Physician Assistant 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 Physician Assistant?

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.

Physician Assistant Scope of Practice In Iowa

What is the Scope of Practice for Physician Assistants in Iowa?

Physician assistants (PAs) in Iowa enjoy full practice authority, meaning they can evaluate patients, diagnose medical conditions, prescribe medications, and perform a wide range of medical procedures without the direct supervision of a physician. This allows PAs to provide high-quality healthcare services to patients in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and private practices. The full practice authority of PAs in Iowa is supported by state law, which recognizes PAs as healthcare providers who are qualified to practice medicine under their own licenses. This allows PAs to provide care to patients in a more timely and efficient manner, which can improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. Additionally, the full practice authority of PAs helps to address the shortage of physicians in Iowa and ensures that patients have access to the healthcare services they need.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Death Certificates in Iowa?

In Iowa, physician assistants (PAs) are legally authorized to sign death certificates. The Iowa Board of Medicine grants this authority, acknowledging PA’s education, training, and experience. PAs conduct thorough death investigations, examining the deceased, reviewing medical records, and consulting as necessary. They complete and sign the death certificate, providing accurate details about the cause and manner of death. This role demonstrates PA’s expertise and the trust placed in their professional judgment, contributing to the healthcare system.

Does Iowa Recognize Physician Assistants as Primary Care Providers? 

The state of Iowa recognizes the significance of physician assistants (PAs) as primary care providers through its statutes and administrative codes. This comprehensive framework ensures that PAs in Iowa are qualified, practice within their scope, collaborate effectively with physicians, provide patient-centered care, maintain their knowledge and skills, and are subject to quality assurance measures.

Can Physician Assistants Prescribe Schedule II Drugs in Iowa?

Yes, physician assistants can prescribe schedule II drugs in Iowa

Do Physician Assistants Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in Iowa?

In Iowa, physician assistants (PAs) are eligible for medical staff membership, enabling them to practice medicine within healthcare settings and subject to the same rules and regulations as other medical staff members. PAs are licensed healthcare professionals trained to provide a range of medical services under physician supervision and can practice independently in many states. The inclusion of PAs in medical staff membership recognizes their role in the healthcare system, allowing them to provide high-quality care and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to improve patient outcomes.

Can Physician Assistants Order Physical Therapy in Iowa?

In Iowa, physician assistants (PAs) have the authority to order physical therapy for their patients, conduct physical examinations, order and interpret diagnostic tests, diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries, prescribe medications, perform minor surgeries, and provide patient education. PAs must complete an accredited PA program and pass a national certification exam to practice in Iowa. Their scope of practice is determined by the Iowa Board of Physician Assistant Examiners. PAs work in various settings, collaborating with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care to patients. The ability of PAs to order physical therapy helps patients receive timely care and reduces the burden on physicians.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Handicap Parking Permit Forms in Iowa?

In Iowa, physician assistants (PAs) are authorized to certify disability for parking placards. This authorization recognizes their extensive training and clinical experience as licensed healthcare professionals. PAs assess medical conditions, order tests, prescribe medications, and provide patient care. The process for obtaining a disability parking placard may vary by state, typically requiring certification from a physician, PA, or other authorized healthcare professional. The authorization of PAs in Iowa to certify disability for parking placards acknowledges their crucial role in providing healthcare services and their dedication to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities.

Can Physician Assistants Sign POLST/POST/MOLST/MOST/COLST Forms in Iowa? 

In Iowa, PAs play a crucial role in signing Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms, which outline patients’ end-of-life care preferences. Physicians initiate the process, assess the patient’s condition and prognosis, and obtain informed consent. They document the patient’s preferences and medical orders on the POLST form, ensuring that patients’ wishes are accurately reflected. PAs collaborate with other healthcare professionals to implement the POLST form and provide ongoing support to the patient and their family. 

Can Physician Assistants Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders in Iowa?

In Iowa, physicians are legally authorized to sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders for patients who are terminally ill or have a severe, life-limiting condition. DNR orders direct healthcare providers to withhold CPR and other life-sustaining measures in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest.  The decision to obtain a DNR order involves discussions between the patient, their physician, and their family members, and the patient must be competent and voluntarily sign the order. DNR orders are valid in all healthcare settings and can be revoked at any time. They respect patients’ wishes, prevent unnecessary suffering, and are an important part of end-of-life care.

What are the Continuing Education Requirements for Physician Assistants in Iowa?

In Iowa, physician assistants (PAs) must complete 100 continuing education (CE) hours to renew their license. This requirement ensures PAs stay up-to-date with the latest medical knowledge and skills for providing high-quality patient care. PAs must complete CE hours through accredited providers and submit records upon request. Failure to meet the CE requirements may result in disciplinary action. The CE requirement is crucial for maintaining high-quality patient care by ensuring PAs have the necessary knowledge and skills.

Find Your Next Physician Assistant 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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