Iowa Board of Nursing
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 Agreement, and submit your application for licensure using that address, the application will be returned to you.

Primary state of residence is defined as where you hold a driver’s license, vote and pay taxes. You can view the list of compact states at the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. at

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.

Or, call the board office at 515.281.3255 and request a paper application and packet to be mailed to you. A paper application will delay the process of licensure. 

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” prior to calling the Nursing Board office.

Foreign Educated Nurses

Information for endorsement for licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses may be found by downloading this pdf file: CGFNS Foreign Educated Nurse Application and Instructions

Printed from the Iowa Board of Nursing website on May 22, 2018 at 3:15am.