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Radiologic Technology Degree

A Radiologic Technology (x-ray) program prepares radiographers to take x-rays of all parts of the human body for the purpose of diagnosing medical problems. Radiographers position the patients, who either lie on a table, sit, or stand, so that the correct parts of the body can be radiographed. In addition, radiographers may take portable radiographs in areas of the hospital that include the emergency room, operating room, intensive care unit, and patient care units. Radiologic Technologists work with ionizing radiation and learn proper procedures to protect themselves and their patients from unnecessary radiation exposure. The radiographer must use sterile technique, maintain records, assist with special procedures, and administer contrast media via multiple routes, including intravenous routes. Transfer and positioning activities are integrated throughout the program. Radiographers must be reliable, have mechanical aptitude and possess good communication skills.

Entrance Requirements

The applicant must complete the application forms which can be found on the Mercy Medical Center–North Iowa website (www.mercynorthiowa.com/xrayschool) and contact the NIACC health professions counselor located in the Student Development Office. Mercy’s application deadline is January 15 each year.

Application Information:

In order to apply, the following must be met:

  1. All applicants MUST be United States citizens or permanent resident.
  2. All applicants must be least 18 years of age by the start date of the program.
  3. All applicants must have graduated from an accredited high school or have
    passed a standard equivalent program.
  4. All applicants must have attended one of the information sessions held by
    Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa.

Meeting the admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the Mercy Radiologic Technology program. Top applicants will be granted an interview at Mercy. The points-based selection process includes:

  • Academics: Progress or completion of college A&P I and II with labs. Progress towards a college degree (minimum Associate). Minimum 2.5 GPA, minimum ACT score of 18 (high school graduates who have not taken the ACT before do not need to take) and achievements in health/anatomy/science/math related courses.
  • Interview:  including interpersonal skills and suitability for success in the practice of this profession
  • Supporting information:  including health-care related experiences, references and essay

For the top candidates, final acceptance is contingent upon successful completion of the rest of the Pre-requisite courses (see listing in curriculum section) prior to the start of the program and successful completion of a physical exam, drug screen, background check, and a post-offer screen no sooner than 30 days prior to the start of Radiologic Technology classes at Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa.  In addition, proof of CPR/BLS certification from either the American Heart Association’s BLS: Healthcare Provider or the American Red Cross’s Professional Rescuer prior to program start date must be provided.

There is no waiting list. Applicants who are not accepted and wish to be considered for the following year must re-apply. This includes applicants chosen as alternate candidates who did not start the program in that year.

Program Completion:

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) requires radiologic technology graduates to have an Associates Degree or higher prior to taking the national certification exam. The degree does not need to be in Radiation Sciences and can be completed prior to or during the x-ray program. Therefore, Mercy Radiologic Technology program students must have a minimum of an Associate Degree to complete the program. There are several paths to fulfilling this:

  1. Mercy & NIACC courses as stated in the curriculum section
  2. Prior degree from any accredited post-secondary institution*+
  3. Finishing a degree from any accredited post-secondary institution; degree-progression plan must be approved by the Program Director*+

* Must include a college Medical Terminology I course, (minimum of 2 s.h.) with a minimum grade of C.
+ Anatomy and Physiology I and II with labs, with a minimum grade of C (prerequisites – See Curriculum section). The above courses should be within the last five years and both Anatomy and Physiology courses at the same institution to ensure complete sequencing of information.

Options #1 and #3: Students wanting to complete general education courses past Mercy’s second term will need to seek faculty approval and be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. No student will be allowed to go beyond 30 days of the completion of the Radiologic Technology program as it would greatly impact the student’s ability to successfully pass the ARRT certification exam.

Option #1: The NIACC A.A.S. Degree in Radiologic Technology requires a minimum of 17 s.h. of college-level general education courses (developmental courses do NOT qualify) and 3 s.h. of Medical Terminology. For applicants with significant non-NIACC college credits: even if previous courses transfer to NIACC, a minimum of 20 s.h. at NIACC is required to fulfill the A.A.S. Radiologic Technology Degree. Students must maintain a 2.00 to satisfy NIACC degree requirements. It is recommended that you have as many as possible of the required 20 s.h. completed prior to beginning the Mercy Radiologic Technology program. Continuation in the Mercy program is dependent upon successful progression on the NIACC courses as listed in the curriculum section.

