Nursing Degrees

Nursing Degrees

Join One of Healthcare's Fastest-Growing Fields

You have a heart for helping – which is an incredible foundation for becoming an outstanding nurse. At Kirkwood, you’ll learn how to combine your compassion as a helper and healer with the latest in healthcare science and technology to make a life-changing difference for patients in need. 

Gain hands-on experience in the classroom, an incredible model hospital environment, and local health centers. Prepare for in-demand nursing careers in and out of the clinic, including pediatrics, labor and delivery, nursing homes, community health, the operating room, and more.

Apply Now Connect With Us 

Top Ranked Nursing School

Kirkwood offers more than $3 million in scholarships for students each year, and there are 35 specifically for students enrolled in nursing programs.

Nursing students may also qualify for the tuition-free Last Dollar Scholarship and/or the Kibbie Grant.

Explore More

What career could this lead to?

Explore Careers

Students in Kirkwood's Nursing program are encouraged to join the Kirkwood chapter of HOSA, a global student-led organization exclusively for students enrolled in health science education and biomedical science programs or have interests in pursuing careers in health professions.

HOSA is one of eight recognized members of the National Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations (NCC-CTSO)CTSOs are co-curricular groups that help students in career and technical education programs further their knowledge and skills by participating in activities, events, and competitions.

Lauri Hughes
Pre-Nursing Advisor PRIOR to Assigned Permanent Advisor

Walk-In Advising by Appointment

Linn Hall, Room 2172

If you are new to nursing, looking for more information about Kirkwood's Nursing program, or have not been assigned an advisor yet, self-schedule a meeting with Lauri by clicking the button below. 

Schedule Now



To ensure your success in the Nursing Program at Kirkwood, please make sure to complete the following:

  1. Apply
  2. Take Placement Exams PRIOR to New Student Orientation.
  3. Register for and attend Student Orientation PRIOR to the start of classes.
  4. Register and attend a Program Conference DURING your first semester to better understand all program requirements.
  5. Obtain your Certified Nursing Assistant certificate to ensure that nursing is right for you and increase your readiness for Nursing Program admission.


Nursing students are required to purchase scrubs to wear when completing nursing labs, simulations, and clinical assignments. You will also need a laptop computer for Nursing exam software. See requirements below.

Please take a look at some of the frequently asked questions we get about Nursing. 


All students new to Kirkwood's nursing program are required to attend a program conference. You should register and attend a program conference prior to or during your first semester of prerequisites (the program conference is a prerequisite for Introduction to Nursing).

The conference allows you to learn more about the program and specific admissions requirements. You'll also get the opportunity to have any questions answered by a nursing advisor.

You'll need your k-number and password to register.

Register for the Nursing Program Conference

NOTE: All nursing program conferences expire after two years. As a prerequisite, your conference date must be valid through the beginning of the technical portion of the program.

Continue your education! You can easily transfer to earn your RN-BSN at an area 4-year college.

Kirkwood students can transfer to these local programs, among many others:  

  • Allen College
  • Briar Cliff University
  • Clarke University
  • Clarkson College
  • Grand View University
  • Iowa Wesleyan University
  • Mount Mercy University
  • St. Ambrose University
  • Upper Iowa University
  • University of Iowa College of Nursing
  • William Penn University

Nursing Graduates


The Kirkwood Community College Associate Degree in Nursing program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation through 2027.

National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation

The Nursing program is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing

2600 Virginia Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20037







River Point Business Park

400 S.W. 8th Street, Suite B

Des Moines, IA 50309



Successful completion of this program leads to a professional licensure or certification. View the state listing guide to identify which states Kirkwood’s program fulfills state guidelines for professional licensure and certification.

If you are planning to move permanently to another state right after graduation, you should set up an appointment to meet with the Dean to ensure all license by examination requirements for that state are met.

If you temporarily travel to a state to assist in a disaster to work as an agency or travel RN, you can work in many/most states on your Iowa multi-state or “Compact” license or obtain a license by endorsement from that state.

  • The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) allows a nurse who resides in a compact state to hold one license in the nurse's primary state of residence and practice in all other states in which the compact is in effect
  • Primary state of residence is where you hold your driver's license, pay taxes, and/or vote
  • View a list of NLC states
  • NLC fact sheet for new graduates

Kirkwood's nursing program mission is to guide, advise, and educate caring and competent nurses for the future.


Program Outcomes

  • Patient-Centered Care: Provide compassionate patient-centered care to meet client physical, psychological, cultural, and spiritual needs within the context of the family and the community.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Collaborate with members of theA Venn diagram illustrating the concepts of Skills, Knowledge, and Values overlapping with Caring and Competent Future Nurses at its center. These spheres are surrounded by larger spheres of Learning Community, Local Community, and Global Community. This is placed on a plank of Patient centered Care, Teamwork and Collaboration, Evidence based Practice, Quality Improvement, Safety, Informatics by the Institute of Medicine, Quality and Safety Education for Nurses. interdisciplinary health care team to ensure the provision of safe, quality, effective care through the use of communication and relationship–building skills.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Use systematic assessment, critical analysis, and application of best evidence and practices to implement evidence-based health promotion, prevention, and condition management to optimize patient, family, and population health.
  • Quality Improvement: Participate in the development and implementation of health care organization quality improvements.
  •  Safety: Implement safe care practices for patients, families, communities, and members of the health care team.
  •  Informatics: Utilize electronic medical records, intranet and Internet resources, and other informatics resources and tools to make informed clinical decisions.
  • Patient Self-Management: Facilitate patient self-management of health through planned education coordinated across the continuum of care to promote health, prevent illness, and manage health care conditions in the context of the family and the community.
  • Professionalism: Perform all activities ethically and with integrity, always demonstrating a commitment to provide evidence-based, safe, quality, compassionate care for diverse patients, families, and communities.
  • Leadership: Develop and use leadership skills to organize, motivate, and inspire health care team members to provide safe, quality, effective, and efficient patient care.


Department of Nursing
2172 Linn Hall