Student Resources

Student Health

UPMC Mercy OccuNet

The Mercy Hospital School of Nursing provides health services to students through UPMC Mercy OccuNet. Students will be seen by UPMC Mercy OccuNet for any blood born pathogen exposure which occurs while participating in client care.

Any student needing immediate medical attention may be seen in the Emergency Department. Students assume financial responsibility for any Emergency Department charges unless a blood born pathogen exposure related to client care.

All students are provided tuberculin testing through UPMC Mercy OccuNet annually. If the tuberculin test is positive, the UPMC Mercy OccuNet Tuberculin Policy will be followed.

All students will be offered the Hepatitis B vaccine, free of charge. If a student refuses the vaccine, a refusal form must be signed.

Students who have been ill or injured (including non-school related illness/injury) and absent for five consecutive days must have a release from the physician treating them before returning to class or clinical experience. Students with any type of surgery or hospitalization, regardless of the amount of time off, have release from the physician before returning to school.

Students must comply with the hospital policy regarding communicable/infectious disease.

Drug-Free Campus

The Mercy Hospital School of Nursing is a drug-free campus. Programs are established to provide students information, counseling, and/or sanctions to maintain an educational environment free of drugs and alcohol. Patient safety and the safety of students in the School of Nursing and UPMC are paramount and are strictly maintained.

The sale or distribution of illegal drugs and/or alcohol on school, hospital property, or off-campus sites for school activities is strictly prohibited and will result in termination from the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing.

Immediate suspension will occur if the student is proven to be under the influence of any illegal drug or alcohol while caring for patients or while involved in any clinical experience while on the UPMC Mercy campus or affiliate campus. Students demonstrating behaviors that suggest drug usage or behaviors associated with intoxication will be immediately referred to the director/associate director of the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. An immediate drug screen will be obtained. Students will be referred to the EAP program sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) of UPMC Mercy. An assessment will be made by the EAP counselor and appropriate treatment will be recommended. The student’s continuation in the MHSN will be dependent upon recommendations of the counselor and the student’s ability to meet program objectives during counseling and treatment. The student will sign a written “Work Continuation Contract” with the counselor and director/associate director. The contract will stipulate conditions for support and return to school. Students will obtain a physician’s release from UPMC Mercy OccuNet prior to returning to school.

Students have the responsibility to not engage in conduct that interferes with client and patient relationships, public image, or damage to the reputation of Mercy Hospital School of Nursing and UPMC. Events include being charged with or indicted for or convicted of violating criminal drug laws, including driving while intoxicated. Students who are charged, indicted, or convicted under criminal drug law must notify the director/associate director of the MHSN of such charge, indictment, or conviction within five days of the event. Failure to do so will result in termination

Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program

Students must attend the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program presented at the Pre-Admission Orientation Day program, certify their attendance, and signify their understanding of the information by signing the drug/ alcohol form. Students complete drug and alcohol training annually.

Smoke-Free Campus

To protect our patients, visitors, staff, and students from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, smoking is not permitted anywhere on UPMC property, including UPMC Mercy and the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. UPMC has no designated smoking areas. If you choose to smoke, you cannot do so on the UPMC campus. Anyone who leaves campus to smoke does so against our advice and assumes the risk for any consequences.

Student Life

Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Student Leadership Council

The Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Student Leadership Council is a self-governing organization which helps to: develop professional growth in all students; provide opportunities for self-directed leadership; develop social activities to foster congenial relationships among students; and provide opportunities for student representation on school committees.

Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP)

The Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP) is a state-wide organization for student nurses associated with the National Student Nurse Association. The purpose of SNAP is to acquaint students with the professional, civic, and legislative responsibilities. Through SNAP, students become acquainted with the functions and accomplishments of the graduate nurse professional organizations. MHSN maintains a chapter of SNAP. As members, students participate in various events, including the annual state-wide convention. Participation in SNAP activities gives students the chance to interact with student nurses from other nursing programs.

Pastoral Care Committee

As a faith-based nursing school, the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing maintains a student-governed Pastoral Care Committee. The goal of the committee is to assist the students to grow personally and spiritually for a healthy balance in their lives. The committee is responsible for planning holiday services and the senior graduation service.

Student Parking

Students who need parking may apply directly to the UPMC Mercy Parking Services Office for off-site parking for a monthly charge. A free shuttle service between the UPMC Mercy campus and the parking lot is available weekdays. Students must comply with the regulations of the parking service.

Religious Services

Students are encouraged to participate in activities sponsored by the UPMC Mercy Department of Spiritual Care. The Department of Spiritual Care is staffed by chaplains of the Catholic and Protestant faiths. A Jewish Rabbi is available upon request. These persons are available for consultation. Catholic masses are celebrated daily at 7:15 a.m. in Holy Family Chapel, located on Level 1, Building D.

Food Service

Meals are available to MHSN students at a reduced rate in the UPMC Mercy Cafeteria, located on Level 2. Breakfast is served from 6 to 9:30 a.m. Lunch is served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 4 to 7 p.m.

Student Employment

Students employed by any health care organization may not be employed as registered or practical nurses unless they are currently licensed; therefore, they may not wear the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing uniform. Administration and faculty assume no legal responsibility for those who are thus employed. Work schedules at outside places of employment should not interfere with student class or clinical activities.

Alumni

The Mercy Hospital School of Nursing maintains an active Alumni Association. The alumni are dedicated to promoting education, social interaction, and professionalism of both graduates and current students. In addition the MHSN Alumni Association sponsors student scholarships, a graduation brunch, and provides funding for the SNAP convention annually. All graduates are encouraged to become members of the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association after graduation.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Professionalism

The faculty and administration of the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing assume the responsibility for contributing to and improving the profession of nursing and nursing practice.  Commitment to nursing implies responsibility and service to others. Nurses are concerned about how they are perceived by others and are self-directed in the pursuit of personal and professional growth. Therefore, students share the responsibility with faculty and administration to develop a climate conducive to learning by:

  • Becoming involved in and taking responsibility for their learning
  • Assuming personal responsibly for their behavior, appearance, verbal, nonverbal, and written communications
  • Participating in student activities, nursing organizations, and community service projects

Orientation

Orientation is an essential component for success in the nursing program. Orientation consists of two programs that are held annually. The purpose of orientation is to inform students of their rights and responsibilities during the nursing program, to assist in understanding the demands of a nursing program, and to illuminate faculty expectations. Attendance at both orientation programs is mandatory for new students.

Academic Development

Students are expected to make a full-time commitment to the nursing program. This commitment involves attending scheduled classes, clinical experiences, and taking full advantage of all learning opportunities.

Professional Integrity

It is expected that all students adhere to the highest standards of professional integrity. It is the moral-ethical-legal responsibility of every individual involved in a profession to monitor other individuals’ patterns of practice to insure maintenance of the highest standards of practice within a profession. Therefore, students have the responsibility to monitor the practice of their peers in order to participate in providing quality nursing care and to elevate the standards of the profession. Concealing errors and mistakes of peers serves to lower standards of the profession. In addition, the person who conceals the mistake of another is as guilty of that error as the actual participant.

Grievance Committee and Grievance Procedures

The Grievance Committee is formed on an as-needed basis when the student feels that they have not received standard, fair treatment in non-academic matters in accordance with policies and regulations of the current MHSN Student Handbook. Students may seek impartial consideration through a formal grievance procedure as outlined in the Student Handbook. A policy also exists for academic grievances.

 

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