Admissions for Mercy School of Nursing

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The Mercy Hospital School of Nursing admits one class each Fall. Applicants must be legally able to attend school in the United States.

Since enrollment is limited, early application is recommended.

Candidates are selected after review of application, school transcripts, standardized exam scores, and letters of recommendation. The applicant is notified via letter of the decision of the school.

Only those applicants who demonstrate evidence that they will be able to fulfill all the requirements and meet the high standards and expectations of Mercy Hospital School of Nursing are selected by the school.

Meeting criteria does not necessarily guarantee admission to the program.

Academic Requirements

Steps for Admission

1. Proficient" score on the TEAS test.

2. If the TEAS score is proficient, the application and fee. letters of reference, and transcripts will be requested.

3. Submit application, transcripts, and references in one packet.

4. If accepted, submit confirmation fee.

Standardized Test Criteria for Admission

The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS), is the only score accepted by the UPMC Schools of Nursing.  ACT, PSB, and SAT scores are no longer accepted. In order to be considered for admission, you must score “proficient” on the TEAS test.

 Application Form

Complete the application form, including the personal statement. The completed application form is sent along with a non-refundable $50 application fee, the two letters of reference, official high school transcript, and official college transcript to:

Mercy Hospital School of Nursing
1401 Boulevard of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

School Transcripts

Applicants are expected to have completed 16 units of high school courses, including four units of English, three units of Social Studies, two units of Mathematics (one must be Algebra), and two units of Science (both must include lab experience or equivalent).

If the applicant is still enrolled in high school, a partial transcript, including the first semester senior year must be submitted. The final official high school transcript, with graduation date, must be submitted prior to enrollment.

A high school equivalency certificate, general equivalency diploma (GED) is acceptable. Transcripts for all higher education, including college, university, or vocational school, must also be official.


Two letters of reference are required. References should be obtained from teachers, employers, clergy, or counselors with whom the applicant has had professional relationships.

References from family members or friends are not accepted.

The required reference letter form for admission is available on the website.

Notification of Admission Status

After consideration of an applicant’s record the actions of the school will be to:

  1. Accept
  2. Defer acceptance until satisfactory completion of requirements
  3. Hold for reconsideration pending volume of applicants
  4. Reject

Applicant Acceptance

Applicants accepted for admission are expected to notify the school of their intent to register and send a non-refundable, confirmation fee by the date specified on the acceptance letter. This fee is applied to the cost of tuition.

Failure to confirm by the date specified in the admission letter will result in loss of seat for the incoming class.

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Enrollment Requirements

All confirmed applicants will be required to successfully complete a physical examination, drug screen, immunity testing, necessary vaccinations, criminal, child abuse, and national clearances prior to final acceptance to Mercy Hospital School of Nursing.

Physical Exam

Following the initial acceptance to Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, the applicant will schedule an appointment with UPMC Work Partners for a History and Physical Exam.

The physical exam and urine drug test will be completed by UPMC Work Partners at the student’s expense. Positive test results will preclude admission to the program.

Tuberculosis (TB) testing, color-blind testing, and respirator fit testing will be provided at the time of the physical at no additional charge to the student.

Students will be examined for evidence of being able to meet the physical requirements necessary for a nursing student:

  • Ability to stand, sit, kneel, bend, push, pull, carry, walk, reach, and twist
  • Manual dexterity to perform fine motor tasks needed for essential nursing tasks and use of nursing equipment.
  • Ability to see, hear, and feel
  • Ability to lift at least 50 pounds which is essential to assist clients with ambulation, transfers, position changes, transport.

Immunization Requirements

The following labs may be ordered by the student’s personal physician but the actual report of lab results must be legible and presented to UPMC Work Partners at the time of the physical exam.

If preferred, the testing can be completed by UPMC Work Partners at the time of the physical for an additional fee.  Immunizations, labs, and tests are as follows:

  • Mumps Titer
  • Rubella Titer
  • Rubeola Titer
  • Varicella Titer (IgG)
  • Hepatitis C Antibody testing (HCV)
  • Hepatitis B Antibody testing (AntiHBsAg) - if the student has completed all 3 doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Hepatitis B Antigen testing (HbsAg) - if the student has not completed their Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • Chest X-ray - only if the student has a history of past positive PPD.

