RN Salary in Iowa: How Much Do Nurses Make in the Hawkeye State?

The RN salary in Iowa refers to the average annual earnings of registered nurses working in Iowa.

When considering a career in nursing, one of the essential factors to contemplate is the potential salary. In Iowa, registered nurses (RNs) are crucial in providing healthcare services and are compensated for their valuable contributions. Understanding the RN salary in Iowa is essential for aspiring nurses, current healthcare professionals, and individuals interested in the healthcare industry in Hawkeye State. This article aims to shed light on the average earnings of RNs in Iowa, offering insights into the financial aspects of pursuing a nursing career in this region.



A solid foundation, like the bedrock beneath the flourishing prairies, offers nursing professionals stability and growth in their careers as they contribute to the health and well-being of the state’s residents.

Average RN Salaries in Iowa

If you are interested in pursuing a career in nursing and practicing in the state of Iowa, here are a few facts about RN salary in Iowa:

Salary range

According to data from ZipRecruiter, as of June 15, 2023, the salary range for registered nurses in Iowa varies widely. Iowa’s average annual pay for nurses is approximately $51,022, which translates to around $24.53 per hour. This amounts to about $981 weekly, while monthly earnings reach roughly $4,251. While some RNs in Iowa earn as much as $87,808 per year, others make as little as $22,748. However, most nurse salaries in the state fall within the range of $42,766 (25th percentile) to $64,604 (75th percentile). In the 90th percentile, the top earners make around $77,797 annually in Iowa.

Salary by years of experience


According to data obtained from Indeed, the salary of registered nurses in Iowa varies based on their years of experience. 

For RNs with less than one year of experience, the average annual salary is $119,094. As their expertise grows to one to two years, the average salary increases to $128,016. For RNs with three to five years of experience, the average annual salary rises to $134,367. Nurses with six to nine years of experience can expect an average salary of $139,213. Finally, for RNs with more than ten years of experience, the annual average wage reaches its highest at $155,655. These figures demonstrate a progressive increase in salary as nurses gain more experience in their field within Iowa.

Salary adjusted for cost of living

According to data from incrediblehealth.com, the cost-of-living adjusted registered nurse salary in Iowa is approximately $71,417 per year. Iowa’s cost of living is 9% lower than the national average, resulting in lower prices for essential commodities such as food, housing, and transportation than other states. Despite this lower cost of living, Iowa’s RNs still earn an average salary of $64,990. The cost-of-living adjustment allows RNs in Iowa to maintain a favorable standard of living while enjoying the benefits of lower expenses.

Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Iowa

Below are the highest-paying cities in Iowa for RNs, according to ZipRecruiter:

CityAverage Annual Salary
1.Iowa City$65,392
4.Orange City$61,466
8.Quad Cities$57,348

How Do RN Salaries in Iowa Compare to Other States?

When comparing RN salaries across different states, Iowa holds its own among the rest. While it may not boast the highest wages nationwide, Iowa offers a competitive compensation package for RNs. 

On average, registered nurses in Iowa earn a salary that is slightly above the national average. However, unlike certain states with higher living costs, such as California or New York, Iowa’s RN salaries may appear relatively lower. Nonetheless, it’s essential to consider the lower cost of living in Iowa, which allows RNs to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and a solid work-life balance. 

Additionally, Iowa provides ample opportunities for professional growth, with numerous healthcare facilities and educational institutions offering career advancement options and continuing education opportunities for RNs. Ultimately, while Iowa may not lead the pack regarding RN salaries, it offers competitive wages, a lower cost of living, and a supportive healthcare environment for nurses to thrive in their careers.

How Much Do Similar Professions Get Paid in Iowa?


In Iowa, the salaries for similar professions vary based on experience, education, and specialization. According to data from Indeed, the compensation for healthcare professionals in Iowa demonstrates a range of earnings. There are 6,053 job openings for nurses, and the average hourly wage is $37.28. 

Registered nurses specializing in operating room settings have 106 job openings, earning an average of $76.63 per hour. Clinical nurses, on the other hand, have limited job openings, with only two positions available, and their average hourly wage is $26.45. In the medical/surgical field, there are 4,331 job openings for registered nurses, who earn an average of $2,428 per week. Licensed practical nurses in Iowa have 1,722 job openings, with an average hourly wage of $35.17. Lastly, registered nurses specializing in infusion have 61 job openings, and they earn an average hourly wage of $45.78. 

These figures illustrate the varying salaries within the healthcare sector in Iowa, highlighting the importance of specialization and the demand for different nursing roles in the state.

How Can You Boost Your Salary as RN in Iowa?

You can employ a few key strategies to enhance your salary as an RN in Iowa. Firstly, pursuing further education and obtaining advanced certifications can significantly increase your earning potential. Specializing in high-demand areas or pursuing advanced practice roles can also increase salaries. Additionally, gaining experience in diverse healthcare settings or seeking leadership positions can contribute to salary growth. 

Staying up-to-date with industry trends, networking, and building professional connections can provide access to new opportunities and potential salary negotiations. Lastly, relocating to higher-demand areas or exploring additional part-time or per diem work can supplement your income. By employing these strategies, you can actively work towards boosting your salary and advancing your career as an RN in Iowa.

Job Outlook for RNs in Iowa

The job outlook for registered nurses in Iowa remains promising. With the continuous growth and evolution of the healthcare industry, the demand for qualified nurses is expected to remain strong in the state. Factors such as an aging population, advancements in medical technology, and an increasing emphasis on preventive care contribute to the sustained need for RNs. 

Additionally, healthcare reforms and expanded access to healthcare services further contribute to the job opportunities for RNs. Iowa’s healthcare sector encompasses various settings, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and home health agencies, providing multiple employment options for RNs. Furthermore, the increasing complexity of healthcare needs and the growing focus on specialized care create avenues for RNs to pursue specialized roles, such as in critical care, geriatrics, or oncology. 

Overall, the job outlook for RNs in Iowa is positive, with abundant opportunities for professional growth, career advancement, and the chance to significantly impact healthcare.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, while the RN salaries in Iowa may not top the charts compared to some higher-cost states, they still offer a competitive compensation package that aligns with the state’s lower cost of living. Iowa provides registered nurses with a balanced combination of reasonable wages, ample job opportunities, and a supportive healthcare environment. Moreover, pursuing further education, specializing in high-demand areas, and gaining experience can further boost an RN’s salary potential in Iowa. 

As the demand for healthcare professionals continues to grow, the job outlook for RNs in Iowa remains promising, ensuring a stable and fulfilling career path with room for professional growth and personal satisfaction.

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