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Allen College At a Glance

Allen College has a tradition of more than 78 years of excellence in healthcare education. Allen College students may enroll in the following degree programs: Associate of Science in RadiographyBachelor of Health SciencesBachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice degree programs. We are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

We are located on a beautiful campus in Waterloo, Iowa. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls metropolitan area combines the diversity of a large city with the friendliness of a small town. Residents value their high quality of life and strive to maintain it. The metro area offers a setting appropriate for nearly every occasion—from shopping and dining at an increasing number of retail areas and restaurants, to leisurely walks along nature trails and exhilarating nights at concerts, shows or sporting events.

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Allen College considers admitting applicants living out of state or country.

Applicants and current students must be aware select states require approval prior to Allen College offering online courses and clinical study in those states.  Additionally, a state certification or governing licensing board may also require prior approval for an Allen College student to engage in clinical study within the state.  Therefore, Allen College cannot guarantee out-of- state clinical or practicum placement.  Allen College also cannot guarantee students maintaining residency in a state other than Iowa will be allowed to enroll in online courses.

Applicants planning to maintain residency in any state other than Iowa, and planning to enroll in an online course or engage in clinical study in any state other than Iowa, should consult an admission counselor prior to applying to Allen College.

Our Future

Allen College developed a dynamic strategic plan for 2003-2008 by involving more than 150 constituents with the college, students and a large representation from our community. This plan provided a strong base from which to move forward.  A new strategic plan for 2010 – 2015 is being developed with input from Allen College’s faculty, staff and Board of Trustees.

Allen College’s plans for the future will be directed by its vision:

  • Building a model of partnerships
  • Preparing quality graduates
  • Collaborating with and integrating into Iowa Health System

Allen College will continue to enhance the educational experience it offers students.

Strategic Goals

  • Establish key indicators for ensuring the quality of the Allen College graduate 
  • Create a seamless experience for our students through partnerships with educational institutions and selected healthcare providers and employers 
  • Redesign curriculum models to meet student needs and the changing employment market
  • Secure both short-term viability and long-term financial self-sufficiency
  • Organize operations to facilitate the expansion of the College and integration with the Iowa Healthcare System
  • Develop and implement a technology plan that positions Allen College competitively in the higher education market  
  • Develop and implement a plan for faculty recruitment and retention
  • Develop and implement a marketing plan that positions Allen College competitively among higher education institutions

Our History

The history of Allen College can be traced back to 1925, to the founding of Allen Memorial Hospital and the Allen Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. The first class graduated 10 students in 1928. In 1934, the school was closed due to the Great Depression. In 1942, it reopened with basic science instruction provided by the Iowa State Teacher’s College in Cedar Falls, Iowa, now the University of Northern Iowa.

In 1958, Allen Memorial Hospital established a certificate program in radiologic technology.

In 1989, Allen Memorial Hospital School of Nursing became Allen College of Nursing and was incorporated as a subsidiary of Allen Health System. This change established the college as a degree-granting institution.

The Iowa Board of Nursing approved the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the college in March 1990. The initial class of students was enrolled during the fall of 1990, with the first nursing course being taught in the spring of 1991 and the first class graduating in May 1994. Allen College developed agreements with the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, and Wartburg College, Waverly, to offer general education and support courses.

In 1995, Allen Health System became an affiliate of the Iowa Health System (IHS), the state’s largest healthcare system.

In 1996, the radiologic technology certificate program was transferred from Allen Memorial Hospital to Allen College School of Nursing. The following year, the Board of Trustees changed the institution’s name to Allen College because of the added program.

In 1998, the Associate of Science in Radiography program was initiated and the first students graduated from the program in May 2000.

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program with a family nurse practitioner track was initiated in the fall of 1998. In the fall of 2001, a Health Education track and a Leadership in Healthcare Delivery track were added to the MSN program. Tracks in acute care nursing and psychiatric-mental health nursing were added in 2007. An MSN track that prepares adult and gerontological nurse practitioners began admitting students in fall of 2009. The MSN track in psychiatric-mental health nursing was changed to Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in 2012. In addition, the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program was revised to an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program in 2012, and the Adult and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner programs were combined to an Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program in 2012. An MSN track in public health was added in 2013.

In 2007, the Allen College Board of Trustees approved offering a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree with three tracks: medical laboratory science, nuclear medicine technology and diagnostic medical sonography. Students were admitted to the medical laboratory science and nuclear medicine technology tracks in the fall of 2009 and to the diagnostic medical sonography track in the fall of 2010.

In 2010, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program was approved by the College's Board of Trustees, the Iowa Board of Nursing, and the Higher Learning Commission. The College initially offered this post-graduate's program in fall 2011.

In 2013 the College received final approval from its regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learnng Commission, to offer new bachelor's degree programs in dental hygiene and public health, both to be delivered through distance education. Students in these programs will receive the Bachelor of Health Sciences degree. The public health program is slated to start in fall 2014 while the dental hygiene program will admit its first students in fall 2015.

In 2013 the Iowa Health System changed its name to UnityPoint Health and is now one of the nation's most integrated health systems. Through relationships with more than 280 physician clinics, 29 hospitals in metropolitan and rural communities, and home care services throughout its 8 regions, UnityPoint Health provides care throughout Iowa and Illinois. UnityPoint Health entities employ more than 24,000 employees, working toward innovative advancements to deliver the Best Outcome for Every Patient Every Time. Each year, through more than 4 million patient visits, UnityPoint Health, UnityPoint Clinic and UnityPoint at Home provide a full range of coordinated care to patients and families.

The fundamental commitment of Allen College to professional excellence, personal growth and awareness of the joy of caring has remained steadfast. Always, there is a commitment to the student as an individual with unique ability and potential and a continual commitment to caring and educational excellence. The basic philosophy of fulfillment of responsibility to society remains unchanged.

Allen Health System has always recognized its responsibility to prepare health professionals who will provide quality healthcare to patients in Northeast Iowa. Allen Health System, through its Board of Directors, takes pride in supporting an accredited college that provides top programs that are in the forefront of nursing and health sciences education.

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