CNA Classes in Iowa | 9 Top Training Programs for Nursing Assistant Certificaton

The healthcare system is always a growing and promising career field to get into. There are plenty of facilities right here in Iowa that are always looking for qualified professionals to join their staff. In particular, there is a growing need for certified nursing assistants or CNAs.
There are plenty of opportunities for employment and it’s also a very fulfilling career choice. A CNA certification is also a great starting point for you if you intend to pursue a further career in the medical field. If you feel like this is the path for you, it’s important to learn about all of your options and the different CNA classes in Iowa.

Who Is the Regulatory Body for CNAs in Iowa?

The regulatory body for healthcare systems can vary from state to state. In Iowa, the Iowa Division of Health Facilities is the responsible party when it comes to CNA regulations. This department sets the requirements for receiving a CNA certification in Iowa.

Who Administers the CNA Exam in Iowa?

The Iowa Division of Health Facilities administer all qualifying exams and CNA testing Iowa.
Once you have completed all of your CNA training and coursework, you will report to the Iowa Division of Health Facilities to complete a skills evaluation and written test.
You can register and schedule times for both of these tests through your community college. Only once you have passed these official qualifications tests will you be able to receive your CNA certification in Iowa. Keep in mind that there are plenty of free practice multiple-choice tests available to you online before going for the official tests.

Iowa State Requirements for CNAs

To receive your certification, you must complete all of the Iowa CNA requirements. This means that you must complete 75 hours of training, including 30 hours of clinical work. There are many approved community colleges to choose from that will assist you in meeting these requirements.
Once the required hours have been completed, you can register for the qualifying exams. Upon successful completion of both the CNA skills competency examination and written test, you must go through the Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals to register in the Direct Care Worker Registry.

Iowa CNA Exam Details

You can register for your exams once all required coursework and hours have been completed through your school. The CNA exam consists of two parts. First is the Nurse Aide Written Test, followed by the Nurse Aide Skills Competency Test.  

The Nurse Aide Written Test is taken on a secure computer and consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.The topics and content covered on this test include the following:

  • Infection Control
  • Restorative Services
  • Basic Nursing Topics and Skills
  • The Role of a CNA
  • Emergencies and Safety
  • Common Disorders and Diseases
  • Resident Rights
  • Social and Mental Needs

The Nurse Aide Skills Competency Test involves properly demonstrating a particular number of required CNA skills in a set amount of time - typically around 30 to 45 minutes. It’s important to practice these skills beforehand and be prepared to be asked to perform any combination of skills.

This test will normally cover things such as:

  • Preferences and Rights
  • Infection Control
  • Comfort and Safety
  • Communication and Interpersonal SkillsEnter your text here...

How Much Does the Iowa CNA Exam Cost?

Training for and completing your CNA certification comes with some expenses. Your exam costs are not included in the cost of your school’s tuition, as they are not administered by the school. Additionally, each portion of the exam is priced separately. The Nurse Aide Skills Written Test costs $55 for each attempt. The Nurse Aide Skills Competency Test costs $95 for each attempt.
The tuition and exam costs are just a small price to pay to begin your career. The average annual CNA salary in Iowa is $28,300. It’s on the higher end in Des Moine and Ankeny at $30,141.

CNA Classes in Iowa

If you're ready to start your career, there are plenty of approved community colleges that offer CNA classes in Iowa. To learn about tuition costs, registration, and availability, you'll need to contact the schools individually.

You’ll determine which school is the best fit for you depending on your location and tuition costs. Here's the list of top-rated CNA schools!

Kirkwood Community College

Kirkwood Community College offers the KPACE Foundations for Healthcare program for individuals interested in beginning their career in healthcare. The course was specifically built to support those looking to complete their CNA certification and prepares them to successfully meet all requirements. Students can expect to cover topics such as medical terminology, healthcare mathematics basics, and C.P.R.

Along with covering the foundations of healthcare, this course familiarizes students with workforce expectations, while helping them to explore their career goals. The KPACE program also supports services and tuition assistance to students.

