Iowa is one of the premier institutions in the country for nursing education. Nursing is not just a major, but a career with limitless opportunities to work in a variety of settings and impact numerous populations.

Nursing is not just a major, but a career with limitless opportunities to work in a variety of settings and impact numerous populations.

Nursing is holistic and focused on providing and coordinating patient care. Our nursing students tend to be industrious, focused, altruistic, and dedicated people who enjoy contact with patients.

In the University of Iowa College of Nursing’s learner-centric environment, students are treated as junior colleagues, coached and encouraged by both academic and clinical faculty as they prepare to enter the nursing profession. The college is committed to preparing nurses to be leaders in their field. 

The college's Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing. When you graduate, you will qualify to take the licensure examination required for practice as a registered nurse in Iowa. 

The college also offers an RN-BSN program for currently licensed nurses who want to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing.

Why Iowa?

Iowa’s College of Nursing is one of the premier institutions in the country for nursing education. It has a national reputation for excellence, and its graduate programs consistently win high marks in U.S. News & World Report rankings.

The College of Nursing is an integral part of the University of Iowa health sciences campus, sharing in and contributing to teaching, research, and patient care that have earned international recognition. 

The college’s innovative undergraduate program combines in-depth learning with extensive patient contact. Its location on the University of Iowa health sciences campus puts it in close proximity to the educational and clinical resources required for educating nurses.

The BSN program will prepare students for the next step in their nursing education. Graduates are prepared to advance their study by earning a clinical doctorate (DNP) for advanced practice nursing or by earning a research doctorate (PhD) and becoming a nurse scientist to discover new knowledge and advance the profession of nursing.

Nursing faculty includes internationally recognized researchers who study the effectiveness of nursing interventions and outcomes. The college is well known for its research in geriatrics, pain management, palliative care, and genetics.

Admission Requirements

MAT 157 StatisticsfFirst-year students interested in applying directly to the University of Iowa College of Nursing should apply for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and indicate Nursing Interest as the major area of study.

Admission to the College of Nursing may be earned by Direct Admission or Standard Admission.

Direct Admission

Direct Admission to the College of Nursing is designed for high-achieving high school students. Up to 84 students will be selected for study beginning each fall.

Direct Admission Application Deadline

January 15, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. is the submission deadline for the Nursing Supplemental Application and official documents.

Applicants will receive an admission decision in early March.

Standard Admission

Standard Admission is designed for students who have completed the college's prerequisite course requirements. Up to 84 students will be selected to fill this cohort each spring.

Admission to the BSN program is limited and highly competitive. Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission.

Standard Admission Application Deadline

March 1, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. is the submission deadline for the Nursing Supplemental Application and official documents.

Applicants will typically receive an admission decision in April. Applicants will have two weeks to accept the offer of admission to the College of Nursing.

TOEFL Requirement for Admission to the College of Nursing

International students seeking admission into the College of Nursing for either Direct Admissions or Competitive Admission must meet the requirements listed for that pathway. International students who are citizens of a country in which English is not the official language also are required to complete the following:

  • For students (direct admission or transfer) who are new to the University of Iowa and admitted directly to the College as a pre-licensure BSN student, a score of 100 on the iBT TOEFL is required.
  • University of Iowa students who are interested in studying nursing at Iowa but have not yet earned admission to the College of Nursing must present a minimum iBT of 80 with no subscore lower than 17 and complete the English Proficiency Evaluation (unless they have a TOEFL score of 100 or higher on the iBT). Students may be required to complete English as a Second Language course work if specified as a result of the English Proficiency Evaluation. If such course work is required, it must be completed prior to the start of the nursing major.
  • Exemptions may be granted for persons who have completed a bachelor's degree or higher at an accredited university in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada (excluding French Quebec), Africa (English speaking), Australia, or New Zealand.


  Honors Courses
  Four-Year Graduation Plan
only for students admitted through the Direct Admission Program
  Competitive Admission
Admits up to 168 students per year (up to 84 through direct admission; up to 84 through standard admission)
Admission Process

Careers and Outcomes

Iowa’s BSN program provides broad preparation in clinical, scientific, community health, and patient education skills, and promises outstanding career options. With a BSN degree, you’ll be eligible to work as a staff nurse; flight nurse; a nurse on oncology, medical, surgical, pediatric, emergency, or intensive care units; a nurse in outpatient or neighborhood clinics; or as a home health care nurse.

Iowa's Nursing graduates have a 99 percent job placement rate within six months of graduation. Our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for registered nurses will grow faster than most other occupations. The mean annual salary for registered nurses was $77,460 in 2019. Nurses with advanced degrees command higher salaries.

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100 Study Abroad Programs and multiple Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

As a College of Nursing student, you also will be eligible for membership in a variety of nursing organizations:

  • Sigma Theta Tau International, a nursing honor society, has a chapter on campus.
  • Student Nurses Association at the University of Iowa (SNAUI), the undergraduate student professional organization of the college, meets bimonthly and offers nursing students the opportunity to develop leadership, management, and professional skills.
  • The Multicultural Nursing Association participates and engages in opportunities to advance underrepresented students and nurses in professional practice.
  • Men in Nursing welcomes all students in the college.

The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

The College of Nursing is fortunate to have many donors who provide financial assistance to our students. The college has more than 70 scholarships available to provide support for tuition, books, student fees, and professional development activities. 

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid also are great resources for students seeking scholarships.


Nurses need a broad background of knowledge to succeed in their field, so first-year students in the BSN program take courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). Most students initially enroll in CLAS and then apply to the College of Nursing during the semester in which they are completing the college-level prerequisites for nursing.

As an undergraduate nursing student, you may do research by signing up for independent study or taking part in the Young Scientist Program, which provides yearlong mentored research experiences. You will complete approximately 700 hours of clinical experience throughout the curriculum, learning about professional practice areas that might be right for you.

You might decide to earn a second major or complete one of the university’s many certificate programs. Other learning opportunities include independent study, participation in the University of Iowa Honors Program, and cross-cultural nursing experience through study abroad.

For details on course requirements and graduating with honors, see Nursing in the UI General Catalog.