The College of Nursing's RN-BSN degree program is designed for registered nurses who want to expand their skills and professional potential by earning a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN).

The BSN serves as the initial starting point for graduate study in nursing. The program is predominantly online and ideal for working nurses with families located in the state of Iowa.

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.

In 2010, a national group from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a landmark report titled “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” The report shares the evidence of the key contributions of nurses in health care. A key recommendation of the report is to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020. The Iowa Board of Nursing is supportive of this recommendation and has launched a statewide initiative to meet this goal. 

Graduates from UI’s BSN program are also prepared to advance their study by earning a Masters for Clinical Nurse Leader (MSN:CNL), a clinical doctorate (DNP) for advanced practice nursing, or a research doctorate (PhD) and becoming a nurse scientist to discover new knowledge and advance the profession of nursing.

UI College of Nursing faculty members are 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 nurses on faculty with advanced degrees in areas outside of nursing, such as sociology and psychology, attests to the importance of a strong liberal arts foundation in preparing nurses for the future.

Course Work

The RN-BSN program is an online program with one clinical/practicum course (Community and Public Health). The practicum course has face-to-face components; however, the College of Nursing would set up the practicum course at a regional site in Iowa close to your residence.

At the time of application, students choose between a full-time (3-semester) or part-time (5-semester) plan of study. To see a copy of our plans of study for the Iowa RN-BSN program, go to and click on Plans of Study in the box on the right. 

Admission Requirements

To learn more and to see if you are ready for application and admission to our program, visit the College of Nursing website at

We strongly recommend getting a transcript evaluation before submitting an application to our program. To request a transcript evaluation, go to 

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Student Opportunities

As a College of Nursing student, you’ll also be eligible for membership in a variety of Nursing Student Organizations. Sigma Theta Tau International, a nursing honor society, has a chapter on campus.

The 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.


Iowa’s RN-BSN program provides broad preparation in clinical, scientific, community health, and patient-education skills, and promises outstanding career and educational opportunities for students.


The College of Nursing offers numerous scholarships to students who have been admitted to the college. 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

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Review the college's website for details about how to apply to the RN-BSN Program.


Online/Off-campus Program(s)
RN-BSN for currently registered nurses