An aspiring Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) receives training with the aim to provide quality patient care.
Most of them can be found working at long-term care facilities and hospitals.
You can qualify to become a CNA in Iowa if you satisfy the following conditions:
- Completed a training program approved by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH)
- Passed the Certified Nurse Aide Competency Examination (CNACE)
- Listed as a CNA with good standing on the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry (IDCWR)
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Taking on a CNA Training Program in Iowa
Before taking CNACE, you must first enroll in a state-approved CNA program.
You will undergo a minimum of 75 hours of education and training, per the IDPH regulation.
Thirty of those hours are used for clinical experience, per the requirements of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.
During the program, you will learn the basics of direct patient care.
Aside from new students, direct care workers or health facility employees can also enroll in the CNA program.
Usually, they do this for ongoing training or refresher.
Below, you’ll find a list of approved CNA schools, health care facilities, and private entities for you to peruse.
16 CNA Schools in Iowa
|Azria Health Rose Vista||Woodbine, IA 51579|
|Western Iowa Tech Community College||Sioux City, IA 51106|
|Des Moines Area Community College||Ankeny, IA 50023|
|Eastern Iowa Community College||Davenport, IA 52801|
|Grand Ji Vante||Ackley, IA 50601|
|Hawkeye Community College||Waterloo, IA 50701|
|Iowa Western Community College||Council Bluffs, IA 51502-3004|
|Keystone Care Center||Benton, IA 52249|
|Kirkwood Community College||Cedar Rapids, IA 52404|
|Maquoketa Community High School||Maquoketa, IA 52060|
|Northeast Iowa Community College - Calmar High School||Calmar, IA 52132|
|Ottumwa Job Corps Center||Ottumwa, IA 52501|
|Pella Regional Health Center||Pella, IA 50219|
|Signature Healthcare||Waukee, IA 50263|
|The Alverno Health Care Facility||Clinton, IA 52732|
|Westview Acres Care Center||Leon, IA 50144|
Evaluating a CNA Candidate
The CNACE can only be taken at the community colleges offering approved CNA programs in Iowa.
So if you’ve enrolled in a community college, you will take both written and skills tests there directly.
But if you’ve trained in a health care facility or private entity, then you’ll have to apply for CNACE at the nearest college.
Regarding the fees, you’ll have to inquire the college for the details, such as:
- Initial exam fees
- Exam retake fees, in case of failure
- Rescheduling fees, if allowable
Although the colleges will administer CNACE, respectively, all will have the same exam content.
For the written test, it consists of 60 questions to be completed in 90 minutes.
For the skills test, it will ask you to demonstrate a few nurse aide skills within a specific time.
Usually, it’s five skills in thirty minutes.
If you successfully pass CNACE, then the training facility will notify IDCWR of your status as a CNA.
It will take at least two weeks for IDCWR to complete the registry.
But if you fail, you have two other chances to pass tests.
If you still fail on the third attempt, then you will have to complete another 75-hour training and another round of exams.
For more detailed information, visit the training facility and IDCWR’s websites.
One important factor that an employee looks at is the salary.
And how much you earn depends on several factors, including:
- Skills proficiency
- Years of experience
- Nature of work
At the moment, Iowa offers CNAs an average annual salary of $30,269.
The table below shows the salary information in the different cities of Iowa.
Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of CNAs in Iowa
City Name Salary Des Moines $30,597 Cedar Rapids $30,009 Davenport $39,873 Sioux City $26,315 Waterloo $28,592 Iowa City $29,763 Council Bluffs $29,903 Dubuque $29,656 Ames $30,313 West Des Moines $30,597
Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary Ames, IA 470 $35,190 $16.92 $38,890 $31,230 Cedar Rapids, IA 1,500 $35,400 $17.02 $41,200 $30,390 Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL 1,990 $33,820 $16.26 $39,040 $28,570 Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA 3,960 $36,400 $17.5 $43,680 $30,670 Dubuque, IA 840 $35,120 $16.88 $43,310 $30,650 Iowa City, IA 1,230 $35,580 $17.11 $42,160 $31,460 Sioux City, IA-NE-SD 990 $35,000 $16.83 $39,040 $30,410 Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA 1,170 $35,180 $16.91 $39,670 $29,820
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.