Are you ready to earn a nursing degree, but not ready to spend four years in school? If you have a Bachelor's degree in another field, you don't have to spend that long in school. In fact, a better option for you may be an accelerated BSN. This degree allows you to earn your nursing degree in 12-18 months, depending on which school you choose.
Nurses with Bachelor's degrees have unique job opportunities available to them, making this a very attractive degree for most students. You may be able to work in a specialty field, take on a leading nursing role, or pursue a Master's degree in nursing as a Baccalaureate prepared nurse.
To learn more about all of the options available to you as a non nursing degree holder in Iowa, peruse our listing of schools with Accelerated or Fast Track BSN programs below. Our featured schools often make online and distance learning options available, which can be great for working students, and those with families or personal responsibilities that may interfere with standard course schedules.
Simply request information from the schools you are interested in, keeping in mind that the more information you have, the better prepared you will be to make a well informed decision about nursing school
Program Curriculum in Iowa
Before you select an accelerated BSN program in Iowa, you want to ensure that you have completed the program's prerequisite courses. Since you complete your BSN so quickly, you have to have several credits in science before even starting. Some of the classes on most prerequisite lists include anatomy, biology, and chemistry.
There are both on campus and online accelerated BSN programs for Iowa students. If you have a rigid work schedule or cannot commit to a regular course schedule, an online program, like those featured, may be the best choice for you, as most ground based programs have classes that run all day.
At the beginning of your fast track Bachelor's program, you'll complete a number of basic nursing courses. Some schools have you do one course at a time, with each course lasting about a week. Other schools have traditional class scheduling that requires you to take many classes at one time.
While class names may vary from program to program, most nursing programs involve the same types of classes:
- Psychiatric nursing
- Pregnancy and labor & delivery nursing
- Pediatric nursing
- Nursing management
Together, these courses all provide the basis for what you need in the final part of your nursing degree. Whether you attend an in-person program or an online program, you will have to complete in-person clinical rotations at a healthcare facility in your area. You will use your newly-gained nursing skills on patients and learn how to work more efficiently as a nurse.
Career Outlook issues in Iowa
After earning your Bachelor's degree in nursing, you can work in many different nursing settings. You might choose to work in a specialty clinic, a community clinic, a hospital, or with a traveling nurse association. Some of the largest nursing employers in Iowa include the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Allied Medical, Girling Healthcare, and Hospice Compassus.
Iowa has a rapidly growing need for nurses, making your decision to enter the profession of nursing well timed. In 2010, there were 32,460 nursing jobs in Iowa, according to O*Net. That number is expected to jump 24% to 40,110 by 2020. Nurses in Iowa earn a median salary of $51,700 per year. Nurses with special training or lots of experience can earn up to $70,900 per year in Iowa (O*Net, 2012).
Licensing Condsiderations in Iowa
Nursing licensure is regulated by the Iowa Board of Nursing. Prior to earning your license, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Your license is valid for two years, and it must be submitted for renewal 30 days before the license expires. Iowa is a compact state, so you can use your Iowa nursing license to work in other compact states, of which there are now 24 nationwide.
The Iowa Board of Nursing also advocates for nurses in state legislature. This year, the Iowa Supreme Court upheld the Board of Nursing's right to decide what limits are applied to nurses and nurse practitioners. Many nurses choose to join the Iowa Nurses Association after becoming licensed. They can learn about landmark legislation, such as the case described earlier, and advance their career with continuing education.