CNA Classes in Iowa (Top Schools)

Iowa map

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)

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

School NameAddress
Azria Health Rose VistaWoodbine, IA 51579
Western Iowa Tech Community CollegeSioux City, IA 51106
Des Moines Area Community CollegeAnkeny, IA 50023
Eastern Iowa Community CollegeDavenport, IA 52801
Grand Ji VanteAckley, IA 50601
Hawkeye Community CollegeWaterloo, IA 50701
Iowa Western Community CollegeCouncil Bluffs, IA 51502-3004
Keystone Care CenterBenton, IA 52249
Kirkwood Community CollegeCedar Rapids, IA 52404
Maquoketa Community High SchoolMaquoketa, IA 52060
Northeast Iowa Community College - Calmar High SchoolCalmar, IA 52132
Ottumwa Job Corps CenterOttumwa, IA 52501
Pella Regional Health CenterPella, IA 50219
Signature HealthcareWaukee, IA 50263
The Alverno Health Care FacilityClinton, IA 52732
Westview Acres Care CenterLeon, 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.

Potential Salary

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 NameSalary
Des Moines$30,597
Cedar Rapids$30,009
Sioux City$26,315
Iowa City$29,763
Council Bluffs$29,903
West Des Moines$30,597
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Nursing Assistants, OCC Code 31-1131, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Regional Salary

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Ames, IA470$35,190$16.92$38,890$31,230
Cedar Rapids, IA1,500$35,400$17.02$41,200$30,390
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL1,990$33,820$16.26$39,040$28,570
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA3,960$36,400$17.5$43,680$30,670
Dubuque, IA840$35,120$16.88$43,310$30,650
Iowa City, IA1,230$35,580$17.11$42,160$31,460
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD990$35,000$16.83$39,040$30,410
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA1,170$35,180$16.91$39,670$29,820
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Nursing Assistants, OCC Code 31-1131, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.