RN Programs in Iowa

Iowa RN Programs at a Glance

RN Programs Offered in Iowa

  • ADN Programs: 18
  • BSN Programs: 18

ADN Program Stats

  • NCLEX-RN Average: 84%
  • NCLEX Rate Range: 63.87% to 96.04%
  • Average Net-Price $10,444.71
  • Net-Price Range: $6,797.00 to $21,626.00
  • Average Student Loan : $9,542.14

BSN Program Stats

  • NCLEX-RN Average: 85.01%
  • NCLEX Rate Range: 65.24% to 95.29%
  • Average Net-Price $20,268.89
  • Net-Price Range: $15,966.00 to $24,873.00
  • Average Student Loan : $20,919.11

Iowa RN Program Guide

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.

The State of Iowa offers 34 RN programs in 25 different cities. Public institutions offer 13 of the RN programs in the state while there are 0 private, for-profit and 17 private, not-for-profit schools that make up the rest.

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.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program are able to then obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties.

What is the best RN program for you to attend? Your sweet spot might be the least expensive school with the highest NCLEX-RN passing rate. Or, it might the school that offers the best NCLEX-RN passing rate no matter the total cost of attendance. You may also want to consider schools with the highest enrollment rate so that you can collaborate with fellow students and have a large alumni to connect with after graduation.

Find your ideal program from information and data in our guide to Iowa RN Programs.

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 96.04%. Attending this stellar school will cost you about $7,532.00 a year.

  • ADN Programs Offered in Iowa: 18
  • Average NCLEX-RN Passing Rate: 83.86%
  • NCLEX Passing Rate Range: 63.87% to 96.04%

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 79.98%. 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

ADN Programs at Public or Private Institutions

  • Public Institutions: 12
  • Private For-Profit Institutions: 0
  • Private Not-for-Profit Institutions: 2

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

University of Iowa wins the highest NCLEX-RN passing rate for BSN programs offered in Iowa with a score of 95.29%. Attending this influential program will cost you about $15,966.00 a year.

  • BSN Programs Offered in Iowa: 18
  • Average NCLEX-RN Passing Rate: 85.01%
  • NCLEX Passing Rate Range: 65.24% to 95.29%

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 95.29%. 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 91.79%.

  • 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

BSN Programs at Public or Private Institutions

  • Public Institutions: 1
  • Private For-Profit Institutions: 0
  • Private Not-for-Profit Institutions: 17

MSN Programs 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.

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Iowa offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:

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.

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
Ames, IA 700 $26.81 $55,760
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
Dubuque, IA 1,150 $23.61 $49,110
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

[state] IA Best Ranked RN Programs in [state] by RNCareers.org

Ranked Schools: 17

Evaluated Schools: 18

One of the best measures of a nursing program’s ability to prepare its students to become a registered nurse is to look at an institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates. We went directly to Iowa’s state board of nursing to find, report and rank the best Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs Iowa.

With more than 18 Iowa associate degree in nursing programs to choose from, we hope to provide some of the critical information you need before applying to a ADN program. We ranked the top 17 ADN degree programs in the Iowa. Research the best BSN Degrees Iowa.

For information about how we rank RN programs, please see our ranking methodology.

RANKED 1

North Iowa Area Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 4.802196.04%

North Iowa Area Community College

  • 500 College Dr, Mason City, IA - 50401
  • (641) 423-1264

North Iowa Area Community College is located in Mason City, Iowa. NIACC is proud to boast that it is Iowa’s oldest community college, having been founded in 1918.  NIACC offers an LPN and an ADN program.  They also have a partnership with various universities that allow ADN graduates to pursue their BSN after graduation; the University of Iowa is local, and there are also various other education options for the ADN graduate.

  • Campus: Mason City, IA
  • Net Price: $7,532.00
  • Enrollment: 3,207
  • Transfer Out Rate: 20.30%
  • Loan Default Rate: 20.20%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: 13.33%
  • Graduation Rate: 38.30%
  • Median Borrowing: $7,203.00
  • Median Payment: $75.21
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 2

Southwestern Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 4.639192.78%

Southwestern Community College

  • 1501 W. Townline Street, Creston, IA - 50801
  • (6.4) 178-3E+12

Southwestern Community College is located in Creston, Iowa.  Their nursing program is unique; they describe it as a “ladder program.”  Their students first complete their LPN.  This allows them to earn their LPN degree and work within a year, and simultaneously obtain the AAS in nursing.  They also have the option of opting out of the RN portion.

