This is the first version of the 2021-22 General Catalog. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

The College of Nursing offers two paths to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.): a prelicensure program for students who do not hold a nursing license (see the Bachelor of Science in Nursing in this section of the Catalog) and a program for registered nurses (see Nursing-RN in this section of the Catalog).

The B.S.N. programs prepare students for careers caring for patients in hospitals and in community agencies such as public health services, schools, homes, and industries. They also provide a base for graduate study in nursing.

In addition to combining general education with specialized career preparation, the University of Iowa programs in nursing offer the advantages of full participation in the social, cultural, and recreational activities of a highly diverse campus community. A university education enables students to prepare for a career as well as a life of thought and action informed by knowledge, introspection, and contemplation.

The B.S.N. programs provide a basis for nurses' roles in wellness and health promotion, in acute care, and in long-term care for chronic illness. The professional nurse may provide care to individuals, families, groups, and communities along a continuum of health, illness, and disability in any sector of the health care system.

In addition to providing care, the nurse serves as a coordinator of health care by organizing and facilitating the delivery of comprehensive, efficient, and appropriate service to individuals, families, groups, and communities. The nurse demonstrates the ability to conceptualize the total continuing health needs of the patient, including legal and ethical aspects of care. The University of Iowa programs' goal is to produce graduates who are competent, committed, creative, and compassionate.

Expenses and Insurance

Students pay University of Iowa student fees throughout the B.S.N. program. They must purchase uniforms, shoes, a stethoscope, and a watch with a full-sweep second hand, and they must pay the cost of computer testing, supplies, and materials for required nursing courses. All nursing students arrange and pay for their own health screening requirements, health insurance, and transportation once they are enrolled in clinical nursing courses. They also pay fees that cover the cost of criminal background checks, laboratory equipment, professional liability insurance, and simulation.

Mandatory Health Insurance

B.S.N. prelicensure students upon admission to the College of Nursing and each August afterward must provide verification that they have obtained and currently hold health insurance that satisfies the following minimal standards of coverage (or an equivalent alternative health care plan):

  • $250,000 lifetime benefit;
  • coverage for hospitalization, including coverage for room and board, physician visits, surgeon services, X-ray, and lab services;
  • inpatient deductible under an individual policy not exceeding $500 per admission and a 20 percent copayment/coinsurance requirement; and 
  • coverage for medically necessary care, including physician services, X-ray, and lab services for treatment of emergencies, illness, accident, and injury.

Professional Liability Insurance

All students in the College of Nursing are required to carry professional liability insurance throughout the duration of their program. Agencies that provide clinical practicums for College of Nursing programs require that students have insurance coverage. The College of Nursing provides students with information about the liability insurance requirement during orientation.

B.S.N. prelicensure students and nursing-RN students are covered by a group policy supported by student fees.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing prelicensure program of study requires a minimum of 128 s.h., including 64 s.h. in the nursing major and 64 s.h. in supporting coursework that is prerequisite to the nursing major. The program is intended for students beginning their education in nursing. A B.S.N. program for registered nurses is described under Nursing-RN in this section of the Catalog. All students must earn a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 to earn the degree.

B.S.N. students may complete their entire program at Iowa, enrolling in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to complete courses that are prerequisite to the nursing major, or they may transfer from an institution that offers comparable prerequisite courses that are approved by the University of Iowa and the College of Nursing. They must earn standard admission to the College of Nursing once they have completed the prerequisite coursework. Highly qualified applicants may be admitted to the College of Nursing directly from high school under the B.S.N. direct admission program; see Admission in this section of the Catalog.

Students who are part of the B.S.N. direct admission program spend their first four semesters (two years) on prerequisite coursework and complete the requirements for the nursing major during the next four semesters (their third and fourth years), earning the B.S.N. in a total of four academic years. Students who earn standard admission to the College of Nursing have five semesters to complete prerequisite coursework. They begin work for the nursing major in spring of their third year and complete the major in four semesters, earning the B.S.N. degree.

