DES MOINES, Iowa, October 12, 2020 — Mercy College of Health Sciences has been awarded $82,500 through the Coronavirus Relief Employer Innovation Fund established by Future Ready Iowa.

The Coronavirus relief fund grants are intended to stimulate Iowa’s economic recovery by providing those most affected by the pandemic with new job skills training that leads to high-demand jobs.

Mercy College will be using these funds to provide $1,000 minimum in tuition support to students graduating with a nursing degree this spring to help those negatively impacted by the corona virus. The funds will also be used to provide National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) tutoring services to help ensure nursing graduates are successful in their licensure examinations in order to enter the high-demand field of nursing.

Mercy College is one of 65 applicants that have received the funding. More than $4.3 million in total has been awarded to the winning projects.

“Our main goal is to provide support to our students as they continue in their programs and graduate, despite the barriers COVID has brought,” stated Mercy College President. “With nursing being on the high-demand job list in Iowa, our was application directly in line with the purpose of this funding. We’re extremely grateful to receive this grant and will continue helping our students any way we can during these unparalleled times.”

The Future Ready Iowa goal is to have 70 percent of Iowans in the workforce with education and training beyond high school by 2025.  Approximately 60 percent of Iowa’s current workforce meets this education and training criteria.  Visit for more information.

“We are appreciative of Iowa Workforce Development’s recognition of Mercy College of Health Sciences to deliver high-quality education to nurses through this funding,” said Shannon Cofield, President of MercyOne Des Moines Foundation. “This grant from the Future Ready Iowa initiative addresses an immediate health care talent need, which is amplified during the pandemic.”

About Mercy College of Health Sciences
Mercy College of Health Sciences is the only private Catholic college in central Iowa and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Located in downtown Des Moines, Mercy College prepares graduates for service and leadership in the healthcare community with a wide range of bachelor, associate, and certificate programs. Visit or call (515) 643-3180 to learn how you can start Charting Your Course.

About MercyOne Des Moines Foundation
MercyOne Des Moines Foundation secures vital funding that ensures equal access, clinical excellence and high-quality care for all in Greater Des Moines. Learn more at