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.

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.

Registered nurses make up the largest healthcare occupation, with an estimated 2.7 million people employed as RNs across the country. They are responsible for independently administering many healthcare activities, and they also supervise nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses in their day-to-day duties. RNs are thus capable of improving their individual competency in discharging their responsibilities, while also playing an important role in nurturing future generations of nurses.

Licensed practical nurses perform basic bedside care for patients and usually operate under the supervision of registered nurses for more complex medical procedures. They can also supervise nursing assistants. They are active players in the nursing profession, helping to nurture future generations of nurses while developing themselves under the guidance of more experienced professionals.

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) make up the most junior section of the nursing profession. They perform basic patient care tasks for the elderly, disabled, and infirm under the supervision of more senior nursing practitioners, such as licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs). With the rising demand for nurses – an increase of 23% between 2006 and 2016 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – Iowa’s nursing assistant programs are primed to see a substantial increase in enrollment.

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