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After several years of service, many nurses with a baccalaureate education choose to advance their careers by entering a specialized nursing vocation. Iowa offers over 20 master of science in nursing (MSN) programs that enable existing nurses to enter advanced fields such as nursing administration, nursing education, and family practice nursing.

Iowa’s MSN programs are offered by prestigious schools like Clarke University, University of Iowa, and Saint Ambrose University. These programs run from one to three years, depending on the field of study and the student’s enrollment status (i.e., full-time versus part-time). There is a significant emphasis on nurturing candidates’ research and leadership abilities, as well as significantly advancing their clinical skills. Upon completion of an MSN program, candidates may attain licensure as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).

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As an APRN, you can expect attractive employment prospects and compensation across a variety of nursing specializations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for Iowa’s nurse practitioners is $86,790, while the state’s nurse midwives earn an average of $95,330 per year. Iowa’s nurse anesthetists fare even better in the job market, with a median annual salary of $153,850. APRNs are in high demand throughout the state from both private healthcare organizations, via staffing agencies such as MedPro Healthcare Staffing, and government healthcare organizations such as the Department of Veterans Affairs.

If you’re interested in earning your master’s degree at one of Iowa’s best nursing schools, check out our list below. We’ve identified the top MSN programs across the state.

Featured Schools

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Cedar Rapids

Mount Mercy University
1330 Elmhurst Drive NE | Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing
School Address Programs offered
Mount Mercy University 1330 Elmhurst Drive NE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • Master of Science in Nursing

Des Moines

Grand View University
1200 Grandview Avenue | Des Moines, Iowa 50316
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
School Address Programs offered
Grand View University 1200 Grandview Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50316
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing

Other Iowa cities

Allen College
1990 Heath Street | Waterloo, Iowa 50703
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Emergency Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Briar Cliff University
3303 Rebecca Street | Sioux City, Iowa 51104
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Clarke University
1550 Clarke Drive | Dubuque, Iowa 52001
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
St. Ambrose University
518 West Locust Street | Davenport, Iowa 52803
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of Iowa
101 Jessup Hall | Iowa City, Iowa 52242
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • MSN: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
School Address Programs offered
Allen College 1990 Heath Street
Waterloo, Iowa 50703
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Emergency Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • MSN: Nursing Education
  • MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Briar Cliff University 3303 Rebecca Street
Sioux City, Iowa 51104
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Clarke University 1550 Clarke Drive
Dubuque, Iowa 52001
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
St. Ambrose University 518 West Locust Street
Davenport, Iowa 52803
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
University of Iowa 101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City, Iowa 52242
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • MSN: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing