MSN Programs in Iowa

If a nurse has aspirations to become a nurse specialist, nurse manager or wellness program director, he or she must obtain a Master of Science in Nursing in order to qualify for these types of positions. An advanced degree allows nurses to qualify for the jobs that require a healthcare professional to possess leadership skills. Entering one of the MSN programs in Iowa is an ideal way for nurses to gain the necessary knowledge and experience to lead, educate, or perform advance practice duties.

Schools with MSN Programs in Iowa

Finding a MSN Program

There are many different MSN programs to choose from. Though some people prefer campus based programs, the online option has become increasingly popular, especially in the nursing industry. See a Complete List of MSN Programs...

  • Allen College has a Master of Science in Nursing program that prepares the next generation of leaders within the industry. Students may pursue MSN tracks in Nursing Education, Community/Public Health Nursing, and Leadership in Health Care Delivery (Administration). Aspiring nurse practitioners may opt to study mental health, gerontology acute care, or primary gerontology care. The school also offers combined programs in Community/Public Health Nursing (and Family Nurse Practitioner OR Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner). The College additionally has an RN-to-MSN program with full-time and part-time learning options.
  • With several of the College’s programs ranking as one of the best in the nation, the University of Iowa’s Masters of Science in Nursing curriculum has gained national recognition for many years. In response to a growing need to have advanced practice nurses assume more of a leadership role, the University offers the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) track. Some of the courses that a student may encounter while enrolled in this MSN program include Healthcare Infrastructure and Policy, Leadership and Management Essentials, and Physiology and Pathophysiology for Advanced Clinical Practice.
  • Mount Mercy College, located in Cedar Rapids, provides three track options for nurses looking to receive a graduate-level education. The Master of Science in Nursing program at the school focuses on shaping well-prepared and knowledgeable Health Advocates, Nurse Administrators, and Nurse Educators. The program is based on in-person, real-time interactive learning rather than online studies. Classes are offered in 5-week blocks of time so that students may concentrate on one subject at a time. Full-time students often complete the program in 18 months, while part-time students can finish their studies in as little as 24 months (and retain full-time status for financial aid purposes).
  • In Des Moines, students attending Grand View University may pursue an advanced degree in nursing through the school’s relatively new concept of a Master of Science in Innovative Leadership. In addition to focusing on business or education, students may also choose to study nursing as a way to gain an advanced degree as a Clinical Nurse Leader. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) supports the design of the University’s program, and graduates will be eligible to sit for the AACN CNL National Certification Examination.
  • The MSN program at Clarke University, which is located in Dubuque, is geared towards nurses interested in becoming an educator within their field. The CCNE accredited curriculum follows a hybrid format (blending online and on-campus learning), which allows students to finish the 41-credit hour program with full-time enrollment in 24 months. The flexible scheduling of the program accommodates students who are balancing school, work, and home responsibilities. Offering a personalized experience, the nurse educator track is limited to only “25 full-time students per cohort.” Graduates will leave prepared to become a nurse educator within a clinic, hospital, or academic setting.
  • Briar Cliff University is home to a MSN/Nurse Educator program that is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, where students may choose thesis and non-thesis options. The two-year, 45-hour program is for registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree who wish to teach. Some of the course requirements regarding the completion of this MSN program include Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice, Graduate Statistics, Nursing Research, and Advanced Human Pathophysiology.

Iowa MSN Checklist

  • Become a licensed Registered Nurse (RN) in Iowa.
  • Earn an MSN degree from an accredited university or college approved by the Board, or complete a formal advanced practice education program.
  • Fulfill requirements, such as complete necessary hours of supervised clinical experience.
  • Obtain an advanced level certification by a national professional nursing certifying body that is recognized by the Board.
  • Apply for licensure with the Iowa Board of Nursing (~$143 fee) as either an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) or an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), when applicable. The Board must receive transcripts in a sealed envelope from an applicant’s school of nursing.
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Iowa.
  • If desired, nurse practitioners must register with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration so that the Board of Pharmacy Examiners will allow the Advanced Practice Nurse to prescribe controlled substances within his or her recognized specialty.

Salary Data

With a Master of Science in Nursing degree, healthcare professionals will qualify for job positions that pay higher salaries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graduates pursuing some of the most common MSN-degree related careers in Iowa stand to make the following median annual salaries: medical and health service manager ($77,940), nursing instructor and teacher ($61,180), nurse practitioner ($85,500), and nurse midwife ($80,860).

When looking for additional options to enter an MSN program in Iowa, consider the following list of available programs for more information: