Iowa Nurse License Overview

Temp License:
BON website
(515) 281-6488


Endorsement Application: $169.00

Temporary License: No additional fee

Fees are the same for RNs and LPNs 

How long does it take to get an Iowa Nursing License?

Permanent License‍

The board does not comment on a timeframe for permanent licensure. However, 2-8 weeks from receipt of all required materials to licensure is typical. 

Temporary License

The board does not comment on a timeframe for temporary licensure. 2-8 weeks from receipt of all material is typical. 

IA License Renewal

  • Renewal cadence: Renewal is the same for RNs and LPNs. License renewals are on a three-year renewal cycle. Expiration is the 15th day of the licensee’s birth month. 
    - A licensee may renew up to 60 days before the license expiration date. For example: if a license expires on January 15th, that license can be renewed as early as November 15th.   
    - The renewal period begins on the 16th of the birth month and runs until the nurse renews their license. The first renewal period for licensees will be two years plus the number of months to their birth month. After, the licensee renews every three years. 
    - Iowa law requires completion of the renewal 30 days before expiration. The board has elected to not impose a monetary penalty for missing this deadline.
  • Renewal fee: $99.00.
  • Required contact hours: 36 hours. Click here for more information. 
  • Renewals received after the 15th of the birth month are considered late renewals. There is a grace period of 30 days. If your license has not been renewed by the end of the 30-day period, your license will lapse, and you will be unable to work until your license has been reinstated.
  • Late renewals will incur an additional fee of $50.00, if renewing within the 30-day grace period. 

Important Things to Know about Iowa Nurse Licenses

  • Your application is valid for 12 months. If incomplete after 12 months have passed, your application will be discarded and you must reapply and repay the application fee.
  • You cannot request a temporary permit if you have any criminal convictions or current disciplinary action against your license in another state. 
  • The Iowa Board of Nursing estimates the time frame to receive all documentation from third parties is usually 2-8 weeks. 
  • You can check the status of your application online through the online portal. 

IA Licensure by Endorsement


Permanent License

  1. Submit an application online and pay the fee. The process is the same for RNs and LPNs. 
  2. After you have completed the online application, a packet of other required materials, forms, and instructions will automatically be sent to you by ground mail.
  3. Provide a background check with fingerprints. You will need to submit two fingerprint cards, a criminal history background waiver form, and all criminal history documentation, if applicable. 
  4. Request verification of licensure via Nursys from your original state of licensure. If this state does not participate in Nursys, you will need to contact that state's Board of Nursing and request verification be sent to the Iowa BON. Iowa only requires verification from your original state of licensure. 
  5. Provide active military or federal government employee identification, if applicable. 
  6. Foreign-educated exam applicants will need to request an NCLEX Score Transfer, as well as your CGFNS report.

Temporary License

  1. If you wish to be issued a provisional license, please indicate this on your application. Complete the licensure by endorsement application and pay the fee. Your temporary license will be issued once the BON has all the documents except for the transcript. However, you must have requested the transcript to qualify for a temporary license. 
  2. To be eligible for a temporary license, you must complete the fingerprint cards and waiver form. Your original nursing license must be verified, and you should have no criminal convictions or disciplinary action against your license.
  3. Temporary permits are valid for 30 days.

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