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Pitt-Greensburg gets $1.5M grant for growing nursing degree program

Jeff Himler
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University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
From left, second-year students Emily Stein, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Hanna Horner and Kaylee McClelland attend a course in 2018 as they study for their bachelor of science degrees in nursing at the Pitt-Greensburg campus.

The local Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation has granted the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg $1.5 million to support a growing nursing-degree program at the campus.

Now in its second year, the bachelor’s of science in nursing program welcomed its second cohort of students this fall and is recruiting its third cohort. University officials expect by 2020 to have just under 300 students enrolled in the program and to graduate about 75 nurses each year.

It’s the first on-site BSN program in Westmoreland County, according to university President Sharon P. Smith.

“It’s exciting to receive this endorsement of our program… as it grows and develops into a major resource for both students and health care providers,” she said.

One of the program’s goals is to address a shortage of nurses in the region who have earned degrees.

The program is affiliated with the internationally recognized University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing and holds national accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The Pitt-Greensburg program follows the same curriculum as the Pitt School of Nursing. Graduates will qualify to take an examination to be licensed as professional nurses.

“The BSN is quickly becoming a required degree by major health care providers in the region and the nation,” said Marie Fioravanti, director of nursing at Pitt-Greensburg. “Studies show that hospital units employing nurses with BSN degrees post significantly lower mortality rates than those staffed by non-BSN-degreed nurses.”

Students will have the opportunity to participate in more than 900 hours of clinical experiences at health care facilities in Westmoreland and Allegheny counties.

The Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation previously has provided support to the Pitt-Greensburg campus for the McKenna and Frank A. Cassell academic halls, technology improvements, and improving technology and helping to address economic growth and revitalization through the Smart Growth Partnership.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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