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Direct Care

Direct Care

Iowa Valley Continuing Education offers a variety of direct caregiver or auxiliary health career preparation courses throughout the Iowa Valley Community College District, including Nurse Aide Phase I, Medication Aide, and Medication Manager. These courses will prepare you to provide direct care to the elderly or chronically ill in health care settings. Information about these courses and the required testing is listed below.

Nurse Aide Phase I

This course involves a minimum of 75 hours of training: 30 hours classroom instruction, 15 hours lab training, and 30 hours clinical experience in a long term care setting. This class prepares you to take the required state competency exams to be able to work as a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) in Iowa. The candidate must pass the computerized nurse aide exam and the nurse aide skills exam to be listed on the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry. Being listed on the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry enables you to work as a CNA in long term care. Click on the “Upcoming Classes” link for details on current class offerings.

Prospective nurse aide students must enroll in the Background Check class and the Mandatory Nurse Aide Orientation class. Students must pass the background check and provide all required documentation of immunizations and two step TB testing prior to enrollment in the nurse aide course.

Upcoming Classes

  • Nurse Aide Phase 1 or 75-Hour Course

Required Nurse Aide Forms

Employer Voucher Form

Employers must complete this form when they are paying for book, workbook, scrubs, and/or a watch for their employee/our nurse aide student.

Nurse Aide UniformsNurse Aide Student Health Requirements

Nurse Aide Uniform Requirements

  • Blue scrubs (photo to the left)
  • Solid closed toe shoe (no mesh tennis shoes or sandals)
  • Watch with a second hand

Competency Exams

To be eligible to work as a certified nurse aide in a long term care facility in the state of Iowa, a person must be registered on the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry. To be placed on the registry, you must pass both a computerized competency exam and a skills exam, which are offered at community colleges such as IVCE.

Computer Based State Competency Exam consists of 100 multiple choice test questions. There is only one best answer. It is recommended that you answer all questions. You will be given two hours to complete the exam. Pre-registration and payment for the computer based competency exam is required. No language dictionaries or interpreters are allowed during testing. The statewide fee for the computerized competency exam is $55. This is paid at the time the exam is scheduled. A score of 70% or above is considered a passing. You may take the computer based competency exam up to three times before further training is required.  The exam fee must be paid each time the exam is taken over.

Skills Exam consists of a patient care scenario and you have 45 minutes to complete the care. Points are given for the care provided. A score of 70% or above is required to pass. You will receive feedback from the testing proctor. Statewide fee for the skills exam is $95 and payable at the time of exam scheduling. The skills exam may be taken up to three times before further training is required. The exam fee must be paid for each test. A one week period is required between exams and a different testing proctor is required each exam.

Computer Based/Skills Exam Scheduling

    • You can call 641-752-4645 to schedule your exam and credit card information is required at this time. You can also schedule in person at IVCE, 3702 S Center St., Marshalltown. Cash, check, and credit card payments are accepted with in-person exam scheduling.
    • You must show a photo ID before beginning the exam.
    • No shows will not be given a refund.
    • You will receive your score right away.
    • Make sure your address is correct with the Nurse Aide Registry at the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals located in Des Moines.

Find more details about Certified Nurse Aide training – CNA Career Flier

Accessing the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry

Medication Aide

This 60-hour class involves classroom instruction, lab practice and 10 hours of clinical experience. It prepares a certified nurses aide to administer non-injectable medications in long term care facilities. You must be currently employed as a CNA, have worked for a minimum of 6 months in your current facility and be recommended by your employer. Classes are offered throughout the year.

Medication Manager

This is a 12-16 hour course designed to provide limited skills required to administer or oversee the administration of non-parenteral medications.

  • Medication Manager

Questions may be referred to the IVCE Reception Desk at 641-752-4645 or

IVCE Health Education Coordinator

Robin Carmichael

Robin Carmichael