Curriculum: Registered Nurse Diploma Program
The UPMC St. Margaret School of Nursing RN diploma program with campus locations in Blawnox (UPMC St. Margaret) and at UPMC McKeesport offers a full-time 22-month course of study.
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RN Diploma Program Outcomes
The faculty at the UPMC St. Margaret School of Nursing believes professional nursing practice is theory-guided and evidence based.
The graduate nurse will demonstrate the program outcomes at a satisfactory or exemplary level at the time of graduation from our program and transition into practice.
The outcomes reflect the requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values required for professional practice. Our program outcomes, defined below, are supported by our curriculum competencies and the outcomes identified by the National League for Nursing (NLN). Both the competencies and outcomes are specified following the program outcome.
At the completion of the UPMC St. Margaret School of Nursing program, the graduate nurse will:
- Integrate best current evidence in to practice and emulate clinical expertise while incorporating the objectives of health care reform.
- Defend the impact of professional nursing practice in relationship to quality patient outcomes and the objectives of health care reform.
- Demonstrate emergence as a leader by being a self-aware, goal setting, intentional learner who questions, organizes, connects meanings, reflects on professional practice, and adapts accordingly.
- Demonstrate proficient use of information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making.
- Assume accountability for making sound clinical decisions to ensure the safe care of patients and families, utilizing the dimensions of noticing, interpreting, responding, and reflecting.
- Examine the use of Core Measures and Nursing Sensitive Indicators of quality to improve care processes in the clinical environment.
- Function effectively with the interdisciplinary health care team, achieving collaboration through fostering open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision making to promote quality patient care.
- Value compassionate and coordinated care based on respect for the patients’ preferences, values, and needs while incorporating the patient or designee as a partner and the source of control.
Clinical Affiliating Agencies
Clinical experiences are provided at UPMC St. Margaret and UPMC McKeesport as well as other hospitals and health care agencies within UPMC.
Clinical experiences are primarily scheduled during daylight hours.
Curriculum Progression Policies
- All nursing courses within a level must be successfully completed prior to enrollment into courses in the next level.
- Beginning with the 200 level, students are not permitted to take two nursing courses simultaneously.
- All science courses must be completed prior to, or by the end of the first level nursing courses.
- The maximum time allotted for completion of the total program is 150% of program length:
- Thirty-three (33) months for students enrolled in the full time (FT) program.
- Reapplication is required if the program has been interrupted for any reason.
- Students may apply for readmission only once to any school in the UPMC School of Nursing System.
- Students must apply for readmission within one year of the last date of attendance. After one year, students will not be accepted to any of the UPMC Schools of Nursing.
- Students who fail a single course (college or nursing) are permitted to apply for readmission to any of the UPMC Schools of Nursing. Students who fail more than one course are not eligible for readmission at any of the UPMC Schools of Nursing.
- A theory grade of 76 percent is the minimum acceptable passing grade for all nursing courses.
- A clinical rating of Pass is required for all nursing courses with a clinical component.
- Failure in either the theoretical or clinical portion of any nursing course will result in failure of the course.
- Courses from approved outside academic institutions with a grade less than “C” will not be accepted for transfer.
- Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) I and II must be completed at the same institution.
- A&P I and II, Microbiology, and Nutrition courses must have been completed within the last 5 years.
- Logic and Human Growth and Development courses must have been completed within the last 10 years.
- Students must achieve a grade of “C” or above in affiliate college courses to continue. Students that do not achieve a grade of “C” or above in the affiliate college courses will be terminated from the program.
- Opportunities for bonus points/extra credit assignments do not exist.
- Grading of affiliate college courses will follow the policies of the college.
- Students are not permitted to take classes in a split semester format. A split semester is defined as follows: A student taking a 16-week class (college or nursing) and then starting a second 16-week class (college or nursing) half way through the first 16-week class.
Repeating a Nursing Course
- Repeating a course is defined as full participation in all class and clinical activities as outlined in the class/clinical attendance policies. Course specific evaluation methods (exams, papers, clinical evaluations, nursing plans of care, etc.) will be required. A grade and credits are awarded and a transcript will be generated. Payment of full tuition and related fees is required.
- A repeat course grade is the prevailing grade for the progression decisions.
Definition of Failure
A student is considered failed when any one of the following conditions has been met:
- Less than a “C” in an affiliate college course
- Less than a 76 percent in a nursing course
- “Fail” rating in clinical
- WF (Withdraw Failure) grade
- Termination for violation of the “Student Performance and Behavior Expectations Policy”
- Termination for violation of the “Drug and Alcohol Policy”