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Citizens School of Nursing

Citizens School of Nursing

offers a 2-year hospital-based program of preparation to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN):

  • Low student/teacher ratio
  • Spacious facilities
  • Convenient location

Citizens School of Nursing's program includes 2205 hours of nursing theory and practice and 33 college credits earned at Penn State University (PSU) and Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC). College courses may be completed before or with nursing courses.

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Read Citizens School of Nursing's U.S. Department of Education-required "ED Gainful Employment Disclosure Statement"

Gainful Employment


Cost of Citizens Education:

Citizens School of Nursing offers competitive tuition and financial aid (if qualified). You may estimate the net cost to students in your situation who matriculated at Citizens School of Nursing in 2012-2013 using the U.S. Department of Education's Net Price Calculator individualized for Citizens School of Nursing.

About Citizens School of Nursing

Citizens School of Nursing, founded in 1913, is sponsored by Allegheny Valley Hospital.  The purpose of the School is to graduate individuals prepared for registered nurse (RN) licensure and competent for entry-level practice in a variety of healthcare settings.


History of the School

Citizens School of Nursing was opened under the original name of Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing in late 1913 by Citizens General Hospital. Citizens General Hospital, originally established as Trinity Hospital, was chartered in December 1912. The School opened with two students under the direction of two “nurse executives” who were responsible for the Hospital and the School. The first formal graduation of six students was held in May 1917. Since that time, 2205 students have graduated.

In October of 1922, the Nurses Home was donated by the H. E. Kinloch family and furnished by the Hospital Auxiliary. In June 1962, the Aluminum Company of America presented their “Clubhouse” at 200 Freeport Road to the Hospital.

The early curriculum of the school was implemented with three formal nursing instructors, physicians, and hospital departmental supervisors. In the mid 1950s, the nursing faculty positions were expanded so that nursing instructors taught classroom theory and supervised clinical experience. The first male student was admitted in 1957, making this one of the early co-educational programs in Pennsylvania.

The School of Nursing earned its first accreditation from the National League for Nursing (NLN) Accreditation Council in 1960 and continues to enjoy the privilege of full accreditation.

The original 36-month curriculum has been revised often over the School’s history so that the educational program could keep pace with innovations in nursing and health care. Today the program is 2 years long and consists of 2205 hours of nursing theory and practice and 33 college credits earned at Penn State University and Westmoreland County Community College.

In November 2000, Citizens General Hospital closed and the ownership of Citizens School of Nursing was transferred to Allegheny Valley Hospital. The change of ownership of the School of Nursing was approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and the NLN Accrediting Commission in early 2001.

Allegheny Valley Hospital, which is part of Allegheny Health Network, fully supports the School of Nursing. It provides hands-on clinical experiences in medical-surgical, critical care, oncology, mental health and emergency nursing. The School of Nursing as part of Allegheny Valley Hospital will strive to provide highly competent entry-level nurses to serve the Alle-Kiski Valley and greater Pittsburgh area for many years to come.

In the Spring of 2004, the School moved back to its original location at the Citizens Ambulatory Care Center in New Kensington, Pa., and the School’s facilities and offices were updated. 


Philosophy of the School

The Faculty of the Citizens School of Nursing believes that the patient is viewed as an open system that may be a person, family, group, or community. The system is a composite of interrelationships among physiological, psychological, sociocultural, developmental, and spiritual variables. These variables interact dynamically to keep the system stable. The person is viewed as being in constant change moving toward a dynamic state of system stability. The degree of resistance the person has to stressors that threaten to disturb system equilibrium is dependent on the person’s strength and interaction of the variables with the environment.

The person has a central core that consists of basic survival factors, genetic characteristics, and strengths and weaknesses of system parts. Additionally, the person has a flexible line of defense that serves as a protective buffer for a state of wellness. This flexible line of defense includes lifestyle factors, coping patterns, and developmental, cultural, and spiritual factors.

Health is a continuum that reflects the degree of system stability between wellness and illness. The response and adaptation to these interactions determines stability within the person. When all needs are met, wellness exists. Environment is the external and internal factors or stressors that surround or interact with the person and therefore influences the system stability of the person’s state of being.

