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Nursing

Nursing FAQ's

The first year is comprised of pre-nursing sciences and liberal arts courses that prepare the student for progression into Year Two. Year Two and Year Three are comprised of classes and clinical provided by at UPMC Jameson School of Nursing. In these years, depending on the nursing topic being taught, students may have the opportunity to participate in clinical experiences at local UPMC facilities including, but not limited to, UPMC Jameson, UPMC Horizon- Shenango Valley, and UPMC Horizon- Greenville. Nursing major students can also take 1-2 courses per semester at Westminster College during those years to continue earning credits toward the baccalaureate degree. Year four is an RN-BSN/ Post-licensure Program year in which the student completes upper level nursing courses and the remaining Westminster College requirements in order to graduate. Active RN licensure is a pre-requisite for enrollment in the Year Four/ RN-BSN program.
Cohort One will graduate from Westminster College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) in May of 2021.
Students enter Year One of the Collaborative Nursing Plan as a pre-nursing student. Being accepted to Westminster College and declaring Nursing as the intended major automatically makes a student eligible to enter the College as a pre-nursing student. For progression into Year Two, a student must meet all admission requirements of the UPMC Jameson School of Nursing which includes earning a proficient score on the ATI TEAS test (see more information below). For Year Four, a student must have earned licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) for progression into the 400-600 level Nursing courses. Confirmed acceptance to the UPMC Jameson School of Nursing transitions the student from “pre-nursing” to a Nursing major at the College.
A student must take a pre-entrance test called the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) test and earn at least a “proficient score”. The TEAS test is a standardized, multiple choice exam for students applying to many nursing schools in the USA. The test is created and administered by Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI). The exam consists of 170 questions, drawn from a TEAS Test Bank of thousands of questions that are given on several versions of the exam. The topics covered are reading, mathematics, science, and English language usage. For Westminster College students, the test can be taken as early as the summer prior to enrollment but must be taken no later than the spring of Year One. The TEAS test is offered on the Westminster campus as well as at UMPC Jameson School of Nursing.
The TEAS registration fee is about $90.00. The TEAS test is broken into four sections being Math, Reading, Science, and English. The test is taken online and each section is timed. The TEAS test can be challenging so it is highly recommended that the student purchase a review manual for the test from www.atitesting.com. The Science section of the test is most challenging for students and has been found to be heavy in Anatomy and Physiology content. Students are encouraged to use the study manual to review the Science content. The manual costs about $40.00. There are additional resources such as online practice tests and an Anatomy and Physiology practice test that can also be purchased on the website. If a student does not earn proficient on first attempt, the student can take the test again after 30 days but must pay the registration fee for each attempt.
On average, completing a minor at the College requires an additional 5-6 classes to fit in over the four-year plan. Nursing students do not have much room in their schedules especially with Nursing clinical days in year two and three. Nursing students are highly discouraged from attempting more than 17-18 credits a semester. A student with a large amount of transfer credits or a student who needs to repeat the pre-nursing year may be able to choose and complete a minor prior to graduation.
That is true. The College is seeking CCNE accreditation for the final year of the 4-year Collaborative Nursing Plan which is called the RN-BSN/ Post-licensure Program. Candidacy was confirmed on May 23, 2018, meaning the College is eligible to pursue accreditation. Candidacy does not guarantee that a program will meet the requirements of accreditation but it is the first step. The CCNE virtual visit for the RN-BSN/ Post-licensure Program is scheduled for November 16-18, 2020. The Program will know of accreditation status in late Fall 2020 or early Spring 2021. Accreditation decisions are retroactive to the first day of the scheduled on-site visit (March 16, 2020) which was postponed due to the pandemic.
The impact to current students is minimal. The College is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission and the nursing program in year two and three of the plan (UPMC School of Nursing at Jameson) is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). A Collaborative Nursing Plan student will graduate from both an accredited nursing program and an accredited college. This is necessary if a nurse wants to pursue a graduate degree such as an MSN or a doctoral degree (DNP vs. PhD). As a college, we are choosing to seek an additional accreditation of RN-BSN Program. This will require that we meet very challenging standards for curriculum and program quality to become accredited by CCNE.

