Iowa Qualifications and Regulations
Iowa is like other states in stipulating that their Certified Nursing Assistants are not licensed healthcare providers, but certified assistive personnel. This does not change the nature of the work, only the nature of CNA employment. Because all tasks are relegated to the CNA by a supervising nurse or doctor, it is possible to do similar work to that of the CNA without certification, though the acquisition of certification helps for career advancement. All applicants must either complete a state-approved training program or be sponsored by their employer before taking the certification exam. The training regimen is 75 hours of required coursework, with 30 of the hours required to be spent in a clinical setting under supervision. The certification test must be taken immediately after completing the training program.Re-certification is not required, but CNAs must work at least every two years to remain on the state’s nurse aide registry, which is mandated by federal regulations for continued employment in the healthcare field. Like some other states, Iowa encourages CNAs to continue their education and seek career advancement. Once becoming a certified CNA, the range of possible work increases, including job titles such as medication aide, rehabilitation aide, or home health care aide. To further reinforce the value of a CNA degree, Iowa is changing its policies in the near future to require CNA certification for those entering nursing school.
Wage and Cost
A CNA working in Iowa will receive an average salary around $23,500. This is relatively high for CNAs working in this country, along a range of $20,800 to $26,000. Compared to the states of the surrounding region, this wage is well-adjusted. As a primarily agricultural state with a low population density, there are many opportunities for healthcare positions inside Iowa. The price for CNA training programs is a minimum of $150, but for nurse aides already employed, the cost or tuition of certification will be covered by the employer. Depending on the training program and the number of attempts at the certification test, the examination cost ranges from $15 to $45. The opportunity for reimbursement is why the distinction on licensing is useful for nurse aides in Iowa. If you begin work as a nurse aide before becoming a CNA, not only will you already have work-experience to help you with the test, but you will be reimbursed for continuing your education and rewarded for developing your skill-set.