Welcome to the Direct Care Worker (DCW) home page. As a direct care worker, you are responsible for the care provided to thousands of individuals who are clients, patients, residents, or tenants in health care facilities throughout the State of Iowa. On a daily basis, you and your coworkers provide assistance with daily activities, administer medications, and ease the burden for Iowa's elderly and persons with disabilities.


This page is devoted to individuals who, on a daily basis, provide up to 80 percent of the hands-on care for residents in Iowa long-term care facilities and other settings. Direct care workers, such as certified nursing assistants (CNAs), home health aides, nutritional assistants and others, will find useful information available on this page.  A list of DCW Frequently Asked Questions is available here.


2014 Iowa CareGivers Conference

Registration information is available for the upcoming 2014 Iowa CareGivers Conference, Magic Moments.  The conference will be held September 8-9 at the Meadows Event and Conference Center, Prairie Meadows.


Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry

If you are a direct care worker who is certified as a nursing assistant, you may access your personal home page on the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry. Once you have signed into the Registry, you may make changes to your name and contact information, as well as print out a CNA identification card.  It is important that you keep your personal information current. If you need assistance logging into the Registry, you may download "Your Guide to Using the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry."  You may also contact Registry staff by e-mailing Greg.DeMoss@dia.iowa.gov, or calling (515) 281-4077. 

Direct Care Worker Home Page

Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals | Heath Facilities Division | Iowa CareGivers | National Association of Health Care Assistants

Health Facilities Division website logo

DIA Administrative Rules

The Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) has adopted administrative rules that detail the training requirements for certified nursing assistants, certified medication aides, and nutritional assistants.  A copy of the Department's administrative rules [481 IAC 58] can be viewed here.


Directions for Accessing the Nurse Aide Registry

The Department has created a simple informational piece explaining how a Certified Nursing Assistant can access his or her Registry status. 


DCW Registry Application

Download the Instructions for Completing the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry Application


Iowa CareGivers Direct Care Worker Resource and Outreach Center (ROC)

The Iowa CareGivers (ICA) is the first nonprofit independent organization solely devoted to serving the needs of direct care workers. Founded in 1992, ICA continues to recognize the importance of direct care workers and provides educational conferences, professional networking, advocacy, newsletters and scholarships. In 2008, the ICA established the Direct Care Worker Resource and Outreach Center (ROC) to expand its capacity to reach more direct care workers. Click here to download a ROC brochure. To learn more about opportunities for personal and professional development, visit the ICA web site at www.iowacaregivers.org.


National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA)

The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA) is the professional association dedicated to Certified Nursing Assistants and Assisted Living Caregivers. Established in 1995, NAHCA's mission is to elevate the professional standing of those it serves through recognition, advocacy, and education while building a stronger alliance with healthcare providers to maximize success and the delivery of quality care.  In 2010, NAHCA introduced the NAHCA Virtual Campus of Care (NVCC) which provides access for all caregivers to state-of-the-art online learning. The curriculum designed for the NVCC was developed with caregivers in mind providing compliance courses, professional development and advanced certification training. NVCC is more than education; it is a resource for caregivers and a consultant for staff educators. For more information, visit www.nahcacares.org or email info@nahcacares.org.


Iowa Direct Care Workforce Initiative

The Iowa Direct Care Workforce Initiative, led by the Iowa Department of Public Health, is a project to improve direct care professional education and ensure a qualified and stable direct care workforce in Iowa. The Department is currently conducting a pilot project of the training and credentialing recommendations of the legislatively-directed Direct Care Worker Advisory Council. This website is updated regularly and provides information about the Initiative, the Council, and ways to get involved in the project. For more information about the Workforce Initiative, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health's  web site.

DCW Resources