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DMACC, University of Iowa Announce New 3+1 Nursing Partnership

University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld and DMACC President Rob Denson

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) and the University of Iowa have entered into a new agreement to allow DMACC Nursing graduates to seamlessly transfer to finish their Bachelors of Nursing Science (BSN) degree from the University of Iowa (UI) in one year. The agreement is called “RN to BSN 3+1.”

Nursing students can stay at DMACC for three years and then complete their BSN degree in only one year through the University of Iowa’s online program. DMACC Nursing graduates who are working can also come back to DMACC, take an additional year and then transfer to the University of Iowa for their final year to complete their BSN.

University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld and DMACC President Rob Denson signed the agreement at the Iowa Higher Education Center, located on Fleur Drive in Des Moines.

“At the University of Iowa, our highest priority is to provide an affordable and accessible education for the citizens of our state,” said UI President Bruce Harreld. “This articulation agreement between the UI College of Nursing and DMACC is a model for the ways in which public higher education institutions in our state can work together to provide the best opportunities possible for Iowans.”

DMACC Nursing students who have at least a 3.0 grade point average (G.P.A.), have successfully completed their DMACC nursing requirements and are on the BSN nursing track will automatically be accepted into the University of Iowa’s BSN program, where they can complete their final year of studies. Others can be admitted based on their application.

Because the UI classwork is online, the agreement allows DMACC graduates to work in central Iowa while studying for their University of Iowa degree.

“This is the latest of example of DMACC’s commitment to preparing students who want to continue their education,” said Denson. “DMACC students are strong performers at universities and this agreement allows DMACC graduates to seamlessly continue their education in a career where the BSN is becoming the norm for nurses,” he added.

Currently, 21 percent of DMACC Nursing graduates plan to continue their studies in Iowa's RN to BSN 3+1 program, and it’s anticipated this percent will continue to grow.

 “The University of Iowa’s Nursing program, has excellent outcomes and produces highly educated nurses able to advance the profession of nursing in Iowa and nationally,” said Kendra Ericson, MSN, RN, DMACC’s Director of Nursing. “Iowa’s RN to BSN 3+1 program is an excellent fit for DMACC graduates looking for a high-quality online program that allows them to work and continue their nursing education. This agreement demonstrates the collaborative efforts between the University of Iowa and DMACC in meeting the state’s goal of 50 percent BSN prepared nurses in Iowa by 2020 and ensuring a highly skilled nursing workforce in Iowa.”

 “The University of Iowa College of Nursing is excited to formalize this 3 + 1 agreement. DMACC’s new curriculum will provide quality preparation for their students to continue their educational journey. The College will work to ensure that students completing their BSN will have opportunities for leadership experiences, expanded employment options, and be well-prepared to advance their education,” said Dean Julie Zerwic, UI College of Nursing.

DMACC and the University of Iowa Nursing graduates are in high demand in Iowa and across the nation, partly due to retirements, and aging Baby Boomers, who need greater access to health care. More than one-fifth of Iowa’s nursing workforce is eligible to retire right now.

 One of Iowa’s largest providers of health services, UnityPoint Health system, anticipates hiring between 500-700 nurses per year. The median wage for nurses is $26 an hour.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 1.09 million registered nurse job openings nationally by 2024.

 DMACC has increased the capacity of its nursing program to nearly 450 openings to better meet the growing demand for nurses in central Iowa. DMACC offers Nursing programs at its Ankeny, Boone, Carroll, Urban and Newton Campuses, and at the DMACC Capitol Complex in Des Moines.

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About the UI
The University of Iowa offers undergraduate and graduate education, professional education, and education and training in the health sciences to 33,000+ students. Iowa is known around the world for its balanced commitment to the arts, sciences, and humanities. It's home to one of the nation's largest and most highly acclaimed academic medical centers, the pioneering Iowa Writers' Workshop, and more than 200 different academic areas of study. Hawkeyes come from everywhere and all walks of life. They bring their passions and their perspectives with them, enriching our community and the world. Visit to learn more.

Des Moines Area Community College, a public institution serving the educational and career training needs of Iowans, is committed to the lifelong success of its students. As Iowa’s largest two-year college, DMACC offers 252 programs, certificates and transfer degrees, annually serving more than 70,000 credit and noncredit students on six campuses and six learning centers. Thanks to college-wide innovation, new programs and affordable tuition, DMACC continues to experience solid growth. For more information, visit

Posted On: 
Oct 3rd, 2017