Go to the Government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook at www.bls.gov/ooh and research the job predictions and role of a Registered Nurse (RN). In addition, we strongly recommend contacting a local hospital to request an RN job shadow. Some hospitals may permit persons interested in nursing to shadow an RN.

  • UPMC hospitals in Pittsburgh, New Castle, Farrell and Greenville: This is recommended to familiarize the student with the UPMC health system where clinical experiences will take place in Year Two and Three of the Collaborative Nursing Plan.
  • Sharon Regional Health System in Sharon, PA. 724-983-3911.
  • Grove City Medical Center (GCMC). The coordinator is Ashley Steiner, Director of Human Resources. Her email is asteiner@gcmcpa.org and her phone number is 724-450-7006. The hospital’s address is 631 North Broad Street Extension, Grove City, Pennsylvania 16127-9703.

NOTE: Local hospitals may be limiting or restricting RN shadows for safety of patients/visitors during the pandemic.

The impact to current students is minimal. The College is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission and the nursing program in year two and three of the plan (UPMC School of Nursing at Jameson) is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). A Collaborative Nursing Plan student will graduate from both an accredited nursing program and an accredited college. This is necessary if a nurse wants to pursue a graduate degree such as an MSN or a doctoral degree (DNP vs. PhD). As a college, we are choosing to seek an additional accreditation of RN-BSN Program. This will require that we meet very challenging standards for curriculum and program quality to become accredited by CCNE.
The FAFSA (for Westminster College) is completed for all loans, grants and scholarships. In all four years, the Collaborative Nursing Plan student should only complete a FAFSA for Westminster College. All tuition is paid through Westminster College. The College reimburses the UPMC School of Nursing at Jameson per student, per credit of courses/clinical taken in Year Two and Three of the Collaborative Nursing Plan. The Collaborative Plan student should disregard any prompts from the UPMC Schools as to filing a FAFSA. For questions, please contact the College’s Financial Aid Department at 724-946-7102.
Yes, nursing students can reside at Westminster College all 4 years. A student may choose to commute if living close to the College (check College policy for more information). Students who live on campus enjoy a wide variety of academic, athletic, and social activities.
100% of the nursing students either have their own car or they carpool with a fellow nursing student. For carpooling, students make their own arrangements and may offer the driver some gas money or take advantage of quizzing each other on the way to class or clinical. For 100-300 level nursing classes, all classes are held at UPMC Jameson School of Nursing which is located on Route 18 about seven miles from the College. For clinical, nursing students are placed in Group A (Monday/Tuesday clinical) or B (Thursday/Friday) each semester and can talk with persons assigned in the same clinical group if a ride is needed. Depending on the nursing topic being taught, students may have the opportunity to participate in clinical experiences at local UPMC facilities including, but not limited to, UPMC Jameson, UPMC Horizon- Shenango Valley, and UPMC Horizon- Greenville. All clinical experiences in Year Two and Year of the Plan are arranged and supervised by UPMC Jameson School of Nursing faculty. The college does not provide a shuttle to and from UPMC Jameson School of Nursing or any of the clinical sites. Nursing major students MUST have personal transportation in Year 4 (the RN-BSN/Post-licensure Program) to be able to get to clinical sites where they will complete clinical and Capstone experiences.
Many of the clinical experiences are scheduled at UPMC Jameson Hospital which is also located on Route 18 about one mile from the UPMC Jameson School of Nursing. However, depending on the semester and the nursing topic being learned, students may also have the opportunity to participate in clinical experiences at UPMC Horizon- Shenango Valley in Farrell, PA or UPMC Horizon- Greenville located in Greenville, PA. UPMC Horizon- Shenango Valley is approximately 20 minutes from the College and UPMC Horizon- Greenville is approximately 40 minutes from the College. For example, in Year Three of the Collaborative Nursing Plan when learning about mother/baby care, students may the opportunity to participate in clinical experiences at UPMC- Shenango Valley’s Labor and Delivery unit.
The School of Nursing website. Prospective students and families can learn more about the program’s NCLEX-RN pass rate, job placement rates, and how to schedule a tour by visiting this site. Prospective students can contact UPMC Jameson School of Nursing to request a tour or meet with the director or faculty to ask questions.
