The future nursing needs in Iowa are expected to increase greatly as the baby boomers grow older and need more medical attention. If the Iowa nursing shortage is not addressed soon quality health care will continue to be compromised. The Iowa Department of Public Health estimated that there would be 27 percent, 9,100, fewer Registered Nurses than needed within the next ten years unless successful solutions are implemented. This number is almost a fourth of the number of active Registered Nurses in the whole state of Iowa. The nursing needs will also increase as many nurses and nursing faculty retire in the next few years. The potential replacements for nursing faculty are hard to come by because not very many nurses want to pursue a master degree that is required to teach postsecondary nursing courses.
Iowa is among the state that has lower than average nursing salaries, which will create an even bigger problem for decreasing the shortage of Iowa nursing careers. Most nurses who are qualified to teach also earn significantly higher wages working in hospitals than at colleges and universities, often as much as $30,000 a year.
The Iowa Nurses’ Association predicts that patients will receive medical care that is not adequate within the next few years if Iowa nursing programs do not a least double to amount of nursing graduates every year.
There are a variety of nursing schools around the state of Iowa as well as online nursing programs. Online nursing programs allow nursing students to complete general and core courses online and complete hands-on skills training at local health care facilities.