President's Welcome



For over 120 years, Mercy College has persisted on a singular path: providing high quality healthcare education to students in central Iowa. Our students are among the best and brightest, coming from many different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. They graduate and go on to become nurses, physical therapist assistants, radiologic technologists, medical assistants, paramedics, healthcare administrators, or public health professionals. Many continue their education and become doctors, optometrists, pharmacists, veterinarians, or dentists. It is rare to find an Iowan who has not encountered a Mercy College-educated healthcare professional, or been impacted by the College’s ministry in some way. Ours is a legacy built on our Core Values of Knowledge, Reverence, Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence. We pride ourselves on providing a quality healthcare education, both on our downtown Des Moines campus and through our online extension, Mercy College PLUS.

In 1899, the Sisters of Mercy laid the foundation for Mercy College of Health Sciences when they established the Mercy Hospital Training School to meet the growing demands for professionally trained nurses. Populations and needs have changed over the years, as have the modes of healthcare delivery. Between a global pandemic, rising mental health needs, and other environmental, biological, and social factors, the need for qualified, experienced, excellent healthcare professionals has only grown.

In response, Mercy College has continued to develop new programs and curriculum, expand our clinical outreach and healthcare partners, and cultivate a thriving educational environment for students, faculty, and staff both online and on-campus. From our initial graduating class of just seven nursing students in 1901, we have grown exponentially to provide for the present and future needs of the healthcare industry. Today, the College offers one master’s, four bachelor’s, and six associate degrees, as well as three certificate programs and numerous continuing education opportunities to thousands of Iowans each year. In recognition of the diverse needs of both our students and clinical partners, we launched Mercy College PLUS, an online extension of Mercy College, to provide affordable, flexible, and in-demand online healthcare education. Heeding the demands of our graduates and healthcare affiliates, we established our first graduate program, the Master of Science in Nursing in Organizational and Systems Leadership, to prepare our graduates to advance their nursing degrees and take on leadership and management roles in a variety of healthcare specializations.

Our rich history of inventive, innovative, and inspiring education allows you to pursue your career of choice with experienced, skilled faculty members dedicated to delivering a comprehensive curriculum that encompasses the latest technology and evidence-based practices in their areas of specialty.

As a Mercy College student, you will receive the latest and best in healthcare education. Through your classes, you’ll learn to administer care and make a difference in the lives of patients now. As a Mercy College alum, you’ll have opportunities to embark on healthcare careers across the nation and around the world. Your Mercy College education will set you apart from others in your field, making you a highly sought-after leader in the delivery of quality healthcare.

I thank you for visiting our website. I hope you entrust your education to Mercy College so we can entrust our future to you!

See you soon,

Adreain Henry, OD, EdD, MBA, MA
Mercy College President


Experience firsthand all our downtown campus has to offer.

Visit Today


Our FREE application gets you an admission decision in no time.

Apply Today


We offer a number of degree options tailored to meet your unique situation.

View More

Request Info

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.

Request Info


Admissions: (515) 635-1133
General: (515) 643-3180

About Us

Mercy College of Health Sciences has been transforming students into healthcare professionals since 1899. Located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, we offer master's degreesbachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, certificate programs, and continuing education courses.

Mercy College is the only private Catholic college in central Iowa and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), in addition to numerous programmatic accreditors.

Mercy College Iowa

Get Connected

Mercy College is a Catholic, accredited, nonprofit institution of higher learning.