Please Note: Mercy College's EMS Program & Training Center has moved to a new state-of-the-art space on the main campus of Mercy College. Click here for a map of the new location.

Become a Paramedic. A paramedic provides the highest level of advanced pre-hospital care available, with critical skills to intervene in life-threatening emergencies. As a paramedic you will provide care and compassion as you help individuals and families through life-threatening situations. You will be part of the patient’s emergency team, and you’ll use cardiac monitoring, defibrillation, medication administration and many other advanced medical procedures.

Our Program

Our EMS Program goal: To prepare competent entry-level Paramedics in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains with or without exit points at the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and/or Emergency Medical Technician, and/or Emergency Medical Responder levels.

Mercy has provided EMS education in central Iowa for over 30 years. Our EMS program has held National Accreditation and maintained a standard of excellence for over 20 years. Mercy College of Health Sciences Paramedic Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).

Our program includes classroom instruction, practice in skills lab, and clinical experience in a variety of hospital, clinic, and ambulance service-based care settings. You'll receive the academic and clinical experiences needed to become a caring, ethical and competent healthcare worker effective in high stress situations. We will prepare you for patient care, leadership and administrative roles.

We have one of the highest retention rates of any EMS education program in Iowa, and our certification exam success rate is also one of the highest among EMS education programs.

Upon completion of the Paramedic certificate, students may take additional credits to earn an Associate of Science degree.

Licensure and Certification First Time Pass Rate Average (2014-2016)

Written Exam Pass Rate

Practical Exam Pass Rate

Positive Placement

Retention Rate





How to Apply

College Admission First
The first step in the admissions process is to apply using the Mercy College Application.  Early application is encouraged.  For a list of College Application deadlines, click here.  Students admitted to the College may enroll in Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS) courses prior to admission to any academic program.

Program Admission Second
Our paramedic program admits students in the fall semester. Once you have completed the Paramedic Certificate, you may be admitted into the Associate of Science in EMS degree program and continue taking courses on a part-time basis--choosing the pace that's right for you.

Following College admission, students will receive instructions to complete an Acadmic Program Application in order to begin the process. Once all requirements have been satisfied, the applicant’s file is considered complete and will be given to the program chair for consideration. It is the applicant’s responsibility to complete the professional program application process.

The program chair will begin reviewing completed files by the program admission deadline. Admission to this professional program is limited and competitive. Selection is based on the most qualified applicants.

Background Preparation

You need to complete an approved Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Basic training program before applying for either our certificate or associate of science EMS programs followed by a Mercy College EMT-Basic comprehensive written and skills exam. Additionaly, applicants for admission to the Associate of Science degree also need to provide proof of working toward certification/licensure as a national registered paramedic or Iowa paramedic specialist, or have completed the Mercy College Paramedic Certification Program.

Clinical Experience

In addition to classroom instruction, our students perform during clinical rotations in emergency departments, surgery, intensive care units, obstetrical units and pediatric intensive care units. Field internships are provided for you through local EMS departments and paramedic-level EMS crews.


Our full-time faculty credentials and experience reflect our unique position as the only paramedic training program offered by a 4 year college in Iowa. Each of our full-time EMS faculty must possess at least a 4 year degree to teach in our program. The full-time EMS faculty have over 75 years combined EMS experience. Our dedicated team also includes adjunct EMS faculty and trauma center physicians. They bring experience in flight medicine, military medicine, forensics, EMS department administration, and offer a wealth of knowledge of the classroom. For those continuing on to our ASEMS, our fulltime liberal arts and sciences faculty members are Ph.D.-prepared and adept at integrating their subject matter into a comprehensive health science curriculum. As a student, you will receive an exceptional level of personalized instruction.

Job Outlook

Once you’ve completed your paramedic certification or EMS degree, you’ll have the knowledge and exposure to become nationally certified and employable. EMS personnel can work in a variety of settings including 911 ambulance services, non-emergency transfer services, flight medicine, hospital emergency departments, fire departments, occupational safety departments and many other fields. You’ll find more details and statistics about specific roles and job opportunities from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and at the websites. 

Gainful Employment

To view the graduation, employment, tuition, and debt information referred to as the "Gainful Employment Disclosures", please click here.