Frequently Asked Questions 

Q:  Do you offer RN classes?

A:  No. As the name implies, the RN-BSN program is available only to registered nurses who have already completed a pre-licensure program.  Students enrolled in nursing programs, or recently graduated, can take general education or pre-requisite classes while waiting to take the licensure exam.


Q:  Is your program accredited?

A:  Yes, the UIU RN-BSN program is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).  Accreditation is important for assuring that you are entering a quality program and to transfer credits to a graduate program if you continue your education after UIU.


Q: Where can I find a list of RN-BSN courses and their descriptions?

A: Course descriptions are located in the Upper Iowa University Academic Catalog.


Q:  What are admission requirements?

A:  A candidate must have an RN license or be eligible for RN licensure (i.e. in an ADN program), evidence of current CPR certification, official college transcript(s) and high school transcript, cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, background check, and evidence of meeting current health requirements.


Q:  Why do we need to provide health information and background checks if we are already licensed?  I heard that some schools do not require this.

A:  Standards imposed by approval organizations and our clinical partners require these safeguards.  We do not want to limit student opportunities for meaningful learning experiences or risk accreditation status.


Q:  How much is tuition?

A:  For UIU’s current tuition rates visit

  Scroll down to “Centers and Distance Education.”


Q:  Can I get financial aid?

A:  You may be eligible for state and federal aid, along with tuition remission from an employer. The State of Iowa also offers a Loan Forgiveness Program for select nursing students.  Visit to find out if you would qualify.  To determine eligibility for state and/or federal aid, prospective students must fill out a FAFSA form for the current academic year. A link to the FAFSA form is located on the nursing website,, under Financial Information. 


Q:  My company has a corporate agreement (CAP) with UIU that gives me a tuition scholarship.  What do I need to do to get the scholarship?

A:  To obtain your scholarship, all you need to do is provide proof of employment (such as a pay stub or a letter from your HR office) to the Admissions Advisor.  Email a copy to or fax it to (563)-425-5865.  The scholarship will then be applied to your account.


Q:  Are classes offered face to face (in class) or online?  What is the difference between the two?

A:  At UIU you have the option of taking hybrid classes at certain locations or online classes for residents of most states in the USA. Hybrid classes are a combination of in-class coursework and online coursework.  Online classes are delivered entirely over the Internet.   The online classes are NOT self-paced; there are deadlines for assignments just as in other formats.  The hybrid option is approximately 75% online, and meets for a three hour traditional class just four times during each 8 week term.

The curriculum and the expected outcomes are the same for both hybrid and online. You can expect to spend 12-15 hours on classwork per week per class for either the hybrid or online track.   Find more information on our website,


Q:  Can I switch between online and hybrid style classes?

A:  For the nursing major courses, students apply to a specific delivery method and location.  This is their progression and guarantees them access to the required courses each term.  Students who wish to change location (between one Center and another) or delivery method (online or hybrid), must submit a request, in writing, to the Nursing Department.  Requests will be honored as long as there are openings in that location.   Elective courses are offered in a variety of formats, and students can choose any available format for those courses that do not begin with NUR.


Q:  If I choose online, what kind of access will I have to my instructor and my advisor?

A:  Students in the RN-BSN program are assigned an advisor within the Nursing Department.  Nursing faculty and the Academic Advisor hold office hours at the Center where they are located, and are available by e-mail and phone.  Appointments can be made during the day or early evening.  Faculty and advisors also use videoconferencing and screen sharing to meet with students virtually.

Teaching professors post office hours and contact information in their online courses and use a variety of tools to communicate and respond to students.   Appointments can be made for virtual meetings and e-mails or phone calls are normally responded to within 24-48 hours.


Q:  What do practicum hours entail?

A:  The UIU program includes three practicum courses.  Each is a faculty guided practicum experience meaning that a series of projects are completed based on your work experience and/or the role of the nurse in the practice setting.  The program is NOT a “traditional” clinical in that almost of all the required hours are completed on your own schedule.  The flexibility of this method is considered a major plus by our students as it requires little additional time off of work, if any.


Q:  What classes will I need?  Will my credits transfer? 

A:  As every incoming student brings a unique educational background to the table, prospective nursing candidates can have their academic records evaluated by filling out the application at  The application and evaluation is free of charge. Preadmission advising will help students know exactly what classes they will need to complete for graduation. 

Students can transfer up to 78 lower-division credits (community college or freshman/sophomore level) and up to 12 additional upper division credits from a four-year university (junior/senior level courses).  The nursing major requires a total of 35 credits.  A total of 120 credits are needed for a baccalaureate degree.

Transcript evaluations may be completed when transcripts are faxed or emailed to the Nursing Program Admissions Advisor.  Fax number:  563-425-5865.  Email:


Q:  Are there any pre-requisites?

A:  There are no pre-requisite courses for the nursing program.


Q:  What is the academic schedule and when can I get started?

A:  UIU has six terms per year.  Each term is eight weeks long.  General education courses may be started any time after you are admitted to the university. Once admitted to the nursing program, full-time or part-time study is possible with an August start in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Mary Greeley Medical Center or Mesa.  The online program has three start times per academic year; August, January and March. 


Q:  What is the difference between full-time and part-time?  How long will it take me to complete the program?

A:  Full-time students generally take two courses per term and can complete the degree in 12 months. Part-time students generally take one course per term and can complete the degree in 24 months. 


Q:  Can I take some terms off?

A:  Students may find that they need to take one or more terms off due to life circumstances or to maximize tuition benefits from their employer.  If a student takes time off, they will be “off schedule” from their academic plan.  Students in good standing will meet with their Academic Advisor or Faculty Advisor to create a new progression plan for completing their degree.  Once a new plan is in place, restarting is quick and easy.


Q:  What are the health requirements?

A:  Each applicant must complete and submit the health information part of the admissions process. The Nursing Department uses for collecting and monitoring health and immunization records.  Requirements include a health statement from the applicant’s health care provider within one year of the application date along with updated immunizations and a current CPR card.


Q:  I already have a CastleBranch account through my previous school, will that be sufficient to satisfy the health and background requirements?

A:  No.  The UIU CastleBranch Profile is specific to our school and therefore must be completed through UIU’s account.


Q:  How computer literate do I need to be?

A:  All nursing students will be required to use basic computer programs, such as word processing, presentation software and email applications at the time of enrollment.  The online components of each class will be delivered though an online learning management system, uiuLearn.  Training will be provided to you.  Students need access to the internet and a computer with microphone and speakers.  uiuLearn automatically checks at the login screen to see if system requirements are met.  If there is a problem, a pop-up box will appear below the user name and password field.  You can also do a system check at


Q:  Where should I send correspondence?  Or where can I call if I have further questions?

A:  All correspondence should be sent to the following address, fax number or email address:

Nursing Admissions Advisor
Upper Iowa University
605 Washington St.
PO Box 1859
Fayette, IA 52142

Phone: 515-425-5318
Fax:  563-425-5865

For further information call:  Iowa 800-553-4150, Mesa 480-461-6790 or Wausau 715-803-1967.