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Mercy College President Decker conferred Highest Laity Papal Honor

The "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross,” a papal honor awarded by Pope Francis, was conferred to Mercy College's Decker.

President Decker is among five other local recipients who have developed specific professional skills which they generously use in the life of the Catholic Church. The translation of “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross” is “For the Church and the Pontiff, the Pope.”

Decker12 Papal awardsFIX.jpg On Nov. 26, Bishop Richard Pates presented six local Catholics with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontiface Cross, one of the highest honors given by Pope Francis to the laity. Those honored with this papal award are: Dr. Jerry Deegan of St. Francis Parish in West Des Moines; Frank Hardy of St. Francis Parish in West Des Moines; Nancy Galeazzi of St. Augustin Parish in Des Moines; Dr. Barbara Decker of St. Ambrose Cathedral Parish in Des Moines; Bruce Baker of St. Augustin Parish in Des Moines; and Steve Chapman of Sacred Heart Parish in West Des Moines.

BSN Student Elected President of Iowa Association of Nursing Students

Mercy College will be represented at both the state and national level by Mercy College Association of Nursing Students (MCANS) members who were elected to leadership positions within the Iowa Association of Nursing Students (IANS) for 2017-18. 


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Kambra Becker
2017-18 President of IANS
(2016-17 Vice President of IANS)

Lisa Judd
2017-18 Treasurer of IANS 
(2017-18 MCANS secretary)

In October, MCANS members and faculty participated in the 2017 Iowa Association of Nursing Students (IANS) State Convention at Prairie Meadows in Des Moines, IA. At the convention, Kambra Becker and Lisa Judd were elected to leadership positions - President and Treasurer of IANS for 2017-18, respectively.

In early November,  Becker and Judd traveled to the 2017 National Student Nursing Association (NSNA) Mid-year convention in San Diego, California.

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Top row from Left to Right: Jory Wallace (MCANS Treasurer), Lisa Judd (MCANS Secretary), Mary-Claire Li (MCANS Break Through to Nursing Chair), Daniel McCoy (MCANS President), Nick Bunger (MCANS Vice President), Ellie Youngwirth (MCANS Community Service Chair), and Marley Drake (MCANS Legislative and Publicity Chair). Bottom Row from Left to Right: Kim Bruett (MCANS Faculty Advisor) and Krissa Wiley (MCANS Faculty Advisor) Not Pictured: Larz Vinz (MCANS Mentorship Chair) and Sara Ryan (MCANS Member and volunteer delegate)


Both of the MCANS resolutions that were presented at the 2017 IANS convention, passed unanimously:

  • In support of increasing education and awareness regarding disinfecting portable electronics as standard environmental control.
  • In support of increasing parent education regarding the importance of early-detection and follow-up of infant hearing impairments.

While in San Diego, Becker collaborated with other NSA presidents from across the country on best practices for running a state association and tackling issues we each face at the Council of State President (COSP) meeting. Business included the selection of presenters and development of the program for the next COSP meeting (April, 2018 at the NSNA annual convention in Nashville, TN).  Becker was elected director of her respective district. She is very excited to work with the NSNA and represent COSP at the annual convention this spring

Judd returned to campus enlightened about the treasurers role in non-profit organizations as well as creative ways to fund raise for our state and school associations. She also felt the opportunity enhanced her understanding of the R.N. licensure process, how to maintain the R.N. licensure, and how to expand the nurses scope of practice through policy. She is very thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with students from around the nation state and school nursing student association chapters.

"MCANS and the Mercy College nursing students they represent could not have achieved these accomplishments without the amazing support and guidance from our faculty advisors Kim Bruett and Krissa Wiley. We cannot thank them enough for all the time and effort they put towards our success!" 

White Coat Ceremony Elevates the Value of Humanism

The Mercy College Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is the only recipient in Iowa to be awarded with funding in 2017 for a White Coat Ceremony. This will work towards raising the level of professionalism within the field of nursing.

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More than 80 new undergraduate Mercy College School of Nursing students participated in the school’s first-ever white coat ceremony, a rite of passage that welcomes students into medical professions. The Inaugural Mercy College B.S.N. White Ceremony took place on Friday, November 10, 2017 at the St. Ambrose Cathedral in Downtown Des Moines.