Nursing Home Activity Director (Certificate)

Department of Inspections & Appeals


Persons in this profession organize and lead recreation programs to promote the psychosocial well being of residents, assuring the highest level of participation by residents/clients in health care facilities. These are usually individual or group activities that may include exercise, games and crafts, social outings, musical entertainment, and visits by church groups and other organizations.

Code Citation 481 Iowa Administrative Code, Chapter 58

Who Applies Any person wishing to provide individual and group activities in a nursing home or other type of health care facility.

When To Apply Before work begins.

Initial Requirements An applicant is not required to have any particular number of years of education, but must be at least 16 years of age, attend a workshop lasting 60 hours, and pass a written exam given at the end of the workshop. Previous health care assessment and care planning experience is desirable. Applicants must have good writing skills and will be required to complete assessments and care plans in health care facilities.

Duration Does not expire.

Processing Time Varies.

Fee Structure No application or renewal fee. Approximately $100 for workshop fee.

Renewal Requirements The Department of Inspections and Appeals requires that an activity director who is employed by a licensed nursing facility attend a minimum of 10 contact hours per year of workshops or educational programs which relate to activity programming. There are no other continuing education requirements to maintain activity director certification unless the person is a nationally-certified activity coordinator.

Exam There is a written examination at the end of a required 60-hour workshop. The certificate is issued by the community college.

Additional Information None.

Services Provided

Service Category

  • Service SubCategory
Contact Information
Dawn Fisk
Lucas State Office Building, Third Floor
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319