University of Dubuque Named a Top Nursing Program in Iowa

Feb 27, 2020

DUBUQUE, Iowa – For the third consecutive year, University of Dubuque’s nursing program has been recognized as one of the best registered nursing programs in Iowa by the nursing advocacy organization UD was ranked second on the 2020 Best RN Programs in Iowa.

“The fact that we have received this award three consecutive years says a lot about the consistent student-centered education we provide at University of Dubuque,” said Peg Kerr, head of the nursing department and a professor of nursing. “Unlike many nursing programs, we utilize very few adjunct faculty, and then only in the clinical setting. Having the same full-time faculty who teach in the classroom also take students to the clinical setting allows them to guide students to make connections between the classroom learning and actual patient situations. Faculty take pride in student learning and the expertise of our graduates in providing competent patient care.”

Thirty-three nursing programs in Iowa were included in the rankings. assessed programs on several factors including past and present first time pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The exam is used by all state boards of nursing across the United States to help measure a student’s competency and is required for licensure.

“We have enjoyed a 100 percent first time NCLEX-RN pass rate for the last four years in a row, which definitely puts UD nursing in the very top tier of nursing programs in the state of Iowa,” Kerr said.

At UD, there are 75 pre-nursing students and an additional 44 students enrolled in the bachelor of science in nursing program.

“Our focus at University of Dubuque is exclusively on BSN education and we do it very well. We enjoy small class sizes and a low student-faculty ratio in the clinical setting that enhances attention to students’ individual learning needs,” Kerr said.

The mission of UD’s nursing program is to educate nurses to provide the highest quality of care within the context of the diverse, dynamic, and challenging health care environments of the 21st century. To learn more, visit