Online MSN in OHN at Univ of Iowa

Specialties Occupational


I am applying to the online MSN in Occupational Health Nursing at the University of Iowa. The problem is that I was told that if they do not get enough applicants, they may discontinue the program! They need at least 8 people for a cohort. The application deadline is October 26th for Fall 2010 (it was recently moved up). It's NIOSH funded therefore, most, if not all of your tuition is paid...what a deal! Oh, and there is no GRE required! Yippee!

I'm hoping they get enough applicants to keep the program going so I'm spreading the word!

Here is their website:

And a sample plan of study:

If they don't continue the program or I don't get in, then I'll take the GRE and apply to North Carolina's program. I sure am hoping they continue this program and that I'm accepted!


96 Posts

Specializes in Occupational Health Nurse/ case manager.

Thanks for the post! I am interested since it is online and I live in New Jersey. Can you tell me aprox what percentage does NIOSH offer? Also, what is the credit hour cost?



Hi Lilly,

According to their website, it's 100% if you attend full-time and 100% of the Occ Health Nursing students receive support; Not sure what the tuition rate it though, but guess it doesn't matter if they're paying for it!

Occupational Health Nursing

Focus is on providing nursing care in the work place. In cooperation with the College of Public Health, students will learn about industrial hygiene, safety policy and regulation, hazard and safety assessment, toxicology, ergonomics, and the clinical management of occupational illnesses. Specialized courses specific to case management, injury prevention, and agricultural health.

This program offers funding for students - tuition paid (for part- and full-time students) and monthly stipend (for full-time students). 100% of Occ Health Nursing students receive financial support. Most receive 100% tuition paid and full-time students are eligible for a monthly stipend.

33 semester hours

Full and part-time study available

Fall admission

I still think it sounds too good to be actually get a MSN and not go into more debt! I still owe almost $30k from my BSN, so without a program like this, I'd have to put off a masters for awhile. I'm crossing my fingers I get in and they continue the program.



96 Posts

Specializes in Occupational Health Nurse/ case manager.


Thanks for your info. I am going to check it out tomorrow. Keep us posted on what happens. Hopefully, our sister (and brother) OHN's out there will give us some feedback if they've done the online course or know some things they can pass on to us! And of course, hopefully the minimum of candidates will be met to run the program in 2010.


Lilly :yeah:

I just got my acceptance letter today! It doesn't have any information regarding the NIOSH tuition assistance. Guess that will come later? I'll keep you posted as I get more information. All I know for now is that classes start on 8/23/10 and there is a mandatory orientation on 8/20/10. Glad it's during the summer! I don't think I could handle going to Iowa in the winter. :)


96 Posts

Specializes in Occupational Health Nurse/ case manager.


How much of it is online and how much time is spent on campus in Iowa for clinicals? I am interested in this program but it would be a bit of a challenge for me to spend a whole semester in Iowa. If I'm not mistaken, 4 semester hours are done on campus?


Just wondering how the program is going. I am in the process of putting together an application packet. The UI SON has again this summer taken down almost their whole website. They did it last summer too. Last time I saw the website it looked like the classes had names like Occ Health 1, 2, 3, 4... there appeared to be no summer sessions... am I remembering this correctly? Do you think it would be possible to work full time and do the program full time? How are your clinical experiences arranged? Any other surprises that you never would have thought to ask about?



Hi sundazed,

The program doesn't start until late August. I'll be attending the mandatory orientation on August 20th so will have more information then. At this point in time, I'm still unsure how much NIOSH is going to pay. I've read posts by people going to other NIOSH funded OHN programs where NIOSH paid 100% of their tuition but from what I've been told, it's only about 50% at Iowa...not sure why but I will be asking that at the orientation. I don't want to go into debt to do this program!

I signed up for a full-time caseload and will give it a try while working full-time. My kids are grown and my husband can take care of himself so I'm hoping with good time management, I can pull it off. If it seems like too much after I begin, I'll switch to part-time. I'll update you once I go to orientation and begin the classes! :)

Thanks! lynnr_98 - I look forward to hearing about it. I was too late to apply last year partly because I delayed when I was told that the class might not happen due to not enough applicants. This year I have spoken to Ken Culp from the heartland center and he seemed much more positive about the whole program than the person I corresponded with from U of I via email last year.

