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Upper Iowa University Partners with Hawkeye Community College on Associate-Baccalaureate Accelerated Nursing Program

posted on Monday, March 20, 2023 in  College News

WATERLOO–Upper Iowa University (UIU) and Hawkeye Community College (Hawkeye) are partnering to create a unique pathway with an Associate-Baccalaureate Accelerated Nursing Program. This dual enrollment program allows nursing students the opportunity to complete their associate degree in nursing through Hawkeye and get a head start on their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through UIU during the summer semesters. Students take nursing coursework in person at Hawkeye and online through UIU, giving them a time-efficient and cost-effective pathway to the BSN.

“The dual enrollment accelerated program at Upper Iowa University creates an affordable, accelerated pathway for Hawkeye Community College students to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing,” said Dr. Stephanie Tippin, Director/Department Chair of Nursing at UIU. “A more highly educated nursing workforce benefits the entire community and I commend Hawkeye for their visionary approach to nursing education.”

Students will be able to start their BSN before graduating from Hawkeye and can complete their BSN degree from UIU in approximately eight months or less post-graduation. This cost-conscious pathway is available to all Hawkeye nursing students, with all students being eligible for the UIU Transfer Connection Scholarship earning up to $1,500 off tuition each year.

The accelerated program gives students an opportunity to develop hands-on nursing skills while concurrently gaining core competencies of a highly sought-after BSN-prepared nurse.  With the flexibility of 100% online courses and small class sizes, students are able to jumpstart their nursing careers.

“What Hawkeye and Upper Iowa have created is yet another example of creating opportunities through guided pathways, partnerships, and collaboration,” said Dr. Troy Moran, Dean of Sciences and Health Sciences at Hawkeye Community College. “Providing students the ability to begin four-year course work while enrolled with Hawkeye's nursing program creates a smooth and steady transition to BSN, MSN, and beyond.  More importantly, it encourages life-long learning, which is needed throughout one's career.  It is my hope to see former students return to us when ready to give back to the industry by becoming educators of future healthcare providers and leaders.”

The demand for qualified nurses continues to grow. In Iowa, a survey by the Iowa Board of Nursing and Iowa Workforce Development found more than 58% of employers reported a shortage of qualified applicants for RN positions. Currently, there are more than 3,800 job openings for RNs in Iowa, the highest of any other profession.

“I'm so excited to start this partnership between UIU and Hawkeye,” said Tiffany Meike, MSN, RN, Nursing Administrative Chair for Hawkeye. “Nursing is a profession that prides itself on being life-long learners and two of the biggest factors in getting that next degree is time and money. Right now, eligible students at Hawkeye can utilize the Last-Dollar Scholarship to cover tuition costs for the Nursing program. Collaborating with UIU allows students to work toward their next degree sooner and at a discounted rate.”

Bridget Safford, Hawkeye and UIU alumna, and Terrance Hollingsworth, community volunteer, are credited with initiating the conversation that led to the agreement.  

“I would have loved for this program to be an option for me when I was earning my RN and BSN. The flexibility of this accelerated degree is beneficial to anyone who wants to earn their BSN and pursue a very rewarding career,” she said. “Additionally, the program lowers the overall cost of earning a degree to make it one of the most competitive programs in Iowa.”

For more information about the dual enrollment accelerated program, visit


  1. Associate Degree Nursing
  2. BSN
  3. Nursing
  4. Upper Iowa University
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