  • Campus: Creston, IA
  • Net Price: $6,922.00
  • Enrollment: 1,573
  • Transfer Out Rate: 20.90%
  • Loan Default Rate: 21.40%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: 20.61%
  • Graduation Rate: 41.90%
  • Median Borrowing: $9,293.00
  • Median Payment: $97.03
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 3

St Luke’s College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN / BSN

Overall Score: 4.5235190.47%

St Luke’s College

  • 2720 Stone Park Blvd, Sioux City, IA - 51104-0263
  • (712) 279-3149

St. Luke’s College is located in Sioux City, Iowa.  Their college is unique because it is a medical center based college – it is the only one in their area, and one of a handful in the entire country.  The college is devoted entirely to healthcare degrees.  They offer both an ASN and a BSN program.

  • Campus: Sioux City, IA
  • Net Price: $21,626.00
  • Enrollment: 184
  • Loan Default Rate: 6.40%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 36.90%
  • Median Borrowing: $18,301.00
  • Median Payment: $191.08
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE

RANKED 4

Des Moines Area Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 4.5035190.07%

Des Moines Area Community College

  • 2006 Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA - 50023-3993
  • (515) 964-6241

Des Moines Area Community College is located in Ankeny, Iowa.  DMACC currently offers an LPN program and an RN program.  They do not have an LPN to RN program, but it is in the developmental stages and will be available at a later date.

  • Campus: Ankeny, IA
  • Net Price: $10,215.00
  • Enrollment: 20,167
  • Loan Default Rate: 28.70%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: 7.77%
  • Graduation Rate: 17.40%
  • Median Borrowing: $7,500.00
  • Median Payment: $78.31
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 5

Northeast Iowa Community College-Calmar RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 4.3845187.69%

Northeast Iowa Community College-Calmar

  • 1625 Hwy 150, Calmar, IA - 52132-0400
  • (563) 562-3263

  • Campus: Calmar, IA
  • Net Price: $10,345.00
  • Enrollment: 5,201
  • Transfer Out Rate: 19.80%
  • Loan Default Rate: 22.90%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: 9.45%
  • Graduation Rate: 28.90%
  • Median Borrowing: $9,339.00
  • Median Payment: $97.51
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 6

Southeastern Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 4.293185.86%

Southeastern Community College

  • 1500 West Agency Road, West Burlington, IA - 52655-0180
  • (319) 752-2731

  • Campus: West Burlington, IA
  • Net Price: $7,502.00
  • Enrollment: 3,225
  • Transfer Out Rate: 15.60%
  • Loan Default Rate: 23.50%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: 30.61%
  • Graduation Rate: 25.10%
  • Median Borrowing: $7,490.00
  • Median Payment: $78.20
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 7

Eastern Iowa Community College District RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 4.2765185.53%

Eastern Iowa Community College District

  • 306 W River Dr, Davenport, IA - 52801-1221
  • (563) 336-3300

  • Campus: Davenport, IA
  • Net Price: $9,187.00
  • Enrollment: 8,694
  • Transfer Out Rate: 18.40%
  • Loan Default Rate: 21.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: 4.00%
  • Graduation Rate: 22.50%
  • Median Borrowing: $8,375.00
  • Median Payment: $87.44
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 8

Iowa Central Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 4.2395184.79%

Iowa Central Community College

  • One Triton Circle, Fort Dodge, IA - 50501
  • (515) 576-7201

  • Campus: Fort Dodge, IA
  • Net Price: $7,533.00
  • Enrollment: 5,697
  • Loan Default Rate: 22.40%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: -6.67%
  • Graduation Rate: 33.90%
  • Median Borrowing: $7,462.00
  • Median Payment: $77.91
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 9

