two female nursing students and an instructor practice in a simulation lab

Nursing (RN)

Associate of Science

Registered nursing is one of today's most in-demand careers. The Mercyhurst University Department of Nursing has experienced faculty, state-of-the art facilities, a reputation for producing highly qualified nurses, and is a trusted provider of two-year registered nursing education.

Mercyhurst offers two options for its RN program: a 5-semester, full-time, weekday program, and an 8-semester part-time, evening and weekend program.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN) for licensure as a registered nurse. Registered nurses work in interdisciplinary teams to provide compassionate care for all patients on the spectrum of both wellness and illness. Graduates will be prepared for employment in multiple heath care settings such as hospitals, private medical practices, home hospice care, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, schools, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities.

Program Overview

We believe nursing is a caring profession whose members provide patient-centered care across the life span to individuals, families, and the global community. We believe nursing is a scientific discipline using clinical judgement, substantiated by evidence, and integrating safe, quality care, and health promotion. As part of our professional identity, we value interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork to promote effective communication and shared decision-making. We believe nurses use information and technology to communicate, access resources, promote patient safety, and provide continuous quality improvement.

Professional nurses adhere to the established standards of practice and are accountable within the legal and ethical framework of the profession. Inherent in this is the belief that education is a continuous life-long process necessary to integrate the best current evidence for clinical practice. In keeping with the core values of Mercyhurst University, we believe nurses are ambassadors of service demonstrating the values of social mercy, global responsibility, intellectual creativity, and reflective awareness. We believe learners are self-directed and build upon prior knowledge and life experiences. Learning is facilitated by various teaching strategies which consider individual learning preferences. The faculty encourages and supports the spirit of inquiry to challenge the status quo and question underlying assumptions.

The program is approved by the PA State Board of Nursing and consists of a minimum of 68 credits. 

Part-Time RN Program

With the part-time RN program, students will complete what's typically a two-year associate degree program in three years. Classes will be held on weekday evenings and on weekends, making it convenient for individuals with work and family responsibilities.

LPN to RN Bridge Program

If you're a licensed practical nurse and are ready to take the next step in your career, the LPN to RN Bridge program at Mercyhurst's is a perfect way to get there. Graduates of state-approved practical nursing programs are able to earn an associate of science degree in nursing and prepare for licensure as a registered professional nurse (RN) through Mercyhurst's ASN articulation program. A part-time option is also available for the bridge.

    • Safety: Implement and promote safe practice through use of system and individual resources to minimize risk to the client, family, and healthcare team.
    • Patient Centered Care: Advocate for compassionate care and engage the client as an empowered healthcare partner. Implement holistic client centered care that reflects an understanding of human growth and development, pathophysiology, pharmacology, medical management, and nursing management, across the health-illness continuum, across the lifespan, and in all healthcare settings.
    • Informatics: Use information and technology to communicate, access resources, support decision making and prevent error.
    • EBP: Integrate best current evidence, clinical expertise, and patient values to promote optimal patient outcomes.
    • Teamwork & Collaboration: Collaborate with the health care team to foster open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision making to achieve quality care.
    • Quality Improvement: Use meaningful data to achieve quality nursing care and promote quality and safety in a healthcare environment.

    The Associate Degree in Nursing program at Mercyhurst University is accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA) located at 2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20037. 202-909-2487.

    NLN Seal

    Requirements for admission include a high school diploma or GED certificate with a GPA of 2.5 or better. Applicants must have completed coursework equal to a standard high school course with a minimum of 16 units. These must include four units of English, three units of social studies, two units of mathematics (one of which is algebra), and two units of science (including a laboratory or the equivalent).

    An assessment test to evaluate basic academic skills and the potential for success in the program will be administered by the university. Acceptance into the associate degree nursing program is conditional until receipt and review of required physical examination records, drug testing, federal, state, and child abuse clearances.

    • BIO 240: Anatomy and Physiology I (3 credits)
    • BIO 241: Anatomy and Physiology I Lab (1 credit) 
    • BIO 250: Anatomy and Physiology II (3 credits)
    • BIO 251: Anatomy and Physiology II Lab (1 credit) 
    • BIO 254: Pathophysiology (4 credits) 
    • NURS 120: Introduction to Nursing (3 credit) 
    • NURS 155: Pharmacology (4 credits) 
    • NURS 160: Nursing Assessment (3 credits) 
    • NURS 161: Nursing Assessment Lab (3 credits) 
    • NURS 200: Medical Surgical Nursing Part A (3 credits)
    • NURS 201: Medical Surgical Nursing Part A Lab (2 credits) 
    • NURS 204: Maternal Child Health Nursing (2 credits) 
    • NURS 205: Maternal Child Health Nursing Lab (2 credits)
    • NURS 206: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing (2 credits) 
    • NURS 207: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Lab (2 credits) 
    • NURS 250: Medical Surgical Nursing Part B (3 credits) 
    • NURS 251: Medical Surgical Nursing Part B Lab (2 credits) 
    • NURS 261: Senior Seminar (2 credits) 
    • NURS 270: Critical Care and Advanced Med Surg Nursing (4 credits) 
    • NURS 271: ASN Senior Externship (4 credits) 

    In addition to the courses listed above, several REACH courses are also required. 

    Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN) for licensure as a professional registered nurse. Graduates will be prepared to work in various health care settings such as acute care hospitals, long term care centers, ambulatory clinics, and home health care. 

    According to the the U.S. Department of Labor and Industry, jobs in healthcare are steadily on the rise due to the aging world’s population. We are already seeing shortages of nurses, but expect that the nation will have a shortage of more than 800,000 nurses in teh coming years, with a projected 14.8% increased need for registered nurses. Nursing can be rewarding in more ways than one. The average starting salary for a registered nurse is $62,450, and licensed practical nurses average $39,030. Plus, many hospitals also offer generous signing bonuses.

Nursing Facilities

Our recently renovated nursing space on Mercyhurst’s campus in Erie, Pennsylvania, houses one of the best nursing facilities in the region. Two clinical skills labs provide the abilities necessary for you to have a safe transition from classroom learning to a real-world setting. You'll practice critical nursing skills using computer-controlled mannequins, medical equipment, task trainers, and low-fidelity mannequins in the clinical skills lab. Our simulation suite contains high-fidelity mannequins, debriefing rooms, video-recording equipment, and medical equipment that closely mimics the clinical environment.

Watch the videos below to receive an overview and virtual tour of our nursing facilities.