Educators Pull Together to Fill a Shortage of Nurses in Iowa

Oct 3, 2017

Des Moines Area Community College and the University of Iowa are entering into an agreement to help nurses earn bachelor’s degrees. It’s another joint effort to attract more nurses to the field.

Kendra Erickson, director of nursing at DMACC, explains the RN to BSN 3 1 program as UI President Bruce Harreld and DMACC President Rob Denson look on.
Credit Des Moines Area Community College

The two schools call it the RN to BSN 3+1. Nursing students will complete their three-year registered nursing degrees at DMACC and finish a final year online to gain a bachelor’s through the U of I. Administrators say it will make their education more affordable and more accessible. For young mother and DMACC nursing student Danielle Yonemura, the program will provide a quicker path to higher wages.

“The advancements I can have in my career would come sooner, which would mean I could provide for her better and sooner, you know, that financial stability,” she says.

DMACC's director of nursing, Kendra Erickson, says the program will be easy to manage for her busy students.

“Eighty percent of our students are between 20-and-40 who are in our nursing program, and 35 percent of them have dependents," she says. "A startling 80 percent of them have to work while they are getting their degree.”

This is the third agreement DMACC has signed with in-state schools related to nursing. It’s working with Iowa State to start a nursing program. It has a similar 3+1 arrangement with Iowa Wesleyan University.