Joan McCleish

Joan McCleish
Joan McCleish, PhD, MSN, RN
Associate Dean of Graduate Nursing, Professor
(515) 643-6625

Office Hours
By Appointment

Office Location

Mailing Address
Mercy College of Health Sciences
928 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-1239


Year Started at Mercy College 1990


  • Ph.D., Iowa State University

  • M.S.N., Drake University 

  • B.S.N., Drake University

  • R.N., Mercy School of Nursing  


  • Registered Nurse Iowa Board of Nursing

Clinical/Field Experience

  • Higher Learning Commission Peer Review Corp (2013 to present)

  • Grants

  • Past Dean of Institutional Research, Assessment and Grants/Distance Education (2007-2015) Major Contributor for Self-Studies and Accreditation Site Visits for: Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Collegiate Commission of Nursing (CCNE), Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), Iowa Board of Nursing (IBON)

  • Mercy Medical Center Institutional Review Board (Past Member)

  • Assisted with development of the Mercy College Institutional Review Board (IRB); Serve as Current Chair of the IRB

Research Interests and Professional Projects

  • 2011 to 2015 Co-researcher on Pathways to Healthcare-Iowa study, funded through a Telligan Grant

  • MCHS Research Advisory Council (assisted in formation of Council and past Chair)

  • Reviewer for HRSA grants (Past)

  • Dissertation focused on critical thinking (2002)

Recent Publications

  • Application of Cummins Model to Retain Limited English Proficiency Learners, Co-Presented at Higher Learning Commission Conference, Chicago, IL (2013)

  • The Low Down on Evidence Based Practice Presented at the 13th Annual Iowa Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Conference (2011)

  • Communicating Meaningful and Measurable Institutional Data to College Constituents, co-presented at the Higher Learning Commission Conference Chicago, Illinois (2010)

  • A Mixed-Method Study on the Meaning of Compassion as Perceived by Faculty and Students in a Small Health Sciences College. Group Poster Presentation: Mercy Medical Center’s Advancing Evidence Based Practice Program Series (2010)

  • The Birth and Growth of a Collaborative Research Group: A Panel Discussion, Co-presented over ICN for Iowa League for Nursing Annual Meeting (2009)

  • Getting to Know You: An Online Orientation for an RN to BSN Program (Co-author: The Journal of Nursing Education, 2009)

  • Advancing Evidence-Based Practice: A Program Series (Co-author: The Journal of Continuing Nursing Education, 2008)

  • Integrating Mind-Mapped Care Plans as a Teaching Strategy: An Innovative Educational Tool as an Alternative to the Traditional Care Plan (Co-author: The Journal of Nursing Education, 2006)

Professional Memberships

  • Assisted in development of Mercy College/Grand View Zeta Chi-At Large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau (Past Board Member/Current Member)

  • Iowa League for Nursing/National League for Nursing (Member; Past Board Member)

  • Iowa Nursing Association (Member)

  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)

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