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Professional Socialization

This section describes professional expectations and opportunities for students of

West Penn Hospital School of Nursing.

Please scroll down or click on a link below:



Student Government

The School of Nursing's student government coordinates the interests and activities of the first- and second-year classes and provides a means for developing leadership skills, self directedness and cooperative action.


Faculty Organization Committee Representatives

Students are encouraged to serve as active members with voting privileges on the Admissions and Progression, Curriculum, and Program Evaluation committees of the Faculty Organization.


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Professional Conduct

The American Nurses Association Code of Ethics, Pennsylvania Professional Nursing Law, and the West Penn Allegheny Health System Code of  Ethics define professional conduct. Infractions are handled by administration and faculty on an individual basis and may result in professional probation or termination from the program. In addition, the Code of Academic and Clinical Professional Conduct of the National Student Nurses Association, Inc., has been adopted by the Student Council and faculty as a guideline for student conduct.


Personal Electronic Devices

The Student Handbook details the guidelines for use of personal electronic devices in the classroom and clinical areas.


Substance Abuse Policy

Substance abuse, which includes possession, distribution, or consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or illegal drugs, is not tolerated at the School of Nursing. It is not permissible to use recreational drugs or prescription drugs for other than prescribed purposes.

If illicit drugs are used, there are criminal penalties under local, state, and federal laws. Student financial aid eligibility may be suspended; refer to the Student Handbook for details.

In addition, there are sanctions under the Pennsylvania Professional Nursing Law. Substance abuse may be considered cause for termination from the School of Nursing program.

Details of the School's compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226) are included in the Student Handbook.  Counseling and referral information will be given to students.


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Professional Development

Students are encouraged to attend Hospital-sponsored inservice education sessions as scheduling and space permit.


Professional Image

In order to give a professional appearance there are limitations from the Hospital and School that must be followed while in the HospitalSome examples of these limitations are:

  • Body tattoos are covered by clothing or appropriate makeup.
  • Exposed body jewelry is not permitted (e.g., pierced nose, eyebrows, and/or tongue).   There may be two (2) earrings per ear that are single studs or no larger than one inch in diameter.
  • No artificial, multicolored, or decorated fingernails are permitted.

The entire Dress Code policy is found in the Student Handbook.


Student Nurse Organizations

Professional nursing students are eligible for membership in the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) and the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP).  The $35 application fee for SNAP is included in the School fees that are paid each Fall Term.  Each student will complete the application during orientation.

SON Students

Community Service

Inherent in the professional nursing role is a commitment to community service. In keeping with this belief, completion of four community volunteer hours is required each year.


Student Activities

The student government's Student Council, with a faculty advisor, plans school-sponsored activities. The School is located minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, which is the cultural hub of the tri-state area. There are numerous opportunities for sports, entertainment and leisure activities.

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