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UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing: Mission, Vision, and Values

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The mission of UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing is to foster the development of the intentional learner who is prepared to transition to practice as a member of the interdisciplinary health care team. The graduate nurse will be grounded in values of patient-centered care.

The focus of our program is mastery of high-level competencies reflecting the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for the delivery of safe, quality care. The school accomplishes its mission through an evidence-based nursing curriculum geared to preparing graduate nurses for entry-level practice.

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Professional nursing, as defined by the American Nurses Association:

“...the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.”

The vision of UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing is to advance the heart and science of nursing.

Our faculty believes that the:

  • Discipline of nursing is science-based and requires continuous inquiry to advance the knowledge and practice of the profession.
  • Role of the nurse is to coordinate the patient’s plan of care through collaboration with the interdisciplinary health care team.

Aimed at integrating the use of best evidence through innovative teaching strategies, we seek to remain a leader in exceptional nursing education at the local and national levels.

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Our values at the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing serve as a foundation to develop graduate nurses to practice in the new millennium.

A Diverse Theoretical Foundation

At the Shadyside School of Nursing, we incorporate a diverse theoretical foundation of adult learning and professional nursing principles.

Malcolm Knowles’ Theory of Adult Learning informs our use of andragogy and self-direction based on the learner’s:

  • Self-concepts
  • Experience
  • Readiness
  • Motivation

Students also explore the following models:

  • Gordon’s Functional Health Patterns
  • Tanner’s Clinical Judgment
  • Koloroutis' Relationship-Based Care
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Nursing Standards for Professional Practice

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Evidence-Based Practice and Informatics

The UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing embraces evidence-based practice and informatics in theory and clinical instruction.

We believe that new nursing graduates require clinical knowledge to integrate evidence-based care into practice, while incorporating patient/family preferences and values in the delivery of quality, patient-centered care.

Faculty and students:

  • Have access to the use of information technology to solve care dilemmas and create new knowledge.
  • Work together to discover and use the information technologies needed to provide evidenced-based care and keep patients safe.

Faculty continually strives to incorporate the best available scientific evidence into theory and clinical instruction to improve the quality of the clinical judgment of our learners and the effectiveness in health care.

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Quality and Safety Principles

We base our curriculum at the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing on the foundations of quality and safety education described by the Institute of Medicine report and “Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation.”

We design the curriculum to prepare the graduate nurse for practicing professional nursing at an entry level.

The UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing has integrated the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) competencies into the framework of its curriculum.

QSEN Competencies

The intent of these principles is to equip the graduate nurse with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSA’s) necessary to provide optimal patient care.

  • Patient-Centered Care: Recognize the patient or designee as the source of control and full partner in providing compassionate and coordinated care based on respect for patient’s preferences, values, and needs.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration: Function effectively within nursing and inter-professional teams, fostering open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making to achieve quality patient care.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Integrate best current evidence with clinical expertise and patient/family preferences and values to deliver optimal health care.
  • Quality Improvement: Use data to monitor the outcomes of care processes, and continuously design and test changes to improve the quality and safety of health care systems.
  • Safety: Minimize risk of harm to patients and providers through both system effectiveness and individual performance.
  • Informatics: Use information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making.

The faculty is responsible for incorporating competency-based KSA’s, both in the classroom and clinical setting.

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Academic Excellence

Through access and exposure to the resources available in a world-renowned health care organization such as UPMC and its affiliates, UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing students are assured of receiving the highest level of exposure to excellence in nursing practice.

The governing organization of UPMC Shadyside has received Magnet Recognition® through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Additionally, the School of Nursing has been designated by the National League for Nursing as a Center of Excellence.

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Learner-Centered Teaching

At the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing, we're dedicated to the scholarship of teaching.

An ongoing venture of our faculty and students is one of scholarly inquiry. This is achieved through learner-centered strategies that engage the student in active learning.

Students become responsible for their learning, while faculty facilitate knowledge acquisition and development of clinical reasoning.

We incorporate problem-based learning and high-fidelity simulation throughout the curriculum to achieve this outcome.

Lifelong Learning and Improvement

  • Our faculty members continue lifelong learning through participation in professional development opportunities.
  • The use of peer review allows for self-reflection and improvement in teaching methods.
  • The Faculty Advancement Program provides for promotion and is achieved through a faculty-driven project that is evidence-based.

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Teamwork uses each individual’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes in collaboration toward a shared goal.

Effective teamwork and structured communication are essential attributes of the new graduate nurse.

In order to reduce error and promote patient safety, the Shadyside School of Nursing believes that teaching teamwork skills is crucial.

We educate our nursing students on:

  • Task assistance and backup behavior
  • Mutual respect
  • Leadership
  • Standardized communication
  • Reflection of goal attainment

Teamwork skills among faculty and students are demonstrated, implemented, and evaluated throughout the curriculum at every level.

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Positive Student Outcomes

The UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing identifies successful transition into practice as a positive student outcome.

Graduates of the nursing program:

  • Consistently score in the top rankings on the National Council Licensure Examination.
  • Exhibit one of the lowest academic attrition rates.
  • Are preferred employees based on employer feedback.

Reports received from graduates and employers reflect successful transition into practice, particularly in: 

  • Collaboration
  • Practice management of multiple patients
  • Lifelong learning

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Shared Values

The UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing shares values with UPMC, including:

  • Quality and Safety: We believe in providing exceptional care in a safe environment.
  • Dignity and Respect: We are open and honest in all communications and interactions.
  • Care and Compassion: We engage our patients, families, and associates in the delivery of compassionate care and service excellence.
  • Community: We serve our community by efficiently utilizing resources and promoting innovation.

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Contact Us

Shadyside School of Nursing
Motor Square Garden
5900 Baum Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206


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