Simpson College announces three-to-one program with Mercy College


Amelia Schafer

Mercy College will partner with Simpson College to provide an accelerated program, allowing for students to obtain two degrees in four years.

by Amelia Schafer, Editor-in-Chief

Nursing is the most requested program that Simpson College does not offer, with an average of 40 to 60 inquiries per year, according to Academic Dean John Woell — until today. 

On March 1, Simpson hosted a press conference to announce the implementation of a new three-to-one program with Mercy College in Des Moines, IA.

The new program would offer an accelerated pathway for students looking to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Biology or Exercise Science before continuing on to Mercy for one year to obtain a bachelor’s in nursing (BSN). This allows for students to obtain two degrees in four years.

“Mercy College’s accelerated format is one of the fastest ways to obtain a BSN in Iowa, all without leaving the Des Moines region,” Nancy Kertz, Mercy College’s vice president for academic affairs and provost said. 

The program will allow for students to earn their BSN and sit for their licensing exam in only twelve months. Students can begin in whichever semester best suits their needs, whether this is spring, summer or fall. Mercy offers year-round starts to allow students, including student-athletes, to find a starting point that meets their availability. 

“Even prior to the pandemic, we sought to meet the needs of health care facilities across the country in response to the alarming nursing workforce shortage,” Kertz said. “The program is rigorous but rewarding.” 

Beginning fall 2022, Mercy will transition its existing program into a fully online format. Simpson students will come to Des Moines for lab and simulation experiences, clinical rotations will take place across central Iowa. The remainder of the coursework will be completed online. 

This is similar to Simpson’s existing program with Allen College in Waterloo. The Allen program, however, requires in-person attendance. Mercy College is located only a half-hour away from Simpson’s campus and would allow students to take online classes as well. 

Woell said that the new Mercy partnership does not mean the Allen partnership is ending, it’s just another pathway for students who are not necessarily looking to move to Waterloo.

According to the Simpson College website, the Allen 3+1 program is a 15-month accelerated program. 

Students who choose to participate in the new program with Mercy College would graduate from Simpson prior to the program at Mercy. Once enrolled at Mercy, all tuition and fees would be paid only to Mercy. According to Mercy’s website, the cost of admission for the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, per credit hour, is $714.00. The cost of attendance to Simpson College per year is $53,684. 

The new three-to-one program will take effect in fall 2022.