With the demand for nurses skyrocketing all around the country, it's no wonder why many registered nurses (RNs) in Iowa are choosing to go back to school to complete a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing. If you are a registered nurse who has gained licensure through an Associate's Degree in Nursing, there are specialized nursing degrees out there to help you earn a more advanced degree. These RN to BSN programs will help current RNs achieve lucrative leadership nursing roles.

2024 - Best Online RN to BSN Programs in Iowa

For registered nurses looking to take advantage of the expanded employment and salary opportunities that a BSN can lead do, Iowa offers a slew of RN to BSN programs that can help them reach these goals. Flexible, convenient, and with many online options, RN to BSN programs are growing in popularity as healthcare employers move to hire more BSN-educated RNs. Finding a great online program, however, can be stressful; that's why we've ranked the top online RN to BSN programs in Iowa. Peruse our rankings below and you'll be one step closer to your dream career.

For more information on our top nursing school rankings, visit our Methodology Page (https://www.registerednursing.org/rankings-methodology/).


Mercy College of Health Sciences

Des Moines, IA

Developed from the Essentials for Professional Nursing Practice and the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses, Mercy College of Health Sciences offers a top-notch online RN to BSN. The long-established school readies ambitious nurses to lead their teams and provide superior patient care.

Quick Facts:
  • A non-profit, completely online RN-BSN program
  • A nearly 100-year-old nursing school
  • Prepares competent and compassionate nurses

The University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

The University of Iowa's online RN-to-BSN program empowers registered nurses to advance their careers with flexibility. Tailored for working professionals, it emphasizes leadership and evidence-based practice. With renowned faculty and a supportive learning environment, UI prepares nurses to excel in diverse healthcare settings.

Quick Facts:
  • Fall start and spring start
  • Offered in a fully online format, providing flexibility for working nurses
  • Part-time options are available for students who need a more flexible schedule.

Saint Luke's College UnityPoint Health

Sioux City, IA

Saint Luke's College UnityPoint Health offers a top-notch online RN-to-BSN program, seamlessly merging flexibility with academic rigor. Designed for working nurses, the program prioritizes career advancement and leadership development. With a focus on innovative online education, Saint Luke's College prepares nurses for success in today's ever-evolving healthcare industry.

Quick Facts:
  • Seamless transition to BSN
  • Learner-focused program
  • Flexible full and part time schedules

Mount Mercy University

Cedar Rapids, IA

Nurses can have a greater impact on the quality of care patients receive by earning their bachelor's online at Mount Mercy University. The RN to BSN degree completion program includes understandings from liberal arts and sciences as well as core nursing skills.

Quick Facts:
  • Can be completed in less than 2 years
  • Nine start dates annually
  • Built on strong Catholic traditions

Northwestern College

Orange City, IA

Northwestern College's online RN to BSN program educates students on treating and caring for the entire patient. The Christ-based curriculum covers Lifespan Health Assessment, Nursing Informatics, and Shalom with Diverse Populations.

Quick Facts:
  • A Christ-centered college
  • Seamless credit transfer experience
  • Practice experiences are completed in the workplace

Admissions Requirements for Iowa RN to BSN Programs

To be accepted into an RN to BSN program, you must meet all your school's requirements. Competitive programs will pick only the top applicants. Entrance criteria is not unlike other college admissions criteria. Below are some examples of requirements at Iowa colleges:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Must have computer literacy
  • Current Iowa license as a registered nurse
  • General Education requirements must be met prior to beginning the program

RN to BSN Classes & Courses

Generally, once general education requirements are completed, students are able to tackle the specialized nursing coursework. Waterloo, Iowa's Allen College features the following nursing courses as part of their RN to BSN program:

  • NU 301: Intro to Baccalaureate Nursing
  • NU 461: Nursing Leadership
  • NU 380: Introduction to Nursing Research
  • NU 457: Chronic Illness
  • NU 450: Community & Public Health Nursing

Online RN to BSN Programs in Iowa

Online RN to BSN program options have grown in popularity and have been specially designed for the practicing nurse. Students who want to earn their baccalaureate degree while working and maintaining family obligations can take classes fully online on a part-time basis from accredited colleges in the state.

Admissions and Program Length

Program length is typically determined by how quickly a student can get through the coursework. Both part-time and full-time schedules are usually available, so students are able to finish in roughly 12 to 24 months. Program start times are usually at the beginning of each semester, and most schools include the summer semester so that students can get through the program more quickly.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

Students enrolled in an RN to BSN program are responsible for covering the cost of tuition, fees, and extras like textbooks and course materials. Luckily, financial aid options are typically available for qualifying students, including loans, scholarships, and more. Tuition for the RN to BSN program at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa is about $340 per credit hour (total tuition is just over $10,000). Tuition and fees can fluctuate so check your school of choice for current figures.

Does an RN to BSN Increase My Salary?

As highly degreed nurses are typically more desirable to employers, they are generally willing to pay them handsomely. Registered nurses with a BSN are also eligible for a wider variety of specialty nursing jobs and have the ability to hold leadership ranks within hospitals, care facilities, and more. These prestigious roles tend to come with a higher paycheck as well.

RN to BSN Salary Comparison in Iowa

With a wide range of salaries in the state, RNs who hold a BSN or higher tend to tip the scales toward the more lucrative end. For example, Payscale reports the salary range for a registered nurse in Des Moines, Iowa at between $46,000 and $72,000 annually. With a range like that, it's no wonder why so many nurses in the state are prioritizing more education.

2024 List of RN to BSN Programs in Iowa

Upgrading one's education can seem a bit daunting, but when you look at the benefits you may change your mind. If you are an ADN nurse in Iowa or are researching nursing schools, you may want to decide on becoming a BSN nurse. Iowa has more than 10 RN to BSN programs being offered throughout the state. The benefits of being a BSN nurse are earning almost $20,000 more yearly, being sought after for job opportunities, leadership roles, and more. A BSN degree can offer more than just higher standards and qualifications.

Find RN to BSN Programs By City:

Cedar Rapids, IA

Department of Nursing
1330 Elmhurst Drive, NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
(319) 368-6471

Des Moines, IA

Department of Nursing
1200 Grandview Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50316
(515) 263-2859

Division of Nursing
928 Sixth Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 643-6615

Fayette, IA

Department of Nursing
605 Washington Street P.O. Box 1857
Fayette, IA 52142
(515) 225-1800

Online/Campus Hybrid Instruction

Iowa City, IA

College of Nursing
50 Newton Road
Iowa City, IA 52242-1121

Mt Pleasant, IA

Division of Nursing
601 N Main St
Mt Pleasant, IA 52641

Orange City, IA

Department of Nursing
101 7th Street SW
Orange City, IA 51041
(712) 707-7405

Oskaloosa, IA

Nursing Division
201 Trueblood Avenue
Oskaloosa, IA 52577
(614) 673-1064

Sioux City, IA

Department of Nursing
3303 Rebecca Street
Sioux City, IA 51104
(712) 279-1793

Department of Nursing Education
2800 Pierce St #410
Sioux City, IA 51104

Waterloo, IA

School of Nursing
1825 Logan Avenue
Waterloo, IA 50703
(319) 226-2044

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.