Success Follows: Julie M. (Heider) Weldon, '94

From a Mount Mercy biology major and chemistry minor, to a bachelor’s, then a master’s, and now a PhD candidate in nursing, Julie (Heider) Weldon’s career, current and future life’s work helps support the legacy of the Sisters’ of Mercy impact on health care. 

"I love having a daily opportunity to have a positive impact on population health, improve nursing practice, and undergraduate health care education throughout my career."  

Julie M. (Heider) Weldon, '94
Clinical Project Manager, Mercy Accountable Care Organization
Mercy Health Network – Des Moines
PhD Candidate in Nursing
Johnston, Iowa  
Mount Mercy Degrees: Major in Biology, Minor in Chemistry


Julie Weldon’s decision to attend Mount Mercy began with a high recommendation from her aunt, who graduated from the nursing program in 1983. Also attractive to Weldon was the family-like, faith-based culture on campus, scholarship opportunities, and, she says,
“my opportunity to take Human Anatomy with a cadaver lab as an undergraduate student. At the time, it was the only college in the State of Iowa allowing undergraduate students to learn in a cadaver anatomy lab, thanks to Dr. Will Kirkland.”

Success is a common theme in Weldon’s career path, beginning with academic success at Mount Mercy. It was positive groundwork for her well-rounded life as well, and she attributes her professional success to, “my gifts from God, my education, my mentors, and my career opportunities.”

Mount Mercy gave me the scientific foundation, academic, and leadership skills I needed to be successful in my profession, and to contribute to improving health care and patient outcomes. Mount Mercy was also a place where I made lifelong friends, including my husband, Patrick (class of ’94). We have a son, Sean, and a daughter, Megan.

Weldon made the most of her MMU experience, balancing her academic work with success and involvement in campus ministry, Biology Club, intramural sports, and student government. She made and maintains close friendships with 15 Mount Mercy friends, as well as five professors she has found to be “lifelong, professional mentors.”

Asked what she would say to current or prospective students, Weldon shares a quote from the founding Sisters of Mercy, which has a health care context, but, as she says, “all of us are the Spirit of Mercy and an extension of the ministry of Christ, no matter what profession we chose as a graduate of Mount Mercy University:”

“For today, I am the Spirit of Mercy. I am an extension of the healing ministry of Christ. Through me, there is compassion. Through me, there is excellent medical care. Through me, there is kindness and respect for all. Through me, there is hope—for today, and for what today will yet bring. The simplest and most practical lesson I know is to resolve to be good today, but better tomorrow.”

When I meet new nurses at work, I like to find out if they are a fellow Mustang. I proudly claim Mount Mercy as my alma mater.