Lowa RN License Renewal Guide

Renewing your Iowa RN license

To maintain your right to practice legally as a registered nurse, you need to periodically renew your RN license in Iowa. Licensure renewal shows that you meet a certain standard, and that you are committed to staying up to date with the latest trends and developments in healthcare. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the Iowa RN license renewal process, covering essential steps, requirements, and tips to make the process seamless.

Understanding the Renewal Timeline

Before diving into the renewal process, it’s vital to understand the timeline. Iowa RN licenses need to be renewed every two years, with the renewal period running from October 1st of even-numbered years to September 30th of the following even-numbered year. This means that if your license expires during this period, you’ll need to complete the renewal process to maintain your active status.

Meeting Continuing Education Requirements

One of the key components of Iowa RN license renewal is completing continuing education (CE) requirements. The Iowa Board of Nursing mandates that RNs must complete 36 contact hours of CE during each renewal period. These hours should be relevant to nursing practice and contribute to your professional growth.

To meet this requirement, consider enrolling in courses, workshops, or seminars related to nursing topics. Many educational institutions, both online and offline, offer CE courses designed to help you stay current in your field. These courses cover various nursing specialties, including critical care, pediatrics, and gerontology.

Additionally, the Board may require proof of current CPR certification, so ensure your CPR certification is up to date before initiating the renewal process.

Preparing for the Renewal Application

Renewing your RN license in Iowa can now be done completely online, on the Iowa Board of Nursing’s official website. This reflects a shift to digital that has happened nationwide, and makes the whole process more convenient than it used to be. Before you start, gather the following documents and information:

  • Personal Information: Ensure your contact information, including your address and email, is up to date. This will ensure that you receive notifications and updates from the Board.
  • Continuing Education Records: Keep records of the CE courses you’ve completed. These records should include the course name, date of completion, and the number of contact hours earned.
  • CPR Certification: Have a copy of your current CPR certification ready as you may need to provide proof.
  • License Information: You’ll need your current RN license number and expiration date.
  • Employment Verification: Some states may require you to provide verification of your employment or practice as an RN in Iowa. Check the specific requirements with the Iowa Board of Nursing.

Completing the Renewal Application

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information and documents, visit the Iowa Board of Nursing’s website and navigate to the renewal application page. Here, you will be prompted to enter your license information and upload any required documents.

Follow the instructions carefully and double-check all the information you provide to ensure accuracy. Any errors or omissions could delay your renewal.

Paying the Renewal Fee

There is a fee associated with renewing your Iowa RN license. The exact amount is constantly subject to change, so it is recommended that you check the Iowa Board of Nursing’s official website, if you want to know for budgeting reasons. Typically, you can pay this fee online as part of the renewal process.

It’s important to note that the renewal fee is non-refundable, so make sure you have all the required documents and information ready before submitting your payment.

Criminal Background Check

In some cases, you may be required to undergo a criminal background check as part of the renewal process. The Iowa Board of Nursing may conduct these checks to ensure that RNs maintain a clean record and can provide safe and ethical care to patients.

If a background check is necessary, the Board will typically provide instructions on how to complete it. It’s important to comply with these instructions promptly to avoid any delays in the renewal of your license.

Late Renewal and Reinstatement

If, for some reason, you miss the renewal deadline and your Iowa RN license expires, there may still be options available to you. The Iowa Board of Nursing typically offers a late renewal period during which you can renew your license, but additional fees may apply.

If your license has lapsed for an extended period, you may need to go through a reinstatement process, which can involve meeting additional requirements or taking refresher courses. It’s best to contact the Board directly to discuss your options and requirements for reinstating an expired license.


Renewing your Iowa RN license is not as difficult as you may think it is. The process is fairly straightforward, once you collect all your requirements, and submitting it is done entirely online. This may seem like a hassle to some people, but this is essential in ensuring that Iowa’s RNs all meet a certain standard of competency. By staying informed about the renewal timeline, meeting CE requirements, and completing the necessary paperwork accurately, you can ensure that your license remains active, allowing you to continue providing high-quality care to your patients. Always consult the Iowa Board of Nursing’s website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information on license renewal requirements and procedures.

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