University of Dubuque’s Nursing Program Ranked Second in Iowa

Mar 22, 2019 | University Relations staff

DUBUQUE, Iowa – University of Dubuque’s nursing program was ranked second on the 2019 Registered Nursing Program Rankings in Iowa by, a nursing advocacy organization.

“Our success is attributable to our small class sizes and the small student-faculty ratio in the clinical setting with patients. The instructor is able to provide intensive and individualized coaching to students and guide them at the point of care in applying what they have learned in the classroom to actual patient care situations,” said Peg Kerr, head of the nursing department and professor of nursing.

Thirty-two Iowa nursing programs were reviewed by According to its website, the organization assessed nursing 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 to practice safely and effectively as a new nurse. It is also required for licensure.

For the past three years, UD’s bachelor of science in nursing program achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX-RN.

“The nursing faculty are dedicated to the students and intensely proud of them and our alums,” Kerr said. “We employ two adjunct instructors; otherwise, all classroom and clinical instruction is provided by full-time nurse educators with advanced degrees. Most of our full-time faculty continue to practice nursing on an ‘as needed’ or part-time basis, which keeps their skills and knowledge current. The adjunct instructors we utilize are expert clinicians in their respective specialties, and they are employed on the nursing units where they supervise our students.”

Over 100 UD students are pre-nursing majors, while an additional 36 students are enrolled in the bachelor of science in nursing program. The nursing program’s mission 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.