Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing



Mercy College of Health Sciences' one-year, full-time, fully accredited Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is one of the largest and most affordable accelerated programs in the country. Not to mention we're located in Des Moines, Iowa, conveniently close to your clinical rotation sites and in the middle of a hub for professionals looking for a low cost of living. 

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Median Wage1


Year Program


NCLEX Pass Rate2


Projected Job Growth from 2020 - 20301

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Our Accelerated BSN curriculum is designed for high-achieving students who have already completed a minimum of 68 credits of college coursework, including all of the core curriculum classes needed to earn a Bachelor's degree at Mercy College. This option offers all required nursing coursework over five terms (one year) of intensive study, allowing you to earn your BSN and sit for your licensing exam in only 12 months.

The Accelerated BSN major will prepare you to assume roles involving management and coordination of care, leadership, education, research, population-focused health, and inter-professional collaboration. We have start dates year-round and an affordable tuition rate designed to put you on your path toward becoming a nurse even faster.

In partnership with Mercy Iowa City, cohorts in Iowa City, IA only start in the fall semester. 

Mercy College also offers a 3+1 agreement with Simpson College and Drake University. Each enables students to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mercy College and separate bachelor's degrees from Simpson and Drake in just four years!

Application Deadline: Application materials (including all transcripts) must be received by:

  • Spring Semester: August 1

  • Summer Semester: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MARCH 15!

  • Fall Semester: April 1 

The baccalaureate degree program is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing.
The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Mercy College of Health Sciences is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Faculty in the Accelerated BSN program are highly motivated and skilled healthcare practitioners comfortable with the latest technology and evidenced-based practices in their specialty areas of healthcare. They average more than 23 years of clinical experience. As a student, you will receive an exceptional level of personalized instruction from experienced educators dedicated to your success.

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I love that the class sizes at Mercy College are small enough to work closely with those in my cohort. It is beneficial to be able to build relationships with faculty that help us grow into better healthcare professionals.

Arianna E., BSN Candidate (Accelerated), Tampa, FL

The Accelerated BSN tuition is calculated on a per credit hour basis.

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Male nursing student studying

To be considered for admission to the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing major, you must first be admitted to Mercy College of Health Sciences. Learn more about admission to Mercy College. Complete our FREE online Mercy College application. Early application is encouraged. Once admitted to Mercy College of Health Sciences, you may enroll in Core requirements prior to your admission to any academic major. If you are transferring credits, please visit our transfer page to learn more.

To be considered for admission to the Accelerated BSN major, you must meet the criteria below:

  • Prior completion of a minimum of 68 hours of college credit or the completion of a baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing major
  • A grade of C (not C-) or higher in the following college-level courses, and an extracted GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale from the following courses:

+ Human Anatomy (with lab)
+ Human Physiology (with lab)
+ Microbiology (with lab)
+ English Composition I
+ General Psychology
+ College-level Math (3 credits)
+ Lower or upper-level Statistics (3 credits)
+ Lower or upper-level Nutrition (3 credits)

  • Successfully complete all pre-requisite courses before starting the major
  • Successfully complete all Mercy College Core Curriculum requirements prior to beginning the Accelerated BSN except for SVL285 - Servant Leadership*

*Students who have earned a previous bachelor's degree in a non-nursing major are considered to have met all Mercy College of Health Sciences Core requirements except for Servant Leadership.

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The following courses are required to earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing through our Accelerated path. Students admitted to the Accelerated BSN major will follow this exact course sequence.

Semester 1: 1st 8-Week Term
NUA 302 - Pharmacology (3 cr)
NUA 311 - Holistic Assessment in Nursing (4 cr)
NUA 313 - Pathophysiology (3 cr)
NUA 315 - Historical Trends in Nursing Practice (1 cr)
Semester 1: 2nd 7-Week Term
NUA 333 - Fundamentals and Competencies in Nursing Practice (5 cr)
NUA 337 - Research (2 cr)
NUA 453 - Gerontology (2 cr)
Semester 2: 1st 8-Week Term
NUA 361 - Nursing I (4 cr)
NUA 423 - Mental Health (3 cr)
NUA 367 - Population Health (3 cr)
Semester 2: 2nd 7-Week Term
NUA 421 - Nursing II (4 cr)
NUA 363 - Family Health (3 cr)
NUA 432 - Leadership and Interprofessional Collaboration (3 cr)
Semester 3: 15-Weeks
NUA 451 - Nursing III (5 cr)
NUA 460 - Complex Care in Nursing Practice (2 cr)
NUA 435 - Informatics, Healthcare Policy, Finance, and Regulatory Environments (2 cr)
SVL 285 - Servant Leadership (3 cr)

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The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing major offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. View our View our full academic calendar for exact semester start dates. Pre-requisites and Core requirements may be completed at Mercy College of Health Sciences year-round.

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Annual Licensure Exam Pass Rate for First-Time Test Takers Job Placement Rate within One Year of Graduation Program Completion Rates Within 150% of the Expected Timeframe
87.5% 95% N=39 90.9%

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1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses.

2Licensure exam pass rate is defined as students who passed the licensure exam on their first attempt during calendar year 2019. 

†Licensure exam pass rate is defined as students who passed the licensure exam on their first attempt during calendar year 2019. 

Job placement represents the first Accelerated BSN August 2019 graduating cohort.

Program completion time represents 40 of 44 students completed in 5 semesters from the Accelerated BSN August 2019 graduating cohort.

Mercy College of Health Sciences also processes applications through NursingCAS, the centralized application service for nursing. If you would like to apply via NursingCAS, visit to start an application or log into your existing account.

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Next step before transforming into a life-saving hero: complete the form below. Our admissions team will get you all the info you need to know.

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Admissions: (515) 635-1133
General: (515) 643-3180

About Us

Mercy College of Health Sciences has been transforming students into healthcare professionals since 1899. Located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, we offer master's degreesbachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, certificate programs, and continuing education courses.

Mercy College is the only private Catholic college in central Iowa and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), in addition to numerous programmatic accreditors.

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Mercy College is a Catholic, accredited, nonprofit institution of higher learning.