University of Iowa students who have declared an interest in the prelicensure nursing program are advised at the University's Academic Advising Center until they are admitted to the College of Nursing. After admission to the college, each student is assigned a professional advisor in the college's Felton Student Success Center.

Nursing courses are based on concepts of health, deviations from health, and nursing intervention. Coursework progresses in complexity across the curriculum. The curriculum reflects the current trend in health care delivery toward emphasis on nursing as a service provided both inside and outside hospitals. Students have access to clinical experiences selected from a multitude of agencies in Iowa and around the country.

The following coursework is required for B.S.N. students.

Prerequisite Courses
General Education Prerequisites13
Natural Science Prerequisites23
Social Science Prerequisites9-10
Other Prerequisites19
Courses Required for the Major64
Total Hours128-129

The B.S.N. prelicensure program requires the following coursework. Students must complete the prerequisite coursework before beginning work required for the major in nursing.

Prerequisite Courses

Direct admission students complete all of the following prerequisites during their first and second years of enrollment at the University of Iowa. Standard admission students must complete all of the following prerequisites, with the exception of two natural science courses and two social science courses, before they may apply for admission to the College of Nursing.

General Education Prerequisites

All of these:
RHET:1030Rhetoric4
International and Global Issues course3
Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts course3
Values and Culture or Diversity and Inclusion course3

Natural Science Prerequisites

All of these:
ACB:3110Principles of Human Anatomy3
BIOL:1141Human Biology: Health Professions4
CHEM:1070General Chemistry I3
CHEM:1080General Chemistry II3
HHP:1300Fundamentals of Human Physiology3
HHP:2310Nutrition and Health3
MICR:3164Microbiology and Human Health4

Social Science Prerequisites

Both of these:
NURS:1030Human Development and Behavior3
PSY:1001Elementary Psychology3
And one of these:
SOC:1010Introduction to Sociology3-4
SOC:1030Contemporary Social Problems3-4

Other Prerequisites

All of these:
NURS:3110Healthcare Finance3
STAT:1020/PSQF:1020Elementary Statistics and Inference3
Electives13

Courses Required for the Major

Direct and standard admission students complete the following courses for the major in nursing.

All of these:
NURS:3128Health Assessment and Communication Across the Lifespan3
NURS:3138Nursing and Pharmacological Interventions I5
NURS:3151Introduction to Clinical Concepts for Nursing2
NURS:3160Professional Role I: Professionalism and Patient Safety3
NURS:3438Nursing and Pharmacological Interventions II5
NURS:3451Basic Clinical Concepts for Nursing1
NURS:3460Professional Role II: Research3
NURS:3518Pathology3
NURS:3615Adult Medical/Surgical Nursing Practicum3
NURS:3620Gerontological Nursing3
NURS:3625Gerontological Nursing Practicum2
NURS:3631Nursing Care of Children and Families2
NURS:3632Nursing Care of Childbearing Families2
NURS:3635Parent Child Nursing Practicum2
NURS:3640Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing3
NURS:3645Mental Health Nursing Practicum2
NURS:3650Community and Public Health Nursing3
NURS:3651Advanced Clinical Concepts for Nursing1
NURS:3655Community and Public Health Nursing Practicum2
NURS:3660Professional Role III: Improving Health Systems3
NURS:4155Senior Nursing Internship5
NURS:4160Professional Role IV: Leadership and Professional Engagement3
Electives3
Total Hours64

See B.S.N. Plans of Study on the College of Nursing website for semester-by-semester study plans for direct and standard admission students.

Honors in Nursing

The College of Nursing Honors Program provides seminars and independent study experience for qualified students. In order to pursue honors studies in nursing, students must maintain a University of Iowa g.p.a. and a nursing major g.p.a. of at least 3.50.

The honors program in nursing enables students to explore subject matter based on individual interests, needs, and goals. It provides opportunities for self-initiative, research experience, scholarly writing, intellectual and personal development, and challenges students to grow and excel. Students who fulfill the requirements of the program graduate with honors in nursing.

