Iowa Doctorate DNP Nursing Degrees

As a nurse, you know how important it is to stay in touch with the latest developments in patient care. Understanding recent research and shifts in best practices can make a huge difference in patient outcomes. While staying on top of continuing education is important, it’s also a great opportunity to learn more about providing … Continue reading “Iowa Doctorate DNP Nursing Degrees”

As a nurse, you know how important it is to stay in touch with the latest developments in patient care. Understanding recent research and shifts in best practices can make a huge difference in patient outcomes. While staying on top of continuing education is important, it’s also a great opportunity to learn more about providing the best care for your patients while furthering your career.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your nursing career, it may be time to consider earning your doctorate of nursing practice, or DNP, degree. While it can be tough to fathom the idea of taking on additional work with your already jam-packed schedule, nursing schools in Iowa recognize how important flexibility is to nurses, and many cater to long shifts and stretches without time off. Some schools offer fully online options, while others offer the option to do some learning in a traditional classroom while completing other coursework online.

A doctorate of nursing practice is not the same thing as a Ph.D. in nursing. Most nurses who choose to earn a doctorate level degree choose a DNP. A Ph.D. is research-based, while a DNP is practice-based. For nurses who want to continue to excel in providing excellent patient care and being leaders in the healthcare field (as opposed to becoming nurse educators or nursing researchers), the DNP degree makes the most sense.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular DNP programs in Iowa.


1. Allen College

For busy Iowa nurses, Allen College’s hybrid DNP program is a great way to get your education on your own time. The combination of online learning and in-classroom experience is perfect for nurses who need to manage a tough schedule. This program is available both to students who only have their BSN and to students who have already completed their MSN.

  • Campus: Waterloo, Iowa
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $755 per credit hour. The total number of credits required will depend on the student’s specialty and prior experience.
  • Minimum time commitment: Two years
  • Online availability: Some
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have a BSN or MSN, an RN license, and three recommendations.
  • Programs: DNP with a focus in advanced practice nursing.
  • School Site: Allen College UnityPoint Health – Doctor of Nursing Practice

2. Briar Cliff University, Sioux City

If you’re a nurse practitioner who is ready to step up your game, or you’d like to become a nurse practitioner, the DNP program at Briar Cliff University is the perfect fit for you. This program is available both to students who only have their BSN and to students who have already completed their MSN.

  • Campus: Sioux City, Iowa
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $525 per credit hour. The total number of credits required will depend on the student’s specialty and prior experience.
  • Minimum time commitment: Two years
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have a BSN or MSN with a GPA of at least 3.0, at least 2,000 years of clinical practice as a registered nurse over the past two years, an RN license, a goal statement, three references, and an online interview.
  • Programs: DNP with a focus in advanced practice nursing.
  • School Site: Briar Cliff University – Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

3. Clarke University

At Clarke University, the faculty works hard to accommodate busy nursing professionals who are ready to take their careers to the next level. This flexible, nationally recognized program offers several options for nurses who are interested in achieving a doctorate of nursing practice degree. This program is available both to students who only have their BA, BS, or BSN and to students who have already completed their MSN.

  • Campus: Dubuque, Iowa
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $860 per credit hour. The total number of credits required will depend on the student’s specialty and prior experience.
  • Minimum time commitment: Two years
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have a BS, BA, BSN, or MSN. Applicants who have an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0 must submit GRE scores. All applicants must have an RN license, three references, a scholarly writing sample, documentation of clinical hours, and an in-person interview.
  • Programs: Students may specialize in family nursing, nursing education, or health leadership and practice.
  • School Site: Clarke University – Doctor of Nursing Practice

4. University of Iowa

If you’re interested in pursuing a specialty area while earning your DNP degree, the University of Iowa’s DNP program may be a great fit for you. This program is available both to students who only have their BSN and to students who have already completed their MSN. All programs are offered either completely online or in a hybrid format, making the program perfect for nurses who want to keep up their busy work life while also furthering their education.

  • Campus: Iowa City
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: Approximately $37,000 per year for in-state students, $57,000 per year for out-of-state students. The total cost will depend on the student’s prior education.
  • Minimum time commitment: Two years
  • Online availability: Some
  • Degree requirements: Applicants must have a BSN or MSN with a GPA of 3.0. Applicants to dual certification programs must have a BSN or MSN with a GPA of 3.5. All applicants must have an RN license, successful completion of an upper-level statistics course, and a statement of purpose.
  • Programs: Students may specialize in adult/ gerontology acute care, adult/ gerontology primary care, family nursing, health systems, nurse anesthesia, pediatric acute care, pediatric primary care, or psychiatric/ mental health nursing. Students also have the option of completing dual certifications in psych/ mental health and adult/ gerontology primary care, psych/ mental health and family nursing, or psych/ mental health and pediatric nursing.
  • School Site: The University of Iowa College of Nursing – DNP Plans of Study