Iowa RN to BSN Bridge Programs

State Nursing Board: Iowa Board of Nursing

State Nurses Association: Iowa Nurses Association

State Hospital Association: Iowa Hospital Association

The future of nursing is changing and is the subject of much discussion in healthcare today, including the focus of an article featured in John Hopkins Nursing Magazine, Summer 2013 edition. The article points out the need for registered nurses to obtain a BSN in nursing, citing that only 50 percent of current U.S. RNs are Baccalaureate educated. RN to BSN programs in Iowa can help change these statistics.

As far back as February 25, 2000, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors felt as if the BSN should be the standard requirement to enter the nursing profession. While the debate about practice entry requirements is longstanding, it appears that many states are following the call of the Institute of Medicine, taking steps to reach the goal of a professional nursing workforce in which 80 percent of RNs are Bachelor's prepared.

Nursing schools in Iowa have responded to this need by providing accelerated courses for nurses to transition from an RN to a BSN in a short period of time through regular college attendance, online programs, or through a combination of both. If you are ready to take the next steps in your own nursing education, you have found a great resource to help you along the path.

Traditional On Campus Programs:

Featured Online Programs:

Online programs may not be available in all states

At, we firmly believe that a well educated nursing workforce results in better health. That's why we have taken the time to compile a listing of all the nursing programs in Iowa that offer RN-BSN degrees, in order to help you find the school that is best for you. Take some time to explore the schools on this page, paying attention to those featured below. These featured programs offer online and distance education methodologies, which can often facilitate earning an advanced degree while still working and fulfilling home and family responsibilities.

If you have not yet earned your RN, you can find a full list of nursing programs in Iowa here.

Curriculum of RN to BSN programs

In addition to expanding your nursing knowledge base, a Bachelor's Degree may qualify you for administrative roles, research positions and other expanded roles within healthcare. An RN to BSN program will build upon the nursing education you already have, strengthening your practice and, ultimately, your career. Most of the college credits previously earned in an ADN program can be applied toward your Bachelor's in Nursing, as well.

Examples of additional courses that may be required include:

  • Nursing Leadership
  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice
  • Population Based Nursing
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Healthcare Policy Issues

Some of the main learning outcomes for RN to BSN programs in Iowa include: recognizing the importance of policies and procedures for a facility; learning to develop effective communication and collaboration between disciplines; use of statistical data as related to health issues in nursing; dealing with ethical solutions to legal and medical problems; understanding developmental issues from birth to adulthood; and applying culturally appropriate care to all patients.

The scope of your nursing education is intended to be broadened, and you independent critical thinking skills enhanced by a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree program.

Looking toward the future, many medical facilities increasingly prefer to hire nurses with a BSN, as it has been found that patient outcomes improve when staff nurses posses higher levels of education. In addition, many companies are setting a deadline for RNs who are already employed with the facility to obtain a BSN.

Careers for BSN graduates in Iowa

Many medical facilities prefer nurses that are Bachelor's prepared as they may be more knowledgeable when employed in the following positions:

  • Areas requiring administrative and leadership skills
  • Research departments that compile statistical nursing data
  • Legal units to handle nursing problems and mishaps

The wages and future employment outlook for nurses are set forth in the Bureau of Labor and Statistics for nurses who work in Iowa. After reaching the site, go to Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations and then to registered nurses for statistical matters regarding employment and wages.

Read an article on the Rewire website: Nursing Crisis Looms Over Iowa, dated May 19, 2009. This article points out the need for new nurses, plus the need for educators to teach students enrolling into nursing programs. After achieving a BSN, it will pave the way to becoming a MSN in order to become an educator, if so desired.

Iowa participates in the Nurse Licensure Compact, meaning that Iowa-licensed nurses can practice in 24 states. According to the Iowa Board of Nursing (IBN), there were about 45,000 RNs in Iowa in 2010. Over the past two academic years, the number of RNs graduating from nursing schools in Iowa with a BSN degree exceeded those graduating with an associate degree for the first time. The number of RNs reporting a BSN as their highest degree has steadily increased since 2004 (IBN).

RN to BSN programs in Iowa to Consider

University of Iowa (Iowa City) The RN to BSN program is largely online; two clinical courses require practicums, which can be arranged at several regional sites. A full-time student may complete the program in three semesters, while the part-time option takes five semesters. Courses include genetics, research, improving health systems, and community/public health.

Grand View University (Des Moines): Full-time students may complete the program in 17 months; part-time attendance is also available. Classes are given in six, eight-week sessions per year and usually scheduled one afternoon or evening per week. The degree is a blend of liberal arts and professional nursing education, which prepares RNs for a variety of work settings.

Upper Iowa University (Fayette, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Ames): The program is available full or part-time and offered in a blended format. Several classes, such as community health nursing and nursing leadership and management, have a clinical component, which may be arranged at one of the many approved clinical sites within the state.

Programs from Iowa Schools

Listed below are all of the nationally accredited RN-BSN programs with campus locations in Iowa.


Allen College (Waterloo, IA)
Program Name: RN to BSN Program (online)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Briar Cliff University (Sioux City, IA)
Program Name: RN-BSN Program (online)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Clarke University (Dubuque, IA)
Program Name: TimeSaver Nursing Program
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Coe College (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Program Name: RN Advanced Placement Program
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Dordt College (Sioux Center, IA)
Program Name: RN to BSN
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Grand View University (Des Moines, IA)
Program Name: RN to BSN Program
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Kaplan University (Davenport, IA / Des Moines, IA)
Program Name: Bachelors of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN - Davenport, IA, Bachelors of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN - Des Moines, IA
Luther College (Decorah, IA)
Program Name: Baccalaureate Completion Program
Mercy College of Health Sciences (Des Moines, IA)
Program Name: RN to BSN Program
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Morningside College (Sioux City, IA)
Program Name: Degree Completion for RNs Program
Accreditation: ACEN accredited
Mount Mercy College (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Program Name: RN to BSN Program
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Northwestern College (Orange City, IA)
Program Name: RN to BSN Program (online)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
St. Ambrose University (Davenport, IA)
Program Name: RN to BSN-A Program
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)
Program Name: RN-BSN Program (online)
Accreditation: CCNE accredited
Upper Iowa University (Fayette, IA)
Program Name: RN-BSN Program
Accreditation: CCNE accredited