Northwest Iowa Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 4.208184.16%

Northwest Iowa Community College

  • 603 W Park St, Sheldon, IA - 51201
  • (712) 324-5061

  • Campus: Sheldon, IA
  • Net Price: $10,607.00
  • Enrollment: 1,628
  • Transfer Out Rate: 11.80%
  • Loan Default Rate: 11.70%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: 6.59%
  • Graduation Rate: 51.50%
  • Median Borrowing: $8,000.00
  • Median Payment: $83.53
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 10

Mercy College of Health Sciences RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN / BSN

Overall Score: 4.0975181.95%

Mercy College of Health Sciences

  • 928 Sixth Ave, Des Moines, IA - 50309-1239
  • (515) 643-3180

  • Campus: Des Moines, IA
  • Net Price: $17,897.00
  • Enrollment: 831
  • Loan Default Rate: 7.90%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus, Online
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 35.80%
  • Graduation Rate: 36.60%
  • Median Borrowing: $16,500.00
  • Median Payment: $172.28
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE

RANKED 11

Iowa Lakes Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 4.034180.68%

Iowa Lakes Community College

  • , Estherville, IA -
  • () -

  • Campus: Estherville, IA
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type:
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 12

Iowa Western Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 4.034180.68%

Iowa Western Community College

  • , Council Bluffs, IA -
  • () -

  • Campus: Council Bluffs, IA
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type:
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 13

Kirkwood Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 4.034180.68%

Kirkwood Community College

  • , Cedar Rapids, IA -
  • () -

Kirkwood Community College is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Kirkwood offers a “ladder” program, meaning that the first year of the program earns the student an LPN degree and the second year earns the student an RN degree.  They also offer a non-degree pre-BSN option, which allows the student to obtain prerequisites for a BSN program and subsequently transfer to University of Iowa, Coe College, or Mount Mercy University for their nursing program.

  • Campus: Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type:
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 14

Marshalltown Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 4.034180.68%

Marshalltown Community College

  • , Marshalltown, IA -
  • () -

  • Campus: Marshalltown, IA
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type:
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 15

Western Iowa Tech Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 3.999179.98%

Western Iowa Tech Community College

  • 4647 Stone Ave, Sioux City, IA - 51102-5199
  • (712) 274-6400

  • Campus: Sioux City, IA
  • Net Price: $6,797.00
  • Enrollment: 6,331
  • Transfer Out Rate: 14.10%
  • Loan Default Rate: 24.30%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: 33.67%
  • Graduation Rate: 20.40%
  • Median Borrowing: $7,252.00
  • Median Payment: $75.72
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 16

Hawkeye Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 3.8085176.17%

Hawkeye Community College

  • 1501 E Orange Rd, Waterloo, IA - 50701
  • (319) 296-2320

  • Campus: Waterloo, IA
  • Net Price: $10,059.00
  • Enrollment: 5,809
  • Loan Default Rate: 20.30%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: -0.30%
  • Graduation Rate: 43.20%
  • Median Borrowing: $9,500.00
  • Median Payment: $99.19
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 17

Indian Hills Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: 3.1935163.87%

Indian Hills Community College

  • 525 Grandview Ave, Ottumwa, IA - 52501
  • (641) 683-5111

  • Campus: Ottumwa, IA
  • Net Price: $9,911.00
  • Enrollment: 4,604
  • Transfer Out Rate: 14.00%
  • Loan Default Rate: 29.70%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus, Online
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: -3.16%
  • Graduation Rate: 21.40%
  • Median Borrowing: $10,150.00
  • Median Payment: $105.98
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED N/A

Ellsworth Community College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN

Overall Score: N/A

Ellsworth Community College

  • 1100 College Ave, Iowa Falls, IA - 50126
  • (800) 322-9235

  • Campus: Iowa Falls, IA
  • Net Price: $10,093.00
  • Enrollment: 1,034
  • Transfer Out Rate: 43.90%
  • Loan Default Rate: 23.20%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: -2.70%
  • Graduation Rate: 21.50%
  • Median Borrowing: $7,225.00
  • Median Payment: $75.44
  • Award Levels: Associate
  • Program Accreditation(s):


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

Nursing Specialties: Nursing Specialties | RN Salary Guide: Registered Nurse Salary | LPN Salary Guide: LPN Salary  | Online Associates Nursing Program | Nursing Schools in ArizonaNursing Schools in MarylandRN Programs in the United States |

For information about how we rank RN programs, please see our ranking methodology.

