The School of Health Professions
The School of Health Professions prepares students to make a difference in the world of health care. Through increased comprehension of human health and disease, coupled with theoretical and practical training across multiple disciplines, we prepare students to be experienced, compassionate leaders in the scientific and social dimensions of human health.
Programs within the School of the Health Professions offer expansive opportunities in a variety of health-related fields—if you are interested in health care, rehabilitation, and wellness, Mercyhurst is the place for you.
The School of Health Professions is comprised of three departments: Nursing and Respiratory Therapy, Physician Assistant, and Sports Medicine and Rehabilitative Sciences. Across the departments, programs are available to prepare graduates for direct entry into health professions or transition to advanced degrees.
Students who prefer a short and direct entry into health care may choose a nursing certificate program in Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) or one of several two-year associate degree programs including Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA), Registered Nursing (RN), and Respiratory Therapist (RT). Four-year bachelor's degree programs are offered in Exercise Science, PTA, RN, and Sports Medicine with numerous programs designed to prepare graduates to enter a variety of advanced degree programs. Graduate programs available in the School of the Health Professions include Athletic Training, Integrative Nursing Leadership (MSN), and Physician Assistant Studies.
Opportunities exist to transition through degree programs. For example, a student can progress through each of the nursing degrees, building from foundational to advanced. In addition, students who complete the pre-athletic training or pre-physician assistant programs can enter our graduate programs in the respective fields.
Each of our departments is staffed with experienced professionals who are eager to assist students on their journey into the careers we love, and to which we have dedicated our lives. Come join us and take the first step to enter one of the many wonderful and rewarding career options available at Mercyhurst.
- 85% of pre-health students are accepted to professional school.
- Our graduates have gone on to master’s and doctoral programs at schools like Ohio State, Northwestern and Cornell.
- Our recently renovated nursing space 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.
The Exercise Science curriculum emphasizes multiple aspects of the field: strength training, injury management, exercise assessment, exercise prescription, exercise physiology, sports nutrition, and exercise science research. Exercise Science majors acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities to sit for multiple gold-standard professional certifications, depending upon career aspirations to train persons one-on-one or instruct groups of people.
Earn your bachelor of science in Nursing (BSN), while enjoying the traditional four-year college experience. Our Department of Nursing has prepared qualified, compassionate, and dedicated nurses for decades. This program integrates the latest evidence-based practices to equip graduates to be uniquely suited to fulfilling ever-changing roles in local, national, and global health care communities. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed registered nurses.
If you’re a registered nurse (RN) with an associate degree in nursing or diploma in nursing, a BSN from Mercyhurst will prepare you to deliver enhanced outcomes for your patients and advance your career as a clinician, manager, educator or scholar. Mercyhurst’s blended RN-to-BSN program combines online courses with in-person learning, making for a flexible program that works with your schedule.
Mercyhurst's Physical Therapist Assistant program prepares graduates for direct entry to the field; in addition to core physical therapist assistant requirements, students are encouraged to explore coursework in a variety of topic areas which will prepare them for additional career opportunities. Curriculum consists of a balance of liberal studies, science and technical courses, and personalized coursework which includes additional content in management, public health, behavioral sciences, and natural sciences. In addition to the PTA technical curriculum, coursework can be selected from a variety of options to include a management or science focus, the latter of which satisfies pre-requisite courses for many DPT programs.
Mercyhurst's Pre-Athletic Training program combines science-based knowledge with contemporary evidence-based practices to train majors to treat a variety of populations. Between hours of hands-on clinical experiences, classroom learning with state-of-the-art equipment, and faculty dedicated to whole-person discovery and development, our graduates leave with the most fulfilling education experience and the skills to lead a successful professional life.
Mercyhurst's Spots Medicine program encompasses the health-related professions that prevent and manage injuries and illnesses affecting active individuals and athletes. Our Sports Medicine program is interdisciplinary in nature, designed to prepare students for graduate studies and/or licensure or certification needed to be hired in the areas of athletic training, exercise science, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medicine.
Our Master of Science in Athletic Training program combines foundational knowledge with contemporary evidence-based practices to mold future health care leaders. Engaging all levels of competitive athletes to military personnel, to the performance stage and the physician clinic, athletic trainers focus on guiding the physically active in injury prevention, treatment, and recovery. Between hours of hands-on clinical experiences, classroom learning with state-of-the-art equipment, and faculty dedicated to development of the clinician and the person, our graduates are prepared for a successful future.
Designed with the working, BSN-educated nurse in mind, our innovative Integrative Nursing Leadership (inLEAD) MSN curriculum prepares you for roles as a nursing supervisor or health care administrator. Drawing from the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, who established Mercyhurst nearly a century ago on the values of compassion, service, respect, and integrity, we strive to educate mindful, merciful, compassionate nurse leaders.
The Department of Physician Assistant Studies at Mercyhurst emphasizes professional excellence and leadership through a 24-month program. Students become advocates of just practices, policies, and standards in the profession, promoting the right to good health care in society. The Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree provides curriculum in sequence, with students progressing through preplanned semesters. The curriculum has been developed to meet standards set forth by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). ARC-PA defines the standards for PA education and is the responsible agency in evaluating PA educational programs. Mercyhurst students who are successful in the completion of all the requirements of the program of study will earn a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree and he/she will be eligible to sit for the PANCE exam. This examination must be passed in order to practice in all states.
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.
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.
Mercyhurst's Physical Therapist Assistant associate program provides the best education in the field. Our esteemed faculty prepare students to become an important member of a health care team, where you will work under a physical therapist to provide hands-on care that helps improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease.
Respiratory therapists work to prevent, identify, and treat acute or chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system. Mercyhurst's classroom instruction combined with clinical experience in actual RT settings prepare you with the knowledge and hands-on skills to work in this growing field in just two years. We prepare our graduates to excel at the Registered Respiratory Therapist level and to take both the National Board for Respiratory Care Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination (TMC) and Clinical Simulation Examination, credentials required to practice as a respiratory therapist in most states.
Mercyhurst's Practical Nursing curriculum is based on well-defined behavioral objectives, with individual course objectives contributing to the total program objectives. Students entering the Practical Nursing program bring their life experiences with them, take responsibility for self-directed learning, and learn by actively participating in partnership with their faculty to achieve the program goals and objectives.
The School of Health Professions prepares graduates to enter a variety of health care fields equipped with a holistic education and real-world experience. Rigorous academic health programs provide professional and pre-professional training designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge necessary to develop effective problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills. Students and faculty work collaboratively to investigate the scientific and social dimensions of human health. Students gain a holistic understanding of health, wellness, and rehabilitation grounded in our Mercy values.