RN Programs in Iowa
The field of nursing is constantly evolving and has become a part of the grand conversation in the healthcare industry. There is a high need for registered nurses who have obtained a BSN but, only half of current RNs have done so. Iowa is working hard to change this statistic. Since 2000, the American Nurses Association Board of Directors believed that a BSN should be a standard requirement for those entering the nursing profession. This debate has been constantly debated but many states are in favor of this legislation being passed. Nursing schools in Iowa have responded to this need by introducing accelerated courses for nurses to transition from an RN to a BSN in a small amount of time through on-sites classes, online programs, or a combination of both.
In our Iowa RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Iowa RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.
In the State of Iowa, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.
BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.
Iowa RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN
|Compare RN Programs||ADN||BSN|
|Number of Nursing Programs||14||18|
|Average NCLEX Passing Rate||85.27%||517.32%|
|NCLEX Passing Rate Range||65.28% to 96.53%||68.38% to 6,526.41%|
|Average Net Price||$10,444.71||$20,268.89|
|Average Net Price Range||$6,797.00 to $21,626.00||$15,966.00 to $24,873.00|
|Average Student Loan||$9,542.14||$20,919.11|
|Average Student Loan Range||$7,203.00 to $18,301.00||$16,500.00 to $27,000.00|
|See Additional Detail||ADN Rankings for Iowa State||BSN Rankings for Iowa State|
Best Ranked RN Programs in Iowa
To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Iowa and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.
To create our rankings, we evaluated 13 ADN degree programs and 15 BSN degree programs in Iowa. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Iowa to provide our state rankings. View our methodology.
ADN Programs In Iowa
Nursing education at the community college level in Iowa is typically offered as a "ladder program." The ladder program allows the student to initially obtain their practical nursing certificate - this takes about one year. After completion of the practical nursing portion of the program, students can opt out of the program or continue immediately for the RN license. Many community colleges also offer partnerships with local universities, making it easy for graduates to continue for their BSN degree after graduation.
NCLEX Passing Rates for Iowa ADN Programs
North Iowa Area Community College has the highest NCLEX-RN rate in Iowa of 96.53%. Attending this stellar school will cost you about $7,532.00 a year.
- ADN Programs Offered in Iowa: 14
- Average NCLEX-RN Passing Rate: 85.27%
- NCLEX Passing Rate Range: 65.28% to 96.53%
How Much Do ADN Programs Cost in Iowa?
We compiled the net-price costs for RN Programs in Iowa so that you can find RN programs to meet your budget expectations.
When comparing ADN vs BSN programs, the average net-price per year for an Associate Degree in Nursing program is considerably less than for a Bachelor Degree in Nursing.
The lowest cost ADN program in Iowa is offered by Western Iowa Tech Community College at about $6,797.00 and has an average NCLEX-RN passing rate of 80.47%. The highest cost ADN program is offered by St Luke’s College and it will cost about $21,626.00.
- Average Net-Price for ADN Programs inIowa: $10,444.71
- Net-Price Range for Iowa ADN Programs: $6,797.00 to $21,626.00
Median Student Borrowing for ADN Programs
- Average Student Borrowing for Iowa Schools: $9,542.14
- Student borrowing range for ADN programs in Iowa: $7,203.00 to $18,301.00
BSN Programs In Iowa
Tuition for a BSN program in Iowa is approximately $12,000.00. Some colleges also offer free tuition for the first nursing course upon admittance into the school. Many programs are offered online with the exception of a clinical course and a didactic course that have face-to-face components. Site location will be within 100 miles of your current address. The leadership course can often be completed within the employer. The practicum course must be completed in Iowa and nurses must have valid licensure.
NCLEX Passing Rates for Iowa BSN Programs
Mercy College of Health Sciences wins the highest NCLEX-RN passing rate for BSN programs offered in Iowa with a score of 6,526.41%. Attending this influential program will cost you about $17,897.00 a year.