Career Opportunities

Radiologic Technologists work for:

    • Hospitals and clinics
    • Privately-owned facilities
    • Physician’s offices that provide radiological services

An Associate in Applied Science Degree in Radiologic Technology will be awarded to students who complete degree requirements. This Degree will be granted exclusively to students enrolled in the Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa Radiologic Technology curriculum. The program is designed to be completed within the required two-year time period.


Tuition is based on the number of NIACC credit hours (minimum of 20 s.h.) and legal residence and is subject to change or modification. To see the current cost per semester hour click here.

The remainder of the costs are paid directly to Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa -see:  http://www.mercynorthiowa.com/expenses for full details.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Financial assistance is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and part-time employment (work study). Students apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For more information on Financial Aid click here.

NOTE: Students must obtain a minimum grade of C (2.00) in the NIACC courses.

Prerequisites: Prior to First Term
BIO-206 Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab* (NIACC) 4 s.h.
BIO-207 Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab*+ (NIACC) 4 s.h.
HSC-120 Medical Terminology I (NIACC) 3 s.h.
NIACC General Education elective** 3-4 s.h.
14-15 s.h.

Potential substitutions must be approved by the NIACC Health Professions counselor.

*Students should plan to take A&P I and A&P II at the same institution to eliminate gaps in content.

+May exchange with NIACC course in Term I.

**Choose from the list of Required NIACC General Education Electives

First Year - First Term
Radiation Protection (Mercy) 1 s.h.
Introduction to Radiologic Technology and Patient
Care (Mercy)
2 s.h.
Radiographic Image Critique I (Mercy) 2 s.h.
Radiographic Procedures I with Lab (Mercy) 3 s.h.
Clinical I (Mercy) 4 s.h.
NIACC General Education Elective** 3 s.h.
15 s.h.
Second Term
Principles of Imaging (Mercy) 2 s.h.
Radiation Protection and Biology (Mercy) 1 s.h.
Radiographic Image Critique II (Mercy) 2 s.h.
Radiographic Procedures II with Lab (Mercy) 3 s.h.
Clinical II (Mercy) 6 s.h.
NIACC General Education Elective** 3 s.h.
17 s.h.
Third Term
Medical Ethics and Legal Concerns (Mercy) 1 s.h.
Radiation Production (Mercy) 1 s.h.
Radiographic Procedures III with Lab (Mercy) 1.5 s.h.
Clinical III (Mercy) 6 s.h.
9.5 s.h.
Second Year - Fourth Term
RAD-764 Pharmacology for Radiographers (Mercy) 1 s.h.
Radiographic Image Processing (Mercy) 2 s.h.
Imaging Equipment and Quality Management (Mercy) 1 s.h.
Radiographic Procedures IV with Lab (Mercy) 3.5 s.h.
Clinical IV (Mercy) 5 s.h.
12.5 s.h.
Fifth Term
RAD-573 Clinical V (Mercy) 6 s.h.
RAD-744 Radiographic Pathology (Mercy) 2 s.h.
RAD-767 Radiographic Procedures V (Mercy) 2 s.h.
RAD-901 Registry Review (Mercy) 2 s.h.
12 s.h.
Sixth Term
RAD-576 Clinical VI (Mercy) 5 s.h.
5 s.h.
Total Program Hours 85-86 s.h.

**By the end of Term 2, students must have completed 3 s.h. from each of the General Education categories: Math, Social Science/Humanities, and Communications. Potential substitutions must be approved by the NIACC Health Professions Counselor.

Math (choose 3 s.h. from the following):
MAT-110 Math for Liberal Arts (NIACC) 3 s.h.
OR MAT-121 College Algebra (NIACC) 4 s.h.
OR MAT-156 Introduction to Statistics (NIACC) 3 s.h.
Social Science/Humanities (choose 3 s.h. from the following):
PHI-105 Introduction to Ethics (NIACC) 3 s.h.
OR PSY-111 Introduction to Psychology (NIACC) 3 s.h.
OR PSY-121 Developmental Psychology (NIACC) 3 s.h.
OR SOC-110 Introduction to Sociology (NIACC) 3 s.h.
ENG-105 Composition I (NIACC) 3 s.h.

Potential substitutions must be approved by the NIACC Health Professions counselor.