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Travel Nursing in Iowa

Picturesque bluffs and lush, rolling hills await you in Iowa. There’s plenty of culture, one of the nation’s best capitol buildings, and one of the largest state fairs in the Hawkeye State. The cost of living is so low that you’ll have extra money in your pocket to see one of the nation’s best kept secrets. Explore Iowa.

Iowa Part of the Nurse Licensure Compact
Iowa is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), an agreement between states that allows a nurse who has a license with one state to have a license with all the states who are part of the compact. Fortunately, half of the country is part of this compact, and Iowa is a part of the NLC.

You can visit the NLC’s homepage at

The Iowa Board of Nursing has its own page too

Or you can contact them directly:

Phone: (515)281-3255
Fax: (515)281-4825

Cost of Living
Iowa has a low cost of living across the board. Similar to Indiana, Iowa’s larger cities have the lowest cost of living. Des Moines is almost 10 points less than the national average of 100, while Council Bluffs is more than 10 points less than the average. Your money goes farther in Iowa.

Ames: 96.8
Burlington: 97.0
Cedar Rapids: 92.0
Council Bluffs: 88.3
Davenport: 96.8
Des Moines: 90.9
Dubuque: 95.9
Iowa City: 96.2
Mason City: 89.1
Waterloo: 91.7

Pay Rate
Permanent Iowa nurses earn less than the national average nursing wage, but travel nurses earn a lot more than permanent nurses and this differential, matched with Iowa’s low cost of living, makes travel nursing in Iowa cost effective. You can earn a great wage in Iowa.

The home of the Hawkeyes is also home to the Mercy Hospital, Mayo Clinics, and Medical Centers, so there are countless job opportunities in Iowa. You can easily find employment in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, and Sioux City.

Iowa has distinct seasons. Spring brings severe thunder storms. Iowa summers are known for their heat and humidity. And winters see a drop in temperature to far below freezing. No matter where you go in Iowa, you’ll experience a full spectrum of weather.

What to Do while in Iowa
Iowa Capitol Building
Jerry Miller restored Des Moines’s capitol building and that’s why it’s considered one of the top state capitol buildings in the nation. Whether you take a guided or self-guided tour, you owe it to yourself to stop by Iowa’s capitol building. It’s stunning.

Iowa State Fairgrounds
Des Moines, Iowa has one of the nation’s best fairgrounds, too. The Iowa State fair is one of the largest in the country. This is the place to be in Iowa every August, but there are events held at the state fairgrounds year round.

Iowa 80 Trucking Museum
A lot of truckers drive through Iowa via Interstate 80 and this museum is a tribute to them. You’ll find vintage trucks and plenty of US history in this hidden gem.

Union Pacific Railroad Museum
Three floors of interactive displays, friendly workers, a slice of national history, and free admission. You can’t beat that for a weekend activity in Council Bluffs.

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
At first glance, you’d think the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque might be good for a couple hour distraction, but the location is so big and there’s so much to see and do, that you could spend an entire day or weekend in the museum and aquarium.

Fenelon Place Elevator Company
While you’re in Dubuque, you should check out Fenelon Place Elevator Company. It’s home to a one of a kind elevator. The elevator rests on a railroad track and tilts so you can see beautiful panoramic vistas of the Mississippi River.

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
Cedar Rapids has a loving tribute to all the Czech and Slovak immigrants of the mid-west. The National Czech & Slovak Museum showcases the willpower and determination of an interesting people. Learn more about a rich heritage.

Field of Dreams
Visit the baseball field featured in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams. This converted corn field in Dyersville looks the same way it looked in the film. It’ll make you wonder if it is heaven.

Iowa is more than just corn. While the pay rates are lower than many other states, the cost of living more than makes up for it, and travel nurses make a lot more than permanent nurses. Reap the benefits of travel nursing in Iowa.


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