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Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know
Kathleen R. Weinberg, MSN, RN, Executive Director

Endorsement - Licensure from Another State

Endorsement Definition: 

“Endorsement” means the process by which a registered nurse/licensed practical nurse licensed in another jurisdiction (state) becomes licensed in Iowa.

Qualifications for Licensure in Iowa:

  1. Graduation from a board-approved RN or LPN nursing program. 
  2. Passing the appropriate (RN or LPN) NCLEX examination as prescribed by the board.
  3. Prior to issuing the license, any past criminal convictions or record of prior disciplinary action, regardless of jurisdiction, must be reviewed and approved by the board.

Nurse Licensure Compact Information:

Applicants must provide an Iowa or a non-compact state mailing address when applying for license by endorsement.  If you reside in a state that is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) Agreement, and submit your application using an address from a NLC state, you must have a single state license, or the application will be returned to you.

A nurse must be licensed in the state they declare as their primary state of residence as evidenced by their driver’s license, voting registration and where they pay taxes. You can view the list of compact states at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. website

The Iowa Board of Nursing encourages nurses to apply for an Iowa license as soon as possible after you have established Iowa as your primary state of residence and to send in all required documents. A nurse may work on their previous multistate license while they are waiting for an active Iowa multistate license. 

Visit the NLC website for frequently asked questions about the Nurse Licensure Compact. 

The compact does not supersede federal law. Military and federal employees may apply for licensure by endorsement in Iowa. You must follow the endorsement instructions provided in the link below: 

How to apply for endorsement: 

Complete an application online. This is the preferred method of application. A packet of other required materials and instructions will then be sent to you automatically by ground mail after you have completed the online application and paid the endorsement fee of $169.00. This fee is non-refundable

Licensing Status: 

NOTE: To find out the status of your application go to IBON Online Services and choose - “Check the Status of an Application in Process” before calling the Nursing Board office.

Foreign Educated Nurses

Information for endorsement for licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses may be found by visiting our Foreign Educated Nurses page.

Updated: 2/10/2023