Mercy College of Health Sciences
Des Moines, Iowa
Mercy College of Health Sciences has been educating healthcare professionals for over 120 years in Des Moines, Iowa. Students receive hands-on learning from faculty who have worked the front lines while receiving an accelerated education. Mercy College’s unique healthcare partnerships provide industry-led curriculum guidance and excellent clinical opportunities, all of which make Mercy College central Iowa’s healthcare specialty school.
Get to know Mercy College of Health Sciences
APPLIED AND INTERDISCIPLINARY
Because students often learn best when they can see themselves applying what they are learning to their present or future lives, Mercy College’s general education courses strive to apply course material to health care practice whenever it is appropriate. For example, the General Psychology course covers psychological methods of pain management; sociology courses emphasize the social determinants of health and the impact of health care inequities; and physics courses look at the interconnection between physics, medicine, and biology.
Students can also choose a plethora of cross-disciplinary minors while pursuing a chosen program major.
Immersion Trips with Mercy College expose students to the differences in healthcare across cultures, widening their perspective to become more apt, mindful professionals. With options and locations changing every year, there are always opportunities to learn more about a new environment within the U.S. or beyond its borders. Every year the international Immersion Trip location changes.
A recent Immersion Trip to the Yucatán State of Mexico exposed students to the culture, art, and history of the Yucatán Peninsula. Professionally, it gives students an idea of how services, policies, and access compare and contrast between American and Mexican healthcare. Not only did this trip build professional experience, but it also gave a broader perspective of the cross-cultural issues between the United States and Mexico.
Domestically, Immersion Trips resemble that of a recent program in the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation in South Dakota, which revealed to students the strikingly disparate means of accessible healthcare that is possible within the United States. Working at the Reservation’s tribal elementary school, nursing school, and community center, students learned to appreciate the culture and experience of the Oglala Lakota nation, which faces one of the worst socioeconomic conditions in America.
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Non-U.S. Citizen: 0%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 7%
White, non-Hispanic: 79%
Native/Indigenous American or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 1%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 3%
New students can choose to attend either an Online or On-Campus Orientation. Not only do these sessions introduce students to the resources and services available at Mercy College, but they are also the first opportunity for students to meet their faculty advisor and register for their first semester of classes, get to know campus, and meet other students.
The college’s Steps to Success program hosts a number of opportunities for first-generation and other new students to feel prepared for their coursework and overall campus experience. Freshmen can attend any variety of seminars throughout the year, learning more about such topics as time management, utilizing library resources, research techniques, APA, avoiding plagiarism, and much more.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
The Mercy College of Health Sciences core curriculum requires two semesters of composition to ensure that students have a strong foundation in articulate writing and communication—crucial skills for any profession. Beyond the core, most courses have a writing assignment; for example, natural science courses can include lab reports or literature reviews, while humanities and social science courses assign essays, research papers, online discussion forums, reflections, logs, and short answer/essay questions.
Whether they present research in the Students’ Academic Showcase, learn to engage in healthy debate, or practice small-group communication in on-site practicum experiences, students are also given plenty of outlets through which to practice public speaking and oral communication skills.
Coinciding with Mercy College’s Core Values of Knowledge, Reverence, Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence, the Servant Leadership course inspires students to embrace practices that enrich the lives of individuals, build better organizations, and ultimately create a more just and caring world.
A minimum of 15 documented hours of Service-Learning beyond the Service Leadership course altogether promote a culture of service throughout the college. This is required to build upon the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy and acknowledge the higher purpose of higher education institutions. Graduates who go above and beyond and successfully complete 30 hours of Service-Learning don a purple cord at commencement.
RESOURCES AND EDUCATION FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
Catherine’s Cabinet, the College’s on-campus food pantry, helps meet the basic needs of students who are experiencing food insecurity. Mercy College also has both a student and employee Diversity Organization where education on an array of topics gets discussed and then implemented to the entire college. Mercy College also provides professional development opportunities every year where portions of the workshops utilize Iowa Safe School materials and content focusing on LGBTQ+ content.
- Student Senate
- Mercy College Association of Nursing Students (MCANS)
- Student Diversity Organization
- Science Club
- The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
- The Association of Surgical Technologists
- The American Society of Radiologic Technologists
- American Association of Medical Assistants
- American Physical Therapy Association and the Iowa Physical Therapy Association
- American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
Mercy College of Health Sciences offers a variety of career services to enrolled students. Résumé reviews, cover letter reviews, mock interviews, interview attire, career counseling, class presentation, and employer showcases are offered during every fall and spring term. Should a student wish to utilize services between employer showcase timelines, all they need to do is reach out to the Student Success Center. Career Services is committed to meeting student’s needs by customizing their experience and building their confidence in their upcoming job search.
The majority of academic programs at Marcy College require some amount of clinical/practicum hours to ensure that students are truly ready for success in a real-world work environment. And such clinical experiences are easy to come by! Mercy College of Health Sciences has a number of hospital affiliations along with more than 150 clinical partners. The College’s broad range of connections make finding hands-on experiences as seamless as possible, connecting students with clinical and practicum rotations.
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