[state_name] Best Ranked RN and BSN Programs in by RNCareers.org

Ranked Schools: 15

Evaluated Schools: 18

One of the best measures of a nursing program’s ability to prepare its students to become a registered nurse is to look at an institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates. We went directly to Iowa’s state board of nursing to find, report and rank the best BSN degree programs Iowa.

With more than 18 Iowa BSN degree programs to choose from, we hope to provide you some of the critical information you may need before applying to a BSN degree program. We ranked the top 15 BSN degree programs in the Colorado. Research the best ADN Programs in Iowa.

For information about how we rank RN programs, please see our ranking methodology.

RANKED 1

University of Iowa RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 4.7645195.29%

University of Iowa

  • 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA - 52242-1316
  • (319) 335-3500

University of Iowa is located in Iowa City, Iowa.  Their College of Nursing offers a BSN program and an RN to BSN program.  For the BSN who chooses to continue his or her education, they also offer an extensive graduate program.

  • Campus: Iowa City, IA
  • Net Price: $15,966.00
  • Enrollment: 21,974
  • Transfer Out Rate: 24.30%
  • Loan Default Rate: 4.10%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus, Hybrid
  • Type: Public
  • Net Price Change: 12.08%
  • Graduation Rate: 69.60%
  • Median Borrowing: $22,367.00
  • Median Payment: $233.54
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, Masters, Post-Baccalaureate Doctorate, Post-Master Doctorate
  • Program Accreditation(s): AANP, CCNE

RANKED 2

Allen College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 4.7265194.53%

Allen College

  • 1990 Heath St, Waterloo, IA - 50703-1999
  • (319) 226-2000

Allen College is located in Waterloo, Iowa.  Allen College is unique in that it is a college that provides only healthcare education.  The following degrees are available: Associate of Science in Radiography, Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Doctor of Education in Health Professions Education degree programs.

  • Campus: Waterloo, IA
  • Net Price: $24,065.00
  • Enrollment: 398
  • Transfer Out Rate: 32.60%
  • Loan Default Rate: 1.60%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus, Hybrid, Online
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 28.64%
  • Graduation Rate: 65.10%
  • Median Borrowing: $18,750.00
  • Median Payment: $195.77
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, Masters, Post Master, Post-Master Doctorate
  • Program Accreditation(s): AANP, CCNE

RANKED 3

Graceland University-Lamoni RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 4.7165194.33%

Graceland University-Lamoni

  • 1 University Place, Lamoni, IA - 50140
  • (641) 784-5000

Graceland University is located in Lamoni, Iowa.  They are proud to boast that the Princeton Review called them “The Best in the Midwest” in 2015.  They have traditional nursing degrees available on-campus, but also have a variety of online nursing degrees, ranging from their RN to BSN degree, from graduate degrees.

  • Campus: Lamoni, IA
  • Net Price: $16,288.00
  • Enrollment: 1,559
  • Loan Default Rate: 9.20%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus, Online
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 25.32%
  • Graduation Rate: 47.00%
  • Median Borrowing: $21,129.00
  • Median Payment: $220.61
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 4

Coe College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 4.6035192.07%

Coe College

  • 1220 First Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA - 52402-5092
  • (319) 399-8000

Coe College is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Their nursing program’s slogan is, “The nursing program is elite, selective, and known for educating outstanding nurses. We are not a typical BSN program!”  Their program is unique in that their students have the opportunity to travel abroad, are paired one-on-one with nurse experts, and participate in highly interactive classrooms.

  • Campus: Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Net Price: $20,934.00
  • Enrollment: 1,419
  • Loan Default Rate: 5.90%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 3.85%
  • Graduation Rate: 66.70%
  • Median Borrowing: $25,000.00
  • Median Payment: $261.03
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE

RANKED 5

Luther College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 4.5895191.79%

Luther College

  • 700 College Drive, Decorah, IA - 52101-1045
  • (563) 387-2000

Luther College is located in Decorah, Iowa.  They offer a BSN program and a Direct Entry Program.  The Direct Entry Program allows a high school senior to apply for entrance into the program their freshman year of college.

