Dr. Joan McCleish retired from Mercy College of Health Sciences in December 2021 after 44 years of service in various capacities, including as a faculty member and associate dean of nursing at Mercy College and as a nurse at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center. During her time at the College, McCleish was instrumental in establishing Mercy College’s first graduate program, the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Organizational and Systems Leadership, set to launch this fall.

Despite her retirement, however, McCleish has not stopped searching for new ways to support students. Recently, McCleish and her husband Dale announced the Joan McCleish Endowed Master’s Scholarship to support Mercy College graduate students who enroll in the MSN program.

In a Donor Spotlight announcement from the MercyOne Des Moines Foundation, McCleish stated, “I think that continuing education is important. What we do as nurses includes acquiring basic knowledge and skills, as well as constantly updating our knowledge and skills. As nurses advance their education and skills, they become better at what they do. In my life as a nurse that was definitely the case.”

Mercy College awards more than $300,000 total in scholarships to students pursuing their careers in healthcare. 

"There is an enormous need for expert nurses at the bedside and beyond,” McCleish said, “as well as nursing educators at the master’s and doctoral levels. I hope this master’s scholarship continues to draw people to Mercy College, and that students have the opportunity for scholarship assistance to achieve their goals as they move through nursing and other healthcare programs.”

The Master of Science in Nursing in Organizational and Systems Leadership is currently accepting applications for the fall semester. For more information or to apply, please visit mchs.edu/msn.