Mercy Hospital - Council Bluffs History

The Sisters of Mercy founded St. Bernard’s Hospital in 1887. The first Mercy Hospital was then built to serve as an acute care facility in 1902. The two facilities merged in 1965.

Six years later in 1971, the Mercy Hospital of today was built as a 284-bed acute care hospital along with a 40-bed mental health facility. The combination of Mercy Hospital, Bergan Mercy Medical Center and Immanuel Health Systems formed Alegent Health in 1996.


The need for additional healthcare services in Pottawattamie County and the surrounding region will be addressed with a major expansion and other improvements for patients at Mercy Hospital. In 2007, the Alegent Health Board of Directors approved a $27 million investment to complete the expansion and enhancement project.

Highlights of the Mercy Hospital project include the addition of four intensive care beds and renovation of existing space for a total of 16 beds in the Intensive Care Unit, reconfiguration and expansion of the surgical area to enhance operating room suites to include the latest technology and patient preparation and recovery stations will also be added to improve patient care, comfort and monitoring before and after surgery.

Entryway improvements and additions will be made to ensure convenient patient access and additional surface parking will be added to serve outpatients visiting the hospital’s ambulatory services center.

In the fall of 2006, Mercy Hospital undertook a $3.7 million renovation and expansion project to the second and fourth floors will provide an even higher level of comfort and privacy during a patient’s stay. Once completed, the transformation on each of these floors feature private patient rooms; warm, inviting family lounges; and an overall home-like atmosphere aimed at promoting patient-centered care.

Mercy Hospital nurses also have distinguished themselves by achieving Magnet Status, the profession’s gold standard for nursing excellence. Out of 6,000 hospitals nationwide, Mercy Hospital ranks in the top two percent (160 hospitals) to receive this prestigious distinction. The Magnet Recognition Program serves as the ultimate benchmark for consumers to measure the quality of nursing care they can expect to receive. Patient satisfaction survey results also rank Mercy Hospital’s Emergency Department number one in the nation for overall quality of care.

The hospital’s Joint Replacement Center has established itself as a leader by receiving the 2006 Premier Award for Quality. Mercy Hospital was selected out of approximately 400 hospitals as an industry leader after scoring high marks in the areas of length of stay, pain management, surgical outcomes, data management and overall operational efficiency.

In May 2006, Mercy Hospital opened a new state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheterization lab, allowing cardiologists at Mercy to perform procedures that they were unable to accommodate before – such as heart catheterizations, coronary interventions including balloon angioplasty and stenting, as well as implantation of pacemakers and defibrillators. The $1.8 million project included the addition of the latest technology, such as digital acquisition and flat-panel monitors. These monitors will allow cardiologists to view higher quality images of the heart and arteries, making blockage detection much easier. The new 850-square-foot Cath Lab is located between the emergency department and critical care units.

Healthcare services at Alegent Creighton Mercy Hospital include:

  • Behavioral Services
  • Chest Pain Center
  • Critical Care
  • Emergency Services
  • Home Care/Hospice/DME/Infusion Therapy
  • Maternity
  • Mental Health
  • Orthopedics
  • Outpatient Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Women’s Services

Some facts about the facility:

  • 278 licensed beds
  • 288 active staff physicians
  • 156 full-time RNs
  • 576 full-time employees