Community reacts to partnership 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 Max Bertrand, Staff Writer

Simpson College recently announced a new partnership with Mercy College. This partnership will provide another pathway for students interested in becoming healthcare workers and is similar to the partnership with Allen College. 

The difference between the two partnerships is that the Mercy program is a 12-month program while the Allen program is a 15fifteen month program. Students are also required to attend Allen classes in-person, while Mercy classes operate in a hybrid format. 

Jacy Downey, Assistant Professor of Health Services and Advising & Recruiting Coordinator for Health Professions, said she is excited for Simpson students to have an additional pathway into nursing.

“Healthcare needs more nurses, and students have been asking for this for a while. It is a great opportunity to add another option,” Downey said. “We already had an agreement in place with Allen College over in Waterloo, but this gives students who are interested in staying more local a chance to also work into a nursing program with Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines.”

Downey said she believes that this partnership will draw more future students to enroll at Simpson. 

“I felt that nursing was missing from Simpson’s offerings. So, I think it’s really good for current students, individually, and for the greater Simpson community as well as we can now serve more students interested in the health field,” Downey said. 

Downey said she thinks the partnership will line up nicely because the program allows students to have the traditional, residential college experience at Simpson before moving on to Mercy to complete the accelerated BSN program in a single year. At the end of the nursing program, students will have earned both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Not only will biology majors have a chance to take advantage of this partnership, but health and exercise science majors can also take advantage of this opportunity. 

Some students feel that the 3+1 program has been underpromoted. 

Senior Dalaney Reese, a health and exercise science major said that she was previously unaware of the partnership with Allen College and that she feels there is a disconnect between the Allen program and the Mercy program.

“I feel like Simpson could really do a better job promoting those partnerships because I do think that having the opportunity to spend a couple of years at a smaller school comes with a lot of benefits,” Reese said. 

Reese also believes that the partnership may bring more attention to the health and exercise science major.