The founding beliefs established
by the Sisters of Mercy guide
the College as it educates nurses and allied health care professionals
in its third century of operation.
McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin in 1831 in response to
the desperate poverty of Ireland's Catholics under the British penal
laws. Catherine used her inheritance to open Baggot Street House of
Mercy where she and like-minded women instructed children and taught
young women the skills they needed to become independent. They visited
the sick in hospitals and in their homes and became known in Dublin as
"The Walking Nuns." The Vatican formally recognized the community in
1841, shortly before Catherine died.
one of the first women to profess her vows as a Sister
of Mercy, came to the United States in 1843 in response to requests
from U.S. Bishops to minister to Irish immigrants. By 1893, three
sisters from Mercy Hospital in Davenport opened a new hospital in Des
Moines. Under the leadership of Mother Mary Baptist Martin, they
provided their first care from rooms rented at Hoyt Sherman Place.
In 1899, the Mercy Hospital Training School was
educate nurses. Seven students graduated in the first class in
Mercy College evolved from Mercy School of
Health Sciences, a
certificate and diploma institution established as a consolidation of
the Mercy Schools of Nursing, Radiology and Emergency Medical Services
in January 1994.
Mercy College of Health Sciences was formed in July
Today, Mercy College of Health Sciences is a partner with Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines, operating under the direction of
a Board of Directors.