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In 1911 Bishop Joseph Schrembs, the first Bishop of Toledo, invited the Sisters of Mercy to open three hospitals in the Diocese of Toledo.
The hospital in Toledo, Ohio opened in 1918. The Sisters of Mercy understood not only the importance of hospital care, but also the need for well-prepared nurses. The Sisters of Mercy enrolled their first class of ten student nurses between June and December of 1918 just as the Spanish Influenza struck the Toledo community. The nursing program provided a vehicle through which the educational mission of the Sisters of Mercy was promoted.
Over the next seventy-six years diplomas were awarded to 2,921 nurses. By the late twentieth century, Mercy Sister Patricia Ann Dalke, Director of the School of Nursing, recognized the need for a nursing degree program and Mercy College of Northwest Ohio was incorporated on September 18, 1992. The first Associate Degrees in Nursing were conferred on December 10, 1994.
Since then, the college has obtained authorization from the Higher Learning Commission to offer additional graduate, associate, and bachelor’s degrees in healthcare to meet the needs of the region.
In the fall of 2002, the College received approval from the Ohio Board of Regents, the Ohio Board of Nursing, and the Higher Learning Commission to offer the college’s Associate of Science in Nursing Program at a new location in Youngstown, Ohio at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital facilities.
Reflecting its geographic reach and advances in distance education, the College name was changed in August of 2011 from Mercy College of Northwest Ohio to Mercy College of Ohio.
Today, Mercy College is sponsored by Mercy Health as it continues the mission of healthcare education through land-based and online classes in a variety of fields, inspired by the legacy sponsorship of the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of Charity of Montréal (Grey Nuns), and the Sisters of Humility of Mary.