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Programs include LPN/LVN, ADN, BSN, MSN, and more

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).

Aspiring nurses in the Quad Cities must obtain a degree, diploma, or certificate from an accredited school and pass a licensure exam. The education and licensure requirements vary substantially by role. For example, NPs must hold graduate-level education, typically a master of science in nursing (MSN), doctor of nursing practice (DNP), and/or doctor of philosophy (PhD) in nursing. NPs must hold a valid RN license. They must also pass a certification exam in a specialized area such as adult-gerontology, family practice, neonatal care, occupational health, pediatrics, or women's healthcare.

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Although RNs and LPNs require less extensive education, the path to licensure is still rigorous. Registered nurses typically complete a two-year associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). They must then pass the NCLEX-RN national licensure examination before practicing. Aspiring LPNs earn a certificate or associate’s degree in practical nursing, requiring 1-2 years of fulltime study. They then take the NCLEX-PN national licensure examination.

CNAs do not need a degree to practice. However, because the complexity of nursing home care has increased since the passage of the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, CNAs must take a focused training program of approximately 100 hours, including at least 16 hours of clinical hands-on training. They are also required to complete at least 12 hours of in-service or continuing education each year. Aspiring CNAs must pass a nurse aide certification examination before practicing. To increase their earning power, CNAs may also study to become certified medication aides (CMAs), allowing them to administer medications to patients.

A number of schools in the Quad Cities offer accredited nursing programs. The area’s top options are Saint Ambrose University, Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Black Hawk College, and Eastern Iowa Community College. These institutions prepare students for positions at major area hospitals like UnityPoint Health, Genesis Medical Center, and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. UnityPoint Health alone has more than a dozen Quad Cities locations.

If the Quad Cities metropolitan area sounds like a great place to launch your nursing career, you can begin your search here for a local nursing program. We’ve profiled below each of the region’s accredited nursing schools to help you get started.

Featured Schools

Quad Cities nursing schools by NCLEX score

Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences
2122 25th Avenue | Rock Island, Illinois 61201
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 95.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2017)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Direct Entry MSN
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
St. Ambrose University
518 West Locust Street | Davenport, Iowa 52803
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Eastern Iowa Community College District
306 West River Drive | Davenport, Iowa 52801
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 89.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 81.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
Black Hawk College
6600 34th Avenue | Moline, Illinois 61265
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 88.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2017)
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 84.6% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2017)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences Bachelor of Science in Nursing 95.5% 2009 to 2017
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Direct Entry MSN
LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
Master of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
St. Ambrose University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.7% 2009 to 2012
MSN: Nursing Administration
Master of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Eastern Iowa Community College District Certificate in Practical Nursing 89.5% 2009 to 2012
Associate's Degree in Nursing 81.4% 2009 to 2012
Black Hawk College Associate's Degree in Nursing 88.7% 2008 to 2017
Certificate in Practical Nursing 84.6% 2008 to 2017
Nursing Assistant Certificate
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