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Average RN Salary in Iowa: See How Much IA Nurses Make

NurseJournal Staff
Updated June 16, 2023
Learn about the average RN salary in Iowa. Find out which cities pay RNs the most, how Iowa's cost of living compares with other states, and more.
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Registered nurses (RNs) considering relocating and students looking for top nursing programs in other states may be interested in learning about the average RN salary in Iowa. The Hawkeye State offers an attractive place to work and live for RNs, with above-average employment projections compared to the national average. Iowa has one of the lowest cost-of-living figures in the U.S., according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Continue reading our guide to discover information on registered nurse salaries in Iowa. Find out about the highest-paying cities and other factors to help you negotiate a competitive registered nurse salary in Iowa.

  • Average Iowa RN Salary: $64,990 (Ranks 48th among all states)
  • Hourly Iowa RN Salary: $31.25
  • Projected Iowa RN Employment Growth (2018-2028): 15.1%

Source:BLS, Projections Central

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Average RN Salaries in Iowa

The average annual registered nurse salary in Iowa was $64,990 in 2021, according to the BLS. This compares to the national average RN yearly compensation of $82,750. The average hourly wage for an RN in Iowa is $31.25 per hour, compared to the U.S. national average hourly pay of $39.78 for RNs.

Across Iowa, the lowest 10% of RNs earn an average salary of $48,290 per year, which amounts to an hourly pay of $23.22. Nurses in the 90th percentile make $79,260 annually or $38.10 per hour. Your exact RN salary in Iowa depends on location, job title, level of experience and education, type of facility, and other factors.

Infographic of registered nursing salary data in Iowa. The average annual RN salary is $64,990. The average hourly RN salary is $31.25. Average RN salaries range from $48,290 among the bottom 10th percentile of earners to $79,260 among the top 90th percentile of earners.
Iowa RN Salary Range
PercentileAverage Annual RN SalaryAverage Hourly RN Salary
50% (Median)$61,790$29.71

Iowa RN Salary, Adjusted for Cost of Living

Iowa’s cost of living index is very low at 91 compared to the national average index of 100. The Hawkeye State ranks 48th in the country for cost of living, which may help explain its lower average salaries.

The adjusted salary is configured by multiplying the salary of each state by its regional price parity (RPP). The RPP considers the difference in local prices (e.g., food, groceries, and other expenses) compared to national expenses. For Iowa, the RN salary, adjusted for cost of living index, is $70,832.

  • Average RN Salary Adjusted for Cost of Living: $70,839 (Ranks 48th among all states)
  • Cost of Living Index (RPP): 91 (9% less than the U.S. average)

Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Iowa

Iowa City, which is home to the University of Iowa College of Nursing, tops the list of highest-paying cities in Iowa for RNs. Ames, where Iowa State University and Mary Greeley Medical Center’s Advanced Nursing Education program are located, also ranks among areas with strong RN salaries in Iowa.

According to the BLS, the top-paying cities for RNs in Iowa include:

Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Iowa
CityAverage RN Salary
Iowa City, IA$71,050
Des Moines — West Des Moines, IA$66,950
Cedar Rapids, IA$65,900
Davenport — Moline — Rock Island, IA — IL$65,520
Ames, IA$64,360

Average Salaries for Other Nursing Roles in Iowa

Future career opportunities appear encouraging for nurses in Iowa. The projected long-term employment growth rate for RNs in Iowa is 15.1% from 2018-2028, compared to the national average of 9.0% from 2020-2030. 

If you have a goal of continuing to graduate school and pursuing an advanced practice degree, Iowa may be a state to consider. May 2021 BLS data indicates that nurse practitioners made an average annual salary of $121,370 in Iowa.

Salary opportunities for other careers in nursing include:

  • Nursing Assistants: $32,440
  • LPN/LVNs: $48,010
  • Nurse Practitioners: $121,370
  • Nurse Anesthetists: $207,240

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