Iowa Board of Nursing

Online Services

Board Information

Iowa Board of Nursing
RiverPoint Business Park
400 S.W. 8th Street, Suite B
Des Moines, IA 50309-4685
Tel: 515/281-3255
Fax: 515/281-4825

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Nursing Education - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does the Iowa Board of Nursing approve out-of-state nursing programs?

A. The Iowa Board of Nursing does not approve out-of-state nursing programs, but they do accept out of state programs if the programs meet the following requirements:

1. The program is approved by the state board of nursing or agency which regulates nursing programs in that state.
2. The program is in good standing with the regulatory agency.

Please contact the appropriate state board of nursing or agency to find out if the program meets these requirements.

If the program is approved and in good standing an individual may take the NCLEX in Iowa for licensure.

Q. Does the Iowa Board of Nursing review criminal conviction information prior to an individual starting or concluding their nursing education?

A. No, the board does not review criminal conviction informtion prior to an individual starting or concluding their nursing education?

Once an individual has met the graduation requirements, they can apply for licensure. If they have answered "yes" to the criminal conviction question on the licensure application they must submit copies of the paperwork associated with this offices to the Iowa Board of Nursing to be approved for licensure. The Board will review the conviction prior to licensure. The applicant has the option to sit for the NCLEX exam before they have received approval for licensure from the board.

You may read the instructions on the IBON web site -- Click on Licensure, -- Examination (NCLEX) -- Initial Licensure by Examination for U.S. graduate -- scroll down the page to Information regarding criminal convictions.

Q. Do nursing students practice under their clinical instructor's nursing license?

A. Vickie Sheets, RN, JD, NCSBN Director of Practice and Regulation replies: Nursing faculty frequently talk about students practicing under a nursing instructor's license. This is an inaccurate statement because the only person who works on a nurse's license is the person named on the license.

Nursing Practice Acts include statutory language that specifies what are called exemptions or exceptions to the requirement for a nursing license. Typically, practicing nursing as a student who is enrolled in an approved nursing program is one of the exempted (or excepted) practices. The nursing student is accountable of nursing actions and behaviors to patients, the instructor, the facility and the nursing program.

The accountability for nursing instructors is for their decisions and actions as an instructor. For example, the instructor is accountable for the selection of patients for the nursing students' assignments. The instructor is expected to support studies preparing for the clinical experience and to monitor students' clinical performance. Most critically, the instructor must intervene if necessary for ther protection of the patients when situations are beyond the abilities of the students. Instructors must identify "teaching moments" as well as assess and evaluate the students' clinical performance.

The broader accountability reflects the education, experience and role of the instructor, who is accountable to the patient, the student, the facility, the nursing program and the professional licensing board.

Q. Who may not take a nursing course with a clinical component?

A. 655 Iowa Administrative Code 2.8(5) requires that the nursing program shall notify students and prospective students that nursing courses with a clinical component may not be taken by a person:

a. who has been denied licensure by the board.
b. whose license is currently suspended, surrendered or revoked in any U.S. jurisdiction.
c. whose license/registration is currently suspended, surrendered or revoked in another country due to disciplinary action.

Individuals seeking enrollment or currently enrolled in nursing programs who are not eligible to take a course with a clinical component because of disciplinary action in any state should contact the Iowa Board of Nursing Enforcement Unit at 515-281-6472 as soon as possible.

Heads of programs who are aware of individuals to whom this rule applies should contact the Iowa Board of Nursing Enforcement Unit.