Associate of Science in Nursing

Chart your course

Become a registered nurse

Mercy College of Health Sciences' Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) major is offered in a part-time, evening and weekend format that can be completed in as few as six semesters. We also offer a number of nursing tracks to meet your timeline and lifestyle. Each path will prepare you to be a successful registered nurse in a variety of healthcare settings.

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Median Wage (2018)1


Job Placement Rate within One Year of Graduation (2018 Graduates)


Start Dates (Fall & Spring)


Semesters to Complete2


Projected Job Growth from 2018 - 20281



Our Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) major's evening and weekend format is designed for your convenience and flexibility. You can enroll two nights a week in classes and complete Saturday nursing clinical rotations. Under the recommended course sequence, you will complete general education courses before starting the nine nursing courses needed for the major. The nursing core curriculum is arranged for study over six semesters of part-time attendance. With evening classes and a weekend clinical experience, you will have time to continue all of your current daytime commitments.

  • Evening nursing courses begin at 5:30 pm
  • Saturday clinical rotations begin at 7:00 am at our clinical affiliate, MercyOne – Des Moines Medical Center, and other central Iowa healthcare organizations

If becoming a nurse has been your dream but life has gotten in the way, this evening and weekend format will offer you an opportunity to pursue your nursing career. As part of your studies, you’ll receive direct patient contact through clinical experiences at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center and many other leading healthcare organizations in central Iowa.

Once you complete the ASN major, you’ll be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN)®. When you successfully pass the exam, you will be licensed to provide nursing care for a wide range of patients, residents, and clients in many different healthcare settings.

After successfully passing the NCLEX-RN, you'll have the opportunity to advance to the online RN to BSN major through Mercy College PLUS, during which you'll be able to work as a nurse and complete your BSN from the comfort of your own home.

Are you an LPN? Skip the first semester of ASN coursework!




The associate degree program is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing.

To all present and prospective Associate of Nursing students at Mercy College of Health Sciences:
The Associate of Nursing program at Mercy College of Health Sciences, located in Des Moines, Iowa, is accredited by the:
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for Mercy College of Health Sciences Associate of Nursing program is continuing accreditation.

Accreditation Commission of Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA 30326 (404) 975-5000


Faculty in the ASN major are highly motivated and skilled healthcare practitioners comfortable with the latest technology and evidence-based practices in their specialty areas of healthcare. They average more than 23 years of clinical experience! In addition, our full-time liberal arts and science faculty members are PhD-prepared and adept at integrating their subject matters into a comprehensive health science curriculum. As a student, you will receive an exceptional level of personalized instruction from experienced educators dedicated to your success.

Meet Your Faculty


The clinical and lab experiences have given me a great introduction to what it’s actually like to be a nurse. Student activities and clubs like Student Senate have rounded out my college experience. Mercy College has shown me all the ways students like me can make a positive impact in the future of our College and our community.

Madison M., BSN Candidate, 2022

To be considered for admission to the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) 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 ASN major, you must meet the criteria below.

  • First-Time College Students: earn a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Transfer Students: earn a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher on a 4.0 scale from nine (9) or more of the student's most recently completed college-level credits 
  •  Earn a grade of C (not C-) or higher in the following pre-requisite courses:
    • College-level Anatomy (with lab)
    • College-level English Composition I or two semesters of high school English
    • Math (must satisfy one of the criteria listed below to demonstrate mathematical competency):
      • Two semesters of high school Pre-Algebra or Algebra
      • Math for General Studies, College Algebra, or higher level college math class, such as Statistics or Calculus
      • Achieve a math score of 22 or higher on the ACT, or a math score of at least 480 on the SAT
      • Achieve a score of 75% or higher on the Admissions Assessment Math Exam (exam fee required)

Are you an LPN? Skip the first semester of ASN coursework!

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The following courses are required to earn your Associate of Science in Nursing. A sample course sequence is provided. Students must also satisfy Core requirements.

Semester 1 (Fall or Spring)
NSG 101 - Introduction to Professional Nursing Concepts (5 cr)
NSG 102 - Professional Nursing Skills I (1 cr)
Semester 2
NSG 131 - Nursing Health Promotion Across the Life Span (5 cr)
NSG 132 - Professional Nursing Skills II (3 cr)
Semester 3
NSG 160 - Nursing Care of Patients Across the Life Span I (6 cr)
Semester 4
NSG 200 - Nursing Care of Patients Across the Life Span II (6 cr)
NSG 280 - Caring in a Diverse Healthcare Environment (3 cr)
SLP 999 - Service Learning Project (0 cr)
Semester 5
NSG 230 - Nursing Care of Patients Across the Life Span III (6 cr)
Semester 6
NSG 231 - Role Transition to Professional Practice (6 cr)
Total Required Major Credits for Associate Degree: 39

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The Associate of Science in Nursing major offers start dates in the fall and spring. 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
71.69% 100% N=22 61.7%

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

2Completion time varies depending on each students unique situation. 

††Licensure exam pass rate is defined as students who passed the licensure exam on their first attempt during calendar year 2019.
Job placement is based on 2018 graduates.
Program completion rate represents the 2017-2018 academic year.


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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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