In addition to honors in their majors, prelicensure B.S.N. students have a variety of opportunities for honors study and activities through membership in the University of Iowa Honors Program; visit Honors at Iowa to learn about the University's honors program.

The nursing-RN program of study requires 32 s.h. of credit. Students must hold a valid Iowa nursing license (RN) and an Associate Degree in Nursing or Diploma in Nursing. They must earn a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 to earn the degree.

The program is designed to offer registered nurses the opportunity to build on their nursing knowledge and experience by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Students take courses that focus on professionalism and patient safety, research, improvement of health systems, leadership, professional engagement, and community and public health.

Students may transfer coursework completed at other colleges and universities to satisfy the prerequisites, general education requirements, and electives for admission to the College of Nursing (see "Admission to the Nursing-RN Program" under Admission in this section of the Catalog). Once a student is admitted to the program, the student has the option of completing the required 32 s.h. in three semesters, four semesters, or in five semesters.

The program is delivered online, with limited face-to-face meetings for the community health practicum experience and leadership project. Students must complete a practicum experience in Iowa or an emersion experience in Eswatini, Africa, and may be required to drive up to 100 miles to a regional practicum setting.

The College of Nursing participates as a receiving institution in the Iowa Statewide Articulation Plan for Nursing Education: RN to Baccalaureate.

The nursing-RN program requires the following College of Nursing coursework.

Courses Required for the Major

NURS:3110Healthcare Finance3
NURS:3160Professional Role I: Professionalism and Patient Safety3
NURS:3460Professional Role II: Research3
NURS:3518Pathology3
NURS:3650Community and Public Health Nursing3
NURS:3655Community and Public Health Nursing Practicum2
NURS:3660Professional Role III: Improving Health Systems3
NURS:3734Introduction to Human Genetics3
NURS:4160Professional Role IV: Leadership and Professional Engagement5
NURS:4170Baccalaureate Seminar1
Nursing electives3
Total Hours32

See RN-B.S.N. Plans of Study on the College of Nursing website for semester-by-semester views of required coursework for full-time (three semesters) and part-time (four or five semesters) study.

Honors in Nursing

The College of Nursing Honors Program provides seminars and independent study experience for qualified students. In order to pursue honors studies in nursing, students must maintain a University of Iowa g.p.a. and a nursing major g.p.a. of at least 3.50.

The honors program in nursing enables students to explore subject matter based on individual interests, needs, and goals. It provides opportunities for self-initiative, research experience, scholarly writing, intellectual and personal development, and challenges students to grow and excel. Students who fulfill the requirements of the program graduate with honors in nursing.

Combined Programs

Nursing-RN/D.N.P. (Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner or Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner or Health Systems or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner—Primary Care Subprograms)

Students who are interested in earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with an adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, health systems, or pediatric nurse practitioner—primary care subprogram may apply to the combined program offered by the College of Nursing. For information about the D.N.P. degree, see the Doctor of Nursing Practice, D.N.P. in the Catalog.

Students entering the University who are not licensed registered nurses (RN) apply to the B.S.N. prelicensure program. Registered nurses apply to the RN-B.S.N. program.

All entering first-year and undergraduate transfer students who have earned fewer than 24 s.h. when they apply for admission to the University of Iowa must complete the American College Test (ACT) or the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). For information about the American College Test, visit the ACT website; for information about the Scholastic Aptitude Test, visit the College Board website.

Applicants to the B.S.N. and RN-B.S.N. programs whose first language is not English must score at least 100 (internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Registered nurses educated outside the United States are required to present verification of having passed the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) examination and specified Excelsior baccalaureate nursing examinations.

Applicants admitted to the College of Nursing are expected to be able to meet the curriculum's performance standards; see "Technical Standards" below.

A criminal background check is conducted for all prelicensure and undergraduate students before they begin the nursing major. Admission to all programs is conditional pending successful review of criminal background and abuse registry.

