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What Is a Student Nurse?

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UPMC Schools of Nursing Expectations

As a student nurse, your classroom is not only on campus, but also at the patient's bedside. This means that you must promote the safety, privacy, and dignity of the people who are allowing you to care for them.

This broad set of guidelines will help you get a sense of the clinical and academic responsibilities of students at UPMC Schools of Nursing.

UPMC nursing students will

  1. Display a professional attitude to patients, their families, and other members of the health care team.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to cope with an array of unpredictable situations, be flexible, and remain emotionally stable under stress.
  3. Perform head-to-toe patient assessments. This includes providing and receiving verbal reports, preparing and administering medication, documenting care appropriately, providing emotional support and patient education, and delivering culturally competent care that respects each patient's individual beliefs.
  4. Administer CPR as appropriate.
  5. Take part in classroom activities. These include group discussions, formal and informal oral presentations, scholarly papers and written reports, and web-based programs and software
  6. Complete nursing school exams within time limitations defined by faculty.
  7. Consistently perform the physical demands of nursing — standing/walking for up to 12 hours while in the clinical area, lifting up to 50 pounds, and assisting in lifting, transferring, ambulating, and repositioning patients.
  8. Never pose a direct threat or serious risk to the health and safety of others in the class and clinical situation.

The role of a student nurse is physically, emotionally, and cognitively challenging. Please keep in mind that you have the support of your faculty members and health care staff at UPMC Schools of Nursing.

We're here to help you achieve your academic goals and provide exceptional care for patients and their families.

For more details about the student nurse's essential functions, see our UPMC Schools of Nursing student nurse position description (PDF).