RN to MSN Programs in Iowa

The work of a registered nurse is strenuous and time consuming, but for those who love this career, it is highly rewarding. If you want to do even more in the nursing profession than you already do, you may want to pursue a master of science in nursing. An MSN can help you get better job opportunities and higher pay rates over time, as long as you apply your education wisely. Best of all, you can go through an RN to MSN program to streamline your learning and get your degree faster. Here is a look at RN to MSN programs in Iowa so you can see if one is right for you.

Why Get an MSN?

Have you ever wanted to work as a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse manager, or something else along those lines? You can do that with a master’s degree. Most people decide to go back to school because they want to earn more money doing what they love. If all you have is an associate’s degree in nursing, you will earn an average of $55,863 a year in Iowa. This is certainly nothing to scoff at, but it is not representative of your full potential. With an MSN, your pay rate could jump to an average of $77,090 a year, with higher earning opportunities available in the future. Needless to say this is a wise career move if you’re concerned about your income potential.

Job Prospects for MSN Degrees in Iowa

The job prospects for MSN graduates in Iowa are quite high. This state has hired a lot of educated nurses recently to take on roles once carried by doctors. Iowa is not necessarily in a shortage of nurses like other states, but it still has plenty of positions available for nurse practitioners, nurse leaders, nurse educators, and more. The increasing population in the state combined with the recent retirement of baby boomer nurses leaves room for new nurses to find work. You should have no trouble getting a job here.

RN to MSN Program Overview

When you enroll in an RN to MSN program, you will take classes that expand on the information you already know. For instance, you might take courses like Health Assessment, Advance Nurse Role, Statistics, Advanced Anatomy and Physiology, Community-Based Nursing Practice, Evidence and Practice, and Genetic Concepts. RN to MSN programs bridge the gap between undergraduate studies and graduate studies, which is why some people only spend two years in school before earning a master’s degree. Your curriculum will largely be based on the track you choose to work in, which will vary from school to school. You should have part time and full time learning opportunities available.

To find work with your MSN, you will need to get a license through the Iowa State Board of Nursing. If you wish to work as a nurse practitioner, you will also need to secure a collaborative agreement with a physician to prescribe medications and assess patients. With all of that in place, you will be able to either apply for work or go back to school for a post-master’s certificate. That is up to you.

Popular Iowa RN to MSN Programs

With the number of RN to MSN programs in Iowa, you may need to spend some time researching the right one for you. Pay close attention to the tracks these degrees follow and make sure they fit your career goals. Once you find a degree that suits your needs, all you have to do is stick with it. Here are some popular choices to keep in mind:

  • Clarke University: CU has a couple MSN programs, one for family nurse practitioners and one for nurse educators. It also has a doctor of nurse practice program you may pursue after graduation.
  • University of Iowa: The University of Iowa only has one MSN program, and it is designed for clinical nurse leaders. The school does offer a doctoral program though, so you will have degree opportunities beyond the MSN for CNLs.
  • Briar Cliff University: Briar Cliff offers several master’s degrees, including a master of science in nursing for nurse educators. It also has a DNP for nurse practitioners, should you choose to continue your education.

If you would rather complete your education at home, you can also find RN to MSN programs online. These are available wherever you are in the country, as long as you have internet access. Online degrees allow you to set your own learning schedule, which may be necessary if you work odd hours as an RN. Maintain your job and expand your career at the same time with the right degree program.