Certified Nursing Assistant Programs in Iowa

Are you passionate about helping others and making a meaningful impact on their lives? A career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Iowa might be the perfect opportunity for you. With an expected job growth rate of 13% from 2020-2030, now is an excellent time to join this rewarding field. 

Iowa CNA Training Requirements

To become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Iowa, you must complete a 75-hour program that includes 45 hours of classroom instruction and 30 hours of clinical experience. This comprehensive training ensures that you acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to provide quality care to patients. Institutions like Des Moines Area Community College offer Nurse Aide courses that serve as a prerequisite to their nursing programs.

Affordable and Accredited CNA Programs in Iowa

Numerous CNA programs are available in Iowa to help you kick-start your career in healthcare. Some of the affordable and accredited programs are offered at institutions such as Western Iowa Tech, Tri-State Nursing, Eastern Iowa Community College, and Iowa Western Community College. The cost of these certification courses typically ranges from approximately $700 to $1,000. Keep in mind that there may be additional costs associated with tools (such as stethoscopes), state examinations, and books for the program.

Tuition Assistance and Payment Plans

Pursuing a CNA certification in Iowa doesn’t have to break the bank. The state offers various scholarships, grants, and funding options such as gap tuition assistance and the Governor’s Emergency Fund to help students cover their tuition costs. These financial aid opportunities incentivize aspiring CNAs to enter the nursing field and alleviate the financial burden of education.

Program Duration and Scheduling

Iowa CNA programs require a minimum duration of 75 hours, including at least 30 hours of clinical work. However, some programs offer classes spanning just two weeks, allowing you to complete your training in a relatively short amount of time.

Preparing for the Iowa CNA Examination

To become a licensed CNA in Iowa, you must pass two examinations assessing your knowledge and abilities. The Nurse Aide Written Test is a computer-based examination consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions. This test evaluates your understanding of fundamental nursing concepts and patient care principles.

The Nurse Aide Skills Competency. The test is a 45-minute examination that covers various aspects of patient care. This practical exam ensures that you have mastered the necessary skills to provide quality care to your patients.

The fees for these examinations are $55 for the written test and $95 for the skills test. Self-pay candidates have the option to take a written test at a rate of $50. Additionally, a skills test is available as well for $85. Several approved institutions in Iowa offer these examinations, with community colleges managing registration and scheduling. If a candidate fails the examination three times, they are required to undergo retraining.

The Application Process and Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry

Upon successful completion of your CNA training and examinations, you can apply to the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry. The application process can be completed online; however, some individuals may need to complete the paperwork available on the Direct Care Worker Home Page. If you are unable to print documentation at a library or other site, you can contact the Registry at (515) 281-4077 for assistance.

The Iowa CareGivers Association has compiled a resource to help Certified Nursing Assistants with utilizing the online system for printing documentation. By following the application process and registering with the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry, you will be well on your way to a successful career as a CNA in Iowa.

Out-of-State CNAs: Transferring Your License to Iowa

If you have a CNA license from another state, you can transfer it to Iowa. This is known as reciprocity and is available to you. To begin the process, you must possess an active certification listed in good standing and complete the registry application form. You can obtain the application materials online. The website to access these documents is http://dia.iowa.gov/DCW_FAQ_02202012.pdf.

By following the reciprocity process and providing the necessary documentation, you can seamlessly transfer your out-of-state CNA license to Iowa and continue your career in the healthcare field without interruption.

Job Prospects and Salary Expectations for CNAs in Iowa

As a CNA in Iowa, you can expect promising job prospects and competitive salary expectations. With a projected job growth rate of 13% from 2020-2030, the demand for CNAs in Iowa is on the rise. There are currently more than 2,000 Certified Nursing Assistant job openings in Iowa on Indeed.com.

The mean annual salary for a CNA in Iowa is $31,480. This competitive salary, coupled with the increasing demand for CNAs, makes Iowa an ideal location for pursuing a career in healthcare.

By completing your CNA training and obtaining your license, you can take advantage of these opportunities and make a positive impact on the lives of patients in need.

Advanced Nurse Aide Opportunities

As a CNA in Iowa, you have the opportunity to advance your career through additional certifications, such as Certified Medication Aide (CMA) and Certified Restorative Aide (CRA). These advanced nurse aide positions require specialized training and offer you the chance to expand your skillset and increase your earning potential.

With a variety of job openings and training programs available for advanced nurse aides in Iowa, you can continue to grow and develop in your career. Pursuing these advanced opportunities not only improves your professional prospects but also allows you to provide even more comprehensive care to your patients.

Additional Resources for Iowa CNAs

Several resources are available to support you throughout your journey as a CNA in Iowa. The Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry is a valuable resource that provides information and resources for Certified Nursing Assistants in the state. Additionally, the Iowa CareGivers Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting CNAs in Iowa, offering resources and support for navigating the healthcare field.

Online job search websites, such as Indeed and Monster, can help you find job listings for CNAs in Iowa. Furthermore, community colleges and technical schools throughout the state offer CNA training programs that cover essential nursing techniques, patient care, and medical terminology.

By utilizing these resources, you can enhance your knowledge, skills, and professional network, setting yourself up for success in your CNA career.


In conclusion, becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Iowa offers you a rewarding career path with ample opportunities for growth and advancement. With a comprehensive guide to Iowa CNA classes, programs, and resources at your disposal, you can confidently embark on your journey to achieving success in the healthcare field.

We hope this blog post has provided you with valuable insights and information to help you navigate the process of becoming a CNA in Iowa. With dedication, perseverance, and the support of available resources, you can make a meaningful impact on the lives of patients and contribute to the ever-evolving field of healthcare. So, take the first step towards a fulfilling career as a CNA in Iowa today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is a CNA program in Iowa?

In Iowa, a CNA program typically lasts 75 hours with 30 hours of clinical practice. This course is offered by Iowa Central Community Colleges, providing training to those interested in becoming Certified Nursing Assistants and preparing them for employment in various healthcare settings.

The program is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality care to patients in a variety of settings. Students will learn about patient care, communication, and infection.

How much is it to get your CNA in Iowa?

Getting your CNA certification in Iowa requires an investment of time and money. On average, it costs around $915 to complete a training program at Des Moines Area Community College, including tuition fees, textbooks, uniforms, and equipment.

This cost can be reduced if you are eligible for financial aid or scholarships. Additionally, there are other ways to reduce the cost of the program, such as taking a vacation.

How long does CNA certification last in Iowa?

In Iowa, CNA certification is valid for two years. It can be renewed by completing the relevant renewal form before its expiration date.

How old do you have to be to become a CNA in Iowa?

In Iowa, you must be at least 16 years old to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Therefore, the minimum age requirement to become a CNA in Iowa is 16.