Nursing Schools in Iowa
Earning a degree in nursing is more important now than ever before. As our population grows and ages, the need for medical care is in such demand that most states are struggling to provide even the most basic care for many of their residents. Nursing also has unique advantages in that you can enter the field upon completion of a diploma or certification program which will take less than two years, or you can continue your education to earn an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, DNP or PhD in Nursing. The amount of education you earn is completely up to you and you have no need to make a choice with how far you want to go just yet. Your main focus at this point will be to ensure that the education that you pursue will prepare you to take the NCLEX-RN which will license you to work as a registered nurse. Upon completion of that exam you will find that many employers will quickly make job offers and you will often have multiple offers to choose from.
While Iowa is above the national average when it comes to the amount of nurses working relative to the state’s population, the amount of nurses is still not enough to meet the demands placed on the industry. It should also be noted that the higher your education is when you enter the field, the more demand you will be in and the offers from employers will often be significantly better than if you had a lower level degree. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t start with a diploma or certification and work your way up. Many RNs actually earn their license as soon as possible and work as they continue their education. Employers will often assist students with tuition if they continue to pursue higher levels of education in the field and you may want to explore that option from the start.
Registered nurses in Iowa can expect an average income of close to $53,000 a year. This number is an average of all nurses in all levels of education, so the more experience and education you hold the higher on that scale you will find yourself. If you are willing to relocate for employment, you may be interested in talking to a number of employers in the state. University of Iowa Health Care in Iowa City, Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines and Genesis Medical Center in Davenport are ranked among the top ten employers in the state across all industries and should be considered highly as you start to look for a place to build your career. In addition, Dubuque, Waterloo and Sioux City see the most working registered nurses relative to the number of people in the city. On the other side of that coin, Des Moines, Davenport and Cedar Rapids have the lowest number of RNs and are in the greatest need. Ames, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids offer the highest median income for registered nurses in the state and should also be considered.
While many employers will offer to help cover the cost of an education through tuition reimbursement or assistance, it is rarely enough to cover a full education. You will also find that schools offer unique loans, scholarships and loan repayment plans to students attending their colleges. With that in mind, your most important resource will be the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. Because of the millions of Americans living in underserved areas of the country, lacking even the most basic health care, the HRSA offers loans, scholarships and most importantly, loan repayment plans. The loan repayment plans are designed to offer large amounts of payment towards your school loans if you are willing to sign a multiyear contract to work in these underserved areas. The contracts usually last two years and the payoff is significant upon completion of the time you spend helping those most in need.
UICON is a university with a renowned faculty, a tradition of innovative leaderships that has led the college to ranking as one of the best nursing programs in the nation and offers an advanced clinical experience. Graduates are sought after as the highly skills professionals that they are because of the rigorous education the college offers. With a mission to prepare nurse leaders to be the forerunner in the discovery, dissemination and application of nursing knowledge, your education will prepare you for a future that is constantly changing. In addition, the college is focused on applying their resources to improve health care for Iowans and you will be a part of the group that focus on that outreach.
Upon completion of Mercy College’s associate’s program you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN and start working in the field. Your education will focus on holistic nursing care for a wide range of patients in a diverse community. Your credits will be transferrable and you can continue your education upon completion if you so wish. With an education that combines liberal arts and science, you will enter the field ready to treat people on a scientific and humanistic level. Your education will put you in a position to lead nursing into a new frontier.