Nursing Schools in Iowa

Iowa is a great state to pursue a nursing career, with various accredited nursing programs available, offering different degree options, tuition costs, and admission requirements.

This article will provide an overview of the best nursing schools in Iowa, job outlook for nurses in the state, and key information on nursing education, degrees, and career paths.

Whether you are just starting your nursing journey or looking to advance your career, Iowa has plenty of opportunities for you.

Why Iowa Is a Great Place to Become a Nurse

  • Accredited Nursing Programs: Iowa boasts numerous accredited nursing programs that provide quality education and prepare students for successful careers in the field.
  • Job Outlook: Nurses in Iowa are in high demand, with a growing population requiring healthcare services.
  • Affordable Tuition: Many nursing schools in Iowa offer affordable tuition rates and financial aid options for students.
  • Diverse Degree Options: From LPN to DNP programs, Iowa offers a wide range of degree options to suit different career goals and educational needs.
  • Supportive Nursing Community: Nurses in Iowa benefit from strong support networks through local organizations and resources.

Ranking Methodology

When ranking the best nursing schools in Iowa, we consider several factors including:

  1. Accreditation by ACEN or CCNE
  2. Affordability
  3. Graduation Rates
  4. NCLEX-RN Pass Rates
  5. Nursing School Search editorial reputation

For more information on our ranking methodology, please visit our Ranking Methodology page. While rankings can be helpful when choosing a school, it is important to consider other factors such as personal preferences and career goals as well.

Best Ranked Nursing Schools in Iowa

The following are the 10 best nursing schools in Iowa based on our ranking methodology:

1. University of Iowa College of Nursing

Reasons for ranking: The University of Iowa College of Nursing is accredited by CCNE and offers affordable tuition rates. It has a high graduation rate and an excellent NCLEX-RN pass rate. The school’s nursing program is well-regarded in the industry.

  • Accredited by CCNE
  • Affordable tuition rates
  • High graduation rates
  • Excellent NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Strong editorial reputation

2. Iowa State University

Reasons for ranking: Iowa State University’s nursing program is accredited by ACEN and offers a variety of degree options, including BSN, RN to BSN, and MSN programs. The school has a high graduation rate, an impressive NCLEX-RN pass rate, and a strong reputation in the field.

  • Accredited by ACEN
  • Variety of degree options
  • High graduation rates
  • Impressive NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Strong editorial reputation

3. Allen College School of Nursing

Reasons for ranking: Allen College School of Nursing is accredited by CCNE and offers affordable tuition rates. The school has a high graduation rate and an excellent NCLEX-RN pass rate, as well as a strong editorial reputation.

  • Accredited by CCNE
  • Affordable tuition rates
  • High graduation rates
  • Excellent NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Strong editorial reputation

4. Mount Mercy University

Reasons for ranking: Mount Mercy University’s nursing program is accredited by CCNE and offers a range of degree options, including BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP programs. The school has a high graduation rate and an impressive NCLEX-RN pass rate.

  • Accredited by CCNE
  • Variety of degree options
  • High graduation rates
  • Impressive NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Strong editorial reputation

5. St. Ambrose University

Reasons for ranking: St. Ambrose University’s nursing program is accredited by CCNE and offers a variety of degree options, including BSN, RN to BSN, and MSN programs. The school has a high graduation rate and an excellent NCLEX-RN pass rate.

  • Accredited by CCNE
  • Variety of degree options
  • High graduation rates
  • Excellent NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Strong editorial reputation

6. Grand View University

Reasons for ranking: Grand View University’s nursing program is accredited by CCNE and offers a variety of degree options, including BSN, RN to BSN, and MSN programs. The school has a high graduation rate and an impressive NCLEX-RN pass rate.

  • Accredited by CCNE
  • Variety of degree options
  • High graduation rates
  • Impressive NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Strong editorial reputation

7. Briar Cliff University

Reasons for ranking: Briar Cliff University’s nursing program is accredited by CCNE and offers a variety of degree options, including BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP programs. The school has a high graduation rate and an impressive NCLEX-RN pass rate.

  • Accredited by CCNE
  • Variety of degree options
  • High graduation rates
  • Impressive NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Strong editorial reputation

8. Morningside College

Reasons for ranking: Morningside College’s nursing program is accredited by CCNE and offers a variety of degree options, including BSN, RN to BSN, and MSN programs. The school has a high graduation rate and an excellent NCLEX-RN pass rate.

  • Accredited by CCNE
  • Variety of degree options
  • High graduation rates
  • Excellent NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Strong editorial reputation

9. Clarke University

Reasons for ranking: Clarke University’s nursing program is accredited by CCNE and offers a variety of degree options, including BSN, RN to BSN, and MSN programs. The school has a high graduation rate and an impressive NCLEX-RN pass rate.

  • Accredited by CCNE
  • Variety of degree options
  • High graduation rates
  • Impressive NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Strong editorial reputation

10. Mercy College of Health Sciences

Reasons for ranking: Mercy College of Health Sciences’ nursing program is accredited by ACEN and offers a variety of degree options, including LPN, ADN, BSN, and RN to BSN programs. The school has a high graduation rate and an excellent NCLEX-RN pass rate.

