The University of Northern Iowa is planning a new undergraduate nursing program

The University of Northern Iowa is launching a new undergraduate nursing program — and the other public universities in Iowa see it not as a competitor but as an answer to a critical workforce need.

The Iowa Board of Regents approved a new Bachelor of Science nursing program in northern Iowa earlier this month. The university announced this week that it has hired Nancy Kertz as the program’s executive director and chief academic nurse administrator.

Kertz is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines.

According to a press release from the university, Northern Iowa President Mark Nook expects the new program to be ready in the fall of 2024. The first grade is expected to have around 24 students, while a full cohort of 96 students would generate enough tuition to exceed the cost of the program.

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