Skip to Content

Clinical Educators for Nursing Students at UPMC in Central Pa.

Clinical educators play an important role in the professional development of our nursing staff.

They work in a variety of capacities, including:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)
  • Staff Development Instructors (SDI)
  • PinnacleHealth Learning Institute Nurse Educators

Clinical Nurse Specialists

Our CNSs are licensed registered nurses who have graduate preparation (master’s or doctorate) in nursing as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. Our CNSs are expert clinicians in a specialized area of nursing practice and may be credentialed through a certification exam.

The specialty may be identified in terms of:

  • Population (e.g., pediatrics, women’s health)
  • Setting (e.g., critical care, emergency room)
  • Disease or medical subspecialty (e.g., diabetes, oncology)
  • Type of care (e.g., psychiatric, rehabilitation)
  • Type of problem (e.g., pain, wounds, stress)

Staff Development Instructors

SDIs are essential members of our health care team who facilitate learning and professional development. Our SDIs are registered nurses who possess advanced clinical skills and competence in a specialized area and display leadership abilities.

Characteristics of our staff development instructors include:

SDIs facilitate staff development and enhance staff professionalism for new and current staff. Our SDIs help new staff transition into new roles. They guide novice nurses in applying knowledge in clinical settings and help them develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Our SDIs also assist established staff members by providing resources and opportunities to develop advanced skills and meet professional goals, such as applying for the Career Development Pathway.

Our SDIs collaborate with the management team and unit staff leaders to develop unit goals. SDIs encourage personal accountability, participation in decision making, and autonomy through participation in unit- and system-level councils to promote positive change.

Advanced Clinical Expertise
Our SDIs use evidence-based practice knowledge and clinical expertise in a specialty to provide optimal patient care. Our SDIs are role models for collaboration with physicians and other departments and serve as clinical resources for unit and other staff members.

Learning Facilitator
Our SDIs facilitate staff learning by responding to specific requests, monitoring performance improvement initiatives, identifying new procedures or equipment, and identifying new trends in research literature and regulatory requirements. Our SDIs determine the best approach and venue to deliver training based on the expected outcomes of the program and needs of the learner(s).

PinnacleHealth Learning Institute Nurse Educators

The Learning Institute is a centralized education department comprised of three areas of concentration: Employee Education and Development, Management and Organization Development, and Patient and Community Education.

The goals of the Learning Institute are to:

  • Improve clinical and operational performance
  • Evaluate all educational offerings for congruence with the strategic plan
  • Establish health education programs to meet the assessed needs of patients and the community

The Employee Education and Development division of the Learning Institute has staff educators and two managers who provide education services for UPMC in central Pa.’s orientation and the nursing and clinical orientation.

Our role-specific courses include:

  • Dysrhythmia
  • Basic cardio-pulmonary training
  • Unit secretary content
  • Patient care assistant (PCA) training
  • Preceptor workshop
  • All emergency cardiac care
  • Critical care
  • Emergency Department orientation
  • Medical terminology
  • Phlebotomy and IV therapy

Additionally, we offer advanced content in cardiovascular nursing and collaborate with the nursing department educators for certification review courses in medical-surgical, maternal-child and critical care. Learning Institute educators also support various other courses and in-services that are department- or unit-based. These courses are offered weekly (ECC courses), bi-weekly (orientation), monthly or semi-annually.

The Patient and Community Education division of the Learning Institute is composed of one manager, nurse educators with specialty certifications, and an extensive bank of supplemental community educators representing a wide variety of specialty areas.

Community and internal partnerships are developed to provide education in several areas, including:

  • Childbirth and parenting
  • Cardiovascular/stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Nutrition therapy
  • General health education, prevention and community wellness
  • Student wellness and health career exploration

This division also provides oversight to affiliated students receiving clinical experiences at UPMC facilities in central Pa. (nursing students, internships, shadow experiences, etc.). This division also facilitates the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association continuing education approval process for UPMC in central Pa. 

Contact Us

Learning Institute: 717-221-6250
Continuing Medical Education: 717-231-8724

Connect with the UPMC Central PA Portal app 24/7

The UPMC Central PA Portal provides patients with convenient and secure access to their health information right at their fingertips. View test results. Get virtual care. Message your care team. Schedule and manage appointments. And much more.

Log-In or Sign Up Today

Contact UPMC

When it comes to health care for you and your family, UPMC is here. It's easy to find the right doctor, health screenings, programs, classes, and more.

Contact UPMC in central Pa.