School of Nursing
Entering August 2013
West Penn Hospital's School of Nursing, founded in 1892, was the first nursing school in the nation to admit male students and one of the first to receive accreditation from the National League for Nursing.
Dedicated to academic excellence, the School recently redesigned its curriculum to ensure continued leadership in preparing professional nurses to meet the challenges of patient care today and in the future.
College courses in West Penn Hospital's 22-month professional nursing program are taught by Clarion University faculty at West Penn and may be used to fulfill Clarion University requirements toward a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree.
School of Nursing Catalog for Class of 2015 (entering August 2013)
- About the School
- Admission, including Preadmission Exam and Testing ID Number
- Academic Policies
- Student Services
- Professional Socialization
- Financial Aid Guide
- Faculty & Support Staff
- Application Information, including Disclosure Statements and Class of 2014 School Calendar
The need for professional nurses became acute near the turn of the twentieth century. In response, The Western Pennsylvania Hospital developed a nursing education program.
Fifteen students were chosen and the West Penn Hospital Training School for Nurses opened on September 1, 1892, with a two-year curriculum. Ten students successfully completed the program and graduated on September 20, 1894. Because of its high standards and comprehensive curriculum, the School's popularity grew quickly. By the end of its first year, the School had received hundreds of applications. Since that time, the School has graduated more than 5,000 students.
Leadership, innovation and growth have characterized the School's programs and services. West Penn Hospital School of Nursing has the distinction of being the first nursing school in the nation to admit male students. West Penn was also one of the nation's first nursing schools to receive accreditation from the National League for Nursing.
Dedicated to academic excellence, the School updates its curriculum to include advances in nursing and related fields in order to more thoroughly prepare graduates for their careers.
With guidance, students at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing gain experience in assessing patient needs and in planning and administering patient care. The Western Pennsylvania Hospital is the primary clinical setting for the School of Nursing. Work and study in this dynamic urban hospital environment bring students in contact with professionals from a variety of healthcare disciplines and institutions. Other hospitals and selected agencies in Allegheny County provide opportunities for student enrichment in certain specialty areas. Classrooms, the learning center, the simulation center, and the administrative and faculty offices are located in the School of Nursing building, as are the School's dormitory facilities.
A philosophy is necessary to establish an atmosphere within which faculty and students work toward attainment of common outcomes. The Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing faculty is responsible for developing the School's philosophy, which reflects established standards of the nursing profession. This framework is in alignment with the mission and professional nursing practice model (based on synergy theory) of The Western Pennsylvania Hospital.
We, the Faculty of The Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing, believe that nursing education prepares nurses who focus on promoting and maintaining optimum health of clients within the community. The graduate is accountable within the scope of the nursing profession in a variety of community settings that promote, protect, restore and rehabilitate the health of clients. The graduate, as an advocate and a health facilitator, assists clients to achieve and maintain optimum health through the client's own actions and decisions.
Nursing is an autonomous healthcare profession based on a holistic philosophy of health. The foundation of nursing is a body of knowledge derived from the biophysical and psychosocial sciences. Nursing is an art and a science that promotes human betterment and is based on theories and evidence-based clinical practice. Nursing utilizes clinical judgment and systems thinking to give direction to nursing actions that promote health, prevent disease, or restore and rehabilitate health. Nursing incorporates principles of critical thinking, communication, teaching and management in the provision of excellence in client care. Nurses collaborate with clients and with other healthcare professionals. An appreciation for diversity is apparent as nurses promote health through the development of caring and empathetic relationships.
An individual is a valued being with inherent dignity and deserving of respect. As an open system with a uniquely determined internal environment, an individual functions holistically through constant interaction with the external environment. An individual is self-regulating and changes physically, psychologically, socially and/or spiritually in response to environmental alterations.
The client is an open system and the focus of nursing. The client is an individual, family or group and is the chief agent of health promotion. The client is a subsystem of the community; the community is a subsystem of society; society is a subsystem of the world. The community consists of aggregates having common organization, needs and purposes. Society is comprised of dynamic communities that determine the nature of health care.
Health is the reflection of the client's physical, sociocultural, psychological and spiritual conditions and is defined by the client. Health is dynamic and evolves as the client continuously adapts to the internal and external environment.
Learning is a continuous, lifelong process by which an individual exhibits a change of behavior resulting from cognitive, affective and/or psychomotor experiences. The School of Nursing faculty believe that the behavioral, cognitive and humanistic theories of learning apply to education. Learning is based on a hierarchy progressing from simple to complex and general to specific. Specific conditions of learning emphasized in the program relevant to the teaching-learning process include: conditioning, reinforcement, modeling, transference, concept formation, psychomotor skill learning, readiness to learn, repetition, empowerment and learning to learn. The learner is recognized as an individual with basic human needs, motivation and capacity to learn, and a unique learning style. Integrity is valued and inherent to the learning process. The learner is expected to participate in the teaching-learning process by actively engaging in all aspects of the education. The learner is ultimately responsible for learning.
A culture of excellence in nursing education is a dynamic process that enables the student to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary to practice the profession of nursing. The student and the faculty share their unique knowledge, experience, and creativity in a collaborative learning environment that emphasizes critical thinking and clinical inquiry. Faculty design learning experiences using a variety of teaching strategies in the classroom and clinical laboratory that take into consideration the diversity of individuals. Students and faculty value learning, autonomy, and the holistic growth of the individual. The teaching-learning process is a partnership whereby both the student and the faculty have rights and responsibilities that result in positive learning outcomes.
The goal of The Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing is to provide an educational system whereby students grow, personally and professionally, in the acquisition of knowledge, attitudes and skills needed to function as practitioners of nursing in healthcare settings that are responsive to individual and community needs.
At the completion of the program, the graduate of The Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing:
- Integrates the clinical judgment process in the provision of health care to clients.
- Displays personal and professional accountability as a practitioner of nursing.
- Incorporates principles of communication into professional interactions as a healthcare provider.
- Acts as a health facilitator to enable clients to make healthcare decisions.
- Integrates the concept of holism in meeting healthcare needs of clients.
- Manages the care of clients within various healthcare systems.
The School of Nursing is approved by the State Board of Nursing of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC):
3343 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326
NLNAC goals are as follows:
- Common core of standards and criteria
- Strengthen education quality
- Promote peer review
- Foster education equity, access and mobility
- Advocate self-regulation
Verification for Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing approval and NLNAC accreditation are on file in the School of Nursing office.
The Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing is a member of the National League for Nursing, the American Hospital Association, and the Council of Health Professional Education of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.
The Western Pennsylvania Hospital is approved by the Joint Commission.
The Western Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing is in compliance with federal, state and city laws, regulations and ordinances governing equal opportunity and nondiscrimination. The School does not discriminate in the recruitment, admission, or progression of students or in the operation of any of its educational programs and activities. Equal opportunity to applicants and students is provided regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, non-job-related disability, age, sexual orientation/affection, veteran status, or other classifications that are protected under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other pertinent state and federal laws and regulations. The director of the School of Nursing is responsible for the implementation of equal opportunity in the School of Nursing.
Any student who believes he/she has been discriminated against may file a complaint with the Director, School of Nursing, or:
Office of Civil Rights
Department of Health & Human Services
Office of Civil Rights Region III
Suite 372, Public Ledger Building
150 South Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, PA 19106-9111