  • Accredited by ACEN
  • Variety of degree options
  • High graduation rates
  • Excellent NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Strong editorial reputation

Online Nursing Schools in Iowa

Online nursing schools are becoming increasingly popular due to their flexibility and convenience. Iowa nurses can earn a degree online from schools both within the state and outside the state. Some benefits of online nursing schools in Iowa include:

  • Flexible Scheduling: Online nursing programs allow students to complete coursework on their own time, making it easier for working professionals or those with family responsibilities.
  • No Waiting Lists: Many online nursing programs have no waiting lists, allowing students to begin their education sooner.
  • Access to Top Programs: Students can choose from a wide range of top nursing programs across the country without having to relocate.
  • Cost Savings: Online nursing programs often have lower tuition costs compared to traditional on-campus programs.
  • Rural Accessibility: Online nursing programs are particularly beneficial for students living in rural areas where access to nursing education may be limited.

Nursing Program Offerings

DegreeDescription
LPNLicensed Practical Nurse programs prepare students for entry-level nursing positions and typically take 12-18 months to complete.
ADNAssociate Degree in Nursing programs provide a foundation in nursing theory and practice, preparing students for RN licensure and typically taking 2 years to complete.
BSNBachelor of Science in Nursing programs offer a comprehensive nursing education that prepares graduates for various nursing roles and can be completed in 4 years.
RN to BSNRegistered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs are designed for RNs with an associate degree or diploma who want to earn a BSN, often taking 1-2 years to complete.
MSNMaster of Science in Nursing programs provide advanced nursing education and specialization options, preparing graduates for leadership roles in healthcare and typically taking 2-3 years to complete.
NPNurse Practitioner programs prepare nurses for advanced practice roles, specializing in areas such as family practice, pediatrics, or acute care, and generally taking 2-4 years to complete.
DNPDoctor of Nursing Practice programs offer the highest level of nursing education, focusing on clinical practice and leadership skills, and typically taking 3-5 years to complete.

Iowa Nursing School Admission Requirements

Each nursing program has its own specific admission requirements, but some common requirements for different degree levels include:

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Completion of prerequisite courses (e.g., biology, chemistry)
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • TEAS or HESI entrance exam

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Completion of prerequisite courses (e.g., biology, chemistry, anatomy)
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • TEAS or HESI entrance exam

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Completion of prerequisite courses (e.g., biology, chemistry, anatomy)
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • SAT or ACT scores

Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

  • Current RN licensure
  • Associate degree or diploma in nursing
  • Completion of prerequisite courses (e.g., biology, chemistry, anatomy)
  • Minimum GPA requirement

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

  • BSN from an accredited nursing program
  • Current RN licensure
  • Minimum
  • GPA requirement
  • GRE or MAT scores (may be required by some programs)
  • Professional references and/or work experience

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

  • BSN from an accredited nursing program
  • Current RN licensure
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • GRE or MAT scores (may be required by some programs)
  • Professional references and/or work experience
  • Clinical hours in a specific specialty area

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

  • BSN or MSN from an accredited nursing program
  • Current RN licensure or advanced practice certification
  • Minimum GPA requirement
  • GRE or MAT scores (may be required by some programs)
  • Professional references and/or work experience
  • Clinical hours in a specific specialty area

Iowa Nursing Resources

  • Iowa Board of Nursing: The Iowa Board of Nursing regulates nursing practice in the state, including licensure and continuing education requirements.
  • Iowa Nurses Association: The Iowa Nurses Association is a professional organization that advocates for nurses, provides networking opportunities, and offers continuing education resources.
  • Iowa Association of Nurse Anesthetists: The Iowa Association of Nurse Anesthetists is a professional organization that supports Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists in the state.
  • Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders: The Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders is a professional organization that supports nurse leaders through networking, education, and advocacy.
  • Iowa Emergency Nurses Association: The Iowa Emergency Nurses Association is a professional organization that promotes excellence in emergency nursing through education, research, and advocacy.

FAQ for Iowa Nurses

1. How long does it take to become a nurse in Iowa?

The time it takes to become a nurse in Iowa depends on the degree program you choose. LPN programs typically take 12-18 months, while ADN programs take about 2 years. BSN programs take approximately 4 years to complete, and advanced degrees such as MSN, NP, and DNP can take an additional 2-5 years.

2. How do I transfer my nursing license to Iowa?

Iowa is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows nurses with a multistate license from another NLC state to practice in Iowa without obtaining an additional license. If you are licensed in a non-NLC state, you can apply for licensure by endorsement through the Iowa Board of Nursing.

3. What is the average salary for a nurse in Iowa?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020, the average annual salary for registered nurses in Iowa is $64,010.

4. How many continuing education hours are required for nurses in Iowa?

Iowa requires registered nurses to complete 36 contact hours of continuing education every three years for license renewal. For more information on continuing education requirements, visit the Iowa Board of Nursing.

5. What is the job outlook for nurses in Iowa?

The job outlook for nurses in Iowa is promising due to the growing demand for healthcare services and an aging population. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow by 7% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Similar Posts