Iowa MSN Programs

Allen College: RN to MS Program Review
Allen College, 1825 Logan Avenue, Waterloo, Iowa 50703
Allen College is a healthcare education facility that has been training nurses for over 78 years. The campus is located at 1825 Logan Avenue, Waterloo, Iowa 50703. This location is in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metropolitan area. The college was founded in 1925, and the first nursing class of 10 students graduated in 1928. Today, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is offered to prepare nurses for an advanced nursing career. The following MSN tracks are offered at Allen College:

Leadership in Health Care Delivery (Administration)

Nursing Education

Community/Public Health Nursing

Family Nurse Practitioner

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Masters Completion Program for Nurse Practitioner

Community/Public Health Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner

Community/Public Health Nursing and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Students may be admitted to begin in the fall, spring, or summer semester. A bachelors degree in nursing is not required because applicants may have a bachelors degree in another field. In this case, they must take undergraduate courses in statistics, nursing research, and community health prior to enrolling in some of the masters level courses. Working nurses do not need to spend time preparing to take the GRE because it is not required for this program. Applicants must have at least one year of clinical experience before enrolling in masters level courses. Registered Nurses who are able to attend the masters program full-time can complete the program in two years. Most students continue to work and complete the program part-time in three to four years. Instead of completing a thesis, students complete a graduate project. Most of the program is taught online, but some face-to-face time is required when students must be on the Allen College campus.

Briar Cliff University: RN to MSN Program Review

Briar Cliff University

3303 Rebecca Street

Sioux City, Iowa 51104

Briar Cliff University is located at 3303 Rebecca Street, Sioux City, Iowa 51104. This location is a three-state area with South Dakota and Nebraska across the river. Briar Cliff University is a Franciscan Roman Catholic liberal arts university. It was founded in 1930 as a women’s college and has since become coeducational. The university offers masters degrees online that lead to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Concentrations in Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner are offered at Briar Cliff University.

The Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Educator program provides training for the nurse who wants a career teaching and guiding student nurses as they prepare for a nursing role. This online program is a 45 credit curriculum for baccalaureate-prepared nurses. Students may opt to complete a thesis or non-thesis option, and admission is granted without the need for the GRE. The Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner program is a two-year hybrid program involving online classes and those that meet on the campus. Two years of study are required to complete 42 credits.

Applying to the program requires a formal application for admission. The applicant must have a 3.0 grade point average on their bachelors degree work in nursing. Applicants must also submit a copy of their Registered Nursing license in Iowa. Two-thousand hours of clinical nursing experience as a Registered Nurse within the two years before enrolling in the first nursing specialty course are required as well. Those interested in the program must demonstrate their logical thinking and writing skills by writing a two to three page personal and professional development statement that outlines their goals and why a masters degree is necessary to meet these goals.

Clarke University: RN to MSN Program Review

Clarke University

1550 Clarke Drive

Dubuque, Iowa 52001

Clarke University, located at 1550 Clarke Drive, Dubuque, Iowa 52001, is a Catholic University that was started as a boarding school for girls in 1843. The University offers a Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Educator program for nurses who want training for careers as instructors of student nurses at the undergraduate level. The program has an online format that can be completed in 18 months full-time. There are 37 credits required to qualify for graduation. This program offers flexibility in allowing working nurses to continue working while earning their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Students work together in a 25 person cohort group, and they complete their residency experiences on campus.

Requirements for admission to the program include a bachelors degree from an accredited nursing program with a grade point average of at least 3.0. Three professional recommendation forms must be submitted as well as a curriculum vitae. Applicants must submit a health record form that includes proof of personal health insurance and an annual Tuberculin Skin Test Reporting form as well as a copy of their license as a registered nurse and a copy of CPR or BLS certification. Those interested in admission must also write a statement of goals that explains their career goals. Clarke University also requires applicants to complete a successful interview before being accepted into the program.

Grand View University: RN to MSN Program Review

Grand View University

1200 Grandview Avenue

Des Moines, Iowa 50316

Grand View University is located at 1200 Grandview Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50316. This private liberal arts college is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It was established in 1896. The university offers a Clinical Nurse Leader program that leads to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). This program provides training in leadership, management, and patient care. Nurses learn about health policy application and finance, clinical outcomes management, and cost effective management as they prepare for advanced nursing roles in the clinical setting. After graduating with a masters degree in nursing, nurses are able to better coordinate patient care, have improved team communication and improved outcomes for patients.

