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

Why Study at 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’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.

In addition, our 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, clinical studies of skin integrity and pain management, health of school-age children, genetics, and informatics. The inclusion of nurse historians and anthropologists on the faculty attests to the importance of a strong liberal arts foundation in preparing nurses for the future.

Course Work

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 800 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.

See Nursing in the UI General Catalog to learn more.

Admission Requirements

There are two ways to earn admission to the College of Nursing:

  • Early Admission is designed for high-achieving high school students. Up to 72 students will be selected to fill this cohort each fall.

The Early Admission Program within the College of Nursing is a binding program and is an option for academically qualified candidates who know they wish to attend the University of Iowa. Applicants to the Early Admission Program agree to refrain from pursuing any other Early Decision Programs. The deadline to apply for consideration for the Early Admission Program is January 1, with the initial class of students being selected as of February 1. After February 1, all qualified applicants who have completed the supplemental application process will be considered for admission on a space available basis until May 1. 

If not accepted under the Early Admission Program, qualified applicants will be admitted to the Nursing (Interest) program within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and will be eligible to apply for competitive admission. 

  • Competitive Admission is designed for students who have completed the college's prerequisite course requirements. Up to 72 students will be selected to fill this cohort each spring.

Admission to the BSN program is limited and meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission.

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

In addition to nearly 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Living Learning Communities, Study Abroad Programs, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

Nursing students may be interested in several of the Living Learning Communities in the residence halls, including the Health Sciences community, the Well Beings community, the Be WISE: Women in Science and Engineering community, or an honors community.

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. University of Iowa Association of Nursing Students, the undergraduate student professional organization of the college, meets bimonthly and offers nursing students the opportunity to develop leadership, management, and professional skills. The Minority Student Nurse Association participates and engages in opportunities to advance underrepresented students and nurses in professional practice. University of Iowa Men in Nursing welcomes all students in the college.

Faculty, Facilities, and Resources

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.

Faculty and students participate fully in university life and contribute their time, interests, and abilities to the many activities of a major research university.

In partnership with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the college operates the state-of-the-art Nursing Clinical Education Center, which features clinical labs where students practice sophisticated and complex nursing care in specialty and clinical situations. Nursing education also provides a wide range of clinical instruction at clinical agencies in 50 Iowa counties.


As one of today's most exciting and rewarding professions, a career in nursing promises to be challenging and filled with opportunity for flexibility and autonomy. You will be a vital part of a team of health care professionals dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to patients.

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 a home health care nurse.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for registered nurses will grow faster than most other occupations. The median annual salary for registered nurses was $62,627 in 2010. Nurses with graduate degrees command higher salaries.


The College of Nursing offers numerous scholarships to students who have been admitted to the college. For example, Rhodes Dunlap Honors Program Scholarships for $2,000 go to honors students in nursing, based on professional promise, academic achievement, and involvement with service activities.

The Eva Erickson Fellowship Fund, is a $1,500 award for junior or senior nursing students with a GPA of at least 3.00 who demonstrate potential for graduate study and interest in nursing service administration. Visit the College of Nursing website for a complete list of nursing scholarships. Some scholarships require application before October 1, others before March 1.

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

Application Process

Application Process Tabs

Apply to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and indicate an interest in nursing on the application.


Nursing (BSN)
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan
only for students admitted through the Early Admission Program
Competitive Admission
Admits up to 144 students per year (up to 72 through early admission; up to 72 through competitive admission)


Nursing at Iowa
Nursing at Iowa