A comprehensive listing of Iowa nursing schools. Below you'll find information on specific nursing programs such as licensed practical nursing, RN associate's degree, and bachelor's degree. You'll also find a profile of nursing education and careers in each major Iowa city.

The state of Iowa has more than 100,000 nursing professionals. Approximately 4,000 of the state’s nurses live and work in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metropolitan area. This number includes 2,100 registered nurses (RNs), 1,200 certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and 500 licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Many of these nurses earned their certificate, diploma, or degree at a local school.

With 215,000 employees, Iowa’s healthcare and social assistance sector comprises more than 14 percent of all employment in the state. Registered nurses (RNs) hold more than 30,000 jobs, making this the largest healthcare profession in the state. Certified nursing assistant (CNA) is the second-most-popular role, with a statewide population of approximately 20,000. Iowa is also home to more than 6,000 licensed practical nurses (LPNs).

The Quad Cities metropolitan area includes four neighboring cities along the Illinois-Iowa border, each with a population over 35,000. These four principal cities are Davenport, Iowa; Moline, Illinois; Rock Island, Illinois; and Bettendorf, Iowa. The healthcare industry in the Quad Cities metropolitan area is robust, including more than 6,500 nursing professionals. The four most common nursing roles are nurse practitioner (NP), registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), and certified nursing assistant (CNA).

Des Moines is home to a large and diverse community of nursing professionals. Each nursing role carries distinct responsibilities and thus requires a tailored educational program.

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) fill the most junior nursing role. CNA certificate programs typically require just eight to ten weeks of study. To gain licensure as a nursing assistant, candidates must pass a state-administered examination immediately after completing the certificate program.

Many of Iowa’s registered nurses (RNs) hold only an associate’s degree but are interested in furthering their expertise and enhancing their qualifications. These nurses can earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree by enrolling in one of the state’s RN-to-BSN programs. As healthcare becomes increasingly complex, employers are placing greater preference on baccalaureate education. BSN graduates thus gain enhanced stature in the registered nursing community.

The BSN programs offered in Iowa focus on two target groups: aspiring nurses preparing for initial licensure and existing nurses seeking to earn a bachelor’s degree. With a greater emphasis on increasingly well-trained and qualified nurses, there has been a marketplace shift favoring nurses with a bachelor’s degree. BSN graduates thus gain enhanced stature in the registered nursing community.

ADN programs focus on allowing participating candidates to attain initial registered nurse (RN) licensure. Registered nurses form the bulk of the country’s nursing profession and hold a variety of responsibilities. These include administering healthcare activities directly and supervising more junior nurses like nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses. RNs are the backbone of the healthcare structure in the US.

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