  • Campus: Decorah, IA
  • Net Price: $24,873.00
  • Enrollment: 2,466
  • Loan Default Rate: 3.20%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 6.82%
  • Graduation Rate: 76.00%
  • Median Borrowing: $27,000.00
  • Median Payment: $281.91
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE

RANKED 6

Northwestern College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 4.5075190.15%

Northwestern College

  • 101 Seventh St SW, Orange City, IA - 51041
  • (712) 707-7000

Northwestern College is located in Orange City, Iowa.  They offer a traditional BSN program and an online RN to BSN program.  Students in their traditional BSN program have an advantage as their Nursing Arts Laboratory is located in a former hospital, which has a nurses station, patient rooms with beds, IV equipment, hospital-based computerized medication system and an electronic health record simulation program.

  • Campus: Orange City, IA
  • Net Price: $20,633.00
  • Enrollment: 1,233
  • Loan Default Rate: 2.40%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: -0.62%
  • Graduation Rate: 63.30%
  • Median Borrowing: $22,000.00
  • Median Payment: $229.71
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE

RANKED 7

Morningside College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 4.426188.52%

Morningside College

  • 1501 Morningside Ave, Sioux City, IA - 51106-1751
  • (712) 274-5000

  • Campus: Sioux City, IA
  • Net Price: $18,985.00
  • Enrollment: 1,305
  • Loan Default Rate: 3.70%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus, Hybrid
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 3.19%
  • Graduation Rate: 58.00%
  • Median Borrowing: $21,830.00
  • Median Payment: $227.93
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, Masters, Post Master
  • Program Accreditation(s): AANP, CCNE

RANKED 8

Mount Mercy University RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 4.3475186.95%

Mount Mercy University

  • 1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA - 52402-4797
  • (319) 363-8213

  • Campus: Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Net Price: $20,577.00
  • Enrollment: 1,476
  • Loan Default Rate: 5.50%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: -9.96%
  • Graduation Rate: 72.90%
  • Median Borrowing: $21,500.00
  • Median Payment: $224.48
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, Masters
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE

RANKED 9

Saint Ambrose University RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 4.2645185.29%

Saint Ambrose University

  • 518 W Locust St, Davenport, IA - 52803-2898
  • (563) 333-6000

  • Campus: Davenport, IA
  • Net Price: $21,907.00
  • Enrollment: 2,743
  • Transfer Out Rate: 26.90%
  • Loan Default Rate: 6.70%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: -1.59%
  • Graduation Rate: 61.30%
  • Median Borrowing: $24,250.00
  • Median Payment: $253.20
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE

RANKED 10

Mercy College of Health Sciences RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN / BSN

Overall Score: 4.1465182.93%

Mercy College of Health Sciences

  • 928 Sixth Ave, Des Moines, IA - 50309-1239
  • (515) 643-3180

  • Campus: Des Moines, IA
  • Net Price: $17,897.00
  • Enrollment: 831
  • Loan Default Rate: 7.90%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus, Online
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 35.80%
  • Graduation Rate: 36.60%
  • Median Borrowing: $16,500.00
  • Median Payment: $172.28
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE

RANKED 11

Clarke University RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 4.0925181.85%

Clarke University

  • 1550 Clarke Dr, Dubuque, IA - 52001-3198
  • (563) 588-6300

  • Campus: Dubuque, IA
  • Net Price: $22,675.00
  • Enrollment: 1,011
  • Loan Default Rate: 6.10%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 19.29%
  • Graduation Rate: 69.50%
  • Median Borrowing: $21,273.00
  • Median Payment: $222.11
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, Post-Master Doctorate
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE

RANKED 12

University of Dubuque RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 4.03180.60%

University of Dubuque

  • 2000 University Ave, Dubuque, IA - 52001
  • (563) 589-3000

  • Campus: Dubuque, IA
  • Net Price: $20,815.00
  • Enrollment: 1,694
  • Transfer Out Rate: 47.10%
  • Loan Default Rate: 8.60%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 10.00%
  • Graduation Rate: 46.80%
  • Median Borrowing: $19,630.00
  • Median Payment: $204.96
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE

