Nurse Practitioner Guide to Locum Tenens Jobs in Iowa

Imagine for a moment that you are stuck in traffic on your way to work, bored of the same monotonous routine, and looking to experience new scenery and culture. Then, your phone vibrates. It’s your Barton recruiter with the answer. They share a new listing with great pay, your dream schedule, and it will start at a time that fits your current life. The only problem is that it is in Iowa which you know very little about. That’s where Barton comes in!

What You Need to Know About Iowa as a Locum Tenens Nurse Practitioner?

Our recruiters and staffing specialists do not expect you, the provider, to know ins-and-outs of every state in the country. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled information from TripAdvisor, state government pages, and tourist information sources to give you a glimpse into life in Iowa.

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Iowa: A Brief History

Iowa, known as the Hawkeye State, has a rich and fascinating history. In the late 1600s, French explorers like Marquette and Joliet documented Native American accounts of the region. Until the early 19th century, Iowa was exclusively occupied by Native Americans and a few European traders, with loose political control by France and Spain. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Iowa became part of the United States. However, uncontested U.S. control occurred only after the War of 1812 and a series of treaties that eliminated Indian claims on the state. Iowa was admitted to the union as the 29th state on December 28, 1846. Its gently rolling landscape extends westward from the Mississippi River, forming a bridge between eastern forests and western grasslands. Iowa is known for its rich history and agriculture, and is truly a hidden gem in the U.S.

What is there to do and see in Iowa?

  • Take a visit to Iowa City, Iowa and visit the University of Iowa, home of the Hawkeyes. This bustling college town is home to a vibrant nightlife, plenty of dining and entertainment, and also serves as the state’s capital. 
  • Located in Dyersville, Iowa, the Field of Dreams is a century-old Lansing family farm where baseball still ranks as a favorite pastime for all ages. Carved from a cornfield, this iconic baseball diamond became famous through the movie “Field of Dreams.” Tours of the inside of the Farm House, a retail store, and concessions stand await visitors. 
  • Found in Madrid, Iowa, the High Trestle Trail Bridge is a photogenic bridge that spans the Des Moines River. Walk or bike across this impressive structure and enjoy scenic views of the surrounding landscape.

How close is Iowa to other cities and states?

  • Des Moines, Iowa to Omaha, Nebraska: Approximately 125 miles; around 2 to 2.5 hours by car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa to Minneapolis, Minnesota: Roughly 240 miles; about 3.5 to 4 hours by car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa to Kansas City, Missouri: Around 190 miles; approximately 3 to 3.5 hours by car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa to Chicago, Illinois: About 320 miles; approximately 4.5 to 5 hours by car.
  • Des Moines, Iowa to St. Louis, Missouri: Approximately 260 miles; around 4 to 4.5 hours by car.

Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice In Iowa

What is the Scope of Practice for Nurse Practitioners in Iowa?

Nurse practitioners have full practice authority in the state of Iowa. This legal provision empowers NPs to perform a comprehensive array of healthcare services that are critical to patient care. Iowa law authorizes NPs to evaluate patients, diagnose, and prescribe medications and therapeutic measures. 

Can Nurse Practitioners Sign Death Certificates in Iowa?

In the state of Iowa, nurse practitioners (NPs) are authorized to sign patients’ death certificates. NPs have advanced education and training beyond their initial nursing education and are licensed to practice medicine independently. To be able to sign death certificates, NPs must complete specific training and education on the legal requirements for death certification, medical causes of death, and the proper completion of death certificates. When a patient dies, the NP determines the cause of death, completes the death certificate, and files it with the local registrar’s office. The registrar’s office then issues a certified copy of the death certificate to the family. NPs play an important role in providing end-of-life care to patients and their families by ensuring the death certification process is completed accurately and efficiently.

Does Iowa Recognize Nurse Practitioners as Primary Care Providers? 

The state of Iowa, through its statutes and administrative codes, acknowledges the role of nurse practitioners as primary care providers. This recognition is a testament to the evolving landscape of healthcare delivery, where the traditional roles are being expanded to meet the increasing demand for primary care services.

Can Nurse Practitioners Independently Prescribe Schedule II Drugs in Iowa?

In the state of Iowa, NPs  have the ability to prescribe controlled substances, but this is dependent on their specific area of specialty. Furthermore, to prescribe these controlled substances, NPs must be registered with the Board of Pharmacy Examiners. This registration process ensures that NPs have the necessary qualifications and adhere to the state’s medical standards and regulations. 

Do Nurse Practitioners Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in Iowa?

In the state of Iowa, hospitals uphold a fair and inclusive policy when it comes to granting NPs membership to their medical staff. This policy ensures that no NP is denied membership based on the type of license they hold or the educational institution they graduated from.

Can Nurse Practitioners Order Physical Therapy in Iowa?

In the state of Iowa, nurse practitioners are granted full authority to order physical therapy for their patients. This is a significant aspect of their role in the healthcare system, allowing them to provide comprehensive care. A NP can assess a patient’s need for such a treatment, and then order it accordingly. 

Can Nurse Practitioners Sign Handicap Parking Permit Forms in Iowa?

Yes! Nurse practitioners are authorized to certify disability for parking placards in the state of Iowa. NPs can assess a patient’s physical condition and determine whether their disability qualifies them for a parking placard. 

Can Nurse Practitioners Sign POLST/POST/MOLST/MOST/COLST Forms in Iowa? 

Yes, nurse practitioners are authorized to sign the Iowa POST form. This form is designed to communicate a patient’s wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment. Typically used in situations where a patient has a serious illness or is near the end of life, this form provides specific medical orders that are to be followed by healthcare providers, ensuring that the patient’s wishes are honored. 

Can Nurse Practitioners Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders in Iowa?

Nurse practitioners are authorized to sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders in the state of Iowa. DNR orders are typically signed after a detailed discussion with the patient or the patient’s healthcare proxy or legal guardian. This conversation involves a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s medical condition, prognosis, and personal wishes regarding end-of-life care.

What are the Continuing Education Requirements for Nurse Practitioners in Iowa?

RNs are required to complete 36 contact hours every three years in the state of Iowa. This mandate ensures that Nurse Practitioners (NPs) persistently upgrade their proficiency and skills, stay updated with the newest progressions in their field, and offer superior patient care.

Find Your Next Nurse Practitioner Job with Barton

Barton coordinates your job search from start to finish!



We’ll schedule a phone consultation with a Barton Associates team member to discuss your interests, goals, and work history in order to get a sense of what you’re looking for in your next job.

Your Barton team will then go to work, compiling a list of open jobs in our extensive network that match your interests and skill set.



Once you’ve had a chance to evaluate your list of opportunities, your Barton rep will submit your information to facility you want to take an assignment at.

If there’s a match, we’ll work with the client manager on next steps.



Don’t worry! Barton Associates will handle licensing, credentialing, and travel arrangements before you arrive.

Your Barton rep will also work with your new facility to ensure you’re set up and ready to go on day one.


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