I agree about not wanting to take on too much more debt. I will have most of my BSN loans paid off by 2013 if I can keep working full time. I was under the impression that 100% of tuition would probably be covered. If not, I may not be able to do the program either. Definitely interested in hearing more about how it works out for you. I know that the cohort 2011 will be the last chance to just get a Masters, otherwise it is doctorate school or go home. Would like to get in under that deadline too... not ready to take on the burden of a doctoral program.

Good luck. I hope it all works out well.

Ok SunDazed, here's some more info regarding the program. Even though I'm not in the state of Iowa, I'm considered a resident for funding purposes. NIOSH paid 100% of my tuition this year. The form I signed said they're paying $14098 for the year. Not too shabby, huh?! The only money I've spent so far was on my trip to Iowa and I bought a couple of books.

I was surprised that I'm the only one in the program that doesn't live in Iowa, even though it's a distance program. I kind of feel like I'm at a disadvantage compared to the other students. They can form study groups if they want, can go to the campus library, bookstore, nursing department, etc. whereas I can't. Also, they were all placed in practicum sites in Iowa. Since I'm in California, I will be doing research instead of being placed at a site. Not exactly what I had envisioned but for a practically free education, guess I can't complain too much! I could look for a practicum site if I really wanted but it would be difficult to do clinical while working M-F at my regular job.

If you apply for next year, since it's the last year of the MSN program, you will have to go full-time. I have to say that after reading the syllabii for each class, I kind of wished I would have signed up for part-time but was told it's too late to change. IT IS A LOT OF WORK! I will not have a life for the next 2 years! There is sooo much reading, discussion boards, papers, etc. I don't know how I'm going to do this but I'm just going to keep plugging along and hope that I make it!

I was surprised at the number of students working on their PhDs and DNPs. They looked so young..made me feel like I should have done this years ago. Oh well, better late than never. Everyone was very nice...Ken is great and very helpful. He is trying to get us funding so we can all attend the AAOHN conference next year in Atlanta. Should be fun! I'll keep you posted as I move through the program. Let me know if you have any questions.....

Thanks for all the great info. The part about having to go full time is the possible no go for me. Do I understand correctly that you are going full time and working full time? Let me know how it goes, if you get time. :) I will be curious to see how it all works out. I know I won't be pulling any overtime while I'm in the program. I was under the impression from Ken at one point that part time was an option though... hmmm

I am not in Iowa, but am only in Nebraska. I wouldn't mind doing research, though clinical anywhere but the local Tyson chicken factory would be good too. Though I am going to continue with the application process for now I guess I won't know if I am along for the ride until I have an offer in hand. Make that decision when I come to it.

There are a lot of young squirts working on PhDs and DNPs. I think that they like making the big decisions and not doing the full patient care thing. The BSN program I went to is really pushing the DNP. I am pretty sure that if I was back at San Diego City they would barely be telling new ASNs to get a BSN let alone a DNP. It's all relative to locale at some point.

What do you want to do with your occupational health? Do you feel like it will give you a lot of options. I was reading through a few threads a month or so back, and though some were more than a year old, nurses already in OHN seemed insecure about job prospects.

Where are you in California? I've lived in San Diego, Petaluma, and multiple towns in Mendocino county.

Good luck with your studies. I am very curios how you balance work and a full time MSN program. It you find it do-able I will be more encouraged to take it on. MY BSN was accelerated... that was a year of life gone and 15 pounds on the bod... all puffy from the stress and no exercise. Hope you fair better!

Stay in touch lynnR_98. Good luck!


1 Article; 369 Posts

Specializes in Occupational Health; Adult ICU.

Frankly there are a lot! of MPH's around. And a MSN even with concentration in Occ Med does not even come close to the saleability of and Nurse Practitioner in Occ Health, just my opinion.

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