The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa's nursing leaders have been working since 2010 on improving the training in nursing education programs. The Iowa Action Coalition began this movement after the report from the Institute of Medicine. The nursing shortage in Iowa has not been as severe as some other states because nurses are working longer, but they estimate that 1 million registered nurses will reach retirement age in the next 10 to 15 years.
Educational institutions have been limited by a lack of faculty, but they plan to hire enough Nurse Educators to increase the enrollment of nurses in the BSN program by 25 percent over the next three years. If you are considering returning to college to get a graduate degree in nursing education, this may be the perfect time to do so. Contact the schools you see below that offer MSN in Education programs in Iowa to learn more about your options.
Nursing faculty teach students to provide high-quality, culturally competent care, so that future nurses will be well prepared when they enter the ever-changing complex healthcare environment. Another change in nursing education has been the alignment of admissions of prerequisites required for ADN programs with BSN programs, so that nursing students can make a smooth transition to acquire their BSN.
Iowa has several accredited graduate nursing programs in education, many of which are online, which is ideal if you need flexibility in scheduling related to work or family commitments. Programs typically take two years to complete and may include up to 45 credits in addition to clinical hours.
The admission criteria for MSN in Nursing Education programs in Iowa is similar between most universities and typically includes:
- BSN from an accredited University
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0
- Unencumbered RN license and state of clinical practice
- A minimum of 2000 hours of nursing practice
- Two letters of recommendation that speak to the applicant's ability to succeed at the graduate level
- A goals statement that demonstrates logical thinking and writing skills concerning your work experience
- BCLS Certification
- The TOEFL exam is required if English is not your primary language
- The GRE is not usually required for most programs
The curriculum typically begins with core nursing courses, and then you take the courses of your chosen specialty.
Typical courses found in a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredited program include:
- Advance Human Pathophysiology
- Graduate Statistics
- Theoretical Foundations for Advance Nursing Practice
- Health Care Systems: Paradigms, Policy and Ethics
- Foundations of Advance Nursing Practice
- Nursing Research
- Advance Health Assessment
- Advanced Pharmacology
- Theoretical Foundations in Higher Education
- Curriculum and Instruction
- Evidence Base Practice I & II
- Teaching and Evaluating Learning and Colleges of Nursing (Theory and Clinical-based required)
- Teaching in Colleges of Nursing Practicum I & II
If you already have your master's degree, then you may want to get your doctorate degree, which can offer you a great degree of professional success and many new types of job opportunities.
After graduation you will be eligible for the credential offered by the National League for Nursing. To receive the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) credential you must pass the exam, and the fee is $375 for NLN members and $475 for non-members.
Iowa Nurse Educators earned a median annual income of $65,940 in May 2013 according to O'Net Online. Some of the advantages of being a nurse educator are the opportunity to teach many places around the world, and most positions have flexibility in the hours. You would have job security, and if you did not choose to teach at a university there are positions for nurse educators in hospitals, clinics and other facilities.
If you need assistance with your tuition visit the Financial Aid Office to complete the FAFSA application, which is a federal grant program. There are several low interest loans available, such as the Stafford loan. Iowa Inc. in conjunction with the federal government offers a loan forgiveness program as well.
The loan forgiveness program is available for graduates to work as faculty in an accredited private institution or an institution of higher education governed by the state board of regents in Iowa. You would work as a faculty member for two years to receive 60 percent of your student loans. In addition, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing has a list of financial aids on their webpage.
A Nurse Educator enjoys the satisfaction of watching the progress of their students. Nurse educators have been surveyed repeatedly, and they report that they are very satisfied with their career choice. Contact those schools on our site that offer Nursing Education degrees in Iowa today to learn more.