Certified Nursing Assistants
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.
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 contact Registry staff by e-mailing Greg.DeMoss@dia.iowa.gov, or calling (515) 281-4077.
Nurse Aide Training Courses
Iowa's community colleges offer training for individuals interested in becoming certified nursing assistants (CNAs). The colleges offer both classroom studies and hands-on clinical training. Written and skills testing also are provided by the schools. For more information about the community colleges and their training course, click here.
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.
The Iowa CareGivers, an independent nonprofit organization, was founded in 1992 in response to the growing concerns about the shortage and high turnover rates of those who work in direct care such as Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) and Home Care Aides (HCAs). The organization’s sole purpose is to support the direct care workforce so they, in turn, are there to support Iowans and their families during their times of need. It is built upon the guiding principles that a stable, well-educated, skilled, respected, and well-compensated direct care workforce is vital to the safety and well-being of all Iowans. Programs and services include statewide and regional educational conferences; newsletters and other resources; mentor, leadership, and other training opportunities; recruitment resources; recognition programs; and much more. To learn more about Iowa CareGivers and its programs visit Iowa CareGivers online. Download a copy of the organization's brochure, "The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love".
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.