Professional Health Programs at Loras

Loras, Mercy Team-up for 3+1 Nursing Program

Mercy College of Health Sciences and Loras College are partnering to offer a new 3+1 program that provides an opportunity for students to earn two degrees in four years; a bachelor’s degree (BA or BS) from Loras and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through an accelerated pathway from Mercy College.

After completing their third year at Loras College, students who meet admission requirements for Mercy College will begin nursing coursework. Labs will be completed on Loras’ campus and many clinicals will be delivered just blocks away from Loras’ campus at MercyOne Dubuque, an affiliate of Mercy College. Upon successful completion of the nursing coursework, students are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN exam). 

“Our utmost priority has always been our students and ensuring their best interests,” emphasized Adreain Henry, OD, EdD, President of Mercy College of Health Sciences. “Through our partnership with Loras College, we aim to facilitate a seamless transition for students, enabling them to earn their degrees from our respective distinguished and esteemed Catholic institutions of higher education.”

Loras will begin accepting interested students for the 3+1 program in fall 2023. Mercy College’s first cohort for this BSN program will launch in May 2024.

“This affiliation will open new opportunities for students and employers alike,” Loras College President Jim Collins, 84, said. “Graduating with dual degrees from two outstanding Catholic institutions will give students an edge in the hiring process. Iowa hospitals/clinics, and beyond, will benefit from employing quality graduates from two outstanding academic and ethically focused institutions ready to fill those staffing shortages that have plagued the healthcare industry for years.”

An information session for those interested will be hosted on Loras College’s campus at 6 p.m. on September 6, in Keane Hall. Please RSVP here.

For more information, please contact the respective admission offices: Loras College at or Mercy College at

Loras College and Mercy College of Health Sciences are both members of the Iowa Catholic College Association (ICCA) and the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges & Universities (IAICU).

About Loras College
Founded in 1839, Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges. Located in Dubuque, Iowa, Loras College is an innovator and leader of Catholic liberal arts education, forming students to be active learners, reflective thinkers, ethical decision makers and responsible contributors. Loras offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

About Mercy College of Health Sciences Mercy College of Health Sciences is a health sciences specialty school rooted in the Catholic heritage of the Sisters of Mercy. Located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, Iowa, Mercy College offers master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees, certificates, and continuing education courses. Through our unique hands-on learning, unparalleled clinical rotations, and accelerated education offerings, our students are prepared to enter the workforce quickly with the critical skills necessary to make an immediate impact in their chosen healthcare careers. Guided by our Core Values of Knowledge, Reverence, Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence, Mercy College has been transforming students into successful healthcare professionals for over 120 years.

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