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President's Message

If you think you know Mercy College of Health Sciences – an institution spanning 115 years of educating health science professionals – we might surprise you.

Barbara Decker

Our students are among the best and brightest, coming from many different backgrounds, cultures and experiences. They become nurses, physical therapist assistants, radiologic technologists, surgical technologists, nuclear medicine technologists, medical assistants, diagnostic medical sonographers, paramedics and leaders in healthcare administration.

With the addition of our Bachelor of Science in Health Science, we are now helping to prepare students for the many health science careers requiring graduate study.  In its first three years, our pre-graduate-study program has successfully placed 88 percent of our students in graduate education programs leading to careers in medicine, education, and public health.

We’re blessed with faculty members who understand and live our core values – knowledge, reverence, integrity, compassion, and excellence – and are committed to creating a caring environment conducive to learning. They are highly motivated and skilled healthcare practitioners comfortable in the latest technology and evidenced-based practices in their specialty area of healthcare and skilled educators ready to help you learn. Our fulltime liberal arts and sciences faculty members are Ph.D.-prepared and adept at integrating their subject matter into a comprehensive health science curriculum.

Our alumni go everywhere and are among the best in their field.  They embark upon healthcare careers across the nation and around the world.  They also stay right here in Iowa to take care of those within our own community.

You might be surprised to learn:

  • In addition to regional accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission, we maintain professional program accreditations with 11 additional accrediting bodies in the United States;
  • That in the past four years through an innovative federal grant, we graduated 180 students representing 33 countries who were in the United States as refugees and immigrants and whose primary language was something other than English; and
  • We produced health science graduates in impressive numbers, including the second largest number of nurses to successfully pass their licensure boards in Iowa and a quarter of all paramedics educated in the state last year.
Most importantly for me is the fact that our efforts today are a direct reflection of the work of a dedicated group of religious women, the Religious Sisters of Mercy (RSM), who arrived in Des Moines in 1893 to establish the city’s first hospital.  Six years later they needed more help, so they launched an educational program that now embodies Mercy College of Health Sciences.  We are so proud of our association with the legacy that the Sisters have passed on to us and hold firmly to the core values they cherish.

Thank you for visiting our website and I look forward to seeing you on campus in the future.

Barbara Q. Decker J.D., President
Mercy College of Health Sciences