RANKED 13

Iowa Wesleyan College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 4.015180.30%

Iowa Wesleyan College

  • 601 N Main Street, Mount Pleasant, IA - 52641
  • (319) 385-8021

  • Campus: Mount Pleasant, IA
  • Net Price: $18,230.00
  • Enrollment: 599
  • Loan Default Rate: 14.90%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: -10.22%
  • Graduation Rate: 29.90%
  • Median Borrowing: $19,399.00
  • Median Payment: $202.55
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED 14

Grand View University RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 3.835176.70%

Grand View University

  • 1200 Grandview Ave, Des Moines, IA - 50316
  • (515) 263-2800

  • Campus: Des Moines, IA
  • Net Price: $18,380.00
  • Enrollment: 2,096
  • Transfer Out Rate: 29.80%
  • Loan Default Rate: 9.10%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 8.86%
  • Graduation Rate: 48.00%
  • Median Borrowing: $21,124.00
  • Median Payment: $220.56
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, Masters
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE

RANKED 15

Briar Cliff University RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: 3.262165.24%

Briar Cliff University

  • 3303 Rebecca Street, Sioux City, IA - 51104
  • (712) 279-5321

  • Campus: Sioux City, IA
  • Net Price: $19,307.00
  • Enrollment: 1,042
  • Transfer Out Rate: 18.60%
  • Loan Default Rate: 7.60%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus, Hybrid
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 16.24%
  • Graduation Rate: 45.50%
  • Median Borrowing: $16,500.00
  • Median Payment: $172.28
  • Award Levels: APRN Certificate, Bachelor, Masters, Post-Baccalaureate Doctorate, Post-Master Doctorate
  • Program Accreditation(s): AANP, CCNE

RANKED N/A

St Luke’s College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

ADN / BSN

Overall Score: N/A

St Luke’s College

  • 2720 Stone Park Blvd, Sioux City, IA - 51104-0263
  • (712) 279-3149

St. Luke’s College is located in Sioux City, Iowa.  Their college is unique because it is a medical center based college – it is the only one in their area, and one of a handful in the entire country.  The college is devoted entirely to healthcare degrees.  They offer both an ASN and a BSN program.

  • Campus: Sioux City, IA
  • Net Price: $21,626.00
  • Enrollment: 184
  • Loan Default Rate: 6.40%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 36.90%
  • Median Borrowing: $18,301.00
  • Median Payment: $191.08
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE

RANKED N/A

Upper Iowa University RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: N/A

Upper Iowa University

  • 605 Washington St, Fayette, IA - 52142-1857
  • (563) 425-5200

  • Campus: Fayette, IA
  • Net Price: $17,654.00
  • Enrollment: 4,632
  • Transfer Out Rate: 19.50%
  • Loan Default Rate: 8.30%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus, Online
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 3.63%
  • Graduation Rate: 39.60%
  • Median Borrowing: $18,241.00
  • Median Payment: $190.46
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s):

RANKED N/A

Dordt College RN Programs in IA [state_name]

BSN

Overall Score: N/A

Dordt College

  • 498 4th Ave NE, Sioux Center, IA - 51250-1697
  • (712) 722-6000

  • Campus: Sioux Center, IA
  • Net Price: $24,028.00
  • Enrollment: 1,376
  • Loan Default Rate: 1.40%
  • Programs: Registered Nurse
  • Offered as: Campus
  • Type: Private Not-For-Profit
  • Net Price Change: 12.18%
  • Graduation Rate: 61.60%
  • Median Borrowing: $21,750.00
  • Median Payment: $227.09
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
  • Program Accreditation(s): CCNE


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

Nursing Specialties: Nursing Specialties | RN Salary Guide: Registered Nurse Salary | LPN Salary Guide: LPN Salary  | Online Associates Nursing Program | Nursing Schools in ArizonaNursing Schools in MarylandRN Programs in the United States |

For information about how we rank RN programs, please see our ranking methodology.

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
Ames, IA 700 $26.81 $55,760
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
Dubuque, IA 1,150 $23.61 $49,110
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

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