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 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 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.

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. The college is committed to preparing nurses to be leaders in their field. 

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 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.

Admission Requirements

There are two ways to earn admission to the College of Nursing: Direct Admission and Standard Admission.

Direct Admission

Direct Admission to the College of Nursing is designed for high-achieving high school students. Two application options are available: Early Action and Regular Decision. Up to 80 students will be selected for study beginning each fall. 

Application Deadlines: Early Action vs Regular Decision 

Students can apply for Direct Admission to the College of Nursing via Early Action or Regular Decision.

Early Action
  • Early Action has an application deadline of November 1
  • Up to 50 Early Action applicants will be admitted for Direct Admission to the College of Nursing
  • Students who apply via Early Action will receive an admission decision on or about December 1
  • Students who apply via Early Action who are not initially offered admission may be moved to the Regular Decision pool
Regular Decision
  • Regular Decision has an application deadline of February 1
  • All Regular Decision applications are a part of the Regular Decision pool
  • 30 applicants from the pool will be admitted for Direct Admission to the College of Nursing
  • Students in the Regular Decision pool will receive an admission decision on or about March 1
Acceptance Deadline

All students will have until May 1 to accept or decline an offer of admission

Students not initially admitted for Direct Admission may be selected for Assured Admission or added to a Waitlist for Assured Admission. Students who aren’t direct admitted enroll in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, then apply for standard admission to the College of Nursing after (or while completing) prerequisites.

Standard Admission

Standard Admission is designed for students who have completed the college's prerequisite course requirements. Up to 80 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.

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Study Abroad Programs and 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.
  • 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 as 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 mean annual salary for registered nurses was $77.460 in 2019. Nurses with graduate degrees command higher salaries.


The University of Iowa and the College of Nursing have an excellent record of helping students finance their education through scholarships, grants, loans, and other forms of financial assistance.

The College of Nursing is fortunate to have many donors who are willing to provide financial assistance to our students. Currently, the college has more than 70 scholarships available to help students support their nursing education. These scholarship opportunities 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.

Application Process

Application Process Tabs

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


Nursing (BSN)
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan
only for students admitted through the Early Admission Program
Competitive Admission
Admits up to 160 students per year (up to 80 through early admission; up to 80 through standarad admission)


Nursing at Iowa
Nursing at Iowa