Hospitals are increasingly hiring nurses with BSNs, since they frequently have more advanced analytical skills and a better ability to make key decisions in critical care settings. The state of Iowa has set a goal that, ideally, at least 50% of its RNs hold a BSN. According to an Iowa Board of Nursing 2013 fiscal year annual report, only 31% of the state’s RNs held BSNs.
While the initial salary for RNs with ADNs and BSNs is often similar in Iowa, nurses with a BSN are much more likely to advance to leadership positions and therefore earn higher salaries over time.
Given the preference towards hiring nurses with BSNs, there is a growing interest in Iowa’s BSN pre-licensure programs. There’s also been increased interest among RNs who are willing to return to school to complete a BSN program for the additional income it can bring. Of the 3,975 students enrolled in BSN programs in the 2011-12 school year, 53% of them were licensed RNs in RN-BSN completion programs.
Salaries for BSN Prepared RNs in Iowa
Since nurses with higher levels of education have more skills, they command higher salaries. The salaries of RNs in Iowa who have BSNs are available from a 2013 survey of RN salaries in Iowa conducted by the US Department of Labor.
BSN-educated RNs represented the group earning within the highest salary percentiles:
The average full-time salary of nurses working in the Midwest in 2013 is available from the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses, which performs an annual survey of licensed nurses around the nation. According to the survey, the average salary for a BSN prepared nurse was $70,677 for the entire Midwest region.
BSN Salaries in Iowa’s Major Regions
A 2013 survey performed by the US Department of Labor on the top earning BSN-educated RNs in Iowa revealed the following: