Licensure with the Iowa Board of Nursing at the advanced level permits the nurse to use the title Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and authorizes the nurse to prescribe substances or devices, including controlled substances. The following steps outline how to apply for an advanced practice license.


Hold an active Registered Nurse (RN) license

Current licensure as a registered nurse is mandatory for advanced nursing practice in Iowa.

  • If you are not a current registered nurse, you must apply for licensure by examination.
  • If you are a current registered nurse but do not hold an Iowa license, you must endorse into Iowa. 

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ARNP Certification

An advanced level certification by a national professional nursing certifying body, recognized by the Board, is required for licensure as an advanced registered nurse practitioner. You must be licensed in all the population foci that you serve. The approved certifying bodies are:

  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses
  • American Midwifery Certification Board
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists
  • National Certification Corporation
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

You must provide documentation of your certification with your application.


Register with FDEA

Licensure as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner authorizes the nurse to prescribe substances or devices, including controlled substances. The ARNP has the authority to prescribe when engaged in the practice of a nursing specialty regulated under the rules adopted by the Board of Nursing.  

Registration as a practitioner with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Board of Pharmacy Examiners permits the Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner to prescribe controlled substances within the practitioner’s recognized specialty.  

  • To obtain a DEA number the provider must be licensed as an ARNP.  Application forms for DEA numbers may be obtained from the Pharmacy Board website.

ARNPs located in Iowa must register for a Controlled Substance Registration if prescribing controlled substances (up to schedule II). To be eligible to register, ARNPs must hold a current, active license to practice. 


Check Your License Status

If you would like to see the status of your license, visit our online portal and log into your account.