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Inactive status of a license means the licensee has not renewed their Iowa license. You may not practice nursing in Iowa when your nursing license is in inactive status.

Licensees who don't renew their Iowa license within 30 days after expiration become inactive. Licenses not renewed are automatically placed on inactive status on the 16th of the following month.  There are no fees and continuing education requirements for an inactive license.

Please note:

  • Requests for inactivating your license cannot be processed mid-cycle. If you want to inactivate your license, you must wait until your renewal period expires.
  • Licensees working on an inactive license are investigated by the board.
  • Iowa law requires you to inform the board of any name or address changes, even when your license is inactive.
  • Licensees whose primary state of residence changes must apply for licensure in their new state. Once your new license is issued, your Iowa license becomes inactive.
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Reactivated licenses are issued for two years, plus the number of months to the birth month. After the first renewal, the license will be renewed every three years.

Reactivation of an inactive license requires all the items listed below:

1. Complete an IBON application online and pay the fee of $225.

This fee is non-refundable. This fee covers your application fee and criminal background check. Go to IBON Online Services​, click “My Licenses” then click “Reactivate a License”.

  • Provide a mailing address on your application where the Board can send you documentation.
  • If your residential address differs from your mailing address, provide both addresses.
  • A packet of information will be sent after you have completed the application and paid the fee.

2. Once you receive your packet, complete and return all paper documents, including:

  • two fingerprint cards
  • reactivation continuing education form
  • criminal history background waiver form
  • all criminal history documentation, including any out-of-state discipline

Note: Your application cannot be processed if all documents are not received.

3. Provide proof of completed continuing education. The requirement for reactivation is 36 contact hours of continuing education. Credits must be earned within the previous 36 months.

For questions please email:

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Licensing Status

To check the status of your license, go to IBON Online Services. Choose “Check the Status of an Application in Process” before calling the Nursing Board office. You may contact the reactivation staff at 515-281-3264 with questions.

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Iowa Nurse Assistance Program

Information about the Iowa Nurse Assistance Program (INAP) is available here.

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