DES MOINES, IOWA – (January 31, 2024) Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines, Iowa, and Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, have announced a new partnership to offer a 3+1 program that provides an opportunity for students to earn two degrees in four years while remaining on the BVU campus in Storm Lake for the entire program. Students who enroll in this degree pathway will earn a bachelor’s degree from BVU and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through an accelerated one-year pathway from Mercy College.


“We are thrilled to be able to offer our students this degree pathway with Mercy College of Health Sciences,” Buena Vista University President Brian Lenzmeier, PhD, stated. “This partnership aligns nicely with our strategic priorities of building connections, community, and outcomes for our students. By establishing these collaborations, we support students from both of our proud institutions in transforming their education, pursuing their careers, and providing quality healthcare to the rural communities of northwest Iowa.”

This partnership between the two schools not only allows students to earn two bachelor’s degrees from two prestigious institutions, but it will also do so with minimal disruption to the students’ educational experiences. Upon completion of their third year on BVU’s campus in Storm Lake, students who meet admission requirements for Mercy College will begin their nursing coursework. Students will complete their Mercy College nursing courses on BVU’s campus while clinical experiences will be delivered in Storm Lake and the surrounding area. Upon successful completion of Mercy College’s nursing coursework, students are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN exam).


“We aspire for students to dedicate their full attention to their academic pursuits,” explained Mercy College of Health Sciences President Adreain Henry, OD, EdD. “Instead of mandating their presence at our institution, we are extending our educational outreach to them. In collaboration with Buena Vista University, our students can deeply immerse themselves in their studies and career preparation, fostering a singular commitment. As a result, healthcare institutions nationwide will benefit from graduates who are adeptly equipped to address the challenges of the future.”

The first accelerated nursing cohort offered in Storm Lake will begin in the summer of 2025.

For more information, please contact the respective admission offices: Buena Vista University at or Mercy College at

About Buena Vista University
Buena Vista University is where students dream, build, and innovate. As the region’s leader in rural education and innovation, we provide students with a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree pathways. Our residential campus located on the beautiful shores of Storm Lake hosts students in a variety of in-demand majors, taking concepts from state-of-the-art classrooms and labs to real-world applications throughout the U.S. and across the globe. Our convenient online undergraduate and graduate programs provide educational advancement opportunities that are designed to fit anyone’s busy schedule. At Buena Vista University, we possess an innate instinct to build. It’s rooted in our identity as Beavers and in our belief that we can and should better the world around us. Visit bvu.edufor more.

About Mercy College of Health Sciences
Mercy College of Health Sciences is a health sciences specialty school rooted in the Catholic heritage of the Sisters of Mercy. Located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, Iowa, Mercy College offers master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees, certificates, and continuing education courses. Through our unique hands-on learning, unparalleled clinical rotations, and accelerated education offerings, our students are prepared to enter the workforce quickly with the critical skills necessary to make an immediate impact in their chosen healthcare careers. Guided by our Core Values of Knowledge, Reverence, Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence, Mercy College has been transforming students into successful healthcare professionals for 125 years.