Admission to the B.S.N. Prelicensure Program

All applicants to the B.S.N. prelicensure program (direct and standard admission applicants) must have satisfied the following minimum high school course requirements.

  • English: four years.
  • Mathematics: three years, including algebra I, algebra II, and geometry.
  • Science: one year of biology, one year of chemistry, and one year of physics.
  • Social science: three years.
  • World languages: four years (fourth-level proficiency) of the same world language; or two years (second-level proficiency) in two different world languages; or two years of the same world language plus one 3 s.h. course from the GE CLAS Core International and Global Issues, Values and Culture, or Diversity and Inclusion.

B.S.N. Direct Admission

A select group of highly qualified students are admitted to the College of Nursing directly from high school through the B.S.N. Direct Admission Program. To be considered for the direct admission, students must meet the following requirements:

  • an ACT composite score of at least 28 or SAT combined score of at least 1300,
  • a g.p.a. of at least 3.80, and
  • completion of all the minimum high school course requirements listed under "Admission to the B.S.N. Prelicensure Program" above.

Students who lack one of the requirements can submit an application for the early admission program. High school requirements must be satisfied prior to enrollment at the University of Iowa.

Students admitted through the Direct Admission Program must maintain a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00 and have clean criminal and student life records during their first four semesters in the program. Students who fail to meet these requirements may be subject to probation or dismissal from the College of Nursing.

B.S.N. Standard Admission

In order to apply for standard admission to the College of Nursing, students must:

  • have a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00;
  • have a minimum of 48 s.h. of college credit;
  • have completed the minimum high school course requirements listed under "Admission to the B.S.N. Prelicensure Program" above, with any deficiencies satisfied through college coursework;
  • have completed all B.S.N. prerequisite coursework listed under the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (a maximum of two natural science prerequisites and two social science prerequisites may be in progress or planned at the time of application); and
  • must have a grade of C (2.00) or higher on all prerequisite coursework.

In order to enter the College of Nursing, successful competitive admission applicants must:

  • maintain a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00;
  • have a minimum of 64 s.h. of college credit; and
  • have completed any remaining prerequisite coursework listed under the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, including any remaining natural science and/or social science prerequisites.

Successful competitive admission students must complete any remaining natural science prerequisite no more than 10 years before they enter the College of Nursing and enroll in coursework for the nursing major.

Admission to the Nursing-RN Program

Applicants to the program must hold an RN license and an Associate Degree in Nursing or Diploma in Nursing. They must have a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00. Admission is highly competitive, with emphasis on the natural sciences (anatomy, biology, chemistry, microbiology, physiology), writing (composition I and II), and mathematics (statistics).

Applicants must be enrolled in or have completed prerequisite coursework at the time of application to the Nursing-RN (RN to B.S.N.) program and additional elective coursework before entering the program. They may complete these requirements at a community college.

World language is not an admission requirement.

Technical Standards

Applicants to the College of Nursing are expected to be capable of completing the entire nursing curriculum and of earning a B.S.N. degree. Nursing is a practice discipline with cognitive, sensory, affective, and psychomotor performance requirements. The college's technical standards provide an objective measure on which to base informed decisions about whether individual students will be able to participate in the nursing program. Technical standards also help students determine whether they will need accommodations or modifications in order to participate.

The technical standards are provided to all students before matriculation and are available online in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Handbook; see Section VIII: Clinical Course and Health Science Student Requirements. Students with disabilities who believe that they may need assistance in meeting the core performance standards should contact Student Disability Services.

Selection

The college's admission committee recommends to the dean the applicants who appear to be best qualified. Fulfillment of minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the College of Nursing. The committee may require personal interviews. A physical examination report and specific health screening requirements must be on file at University of Iowa Student Health 10 days before the class opens for the first clinical nursing course.

Application Deadlines

  • B.S.N. prelicensure direct admission: November 1 for early action; February 1 for regular admission.
  • B.S.N. prelicensure standard admission: April 1 for spring entry.
  • Nursing-RN (RN to B.S.N.) program: March 1 for fall entry; September 1 for spring entry.

