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St. Margaret School of Nursing Mission, Vision, and Values

Mission of St. Margaret School of Nursing

The mission of the St. Margaret 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 at preparing graduate nurses for entry level practice.

School of Nursing Vision

The vision of the St. Margaret School of Nursing is to advance the heart and science of nursing. 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 level.

Nursing at St. Margaret

Professional nursing as defined by the American Nurses Association (ANA) "is 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 faculty at St. Margaret School of Nursing also believes that the discipline of nursing is science based and requires continuous inquiry to advance the knowledge and practice of the profession. The role of the nurse is coordination of the patient’s plan of care through collaboration with the interdisciplinary health team. Our values serve as a foundation to develop graduate nurses to practice in the new millennium.


We incorporate a diverse theoretical foundation that encompasses nursing and adult learning principles.

Malcolm Knowles’ Theory of Adult Learning informs our use of andragogy and self-direction based on the learner’s self-concepts, experience, readiness and motivation.

Adopting Christine Tanner’s Model of Clinical Judgment, based on the concepts of noticing, interpreting, responding, and reflection, we deliberately design experiences that focus attention on rapidly changing, ambiguous situations to help learners identify breakdowns, strengths, and areas for improvement.

We reference the Koloroutis model of relationship-based care and embrace the caring theorists included in this model. Through this concept of relationship-based care, used by our governing organization, we promote an attitude that reflects a caring and healing environment. We strive for excellence that is achieved through collaborative relationships.

We base our curriculum on quality and safety principles.

The curriculum is designed to prepare the graduate nurse for practicing professional nursing at an entry level, and is based on the foundations of quality and safety education described by the Institute of Medicine report and Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation. The St. Margaret Schools of Nursing has integrated the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) competencies into the framework of its curriculum. The intent of these principles is to arm the graduate nurse with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) necessary to provide optimal patient care. The faculty is responsible for incorporating competency based KSAs both in the classroom and clinical setting.

QSEN Competencies:

  • 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 (EBP) – Integrate best current evidence with clinical expertise and patient/family preferences and values for delivery of optimal health care.
  • Quality Improvement – Use data to monitor the outcomes of care processes and use improvement methods to design and test changes to continuously 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.

We are 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. The students become responsible for their learning while faculty facilitate knowledge acquisition and development of clinical reasoning. Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and high-fidelity simulation are incorporated throughout the curriculum to achieve this outcome. Our faculty continues lifelong learning through participation in professional development opportunities. The use of peer review allows for self-reflection and improvement in teaching methods. UPMC recognizes excellent in faculty development through performance based faculty promotion in which leadership is developed through involvement on the UPMC Schools of Nursing Faculty Senate and its committees.

We are dedicated to academic excellence.

Through access and exposure to the resources available in a world-renowned health care organization such as UPMC and its affiliates, St. Margaret Schools of Nursing students are assured of receiving the highest level of exposure to excellence in nursing practice. The governing organization, UPMC St. Margaret, has received Magnet™ recognition through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

We embrace the incorporation of evidence-based practice and informatics in theory and clinical instruction.

Faculty continually strives to incorporate the best available scientific evidence into theory and clinical instruction to improve the quality of clinical judgment of our learners and improve the quality and effectiveness in health care. We believe that new 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. Faculty and students work together to discover and utilize the information technologies needed to provide evidenced-based care and keep patients safe.

We promote teamwork among faculty and students.

Teamwork is the collaboration of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of each individual toward a shared goal. Teamwork skills are demonstrated, implemented, and evaluated throughout the curriculum at every level. We educate students on task assistance and back-up behavior, mutual respect, leadership, standardized communication, and reflection of goal attainment. Effective teamwork and structured communication are essential attributes of the new graduate nurse. In order to reduce error and promote patient safety, we believe that teaching teamwork skills is crucial.

Our success is demonstrated through positive student outcomes.

Graduates of the program consistently score in the top rankings on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) while exhibiting one of the lowest academic attrition rates. UPMC St. Margaret Schools of Nursing identifies successful transition into practice as a positive outcome. Graduate nurses of the program are preferred employees based on employer feedback. Reports received from graduates and employers reflect successful transition into practice particularly in the areas of collaboration, practice management of multiple patient,s and lifelong learning.

The values of the School of Nursing are synonymous with the UPMC Core Values of Quality and Safety, Dignity and Respect, Care and Listening, Responsibility and Integrity, and Excellence and Innovation.

Quality and Safety

We create a safe environment where quality is our guiding principle.

Dignity and Respect

We treat all individuals with dignity and respect.

Care and Compassion

We listen to and care for our students, our patients, our health plan members, our fellow employees, our physicians, and our community.

Responsibility and Integrity

We perform our work to the highest level of responsibility and integrity.

Excellent and Innovation

We think creatively and build excellence into everything that we do.

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