The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is the recipient of a seven-figure grant from the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation. The gift was designated to provide support for the Pitt-Greensburg bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) program, now in its second year.
“We are grateful for the continued support of the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation,” said Sharon P. Smith, PhD, president of the University. “It is exciting to receive this endorsement of our program—the first on-site BSN program to be established in Westmoreland County—as it grows and develops into a major resource for both students and regional healthcare employers. Pitt-Greensburg continues to be an innovator, an economic driver, and a community partner in Westmoreland County.”
The Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation has supported a wide range of important initiatives at the Greensburg campus throughout the years, including supporting two academic building on campus—McKenna Hall and Frank A. Cassell Hall; upgrading and improving technology resources; and helping to address economic growth and revitalization through the Smart Growth Partnership.
Pitt-Greensburg’s nursing program, which welcomed its second cohort of nursing students in fall 2018 and is currently recruiting its third cohort, is affiliated with the nationally and internationally recognized University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing and holds national accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Graduates will qualify to take the National Council of Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for professional licensure as professional nurses. The BSN at Pitt-Greensburg follows the same curriculum as the Pitt School of Nursing.
“The CCNE accreditation held by the Pitt School of Nursing and Pitt-Greensburg is important in how it distinguishes our program. Prospective students should ask if a BSN program is CCNE-accredited when comparing nursing programs,” said Marie Fioravanti, DNP, RN, director of Nursing at Pitt-Greensburg. “Nursing students who have aspirations of going on to further their education need to be aware that in order to pursue an advanced nursing degree in a CCNE-accredited graduate program, the student must have graduated with a BSN from a CCNE-accredited school initially.”
The CCNE, which is recognized by the US Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate education programs preparing effective nurses. CCNE is the nation’s leading accrediting agency for baccalaureate, master’s, and DNP programs at schools of nursing.
“The BSN is quickly becoming a required degree by major healthcare providers in the region and the nation,” said Fioravanti. “Many, including Excela Health, are hiring only BSN-degreed registered nurses or requiring them to earn the BSN in a specified period of time during their employment there. Studies show that hospital units employing nurses with BSN degrees post significantly lower mortality rates than those staffed by non-BSN-degreed nurses.”
Students enrolled in Pitt-Greensburg Nursing have the opportunity to participate in more than 900 clinical hours of increasingly complex experiences at the healthcare facilities through Westmoreland County and Allegheny County. Pitt-Greensburg nursing students gain clinical experience in acute and long-term care settings that have been vetted for a quality clinical experience. These include schools, clinics, senior citizens centers, pediatrics, and with a variety of other community organizations and services. The diversity of high-quality clinical settings helps prepare students to interact effectively with patients and healthcare providers to provide a strong foundation for professional practice in today’s healthcare environment. High-fidelity and virtual reality simulation education also are woven into each clinical course with computer-assisted instruction and deliberate practice and simulation.