Cristie Duric
Tel: 515-229-3913

Welcome to Iowa’s Rural Recruitment and Retention website! Iowa is a great place to live and work, with its rolling fields, big open sky, charming towns, and exciting city life. We invite you to browse the links to the right for more information about Iowa, and click on the different regions in Iowa to learn more about the unique offerings throughout this diverse state.

Key Points

Iowa is regularly cited in national publications as a top pick for raising a family, exciting local and national entertainment options, and providing great places to work. Here are a few of the recent rankings:

  • Iowa ranked 2nd in the nation for its quality of life (Congressional Quarterly, 2009)

  • Iowa has 5 cities that made it on the list of 100 best small cities to live: Iowa City, Ames, Waterloo, Dubuque, and Sioux City (Forbes, 2009)

  • Three health care organizations in Iowa made Modern Healthcare’s 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare list in 2009 – Geonetric in Cedar Rapids, Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake, and Wright Medical Center in Clarion

  • 2008 SAT results show Iowa students' scores in reading and math were the highest in the nation (Smart Money, October 2008)

  • In 2009, AOL’s Money & Finance page ranked Iowa 8th in the top safest states in the country for the fourth year in a row

  • Iowa is a "quiet economic power," according to CNBC, which ranked the state as the fourth-best in the nation for business (CNBC, July 2009)

Seth McKenzie, a transplant from Atlanta, came to Iowa to attend college for nursing in Ottumwa, Iowa. He lives there with his family and plans to stay. "In Iowa, the cost of living here has been really a good thing. Housing's very affordable. A lot of people have been great to us. We've been really involved in the community. We've really enjoyed our time here. I'm not going to jump and leave when I'm done." (Des Moines Register, March 14, 2007)

If You See a Position of Interest

Contact Iowa hospitals and clinics directly to discuss opportunities listed on 3R Net. Each Iowa job description includes a contact name and phone number or e-mail address.

When registering, “other" positions cover health-related opportunities not individually listed on 3R Net, to include Dietician, MT/MLT, Radiology Tech, Physical Therapist, Respiratory Therapist, Speech Therapist and various administrative options.

State Loan Repayment

Iowa offers state loan repayment through its Primary Care Recruitment and Retention Endeavor (PRIMECARRE) program. The annual, competitive program: 

  • Offers two-year grants to primary care medical practitioners for use in repayment of educational loans.

  • Requires a two-year practice commitment in a public or non-profit hospital or clinic located in a health professional shortage area (HPSA).

  • Provides up to $30,000 per year for primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and clinical psychologists; up to $20,000 per year for dentists; and up to $15,000 per year for physician assistants, registered nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, dental hygienists, clinical social workers, and psychiatric nurse specialists.

  • Distributes application packets annually in July, upon request.

  • Begins contracts with approximately eight successful applicants the following January.

For more information on Iowa loan repayment programs click here.

MESSAGE TO J-1 VISA PRACTITIONERS: Please contact hospitals and clinics directly to discuss employment opportunities. If you receive a job offer, the hiring facility will contact our office to obtain a J-1 waiver on your behalf. Waivers are not issued directly to practitioners. Please do not contact a facility if the Iowa job description indicates "Not a J-1 Visa site." 

J-1 waivers are available in Iowa's health professional shortage areas (HPSA) and medically underserved areas (MUA and MUP).

J1 Contact Information

Kevin Wooddell
Iowa Department of Public Health
Bureau of Health Care Access
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
Phone: 515-281-6765
Fax: 515-242-6384
Iowa Department of Public Health

Cristie Duric
Bureau of Oral and Health Delivery System
Primary Care Office
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
Phone: 515-229-3913
Iowa Department of Public Health


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