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, 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.

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 (Early Decision/Direct Admission) and Competitive Admission.

Early Admission

Early Admission to the College of Nursing is designed for high-achieving high school students. There are two application options available: Early Decision and Direct Admission. The detailed information for each application option is listed below. Up to 72 students will be selected for study beginning each fall. 

Early Decision Information

Early Decision is a binding application process and is an option for academically qualified candidates who know they wish to attend the University of Iowa. Students who apply for Early Decision Admission agree to refrain from pursuing any other Early Decision schools. The deadline to apply for consideration for Early Decision Admission is January 1, with the initial class of students being selected on or about February 1. Faculty will select and make initial offers of admission from Early Decision Applicants. After the initial selection, all qualified applicants who have completed the supplemental application process will be considered for admission on a space-available basis until May 1 (Direct Admission).

Direct Admission Information

After all students who have been offered Early Decision Admission have made their decision, ALL students who meet the criteria and have submitted the Supplemental Application will be considered for Direct Admission for any available remaining seats, regardless of when their supplemental application was submitted. Students who earn admission via the Direct Admission process will have until May 1 to accept the offer of admission. Admission will be offered on a rolling basis and all applicants meeting requirements will be considered.  

Please note that all seats could be filled with Early Decision Admission candidates and it is possible that no seats would be available for any Direct Admission candidates.  

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.

Careers

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 median annual salary for registered nurses was $68,450 in 2016. Nurses with graduate degrees command higher salaries.

Scholarships

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 the application.

Information

Major(s)
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)

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Nursing at Iowa
Nursing at Iowa