School of Medical Laboratory Science - About

The Mercy Hospital Ardmore School of Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) is a hospital-based program affiliated with several state colleges and universities. The program started its first class in June 2014. The Mercy Hospital Ardmore MLS program has successfully completed all required steps to achieve “Serious Applicant” status from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS), 5600 River Road, Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018, 773-714-8880. Our MLS program has completed all additional steps necessary and is waiting for the final decision from NAACLS for formal accreditation.

The program spans one full calendar year beginning the first Monday in June. Students spend approximately 500 clock hours in formal and informal lectures and seminars, video lectures and webinars. Under qualified supervision, the remaining time is spent in the clinical laboratory learning technical skills and developing professional attitudes. Students are evaluated based on their academic achievement, laboratory performance and professional behavior throughout the program year.

The students rotate through the various sections of the laboratory three times during the year. Students report to assigned lab sections from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.  1:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. is spent in the classroom, where the students study the didactic material that correlates with the laboratory section to which they are assigned and for formal lectures in clinical microbiology, clinical chemistry, clinical hematology, clinical immunology and for special topics in medical technology.

The MLS program awards a certificate upon successful completion of the year.  The certificate plus an appropriate baccalaureate degree allows the student to sit for a national certification examination.

Program Outcomes

Our program graduated its first class in May 2015. We had a 100 percent graduation and National Certification rate as well as 100 percent job placement with competitive salaries.

  • 2014-2015: 100% pass rate and attrition rate
  • 2015-2016: 100% pass rate and attrition rate

Career Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the profession is projected to have a 22% increase in employment from 2012-2022, twice that of all other occupations. Students typically receive one or two job offers in their final semester while doing their clinical internships. Currently there is a shortage in many parts of the United States meaning greater job security and employment at higher salaries for graduates.

The salary for laboratory professionals varies according to their level and geographic location. According to the ASCP 2013 Wage Survey of Clinical Laboratories in the United States, the national average is $56,430 per year for medical laboratory scientists and $77,113 per year at the supervisory level. Salaries are higher for those who become managers or lab directors.

Although most medical laboratory scientists are employed in a hospital setting, the knowledge and skills of the medical laboratory scientist are valued by other employers such as those in research, forensics, physician office laboratories, veterinary laboratories, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology companies, other industries and sales and service of laboratory equipment and supplies.

Program Benefits and Expenses

The projected tuition of the clinical year, 2016 – 2017 is $5820.00. An affiliated university student will pay 100 percent tuition to the university. Eighty percent of the tuition fee is paid to the MLS program. Tuition refunds are subject to the university refund policy. A non-affiliated university student who possesses a baccalaureate degree will pay a clinical education fee* directly to the MLS program to cover the expense of the clinical laboratory education. Fees are non-refundable.


*The clinical education fee will be 80% of the affiliated university student fee, which is determined by the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO). Prices are subject to change. Contact the program director for more information.

Students will receive a required textbook list upon acceptance into the program. The cost of the required textbooks is approximately $500.00. Students may purchase the required textbooks online (used or new, electronic or hard copy). In addition to the required textbooks, supplementary books will be checked out to the student. These must be returned prior to graduation.

All students are required to maintain Professional Liability Insurance throughout the clinical year. The cost of this coverage is approximately $35.00.

Students admitted to the clinical program must complete a health screen, including a drug screen, performed at Mercy Hospital Ardmore. Any student who becomes ill while on duty may see the Emergency Room physician or their personal physician at their own expense. Students are strongly encouraged to obtain hospitalization insurance. Group rates are available through most universities.

Most scholarships and loans are best pursued through the student’s university. Mercy Hospital Ardmore does offer MLS scholarships. Information is available from the Mercy Hospital Ardmore Human Resources Recruiting Department.

Mercy Hospital Ardmore may elect to employ students as laboratory assistance. This work is not to exceed twenty hours per week and will be in the evenings or on weekends. The work is voluntary, paid, and directly supervised. The work must in no way interfere with the academic responsibilities of the student.  Students will not perform service work in place of qualified staff.

A certified background check is required for all students as part of the application process.

The student will receive a certificate and pin from Mercy Hospital Ardmore upon successful completion of the program. This is not contingent upon passing a national certification examination.

All students are advised to take the national certifying exam. It is offered by the ASCP Board of Certification. The student pays the examination fee of approximately $225.00.

Students may use the hospital cafeteria and receive a discount.