Iowa Physicians Assistant Programs

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Check current course listings for campus-based and online Physicians Assistant Programs available for Iowa students.

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How to Become a Physician Assistant in Iowa - Top Physician Assistant Programs in Iowa

Those who enjoy working in a fast-paced environment may find the unique challenges of the healthcare system to be worthwhile. One position that can fulfill these interests is becoming a physician assistant. Physician assistants work along with physicians in examining patients, treating minor injuries, and analyzing medical test results. However, in addition to these tasks they also perform various administrative duties, such as managing inventory and prescribing medication. If you are thinking about how to become a physician assistant in Iowa, you will need to follow the state's requirements for specialized training and certification.

The Iowa Board of Physician Assistants is responsible for issuing licenses to all practicing physician assistants. Therefore, if you wish to become a physician assistant in Iowa, you will need to be able to meet their requirements. To begin with, you will need to attend one of the various physician assistant programs in Iowa, ensuring that it is accredited. Students seeking their license will have to submit an official transcript as well as their application. The next requirement is to become certified by the National Commission of Certification of Physician Assistants, or the NCCPA. As proof of this certification, candidates must submit a letter from the NCCPA as well as their other application forms.

Two of the main physician assistant programs in Iowa are located at the University of Iowa and the Des Moines University Osteopathic Medical Center. There may be smaller technical colleges which are also accredited to provide this degree. With these training programs completed, you can go on to pass the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam, or PANCE. This exam must be applied for within 90 days of graduating from your accredited physician assistant program.

There are a number of courses that one might expect to take as part of the physician assistant training in Iowa. Physician assistants must be knowledgeable in technical topics such as clinical medicine, diagnostics, pharmacology, physiology, and anatomy. They must also be skilled with organizational and administrative tasks. Most students can expect to gain supervised experience in a hands-on setting, with their final year of study being conducted in clinical practicums. All of this education will help those who want to learn how to become a physician assistant in Iowa, and lead up to the PANCE certification. To continue working as a physician assistant, you must then keep earning 100 medical education credits every two years and take a recertifying exam every six years.


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Iowa Board of Nursing
RiverPoint Business Park
400 S.W. 8th Street
Suite B
Des Moines, IA 50309-4685
Phone: (515) 281-3255
Fax: (515) 281-4825

Iowa Nurses Association

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