Admissions for Mercy School of Nursing
- The Mercy Hospital School of Nursing admits one class each August.
- 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.
Steps for Admission
Psychological Services Bureau (PSB)
- Submit form and payment for testing date for Psychological Services Bureau (PSB) entrance examination.
- Take the PSB examination.
- If all scores on the PSB examination are in 50th percentile or above; the application and fee, letters of reference, and transcripts will be requested.
- If accepted, submit confirmation fee.
Standardized Test Criteria for Admission
- The Psychological Services Bureau (PSB) Registered Nursing School Aptitude Examination is required for all applicants to the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing.
- The exam is administered at Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, as well as at other UPMC Schools of Nursing. Dates of testing and registration form can be found on the websites.
- To be eligible to apply you must score in the 50th percentile or higher in all sections.
- Re-testing will be permitted only if the candidate documents evidence of remediation (proof of successful completion of a college course), or has waited for a period of 60 days.
- To adequately prepare for the exam you can access the free online resources at www.psbtests.com.
SAT/ACT scores may be used in lieu of taking the PSB exam if they have been taken within the past five years. SAT scores of 450 in matth and 450 in verbal, or ACT scores of English: 18, Math: 22, Reading: 21,and Natural Science: 24, will be accepted for admission consideration.
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 if requesting exemption from courses, to: Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, 1401 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
- 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). Official high school transcripts should be mailed by the high school directly to Mercy Hospital School of Nursing.
- 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 and sent directly to the MHSN.
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 Admissions, Recruitment, and Retention committee will be to:
- Defer acceptance until satisfactory completion of requirements
- Hold for reconsideration pending volume of applicants
Applicants accepted for admission are expected to notify the school of their intent to register and send a $200, 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.
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.
- Following the initial acceptance to Mercy Hospital school of Nursing, the applicant will schedule an appointment with UPMC Mercy OccuNet (412-232-8107) for a History and Physical Exam.
- The physical exam and urine drug test will be completed by UPMC Mercy OccuNet 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.
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 MercyOccuNet at the time of the physical exam. If preferred, the testing can be completed by UPMC Mercy OccuNet at the time of the physical for an additional fee.
- 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 to OccuNet; or, Mercy OccuNet will administer the vaccines for an additional fee:
- MMR Vaccine
- Varicella Vaccine
- Hepatitis B Vaccine
- Tetanus/Diphtheria Booster (within past 10 years)
- All health requirements must be completed prior to registration into the program. OccuNet will inform the school of the health requirement status of each student prior to the registration date.
- All corrective actions that are recommended by OccuNet must be completed prior to registration
- 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.
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.
Admission with Advance Standing
Transfer of Credits
Credits are permitted to be transferred to MHSN at the time of entry into the program. Credits obtained from other institutions following admission will not be accepted.
The following criteria are used as standards for credit transfer:
An official transcript is submitted to MHSN.
- 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)
- Growth and Development
- Introduction to Sociology
- Introduction to Psychology
- 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 entry into MHSN.
CLEP Testing for Course Exemptions
- Students who have successfully completed (final grade “C” or better) a Sociology , Psychology, College Writing, or Human Growth and Development course in college more than 5 years ago, may request to CLEP.
- CLEP results are to be received by MHSN prior to the start of the the course.
- CLEP credit is granted to students who achieve the passing score recommended by the CLEP Board.
- The student is informed of the CLEP status by the director/associate director.
Transfer Students from Other Schools of Nursing
- Transfer is based on the availability of class seats.
- The transfer student must complete the entire second year of the current MHSN nursing program.
- Transferred nursing course must have been completed within the past two years. Official transcript and course descriptions from previous programs must be submitted for course exemptions.
- All pre-requisite non-nursing courses must be completed in advance of the term in which the transfer student enters.
- The director/associate director of the school of nursing reviews each application prior to acceptance of the applicant to discuss their placement in the program.
Advance Standing for Licensed Practical Nurses
Licensed Practical Nurses who show verification of current Pennsylvania Licensure, have the option to enter into the nursing program at the end of the first years of studies. The following procedure is followed:
- Complete the application to the school and request advanced standing. Applications must be received by March 1st to be considered for that year.
- Submit official transcripts from the nursing program and college or university.
- Meet the following admission criteria
- Successful completion of a practical nursing program within the past 2 years.
- Have at least one (1) year of experience as a LPN, or , be recommended by the director of the LPN program for admission into the RN program.
- Obtained a overall QPA of 2.5 in a practical nursing program
- Obtained a C or better in the following college courses: Anatomy & Physiology I; Anatomy & Physiology II; Nutrition; Introduction to Psychology; Growth & Development. College courses must be within 5 years.
- If the graduation date is greater than two (2) years the applicant must schedule the NLN Nursing Accelerated Challenge Exams (ACE) LPN – RN for both Foundations and Maternal-Child Nursing. The applicant must score in the 40th percentile or greater to gain admission to the program.
The foundations exam will be scheduled in April. If the applicant successfully passes this exam they will be scheduled for the Maternal-Child exam in May. The cost of both examinations is the responsibility of the applicant.
- Applicants will be notified of admission status in June.
- Applicants must enroll in the transition course which will take place in August, and successfully complete both theory and clinical components before enrolling into the second year of the program.
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.
The following students are not eligible 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.
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.