Mercy College Launches Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

(Des Moines) – Mercy College of Health Sciences (Mercy College) announces a newBachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program starting fall 2014The new program responds to a national call from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to expand the number of BSN-prepared nurses in the United States to meet the increasingly complex and growing needs of patients across the country.

In conjunction with the new academic program, Mercy College is announcing thecreation of three new, $5,000 scholarships funded by the Mercy Auxiliary of Central Iowa to assist admitted students to the new BSN program. The Morris and Lenore Mandelbaum Scholarship, the Mary Northup Scholarship and the Sister Mary Gervase Northup Scholarship will be awarded annually based on academic achievement and financial need to BSN students. The scholarship can be renewed by recipients over two additional academic years to assist with their tuition expenses; raising the potential value of the scholarships to $15,000 per recipient.

The new eight-semester BSN program will be offered with a three-year completion timeline. The program will focus on a concept-based approach to learning with emphasis on learning nursing content across the life span and diverse clinical settings.Coursework prepares graduates to care for patients and families in acute care and community settings. Graduates are prepared to assume roles involving leadership, education, research, and community health.

In October 2010, the IOM released a national report, The Future of Nursing, Focus on Education, which challenged “academic nurse leaders across all schools of nursing [to] work together to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree from 50 to 80 percent by 2020.” With that incentive, the Mercy College School of Nursing Dean and faculty designed a BSN degree program utilizing innovative teaching methods, while also gaining initial approval from the Iowa Board of Nursing to launch the program fall 2014.

The School of Nursing at Mercy College enrolls more than 400 students annually in two existing academic programs: an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) and an RN to BSN program for registered nurses who hold a diploma or associate degree in nursing and wish to complete the final coursework required for a bachelor’s degree.  Both programs hold professional program accreditation.  

Mercy College graduated the second largest number of nurses in Iowa who successfully completed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN)® in calendar year 2013 (112 new nurses).

The IOM is an independent, nonprofit organization, established in 1970, that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public on matters of health and healthcare. The Institute is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Mercy Auxiliary is the volunteer organization that supports the patient care programs and services of Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines and its affiliates, including Mercy College. The organization was founded in 1948 to assist the Sisters of Mercy in caring for a growing number of nursing students following World War II.

Mercy College is the only Catholic college in central Iowa and is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). To learn more about all of our health science academic programs, visit

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