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

The Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner

The following information is provided to clarify the scope of practice, role, functions and requirements for the Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) practicing in Iowa.

  • Rules governing the advanced practice aspects of nursing are found in 655 IAC Chapter 7, which is available on the Iowa Board of Nursing Web site; nursing.iowa.gov.

  • The specialty areas of nursing practice for the ARNP in Iowa are a certified clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife, certified nurse practitioner and a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

  • Current licensure as a registered nurse is mandatory for advanced nursing practice in Iowa.

  • Graduation from a board approved advanced practice master’s program or completion of a formal advanced practice education program is required for registration as an ARNP.

  • An advanced level certification by a national professional nursing certifying body, recognized by the board, is required for registration as an ARNP.

  • A current advanced level certification by a national professional nursing certifying body is required to practice as an ARNP in Iowa.

  • Registration with the Iowa Board of Nursing at the advanced level permits the nurse to use the title advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) and authorizes the nurse to prescribe substances or devices, including controlled substances or devices.  The ARNP shall have the authority to prescribe when engaged in the practice of a nursing specialty regulated under the rules adopted by the board of nursing.

  • Registration as a practitioner with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the board of pharmacy examiners permits the advanced registered nurse practitioner to prescribe controlled substances within the nurse’s recognized specialty. 

  • In order to obtain a DEA number the nurse practitioner must be registered as an ARNP.  Application forms for DEA numbers may be obtained from the pharmacy board at 515/281-5944. 

  • In Iowa, an ARNP may provide healthcare services to Iowans of all ages. The ARNP practices within their scope of practice based upon their educational background and the standards and guidelines established by their national certifying body.

  • In Iowa, an ARNP may practice independently.

  • An ARNP may have a collaborative agreement with a physician or physicians if their practice so warrants, but this agreement is not a requirement of the Iowa Board of Nursing.

  • The following services/functions my be performed by the ARNP practicing in Iowa (this list is not all inclusive):

Obtain patient histories.
Perform physicals.
Diagnose.
Order tests, treatments of care.
Educate and counsel patients and family.
Receive third party reimbursement.
Maintain hospital privileges.
Promote health maintenance.

  • A registered nurse in Iowa may practice at the level of his/her advanced preparation without registration as an advanced registered nurse practitioner.  Without registration, they may not use the title ARNP, and they do not have prescriptive authority.  The nurse, employer and the physician make the determination regarding policies and procedures to make prescriptive substances and devices available to clients.

  • To renew registration as an ARNP in Iowa:

1. Renewal shall be for the same period of licensure to practice as a registered nurse.

2. There shall be documentation of current time-dated, advanced level certification by an appropriate national certifying body.

  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Programs in Iowa:

Allen College - Waterloo
Briar Cliff University - Sioux City
Clarke College - Dubuque
Graceland College - Lamoni
University of Iowa - Iowa City

Revised 7/09