CNA Certification in Iowa

You can train as a certified nursing assistant in Iowa by attending a training course that has been approved for the state of Iowa.  Programs must also meet all standards set forth by the Federal government.

Minimum Training Requirements

You will need to complete at least 75 hours of training in a nursing assistant training program in Iowa.  Thirty of those hours will be spent in a clinical setting.  Some programs offer more hours of total training as well as more hours of clinical instruction.

CNA training courses are designed to provide you with the skills you need to work successfully as a nursing assistant.  You will learn to assist patients with activities of daily living, how to protect patient privacy, communicate well with patients and other staff and a variety of other CNA skills.  You must complete the training program before you can sit for the nursing assistant certification exam.

Transferring Certification From Another State to Iowa

If you hold a nursing assistant certification in another state, it might not be necessary to retrain as a CNA if you move to Iowa. Many CNAs meet the requirements to transfer their certification to Iowa. You will need to have an active certification that is listed in good standing on the Registry for Nursing Assistants in your former state.

In order to transfer your CNA certification, you will need to contact the Department of Inspection and Appeals at (515) 281-4115 to determine if you are eligible. Once you contact the Department of Inspection and Appeals, they will send you the appropriate certification documents.

Renewing Your CNA Certification in Iowa

Every 24 months, your certification will be set to expire. Nursing assistants must renew their certification by completing the renewal form. This form should be sent to you 2-3 months prior to the expiration of your certification. You will need to have worked as a nursing assistant or in a job providing nursing related duties for a minimum of 8 hours over the past two years in order to renew your license.

If you have not worked as a nursing assistant or performed related duties in the past 2 years, it will be necessary to sit for the certification exam again. This is why it is important to work as a nursing assistant even if only on a minimal basis.


Q: I have completed my practical nursing degree in Romania. I will soon be migrating to the United states. I wish to work as a CNA while I study further. Is it possible to get a CNA license without having to re do the training or certification exam in Iowa? I have done more advanced stuff than what is taught to potential CNA’s. I saw the skills checklist on your website and most of it I learned when I did my fundamentals in nursing.
A: I’m not too sure on whether your qualification in Romania meets the US requirements but if you can prove to the nursing board in Iowa that it does, they might waive the training for you. It is however unlikely that the exam will also be waived. You will thus need to do the exam to get a license in Iowa. Helpful Resources: Free CNA classes in Iowa and CNA training in Iowa

Q:  I am going to be relocating to Iowa to be closer to family.  I am currently a certified nursing assistant in Texas, can I work as a CNA in Iowa?

A:  Before you work as a CNA in Iowa, you will need to apply to have your certification transferred.  This cannot be done unless your CNA license is current and listed in good standing without any complaints or criminal convictions for abuse or neglect against you.  It will be necessary to contact the Department of Inspection and Appeals in Iowa as they handle nursing assistant certification processes.

Q:  Will I need to attend a training program again to transfer my CNA certification to Iowa?

A:  You should not need to enroll in a training program if your application for transfer is approved.  If your license lapsed in your former state, then you will likely need to complete an approved program again.


12 Responses to CNA Certification in Iowa

  1. DONNA JACKSON September 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    have a mass cna need to get a iowa cna lic how long does that take moving out jan,2011

    • Admin October 24, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

      Hi Donna, I’m not sure exactly how long it takes since that goes on a state by state basis. You should apply for reciprocity as soon as possible though.

  2. Sarah November 9, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    I need to retake the test and am worried about the skills part. What skills are included?

  3. Bonnie May 27, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    I took my CNA training course (150 hours) while in nursing school at Mercy College years ago, but never bothered to take the CNA certification exam. Things ended up falling through with student loans, and I had to stop taking courses at Mercy on my route to becoming an RN. I’m now interested in getting certified as a CNA, and was wondering if it would be necessary for me to retake the course in order to try and get certified, or if I could try to do some at home studying and still take the test for certification? I appreciate your reply! thanks!

    • Admin June 20, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

      Unfortunately you only have two years after getting trained to take your certification exam. You will need to retake the training to be able to sit for the certification exam.

  4. joce August 2, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    hi i want to get my 17 and going to school part time do i have to have my diploma before i can get my cna and how old do you have to be?

    • Alicia brown April 15, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

      No you dont. Age dont matter either.

  5. angie April 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    I went and did cna classes and recieved my lic ,I worked ata hospital. Then when I had my children I stopped doing cna work and didnt renew my lic, Here it is 6 years later and now wanting to do it again….Do i need to take course over again or can i just retest?

  6. Cassi August 7, 2012 at 4:48 am #

    I got my CNA license in April of last year (2011) and it is set to expire in April 2012. I am currently going to nursing school where I attend clinicals. Is this enough to be able to renew my license or will I have to take the test again? If I have to take the test again is it just the written or is it the skill test also?

  7. Alicia brown April 15, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    I have a q. Im a certified nursing assistant in fl and im wanting to move to Iowa. Are they the same requirements?.

  8. Tara October 14, 2014 at 12:38 am #

    I worked as a cna for about 3 years from 2003-2006. It then expired as I took another job path. I am again interested in obtaining my license what are my options?

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