Thinking About a Career in Nursing?
What do nurses do?
The definition of professional nursing: NURSING is the protection,
promotion and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of
illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and
treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals,
families, communities, and populations. See ANA's Nursing's Social Policy Statement.
ANA's Web site NursingWorld has more information on Nursing Careers.
Work hours vary greatly depending on the type and practice area of
nursing that you select. Nursing is likely the most versatile health
profession that could be entered. School nurses have work days and
schedule that follow the K-12 and college class schedules. Public health
nurses may have the traditional office hours of 8 AM to 5 PM. In 24/7
(patient care that is 24 hours a day/7 days a week, there are three
shifts of nurse staffing that need to be covered. There are variations
of these time frames as well.
Nursing has a "career ladder" not found in many other professions.
Many start as a nurse aide, medic, emergency medical technician and take
additional classes that qualify them to sit for nursing licensure.
There are currently two academic preparation paths for RN licensure-- an
Associate Degree in Nursing - A D N granted by a community college or
the Bachelor's of Science in Nursing BSN granted by a college or
Length of Education
The length of education depends on the level of the nursing career
you want to practice at. Board of Nursing regulations require at least
one year of academic study to qualify for the licensure exam as a
licensed practical nurse and at least two years of academic study to
qualify for the licensure exam as a registered nurse. See the definition
of “program” in Chapter 2 of the Iowa Board of Nursing administrative
Licensure as an RN
Visit the Web site of the Iowa State Board of Nursing (Link Below)
for more information on initial licensure, national examination and
three year license renewal. To renew the three-year license, Iowa Board
of Nursing regulations require 36 hours of continuing education to be
New Graduate Support Resources
NursingWorld's Info for Nursing Students
ANA's Nursing Career Web Page
Iowa Board of Nursing
Nursing Salaries in Iowa
Because of Medicare’s historic low payment to Iowa hospitals and providers, Iowa
nurses salaries have lagged behind the average nursing salaries in
other states. The Iowa Nurses Association does not gather salary