The university’s Clinical Nurse Leader program requires two years plus two summers of study to complete. Admission requirements include a baccalaureate degree with a grade point average of 3.0 or better. GRE scores must be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Department of the University, and applicants are expected to have two years of work experience as a registered nurse. In addition, three recommendation letters are required plus a professional resume. A current Iowa nursing license is required, and proof of this and of professional liability insurance must be submitted to the university. Grand View University does require a criminal background screening in addition to health requirements that include TB testing, hepatitis B, and varicella.

Mount Mercy College: RN to MSN Program Review

Mount Mercy College

1330 Elmhurst Drive NE

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402-4797

Mount Mercy College, located at 1330 Elmhurst Drive NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402-4797, is a Catholic liberal arts university. The Sisters of Mercy founded the college in 1928. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is offered with three different tracks. These are the following:

Track 1 – Health Advocate – Students receive training necessary to lead innovative health care programs.

Track 2 – Nurse Educator – Prepares students for the advanced nursing career of nurse educator.

Track 3 – Nurse Administrator – Provides training for nurses to manage healthcare organizations

The masters curriculum at Mount Mercy College is an in-class program that emphasizes interactive learning and provides an opportunity for professional networking. Classes are held in the evening to accommodate working nurses and are offered in 5-week blocks so that students may focus on one subject at a time. Full-time students can complete this program in 18 months. Rather than completing a thesis, students choose a clinical project or practicum experience aligned with their professional needs.

Admission requirements include at least part-time employment as a Registered Nurse during the program. Those interested must submit a resume and personal statement with their online application. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is required with a grade point average of at least 3.0. Conditional admission may be offered to applicants with a grade point average less than 3.0. A copy of the applicants nursing license and two recommendation letters are required as well.

St. Ambrose University: RN to MSN Program Review

St. Ambrose University

518 West Locust Street

Davenport, Iowa 52803

St. Ambrose University is a University that is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport. Located at 518 West Locust Street, Davenport, Iowa 52803, it is a liberal arts university that was established in 1882. Today, the university offers a Master of Science (MSN) in Nursing Administration and a Master of Science in Nursing Education. The Master of Science in Nursing Administration provides training in management and leadership for nurses who want a career in administration. An administrative practicum and capstone project are parts of the program that allow students to use their knowledge in the real work environment. The Master of Science in Nursing Education prepares nurses to teach student nurses or in clinical agencies.

Admission to the University requires a bachelors degree in nursing with a 3.0 or better grade point average. Applicants should have taken a Health & Physical Assessment course on the undergraduate level. Those interested in the program must submit a copy of their licensure as a Registered Nurse, a personal statement of education and career goals, three reference letters, and curriculum vita. An interview must also be completed if requested. Once a student is admitted to the program, a criminal background check is also required. A prerequisite course is statistics that must have been completed within five years of entering the masters nursing program. Students must also have completed an undergraduate research course.

University of Iowa: RN to MSN Program Review

University of Iowa

50 Newton Road

Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1121

The University of Iowa (UI or Iowa) is located at 50 Newton Road, Iowa City, Iowa 52241-1121. This research university is the oldest public university in the state, having been established in 1847. UI has received many rankings, including 28th best public university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report Best College Rankings, 71st best university in the nation, tied with Michigan State University and Virginia Tech, and 21 graduate programs have been named in the U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has been rated as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for 20 years in a row, or since rankings began by U.S. News & World Report. Many other rankings have been given to UI. The University of Iowa College of Nursing has been ranked as one of the best nursing programs in the country.

The College of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): Clinical Nurse Leader program. The program provides training for nurses seeking advanced nursing roles as clinical experts. The program requires 39 credits and is made of six semesters plus one winter session. Most of the program is online, but the course Health Promotion and Assessment for Advance Clinical Practice requires students to be on campus. Students must also be on campus for an orientation before beginning the program and after completing their studies to present their capstone project to the capstone committee.

To be considered for the program, applicants must complete the Graduate College application and supplemental application. A baccalaureate or advanced degree in nursing is required to be considered for the program and applicants must have two years’ of work experience as a registered nurse. Also, a 3.0 grade point average on undergraduate coursework and a current nursing license are required. Each applicant must be computer literate. Additionally, a current resume or portfolio and three recommendation forms are required.

Before beginning the program, candidates must complete all prerequisite courses. Those interested in the program must complete an upper level statistics course within five years of the application deadline. Those accepted into the program must meet the health requirements and have all required immunizations, CPR certification, and must have a criminal background check and Abuse Registry check. Liability/malpractice insurance coverage is required as well.