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CE Basic Requirements

Continuing education is mandated by Iowa law as a prerequisite to renew RN and LPN licenses. The requirement is as follows:

  • For renewal of a three year license, the requirement is 36 contact hours. 
  • For renewal of a license that has been issued for less than three years, the requirement is 36 contact hours. This applies to the first renewal after any one of the following:
  • Initial Iowa licensure by examination
  • Initial Iowa licensure by endorsement from another state
  • Reactivation from an inactive status

A license issued for less than three years is granted for two years, plus the number of months to the birth month. Thereafter, the license must be renewed every three years.

  • For reactivation from an inactive status, the requirement is 36 contact hours of continuing education that are not more than 36 months old at the time the credit is submitted for reactivation. 

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner - Continuing Education Requirement

An Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) holding current certification in his/her specialty is deemed to be in compliance with Iowa Continuing Education (CE) requirements. There are no extra continuing education credits required for the ARNP license. ARNPs are deemed to be in compliance with Iowa continuing ed requirements by their compliance with the requirements of their national certifying body, as evidenced by their current certification card required for each renewal.

Mandatory Training On Abuse Identification and Reporting

It is also mandated that ARNPs, RNs and LPNs who regularly examine, attend, counsel or treat dependent adults or children in Iowa are required to complete training related to the identification and reporting of child/dependent adult abuse. The licensee is required to complete at least two hours of training every five years. The course MUST be approved by the Iowa Department of Public Health. The board of nursing requires the licensee, at the time of renewal, to document completion of the training requirements. A list of approved courses is available at

Code of Iowa (1995) - 272C.2
Iowa Administrative Code 655, Chapter 5 - 5.2 

Last updated: 01/2018