Southwestern Community College, Creston

Southwestern Community College offers both practical nursing and associate nursing programs. Both programs are state-accredited with the Iowa Board of Nursing.
The course curriculum covers basic concepts of nursing, critical thinking, the role of a nurse, science and medical ethics. Class time is broken up into classroom lectures, as well as two days per week spent working in a healthcare facility. This allows students to learn under the supervision of skilled and qualified professionals.
This program is determined to set you up to successfully find CNA jobs in Iowa or eventually send you on your war to a bachelor’s nursing program. 

Iowa Western Community College - Online

This is another excellent nursing program for anyone interested in training to become a CNA. It’s approved by the Department of Inspections and Appeals. The entire course is 75 hours long with new programs beginning each month, and these programs can be conveniently taken online through the hybrid class option.
The course curriculum emphasizes the basics of nursing, patient needs and how to care for patients in long term medical facilities. The course is divided into 30 hours of online classroom lecture, 30 hours of clinical facility work and 15 hours of lab time. 

Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs

Iowa Western Community College also offers this continuation course following the basic 75 hours course. This course is facilitated by a Registered Nurse and designed to provide students with more clinical hours and additional skills practice to prepare them for work in a hospital environment. 

This course does require a few prerequisites including C.P.R. certification, flu vaccination and completion of the traditional CNA certification. Eligible Iowa residents have the opportunity to take advantage of the free tuition assistance program that may help cover tuition, tools, textbooks and other fees.
This is an excellent option for those wishing to further continue their education and medical career potential. 

Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo

The CNA program at Hawkeye Community College’s Waterloo Campus provides students with the basics of nursing and allows them the opportunity to train under the supervision of qualified nursing staff. You’ll be able to get hands-on experience caring for patients, checking vital signs, moving, dressing and bathing. You’ll also be trained on how to properly dispense and administer medications.
This program prepares you for work as a CNA, nurse's aide or personal care aide. In addition to the CNA training program, Hawkeye Community College also offers an 8-hour Nurse Aide Refresher Course for those who have been out of work for a while or need a quick review.

Indian Hills Community College

If you're looking for evening classes, Indian Hills Community College offers a 75-hour CNA training course that meets on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
The course is facilitated by a registered nurse and only has room for 10 participants at a time, making it very intimate. All of the clinical facility hours are held on Sundays at a local nursing home. This time is to provide you with one-on-one time and experience working with and caring for patients.
Dates and availability for this course may vary, so you’ll need to check with the college to see available times for registration. 

Iowa Central Community College

For those who are just becoming interested in the medical field, or feel like they'd like to have a better understanding of medical terminology and jargon, Iowa Central Community College offers medical terminology courses.

For those who are just becoming interested in the medical field, or feel like they'd like to have a better understanding of medical terminology and jargon, Iowa Central Community College offers medical terminology courses.
The first course in Medical Terminology takes a word association approach. This approach breaks down complicated terms into their root prefixes and suffixes to help with understanding.
The second course, Medical Terminology II, is more advanced and focuses on human diseases and body systems. This familiarizes students with anatomy and procedural terms.

Clinton Community College

Clinton Community College's Iowa State approved CNA training program provides you with all of the essential skills and knowledge to complete the qualifying exams. The course curriculum is designed to ensure students leave knowing all the basics of nursing and patient care.
You’ll be able to complete all of the required training hours, including the 30 hours of hands-on clinical work. There are many great opportunities for work in the medical field in Clinton, and this program will without a doubt set you up for success. 

Fort Scott Community College

There are plenty of CNA training programs in Fort Scott. Many start new sessions on a rolling basis meaning an almost immediate start date. While others will follow a semester format, so you’ll have to wait a few months after registering for the course to begin.

Once you've registered and begun your CNA training in Fort Scott, the course will be completed in as little as 8 to 12 weeks. This means you'll be able to begin your certification exams in no time. Tuition assistance for some programs may also be available for qualifying students.