Mercy College of Health Sciences Nursing Program Review

Mercy College of Health Sciences (MCHS) has been training nurses in the Des Moines, Iowa area since 1899. It was originally a hospital-based diploma nursing school, associated with Mercy Hospital. Over the years, it added programs in clinical laboratory science, emergency medical services, medical assisting, radiologic technology, and many other areas, and officially took the name Mercy College of Health Sciences in 1995.

Mercy College of Health Sciences has accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) for its associate degree program, and it has accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for its bachelor’s degree program.

Associate of Science in Nursing

Mercy College of Health Sciences’ Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program takes five semesters to complete. A student may enroll in the fall or the spring. The ASN curriculum includes both liberal arts classes (thirty-three credits) and nursing classes (thirty-nine credits). Clinical rotations are a key part of the ASN course sequence; an ASN student will complete rotations at Mercy Medical Center and other nearby healthcare facilities. At the conclusion of the five-semester program, a graduate may take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Mercy College of Health Sciences’ graduates have a high rate of success with this national test; over 95 percent of the graduates pass on the first try.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN

After graduating from an associate degree program or a diploma program, a Registered Nurse (RN) can complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree through the college’s online RN to BSN program. In cooperation with the Iowa Articulation Plan for RNs, Mercy College of Health Sciences awards the incoming RN with thirty-six advanced placement credits toward the nursing portion of the BSN curriculum. These credits are awarded after the RN completes the first, three-credit nursing class in the program.

In order to earn his BSN, he must take thirty-one additional nursing credits. All of these credits can be earned online. Mercy College of Health Sciences also has a substantial general education requirement, fifty-five credits in total. An RN must complete any of these missing credits before he can receive his BSN degree. The RN to BSN online program begins each fall, spring, and summer.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Integrated Option

Mercy College of Health Sciences provides the BSN Integrated Option for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing or have completed most (if not all) of the BSN general education requirements. If a student is eligible for this program, she will spend five semesters completing the ASN curriculum, leading up to the NCLEX-RN.

At the same time, she begins classes in the RN to BSN curriculum. After passing the NCLEX-RN, she can complete the rest of the RN to BSN curriculum in just one semester, as long as she has fulfilled the general education requirements. While she must take the ASN classes on campus, she can complete the RN to BSN classes online. At the conclusion of six semesters of full-time study, she will have an ASN degree and a BSN degree.

Nursing Assistant Short-Term Certificate

In just seven to fourteen weeks, a student can complete the Nursing Assistant Short-Term Certificate program. This requires a commitment of at least 150 hours. If he wishes, a student can progress from the basic 150-hour program into an advanced care section of the program. While this will help him hone his skills, it is not necessary in order to take the state certification exam. There are two optional advanced care sections of the nursing assistant program.

One requires seventy-five hours, and the other requires thirty hours. Mercy College of Health Sciences offers the nursing assistant program several times a semester, in the evenings and during the day. Upon completion of the certificate program, a graduate may take the state certification exam and become a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). Mercy College of Health Sciences’ nursing assistant program is approved by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

Mercy College of Health Sciences
928 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

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