About Allen College

Allen College has a tradition of more than 90 years of excellence in healthcare education. Allen College students may enroll in the following degree programs: Associate of Science in Radiography, Bachelor of Health Sciences, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Doctor of Education in Health Professions Education degree programs. We are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Learn about our Academic Programs here.

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.

Our Future

Allen College developed a dynamic strategic plan for 2015 - 2019 with input from the College's faculty, staff and Board of Trustees.

Our Goals

Allen College is committed to

  1. preparing outstanding healthcare practitioners who are committed to lifelong learning;
  2. developing and implementing accessible academic programs of excellence that are responsive to the workforce needs of Iowa and the nation;
  3. recruiting and retaining highly qualified and engaged students, faculty, and staff who represent diverse populations and who embrace diversity, cultural and global awareness, and the inclusion of all its members;
  4. promoting a commitment by all members of the Allen College community to lives of service; and
  5. adopting management practices that demonstrate outstanding stewardship of all resources to our constituents.

Our History

UnityPoint Health – Waterloo has always recognized its responsibility to prepare health professionals who will provide quality health care to patients in Northeast Iowa. UnityPoint Health – Waterloo, 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.

Allen Memorial Hospital's involvement in nursing education began in 1925, when the hospital-based diploma-granting School of Nursing first opened. The first class graduated ten students in 1928. In 1934, the School of Nursing was closed due to the Great Depression. In 1942, the School of Nursing reopened and State Teacher’s College (now known as the University of Northern Iowa) provided the basic science instruction. The last class from Allen Memorial Hospital School of Nursing graduated in May 1997, ending almost 70 years of excellence in nursing diploma education. Allen graduates serve as leaders in all fields of nursing practice in all parts of the United States. Many have been honored for their contribution to the profession and to society.

In 1989, Allen College was incorporated as a subsidiary of UnityPoint Health – Waterloo, to establish a degree granting institution offering nursing and allied health programs. The UnityPoint Health – Waterloo became a member of the Iowa Health System in 1995. 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. With annual revenues of $2.7 billion, UnityPoint Health is the nation's 15th largest nonprofit health system and the fifth largest nondenominational health system.

The Iowa Board of Nursing approved the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program 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, Wartburg College, Waverly and Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo to offer the general education and support courses.

In 1958, Allen Memorial Hospital established a certificate program in Radiologic Technology. Graduates of this program are providing radiology services throughout the region and beyond. The Radiologic Technology Certificate Program transferred to Allen College from Allen Memorial Hospital in 1996. The last class from the certificate program graduated in May 1999. In 1998, the Associate of Science in Radiography program was initiated with its first graduates in May 2000. In 1997, the Allen College Board of Trustees changed the name from Allen College of Nursing to Allen College because the radiography program had been added. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program with a family nurse practitioner track began in the fall of 1998. This program meets the needs of RNs for a locally based graduate program in nursing and the need for additional primary care providers in our region of Iowa. In the fall of 2001, tracks in Nursing Education and Leadership in Health Care Delivery track were added to the MSN program. Tracks preparing nurse practitioners in acute care nursing and adult psychiatric-mental health nursing were added in 2007. An MSN track that prepares adult and gerontological nurse practitioners began admitting students in the 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 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 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 2013 the College received final approval from its regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning 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 Higher Learning Commission approved Allen College to offer the Doctor of Education in Health Professions Education program (Ed.D.) under the School of Health Sciences. The first class of students was admitted in the fall 2014.

In 2014 the College sought accreditation for a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree. In the spring of 2015, the College applied for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The first class of students will be admitted in the fall 2015.

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.

Our Present

Allen College, based on a tradition of over 85 years of health care education excellence, is 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 every mood, from a leisurely walk along a nature trail to an exhilarating night at a concert.

Allen College is a private, co-educational regionally accredited post-secondary institution categorized by the Carnegie Foundation as a “Special Focus” institution. Allen College is organized in two schools: Health Sciences and Nursing. In the School of Health Sciences two degrees are offered: Associate of Science in Radiography (ASR) and Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHS). Five tracks are currently offered in the BHS degree: Medical Laboratory Science (MLS), Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT), Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS), Public Health (PH) and Dental Hygiene (DH). In the School of Nursing, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is offered for pre- and post-licensure students seeking to start or advance a career in professional nursing. The BSN program includes two pre-licensure options: a four semester accelerated option, and a traditional 5-semester option. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program offers seven tracks – Adult-Gerontology Acute Care (AGACNP), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care (AGPCNP), Family Psychiatric-Mental Health (FPMHNP), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Nursing Education, Leadership in Health Care Delivery and Community Public Health -- for nurses wishing to advance their careers. Students can complete a post-graduate’s certificate in each of these tracks.

Allen College challenges students with dynamic learning opportunities. Its academic degree programs thrive in an environment that will facilitate student achievement of academic excellence and clinical competence with emphasis on the art of human caring. While students planning to seek admission to Allen College may complete general education requirements at any regionally-accredited college or university, Allen College has special transfer arrangements for general education completion with the University of Northern Iowa, Wartburg College, Hawkeye Community College, Loras College, Central College, Simpson College, Northwest Iowa Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College, Aultman College, Northeast Iowa Community College, The University of Iowa, and Drake University. Allen College also maintains clinical study agreements with numerous area health care agencies and providers. The bridge with these institutions and providers maximize learning opportunities by combining the strengths of our clinical learning component with the traditional college environment and activities.

In the spring of 2015, Allen College enrolled 603 students, of whom 91% were women. About 87% of Allen College’s students are enrolled in one of the College’s nursing programs. The College has more than 3,000 graduates who live throughout the United States and abroad. Allen College employs 53 full and part-time faculty and additional adjunct faculty.

Our Future

Allen College has developed a dynamic strategic plan for 2015-2019 that builds up an earlier strategic plan that involved the Allen College Board of Trustees, faculty and staff. This plan provides a strong base for the College’s continued growth. Allen College's plans for the future will be directed by its mission, core values, and goals.

Allen College complies with those laws which forbid discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, marital status, age, national origin, veteran status, disabilities, sexual orientation, or gender identity in administration of its admission policies, educational policies, scholarships and loan programs, and other programs and operations. In addition, Allen College prohibits discrimination based on sex in the College’s educational programs and activities. Allen College students, faculty, and staff have the freedom to identify with either gender, regardless of the gender assigned at birth.