- BSN Programs Offered in Iowa: 18
- Average NCLEX-RN Passing Rate: 517.32%
- NCLEX Passing Rate Range: 68.38% to 6,526.41%
How Much Do BSN Degree Programs Cost in Iowa?
We compiled the net-price costs for BSN Programs in Iowa to give you an idea of how much nursing school will cost.
The lowest cost BSN degree program in Iowa is offered by University of Iowa and will cost you about $15,966.00 and has an average NCLEX-RN passing rate of 95.85%. The highest cost BSN degree program is offered by Luther College and will cost you about $24,873.00 and it has an average NCLEX-RN passing rate of 93.33%.
- Average Net-Price for BSN Programs in Iowa: $20,268.89
- Net-Price Range for Iowa BSN Programs: $15,966.00 to $24,873.00
Median Student Borrowing for BSN Programs
- Average Student Borrowing for Iowa Schools: $20,919.11
- Student borrowing range for BSN programs in Iowa: $16,500.00 to $27,000.00
Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Iowa
RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.
Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Iowa
Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Iowa offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
- Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.
Iowa RN Licensing Requirements
Iowa has strict regulations nurses must complete in order to gain licensure. There are three ways a nursing candidate can obtain licensure: by exam, by endorsement, and in some cases, by completing a program abroad.
RN Licensure by Exam
Before a candidate can register for test, he/she must have received authorization to do so. The following items must be completed in order to be authorized to test:
- Completed Application for Exam
- Two fingerprint cards and signed waiver form (they must be received from the Iowa Board of Nursing to the nursing program.
- $93 application fee and $50 fee for fingerprint cards. Fees can be paid online, by check, or money order. All fees are non-refundable.
- Official transcripts
- Separate application submitted online to NCLEX which includes the $200 fee
RN Licensure by Endorsement
Nurses who have gained licensure in one of the other 50 states can obtain licensure in Iowa through an endorsement. The following documentation must be submitted in order to complete this process:
- Proof of graduation from a board-approved RN program
- Criminal background check
- Passing the NCLEX exam
- $169 fee payable to the Iowa Board of Nursing
- Verification of original license
RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad
In some cases, nurses who were educated abroad will be able to obtain licensure in the state of Iowa. In order to do so candidates must complete the Professional Report application of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools Credentials Evaluation Service (CES). In order for the report to be complete, the candidate must submit validation of license/ registration. Candidates will also be required to pass an English as a Foreign Language test. This does not apply to nurses who used a textbook and program that was presented in English.
River Point Business Park
400 S.W. 8th Street
Des Moines, IA 50309-4685
RN Salaries in Iowa
A lot of medical facilities prefer nurses that have obtained a Bachelor’s degree. Nurses who have completed a program are likely more knowledgeable when employed in some of the following areas:
- Areas requiring administrative and leadership skills
- Research departments that compile statistical nursing data
- Legal units to handle nursing problems and mishaps
There is a high need, not only for nurses, but also for educators to teach new nurses. By obtaining a BSN, you will be closer to becoming a MSN and becoming an educator if this is a desired path.
Iowa Registered Nursing Salaries
Iowa City has the highest hourly and annual median wage, while Des Moines highest RN employment for nurses. Almost all cities within Iowa are within 10% in salary range.
|Area name||Employment||Hourly median wage||Annual median wage|
|Cedar Rapids, IA||2,630||$24.77||$51,510|
|Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL||3,220||$25.37||$52,770|
|Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA||6,510||$26.87||$55,880|
|Iowa City, IA||3,320||$28.81||$59,910|
|Sioux City, IA-NE-SD||1,590||$22.99||$47,810|
|Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA||2,080||$25.72||$53,500|
|Northeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area||2,130||$24.24||$50,420|
|Northwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area||3,180||$23.20||$48,260|
|Southwest Iowa nonmetropolitan area||1,970||$24.41||$50,770|
Source: http://www.dol.gov/, 2014 Data
Sources: The State Board of Nursing from Each State, U.S. Department of Education: College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education – OPE, National Center for Education Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics
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