Nursing is a multifaceted profession that is rooted in scientific theory. Nurses incorporate principles of therapeutic communication and utilize a holistic systematic approach in collaboration with the multidisciplinary healthcare team in providing evidenced-based care for the client through primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. The nursing process includes interventions to promote, maintain, and restore health. Critical thinking is incorporated in the application of the nursing process. Caring is a continuous presence throughout this process.  Nursing is autonomous and therefore morally, ethically, and legally responsible to the patient, family, mutlidiciplinary healthcare team, and society for the quality of care provided. Nursing influences and is influenced by the current political, social, and economic trends that impact health care.

Learning is an active, participative, life-long process that results in the acquisition of knowledge and skills, as evidenced by changes in an individual’s behavior, values, and attitudes. The learning process progresses from simple to complex, general to specific, and directed to self-directed. It is influenced by past experiences, readiness, and motivation of  the learner.  Nursing education is a student-centered, collaborative process based on a mutual trust, respect, and acceptance of responsibility between the educator and the student. In the educational process, the teacher is responsible for planning and guiding the learning experience, which reflects the application of theory to practice. The students are supported as they strive for proficiency in critical thinking and critical decision-making skills essential to entry-level practice. The students are expected to be active participants in the educational process.

Citizens School of Nursing serves the community by preparing competent entry-level professional nurses who live and work primarily in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the general southwestern Pennsylvania region. The School also serves the community by encouraging faculty and student participation in health-related activities that promote the health of the community and demonstrate the role of the professional nurse in the community.


School Goals

The goals of the planned total program of Citizens School of Nursing are as follows:

  • Prepare graduates with the knowledge, values, and skills essential for entry-level practice as a professional nurse
  • Provide high-quality nursing education that is responsive to the individual consumer and the community’s need for qualified nurses
  • Foster educational mobility and the pursuit of independent initiatives for continuing education to ensure personal and professional growth
  • Satisfy the standards of the State Board of Nursing and Accredition Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN) by providing essential curriculum and program resources to support students and faculty
  • Facilitate successful licensure of graduates


Educational Mobility Plan (BSN)

Citizens School of Nursing has established an educational mobility plan with the Penn State University (PSU) Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

Under this plan, qualified graduates of Citizens School of Nursing will be eligible for consideration for admission to the extended Penn State University BSN program with advanced standing.


Educational Effectiveness


In order to practice as a registered nurse (RN), graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The pass rates for the last three Citizens School of Nursing classes are as follows:
   Class of 2012 – 90%
   Class of 2011 - 90%
   Class of 2010 – 87%

Retention Rates

Retention rates for the last three Citizens School of Nursing Classes are as follows:
   Class of 2012 – 90%
   Class of 2011 - 92%
   Class of 2010 – 97%

Employment Patterns

Employment of Citizens School of Nursing graduates 6 months after program completion is as follows:
   Class of 2012 - 93%
   Class of 2011 - 86%
   Class of 2010 – 100%

Standardized Tests

Various standardized tests are administered throughout the program. Standardized comprehensive review tests are given at the end of the program to assess readiness for the nursing licensing examination. The School uses standardized testing to counsel individual students and to evaluate program strengths and weaknesses. Information related to this performance will be made available upon request.

Graduate and Employer Satisfaction

Parallel studies of recent Citizens School of Nursing graduates and their employers showed that graduates were satisfied with the education they received at the School of Nursing. Both graduates and their employers responded that the graduates were well prepared for entry-level nursing practice.


Nondiscrimination Policy

In furtherance of our nation's commitment to end discrimination on the basis of disability and in accordance with the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992 and all regulations properly issued thereunder to protect the rights of disabled persons, it is this hospital's policy that the School of Nursing educational program administered by Allegheny Valley Hospital shall not exclude from participation, deny benefits to, or subject to discrimination any qualified individual solely by reason of his or her disability.  Also, the school does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, sex, marital status, religion, national origin, age or ancestry.


Accreditation and Memberships

Citizens School of Nursing is approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing, accredited by the  Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN), and is a member of the National League for Nursing (NLN) and the Hospital & Healthcare Association of Pennsylvania (HAP).

Allegheny Valley Hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission, Certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health, and a member of the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania.

The School of Nursing is required by the ACEN to provide accurate and consistent information to prospective students. Our recruitment information is housed with the commission, as follows:
     Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.
     3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850
     Atlanta, GA 30326
     Phone: 404.975.5000

The purpose of the School's Catalog is to inform and it should not be considered a contract.

Contact Us

Citizens School of Nursing
651 Fourth Avenue
New Kensington, PA 15068

Tel: 724.337.5090


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