MSN Programs in Iowa

Iowa MSN Programs

Any nurse who wants to stay in nursing but pursue a different type of job may want to consider getting an MSN degree in Iowa. Many nurses end their training at the associate level because they know that is all they need to get a job. This may be true, but to work in the advanced levels of nursing, a nurse must have an advanced degree. Students are generally able to complete an MSN program within 2 years if they attend the program full-time.

Online vs. Traditional Programs

MSN programs all cost different amounts to attend, but certain schools are less expensive than others. In general, public schools are most affordable than private schools, and financial aid is often available to help pay for further education.

Traditional MSN programs are advantageous because they allow one to learn alongside fellow students in the classroom. This program format creates face-to-face contact between students and instructors. The downside to on-site MSN programs is that there is a limited number in Iowa and they require students to travel to campus at scheduled times.

Online MSN programs are offered by a broader range of colleges and universities. While students do not interact with instructors in person, the virtual environment is designed to simulate the classroom. The major advantage of these programs is that they offer a greater amount of convenience and flexibility.

Capella University offers one example of an accredited online MSN program. This school offers many specializations, including care coordination, nursing education, nursing informatics and nursing leadership and administration. MSN students must complete 54-66 credits, and most specialty tracks also include a clinical component of up to 500 hours.

South University’s MSN program is also accredited. This program allows students to choose between Nurse Administration, Nurse Education, and Nursing Informatics. South University also offers an MSN Nurse Practitioner track, with the option to specialize in either Adult Health Care Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner. Students are required to complete 48-52 credits, and those on the Nurse Practitioner track must complete 62 credits.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary, but the following is common:

  • Application and fee
  • BSN from accredited program with a 2.7 GPA or higher (many schools require a minimum 3.0)
  • Official transcripts
  • Unencumbered RN license
  • Completion of undergraduate statistics course with ‘C’ or better
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Essay or goal statement
  • Resume/CV


Tuition varies by program, and is subject to change. Program cost at South University is estimated to range from $40,470-$53,690, depending on the specialty track. As of July 2023, program cost for Capella University is $450 per credit for GuidedPath, or $2,850 per 12-week billing session for FlexPath.

Additional Resources