RN to BSN in Iowa

Iowa has comprehensive continuing education guidelines for nurses, mandating 36 hours of coursework every three years. Nursing salaries fall in line with national averages; nursing assistants earn about $25,000 annually and practical/vocational nurses earn about $38,000. Licensed RNs make approximately $54,000 per year, and nurse practitioners top the list with a yearly salary of about $85,000.

The cities with the most nursing opportunities are Des Moines, Davenport, Moline and Cedar Rapids. Currently, there is a severe shortage of certified nursing assistants (CNAs), especially in nursing homes and other facilities that care for seniors. The shortage is nationwide, but Iowa has been hit particularly hard in this sector.

RN-to-BSN Programs in Iowa

Here we have compiled a comprehensive list of Iowa’s RN to BSN programs. In the summaries below, you will find all the essential program information to help you quickly narrow down your RN to BSN search.

Allen College

$ 574 per credit hour

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester: February 1
  • Spring Semester: June 1
  • Academic programs are all geared towards careers in health care.
  • Three distinct nursing degree programs are offered: BSN, MS in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice.
  • Three options of varying credit requirements are offered through the Iowa Articulation Plan.
Online 1990 Heath St
Waterloo, IA 50703-1999

Briar Cliff University

$ 900 per credit hour

Application Deadlines


  • Up to 90 transfer credits accepted towards the 124 credits needed to complete the RN to BSN.
  • Clinical component of the RN to BSN can be completed at the student’s geographic location rather than on campus.
  • Medical laboratory sciences and radiologic programs are offered.
Online 3303 Rebecca Street
Sioux City, IA 51104

Clarke University

$ 966 per credit hour

Application Deadlines


  • Up to 90 credit hours accepted from students who've completed their RN degree.
  • BSN requires 127 credit hours to complete.
  • This is one of the few schools in the United States with a ten-table cadaver lab.
Campus 1550 Clarke Dr
Dubuque, IA 52001-3198

Grand View University

$ 593 per credit hour

Application Deadlines

February 1st

  • BSN is blend of liberal arts and nursing education courses.
  • Programs in Kinesiology and Health Promotion are offered.
  • Graduate programs include MSN degrees in Nursing Leadership and Nursing Education.
Campus 1200 Grandview Ave
Des Moines, IA 50316

Iowa Wesleyan University

$ 485 per semester hour

Application Deadlines

Contact Admissions Office: 1-800-385-6242

  • Students can transfer up to 64 credit hours previously earned.
  • The BSN curriculum consists of 124 semester hours.
Online 601 N Main Street
Mount Pleasant, IA 52641

Mercy College of Health Sciences

$ 652 per credit hour

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester: July 15
  • Spring Semester: November 15
  • School offers ASN, BSN and RN to BSN programs.
  • The program can be completed in as few as three semesters.
  • Other programs offered include Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiologic Technology and Surgical Technology.
Online 928 Sixth Ave
Des Moines, IA 50309

Mount Mercy University

$ 465 per credit hour

Application Deadlines


  • Courses also offered on campus on evenings and weekends
  • The school offers an MSN program with three tracks: Health Advocate, Nurse Educator and Nurse Administrator.
  • The campus has an onsite simulation laboratory.
Campus and Online 1330 Elmhurst Dr NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797

Northwestern College

$ 375 per credit hour

Application Deadlines


  • State-of-the art patient laboratory with six human patient simulators available to students in the four year BSN program.
Online 101 Seventh St SW
Orange City, IA 51041

St. Ambrose University

$ 502 per credit hour

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester: Applications accepted August 1 through December 1
  • Spring Semester: Applications accepted March 1 through July 1
  • Class sizes is limited to 8-12 students per faculty member.
  • The Genesis Medical Center is available off-site for practical experience.
N/A 518 W Locust St
Davenport, IA 52803-2898

St. Luke’s College

$ 500 per credit hour adn
$ 585 per credit hour bsn

Application Deadlines

Contact Admissions Office: 1-800-352-4660

  • ASN, BSN and RN to BSN programs are offered.
  • RN to BSN program requires 120 credit hours to complete.
Hybrid 2720 Stone Park Blvd
Sioux City, IA 51104-0263

University of Iowa

$ 375 per credit hour

Application Deadlines

Early admission to BSN program: January 1
Competitive Admission to BSN: April 1

  • Graduate nursing programs and a doctoral program are also offered.
  • Opportunities to gain clinical experience at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics locations are available.
Hybrid 101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242

Upper Iowa University

$ 1,139 per term

Application Deadlines


  • Only an RN to BSN program is offered.
  • Students may maintain either a full-time or part-time status in the program.
Hybrid 605 Washington St
Fayette, IA 52142-1857

William Penn University

$ 450 per credit hour

Application Deadlines


  • Students must be on campus one day per week.
  • Most students complete the program in four semesters.
  • Students may maintain either full-time or part-time status.
Hybrid 201 Trueblood Ave
Oskaloosa, IA 52577

Please contact the RN to BSN program in Iowa that you are interested in enrolling in to confirm details and to learn more. If you run an accredited RN to BSN program in Iowa that is not listed above; please reach out to us with program information and proof of accreditation. Thank you!

State Commitment to RN to BSN Education Paths

The Future of Nursing campaign is a nationwide effort to bring the country up to the standards of nursing as outlined in the 2010 Institute of Medicine Report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. As a part of the effort, Iowa has formed a State Action Coalition with the singular objective of achieving the goals set forth by the campaign. Having at least 80% of the nursing workforce hold a BSN degree is an integral part of this initiative and we have outlined below the ways in which Iowa is actively progressing on this front.

  • Education
  • Leadership
  • Practice & Care
  • Interprofessional Care
  • Diversity
  • Data

What is being done to increase the number of Iowa RN’s with a BSN?

The AC is aiming to increase the percentage of RNs in Iowa with a BSN from 27% to 50% by 2020.

Are students enrolled via identified promising models of education progression?



What programs are being implemented to prepare nurses to lead change to advance health?


Practice & Care

Is the Coalition working to remove barriers to RN level of care?


Are they advancing state policy to remove barriers to care provided by APRNs?


Interprofessional Care

Is the state working to improve communication, transparency, and cooperation between healthcare providers?

The AC is actively building partnerships with healthcare stakeholders to advance this goal.


How are they improving diversity of the nursing workforce and care provided?

No specific plans announced.


What steps are being taken to remove gaps in workforce and health care data?

The Iowa Board of Nursing hired a data manager to improve information about Iowa’s nursing workforce and promote better data collection and application methods.

Contact Info

Rita Frantz

Dean & Professor
University of Iowa College of Nursing

Wendy Gray

Executive Director
Free Clinics of Iowa

Source: Campaign for Action

For a detailed progress report and additional workgroup contact information, please see the Iowa Action Coalition page.

Iowa Licensing

Iowa is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). If you move to another state participating in the NLC (pictured in green), you can practice without getting a new license. For licensing information, visit the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services.

licensure map

Nursing Employment Outlook

Nursing Supply and Demand Projections

Source: "The Future of the Nursing Workforce," US HRSA, accessed June 2015.

What Nurses Make on Average in Major Cities

Source: BLS OES, May 2013. Accessed May 2014. Some data not provided.

Additional Information

Other State RNtoBSN Information