In addition to general assistance available to University students, there are assistance programs specifically for nursing students. Information about financial aid is available from the University's Office of Student Financial Aid.

The University of Iowa’s B.S.N. program provides broad preparation in clinical, scientific, community health, and patient education skills, and promises outstanding career options. With a B.S.N. degree, students are eligible to work as a staff nurse; flight nurse; a nurse on medical, oncology, surgical, pediatric, emergency, or intensive care units; a nurse in outpatient or neighborhood clinics; or a home health care nurse.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for registered nurses to be among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2029.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Nursing, B.S.N.

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
Meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not guarantee admission. Direct Admission is available only for high school students who meet the published criteria. All other students pursue Standard Admission. a  
All courses (except electives) must be completed with a grade of C or higher. b  
 Hours0
First Year
Fall
RHET:1030 Rhetoric 4
CHEM:1070 General Chemistry I 3
PSY:1001 Elementary Psychology 3
STAT:1020 Elementary Statistics and Inference 3
NURS:1020 First-Year Seminar 1
Elective course 1
CSI:1600 Success at Iowa 2
 Hours17
Spring
CHEM:1080 General Chemistry II 3
BIOL:1141 Human Biology: Health Professions 4
NURS:1030 Human Development and Behavior c 3
SOC:1030
Contemporary Social Problems
or Introduction to Sociology
3
GE: International and Global Issues d 3
Elective course 1
3.0 minimum cumulative GPA required  
 Hours17
Second Year
Fall
ACB:3110 Principles of Human Anatomy 3
HHP:2310 Nutrition and Health 3
GE: Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts d 3
GE: Values and Culture or Diversity and Inclusion d, e 3
Elective course 3
Elective course 1
3.0 minimum cumulative GPA required  
 Hours16
Spring
NURS:3110 Healthcare Finance c, f 3
MICR:3164 Microbiology and Human Health c 4
HHP:1300 Fundamentals of Human Physiology 3
Elective: (preferred upper level statistics) g 3
Elective course 3
Elective course 1
3.0 minimum cumulative GPA required  
Minimum 64 s.h. credit earned toward degree at end of second year (67 s.h. preferred) with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.  
 Hours17
Third Year
Fall
NURS:3138 Nursing and Pharmacological Interventions I 5
NURS:3128 Health Assessment and Communication Across the Lifespan 3
NURS:3518 Pathology f 3
NURS:3160 Professional Role I: Professionalism and Patient Safety f 3
NURS:3151 Introduction to Clinical Concepts for Nursing 2
 Hours16
Spring
NURS:3438 Nursing and Pharmacological Interventions II 5
NURS:3615 Adult Medical/Surgical Nursing Practicum 3
NURS:3620 Gerontological Nursing 3
NURS:3625 Gerontological Nursing Practicum 2
NURS:3460 Professional Role II: Research f 3
NURS:3451 Basic Clinical Concepts for Nursing 1
 Hours17
Fourth Year
Fall
NURS:3631 Nursing Care of Children and Families 2
NURS:3632 Nursing Care of Childbearing Families 2
NURS:3635 Parent Child Nursing Practicum 2
NURS:3640 Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing 3
NURS:3645 Mental Health Nursing Practicum 2
NURS:3660 Professional Role III: Improving Health Systems f 3
NURS:3651 Advanced Clinical Concepts for Nursing 1
 Hours15
Spring
NURS:3650 Community and Public Health Nursing f 3
NURS:3655 Community and Public Health Nursing Practicum f 2
NURS:4155 Senior Nursing Internship 5
NURS:4160 Professional Role IV: Leadership and Professional Engagement f 3
Degree Application: apply on MyUI before deadline (typically in February for spring, September for fall) h  
Exam: NCLEX (upon completion of the program students are eligible to sit for this board exam)  
 Hours13
 Total Hours128