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The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

The Tack Online

The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

The Tack Online

A shot at partnership: BVU and Mercy College launch 3 + 1 nursing program


Buena Vista University and Mercy College in Des Moines announced a partnership to create a new 3 + 1 nursing program. The nursing program will be four years long and grant two degrees, while students will remain on the BVU campus.

On January 31, presidents and provosts from both universities met to make the partnership official. The nursing program will offer a hybrid learning schedule, with the majority of course work done at BVU and some online through Mercy College.

Dr. Thom Bonagura, Dean of the school of science said, “Mercy is providing the instructors for the program, so we have two labs that we are going to modify so that they can fit the nursing hospital beds in there and their simulation equipment.”

The nursing program will offer classes, simulations, and labs on the campus of BVU. With that, classrooms will be open in the Estelle Siebens Science Center (ESSC) so students in online courses through Mercy College can study together. Lab instructors for those studies will have offices in the science center as well. Additionally, clinicals can be completed at local healthcare clinics.

Katelyn Schmitt, Director of Enrollment Management at Mercy College talks to BVU students about the nursing program.

BVU is known for offering a variety of different science programs, including biomedical science, biology and rehabilitation science. The addition of the nursing program will provide growth for the school of science.

Heidi Manning, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at BVU, said, “We had no nursing option. So, there were students who maybe wanted to come here, but we didn’t have the program that they wanted. Now we do, so I think it’ll expand opportunities for students and make BV a choice for more students.”

Partnering with Mercy College has made the preparation for the new nursing program much easier than if BVU were to take it on alone.

“From the institution standpoint, the reason we never had a nursing program is because they are prohibitively expensive to start,” said Bonagura. “So, if someone’s going to bring in all of that infrastructure already and it doesn’t cost us anything except some physical repairs, it’s a huge, huge win for us. Because if we had to start one on our own, I don’t know that we could.”

According to a report by the National Library of Medicine, it is projected that there will be a need for 275,000 additional nurses from 2020 to 2030. One of the main goals of this program is to help take on that very issue.

Katelyn Schmitt, Director of Enrollment Management at Mercy College, said, “We really want to see nurses graduating from this program and staying in Storm Lake and [address] the nursing shortage.”

This program is set to launch in the summer of 2025 with its first cohort.

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Carter Soyer, Co-Editor-in Chief
Hello! My name is Carter Soyer, and I am a Sophomore from Glidden, Iowa. I am majoring in Digital Media. Along with being involved in the Tack I am a part of the Psychology Club, SAB, BVTV, and KBVU. Telling stories elates me and I can’t wait to begin uncovering the stories of BVU. Thank you!  

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