nurse and begin searching for employment.

Taking the NCLEX-PN Exam in Iowa

When it comes time to challenge the practical nursing license exam it is advisable to prepare for the exam with a self-study program or classroom prep course. Knowing what to expect on the actual test and completing practice questions can increase your chances of passing. When you feel ready to take the test, apply for your practical nursing license with the Iowa state board of nursing and register with Pearson VUE. There is a $200 fee required in order to register for the exam. The next step is to wait until you receive confirmation of your Authorization to Test (ATT). Once you receive your ATT you can schedule your NCLEX exam with Pearson VUE at a nearby testing center.

LPN Quick Reference Links

Iowa Board of Nursing
National Council of State Boards of Nursing
Pearson VUE – Official NCLEX Testing Provider
LPN/LVN Career Outlook – US Dept of Labor
Licensed Practical Nurse Wiki
National Association for Practical Nurse Education & Service (NAPNES)
National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses