Popular Accredited BSN to MSN Degree Programs in Iowa [Updated for 2024]

Study BSN to MSN Programs in Iowa

Iowa is a typical mid-western state. Though many large cities are scattered throughout its borders, most of Iowa is farmland. The scenes of rolling hills and cornfields are reminiscent of simpler times. Yet, it’s a mistake to think that Iowa is nothing but farms.

From the University of Iowa to Iowa State University, this state has many excellent institutions of higher learning. You can pursue your MSN degree on a large or small campus, at a public or private school, or in an urban or rural area or even online. It’s all possible in Iowa!

With many excellent BSN to MSN programs, the most challenging part of continuing your education is likely picking which program is suitable for your needs. The list below will help you do that with the top MSN programs in Iowa.

BSN to MSN Programs in Iowa

Listed below are some of the popular school offering BSN to MSN programs in Iowa:

  • University of Iowa
  • Briar Cliff University
  • Morningside University
  • Mount Mercy University
  • Keiser University
  • Regent University
  • South University

The University of Iowa

School Information

The University of Iowa is a public doctoral degree-granting institution. It was founded in 1847, making it the oldest university in the state. Since then, it has become one of the most respected research institutions in the country. In fact, it ranks as one of the best research universities in the nation and the world.

The university guides your education using five core values: creativity, community, excellence, inclusion, and integrity. With these guiding principles at your side, you will learn and develop in a supportive environment that promotes your academic and social growth.

You can learn in a diverse and accepting environment, too. The University of Iowa was the first university to accept men and women equally.

MSN Program Information

The University of Iowa offers four different MSN tracks that allow you to specialize your studies. They include:

  • MSN in Entry into Practice
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Nursing Systems Administration
  • MSN Bridge Program

Each specialty varies in terms of the number of credits and the time it takes to complete. For example, the MSN in Entry into Practice requires about 20 months of study. The Clinical Nurse Leader program takes up to three years to complete. In contrast, the Nursing Systems Administration option takes 2.5 years to finish, while the MSN Bridge program takes 1.5 years.

How these tracks are delivered varies as well. The Entry into Practice option is primarily face-to-face. The other three options are offered online. However, all four tracks have the common feature of class sizes. In each case, classes have no more than 32 students. In most cases, classes are much smaller.

Aside from offering different specializations, Iowa’s MSN program offers individualized courses of study and pre-arranged practicum preceptors. What’s more, the nursing programs at Iowa are highly regarded and led by nationally-recognized faculty. The program boasts high completion and pass rates as well.

If you choose to study at Iowa, you will learn how to improve the quality of service to your patients, design innovative nursing practices, and use evidence-based research to improve your ability to practice competently.

To apply, you must have a BSN and submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities. Likewise, you must submit at least three letters of recommendation, a resume, a personal statement of purpose, and a copy of your RN license.

Briar Cliff University

School Information

Briar Cliff University is a small, Catholic-affiliated college in Sioux City that offers undergraduate and graduate programs. With a 2022 enrollment of less than 1,000 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1, Briar Cliff gives you a chance to earn your degree in a very intimate academic setting.

While Briar Cliff is a small school, it has many programs you can pursue. There are more than 40 undergraduate majors, graduate programs, and professional programs, including the MSN options discussed below.

You can utilize the university’s 30 different student support services to help you succeed. You can explore the Briar Cliff community on its 70-acre hilltop campus that overlooks Sioux City when you are not studying.

MSN Program Information

Briar Cliff University’s Master of Science in Nursing program makes it easy for you to advance your education. The program is delivered online, and the university works with you to find clinical placements near where you live. Additionally, Briar Cliff doesn’t require you to take the GRE for admission, nor do you have to complete a thesis to graduate.

This program requires the completion of 51-54 credit hours. You must also participate in at least 750 clinical practicum hours. Most students complete these requirements in three years of part-time study.

A variety of specialization options complements the flexibility of this program. You can choose from the following:

In each case, you will gain the knowledge and skills required to treat each patient with competent care. You will do so by focusing your studies on evidence-based practice, nursing theory, and policy development, to name a few.

Upon graduating from this program, you can pursue many different avenues of employment. Briar Cliff nursing graduates have become clinical researchers, nursing professors, and healthcare executives. Likewise, you might become a healthcare lobbyist, a nursing administrator, or you might continue your education in a Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

You must have a BSN and evidence of at least 2,000 hours of clinical practice to apply. You must also submit college transcripts, a valid RN license, and two letters of reference. A short 250-word personal statement is also required for admission consideration.

Morningside University

School Information

Morningside University is a private, four-year liberal arts college in Sioux City. The school resides on a small 68-acre campus in a residential area of the city, which gives the campus a small-town feel. The 13-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio helps further the intimate setting for your academic growth.

Your education at this school is guided by academic excellence and a commitment to putting learning into practice, a dedication to becoming an ethical leader, and the pursuit of civic responsibility.

Likewise, Morningside is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, so classic Christian principles can also guide your growth and development.

Program Information

At Morningside University, you can get your Master of Science in Nursing in five semesters of coursework (or two years, including one summer session). Most students can complete the required courses online, though a few must come to campus for a one-day presentation and a three-day skills lab.

You can choose from three tracks for your MSN program:

  • Clinical Nurse Leader: Pprepares you for generalist practice in a variety of healthcare settings and with a range of patients.
  • Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: Prepares you to be a primary care provider for individuals and families.
  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Track: Prepares you to work specifically with aging patients in primary care settings.

Regardless of your chosen track, you will take courses in pathophysiology, role development, and advanced practice skills. You’ll take part in residency placement to put your newfound skills into practice. The residency and capstone components also allow you to integrate your classroom learning with real-world work experiences.

To gain admission to the program, you must have a bachelor’s degree and a valid RN license. Additionally, you must submit official college transcripts, at least two professional or academic letters of recommendation, and a CV or resume. An essay stating your professional goals and area of interest is also required.

Once your MSN program is complete, you can continue your education in Morningside’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program. There are also several post-master’s certificate options that enable you to expand your nursing skill set without completing another master’s degree.

Mount Mercy University

School Information

Mount Mercy University is a private, non-profit college in Cedar Rapids. It’s a small school with just 1,600 students. One of the benefits of studying at a small school is the individualized attention you receive. At Mount Mercy, the student-to-faculty ratio is 14 to 1. These small class sizes guarantee you aren’t just a number in a class but an individual learner with specific needs.

Despite its small size, the university offers dozens of undergraduate majors and graduate programs of study. You can choose from more than 45 majors and minors and eight graduate programs.

Mount Mercy University focuses your studies on outcomes, too. Ninety-seven percent of graduates are either employed or in graduate school within nine months of graduation.

Program Information

The Master of Science in Nursing from Mount Mercy University prepares you for advanced clinical practice in various settings. You can tailor your education to meet your specific career goals by focusing your studies in one of the following areas:

  • Nurse Education: Enables you to teach nursing in academic and clinical settings.
  • Health Advocacy: Focuses on improving and managing innovative healthcare programs.
  • Forensic Nursing: Specializes in treating the physical effects of injuries, abuse, accidents, and other traumas.
  • Nurse Administration: Helps you develop the skills necessary to become a leader in modern healthcare organizations.

Each of these specialties requires anywhere from 16-21 months to complete. All programs are also offered online. Not only that, the coursework is available on demand, so you can attend to your weekly studies at times that are most convenient for you.

Depending on your chosen specialty, you will take courses in professional roles and development, technology in healthcare, and healthcare systems. You might also take epidemiology, health promotion, and disease prevention courses.

Each track in this program also requires a three-credit practicum during which you gain hands-on clinical experience.

To apply to this program, you must have a BSN from an accredited institution and a valid RN license. You must also submit two letters of recommendation and meet various administrative requirements, like passing a criminal background check.

MSN Work Opportunities in Iowa

With an MSN from one of the schools listed above, you will have the knowledge and skills to pursue a wide range of nursing jobs. You might become a nurse practitioner, a nurse educator, or a nurse administrator. Likewise, gerontology, community health, and forensic nursing specialties can open doors for employment in the Buckeye State.

Your MSN can help you find careers in many different settings, too. MSN-level nurses often work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and private research institutions. Outpatient health centers are another common place of employment for nurses.

In Iowa, you might even pursue careers in the pharmaceutical or manufacturing industries. Some MSN nurses also work in emergency services, such as Life Flight air transportation for patients in critical condition.

Whatever career goals you have, the skills you gain in your MSN program will help you provide the best possible care to your patients.

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