Individuals with criminal histories are not automatically prohibited from obtaining a nursing license in Iowa. A prior criminal offense is only disqualifying if:
(1) actions taken in furtherance of the offense are customarily performed within the scope of practice of nursing, or
(2) the circumstances of the offense committed are customary to nursing.
Even if you have one or more disqualifying convictions, you may still qualify. You will need to submit proof of rehabilitation to the Board proving your ability to safely practice nursing.
If you have not yet submitted an application:
You may ask the Board to determine whether your criminal conviction(s) would make you ineligible for a license. This request is a "petition for eligibility determination." The instructions are on our Eligibility Petition Form & Instructions page. You are not required to submit a petition for eligibility determination before applying for a license. But if you are close to graduating, it is worth considering.
Disclosing a conviction when applying for licensure:
Applicants must disclose convictions on their licensure application. When submitting the application, please send in: (1) the criminal complaint and judgment of conviction for each separate offense,
(2) a brief personal statement about the conditions that led to the convictions, and
(3) all evidence of rehabilitation they wish the board to consider. Per Iowa Code section 272C.15(2), the Board has provides a List of Potentially Disqualifying Criminal Convictions. This list includes charges that could disqualify an applicant from receiving a license.
For more help with self-reporting a conviction, please view the video below:
Effective 1/1/2021, updated 11/10/2022