Iowa has a growing number of opportunities in the nursing field. Within the state, LPNs make up 20% of nurses in the state. The Iowa LPN comfort score is 67. This takes into account the average LPN salary, average state salary and cost of living. The Iowa RN comfort score is only slightly higher at 86. The difference between the two illustrates that obtaining an RN degree in this state is a nice increase in comfort but not large enough to be worth it to everyone. Iowa nursing schools and universities can provide more information that can help you pursue either degree. In Iowa, the city of Des Moines and its outlying suburbs will have the most prevalent number of potential educational institutions and job opportunities for an LPN.
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Checklist to become a Iowa LPN:
- Earn your LPN Degree, 1 year of courses and hands-on practice.
- Apply for licensure with the Iowa Board of Nursing – Have your school send your transcript to them as well
- Obtain a CPR card and pass the NCLEX-PN exam
LPN Salaries in Iowa
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) in Iowa earn an average of $17.45/hr and a yearly income of $36,300. Nurses working in metropolitan areas tend to earn higher salaries than in non-metropolitan parts of the state, although there is likely to be a relatively higher cost of living in those areas. An LPN can work in a variety of areas within the nursing field including nursing care facilities, hospitals or a physicians’ office. Nurses working in general medical and surgical hospitals typically earn more than those working in the offices of physicians. Also, nurses make more per hour when shifts are at night or during weekends and holidays. When choosing a career path within the industry, salary is only one piece to consider. Many LPNs find a more rewarding career in a family office rather than a hospital, despite a lower salary. It is advisable for LPNs to look towards home health care agencies and long-term care facilities are the fastest growing potential employers. The LPN with several years of experience and those with certifications in geriatric health are going to be in higher demand. It is crucial to begin trying to figure out which area is the best fit for you as early as possible. Take advantage of all the offered LPN programs in Iowa and educate yourself by researching all the available options before deciding.
LPN Degree and Education in Iowa
In the state of Iowa, the practical nursing program is the quickest route to becoming a nurse. To earn a degree requires one year of courses as well as hands-on practice. You are required to obtain a CPR card, and pass the NCLEX-PN exam upon completion of the LPN course. With any questions about LPN schools in Iowa and specific requirements, contact the admissions office of your chosen college or school.
In Iowa, all licensed RNs and LPNs are required twenty four continuing education courses the first renewal period and thirty six contact hours every three years after. For nurses working with dependent adults or children, a two hour training course on abuse identification and reporting is required every five years. Continuing education courses are available online and must be state board approved.
Iowa LPN Job Outlook
The nursing shortage in The United States is steadily increasing. There is a rising demand for new and more effective health procedures and life expectancy averages are continuing to climb. These issues will be reflected in the Iowa health industry and help to create an extremely strong job outlook for LPNs.
There are many nursing opportunities in all areas of Iowa. Iowa hospitals, home health companies and doctor offices are now offering flexible schedules, educational benefits, higher pay and other incentives to retain their staff and to recruit new nurses. Some hospitals are even offering sign on bonuses or student loan reimbursement up to certain maximums.
The comfort score of 67 for Iowa LPNs ranks in the middle as far as the national scores. Obtaining an RN degree will increase the score to 86 but the modest increase isn’t worth it to every individual. However, in the nursing field, it is always advisable to continue working towards an RN degree. The overall comfort scores for Iowa are on the lower end but the state also has a low unemployment and a low crime rate. A career as an LPN in this state can provide opportunities and security.
The Iowa State Board of Nursing Website can be found here.