If indicated by results of the above bloodwork, the following vaccines may be administered by the student’s personal physician with proper documentation to be provided or UPMC Work Partners will administer the vaccines for an additional fee:

  • MMR Vaccine
  • Varicella Vaccine
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria Booster (within past 10 years)

Key Points

  • All health requirements must be completed prior to matriculation into the program. UPMC Work Partners will inform the school of the health requirement status of each student prior to the matriculation date.
  • All corrective actions that are recommended by UPMC Work Partners must be completed prior to matriculation.
  • In the event of failure to qualify on the basis of physical findings, the student will be immediately notified as to the reason for disqualification.
  • A positive drug screen will nullify admission to the program.

Criminal History and Child Abuse Clearances

The State Board of Nursing requires applicants for licensure to disclose if they have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, felonious act, an illegal act associated with alcohol, or an illegal act associated with substance abuse. The State Board of Nursing then determines the eligibility of the individual for licensure.

The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing shall not issue a license or certificate to an applicant for licensure who has been:

  • Convicted of a felonious act prohibited by the act of April 14,1972 (P.L. 233, No 64) known as “The Controlled Substance Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act,” or
  • Convicted of a felony relating to a controlled substance in a court of law of the United States, or any other state, territory, or country unless:
    • At least ten (10) years have elapsed from the date of conviction;
    • The applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the board that he/she has made significant progress in personal rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure should not be expected to create a substantial risk of harm to the health and safety of patients or the public or a substantial risk of further violations; and
    • The applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications contained in or authorized by this act.

A person convicted of any felonious act may be prohibited from licensure by the Board of Nursing at any time.

MHSN requires that applicants apply for Pennsylvania State Police Criminal record check, the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History clearance, and the National Criminal Record check.

Students are not permitted to register unless the results for all clearances are received by the school. Positive criminal record may nullify admission to the program.

CPR Requirements

Student must have successfully completed and maintain a current CPR card in the American Heart Association BLS for Healthcare Provider Course prior to entrance to the program.

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Admission with Advance Standing

Transfer of Credits

Credits are permitted to be transferred to MHSN prior to enrollment into the program. Credits obtained from other institutions following enrollment will not be accepted.

An official transcript is submitted to MHSN, and the following criteria are used as standards for credit transfer:

  • Courses must have been taken within the past 5 years from an accredited college or university.
  • Transferred courses must have a minimum grade of “C”.
  • Credits may be transferred for the following courses:
    • Anatomy & Physiology 101
    • Anatomy & Physiology 102
      • (Both A & P must be taken at the same institution for transfer)
    • Microbiology
    • Growth and Development
    • College Writing
    • Biomedical Ethics
  • Course descriptions of the credits may be requested and courses are to be comparable with Carlow University courses.
  • The student is informed of their request for credit transfer prior to enrollment into MHSN.


Students seeking consideration for readmission must notify the school of their intent to reapply by the date specified in the withdrawal letter. The student must complete the application for readmission.

Readmission is granted only one time. If it is evident that a deficiency in the understanding of previous course content interfered with a student’s progress, a student can be required to complete an individualized educational plan which may include auditing of selected courses and remedial activities.

Both the theory and clinical components must be repeated for failed nursing courses. Current tuition and fees are charged when repeating a nursing course.

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Academic Policies

Policies related to grading, attendance, and progression are contained in the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Student Handbook.

Students are introduced to policies during orientation, and provided with an updated Student Handbook at the beginning of each school year.

Students are required to sign an acknowledgement indicating receipt of the Student Handbook and their intention to abide by all MHSN academic policies.



Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Forms

Non-Discrimination Policy

UPMC Mercy and the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing are and will continue to be in compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, The Pittsburgh Human Relations Ordinance, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Mercy Hospital School of Nursing is committed to equal opportunity in education.  Accordingly, the School seeks to ensure the applicants are given equal consideration and are treated fairly without regard to race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, or status as disabled veteran or veteran of the wars including Vietnam.

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