It is the student’s responsibility to have an official transcript sent from the college or university where the classes were taken to the Westminster College Registrar Office. The Registrar Office will evaluate the credits to determine which classes will be accepted as transfer credit and let the student know of the decision. For questions, please contact the College’s Registrar Office at 724-946-7136.
A recommendation would be "any". Safe medication dosage and calculation is an essential role of a nurse so any course that helps math proficiency is valuable. Within the UPMC Jameson School of Nursing Program, a student must pass two separate calculation and dosage exams to continue in the program..
A student interested in Nursing needs at least two high school science courses with labs during high school. It is highly recommended that the potential student ensure that the high school specifically list the science courses on the transcript as “with lab”. Any Biology courses, particularly Anatomy and Physiology, in high school will be beneficial for pre-nursing students..
Yes, with the proper discipline and balance between athletics and academics, a pre-nursing and nursing major student can be very successful. A student athlete needs to get adequate rest, maintain their physical health, and stay organized to balance the requirements of being a nursing student and an athletic team member. The student is responsible for maintaining regular communication with coaching staff and professors to minimize conflicts. In Year Two and Three, a Nursing major student attends clinical through the UPMC School of Nursing. Clinical attendance is mandatory and the student can only miss a certain amount of those days per semester. Per UPMC Schools of Nursing policy and for student and patient safety, students with injuries that require a cast, crutches, or a brace may not be permitted to attend clinical experiences in the hospital setting.
Most of the Nursing student breaks in year two and three of the Collaborative Nursing Plan align with the College's Academic Calendar (ex. Spring Break and Christmas). However, there will be a few days in which a nursing student may have clinical or class at UPMC Jameson School of Nursing but the campus is not in session. The Nursing Department works with Student Affairs to ensure that Nursing students have access to campus housing over breaks as needed. Nursing students are required to follow the UPMC Jameson School of Nursing academic calendar when enrolled in that program but we do work hard to align most breaks.
There are a few days throughout an academic year that a nursing student will need to stay on campus for class/clinical at Jameson but the College campus is not in session. The student can pick-up sandwiches, salads or to-go meals using their College meal plan the day before this would occur. The same is true for when students will be at Jameson all day and not be on campus for lunch meals. Students are allowed mini-refrigerators and microwaves in the campus dorm rooms. Students have also found it convenient to have gift cards to use at local restaurants that are within walking distance of the UPMC Jameson School of Nursing. Subway and McDonalds Restaurants are located in the parking lot next to the School of Nursing. A Visa gift card is accepted at Gallo’s Italian Restaurant which is located in the building adjacent to the School of Nursing. While on clinical experiences, students can purchase a meal in the hospital cafeteria or soup/sandwiches in the hospital gift shop.
A student cannot miss more than 2 clinical days per semester. A student who misses more than 2 clinical days may be dismissed and be required to repeat the course when it is offered next. Class is strongly encouraged. Class days at UPMC Jameson School of Nursing may be longer than the average College class and quite a bit of material is covered in each class. A student who does not attend class regularly often struggles to perform well on examinations.

There are some differences between the College and the UPMC Jameson School of Nursing grading scales.

At the College, a course grading scale is determined by the professor of the course and is most like typical grading scales seen in high schools (A= 90-100%, B= 80-89%, etc.). A grade of C- (1.7) is acceptable to progress to the next course but is considered inferior performance. Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 within their major. As part of the Collaborative Nursing Plan, the UPMC School of Nursing at Jameson required college-level courses are: BIO 135, BIO 136, BIO 137, WRI 111, PSY 225 and PHI 240. These college-level courses must be completed with an earned grade of C or better by the end of Year Three. If a C is not earned in any of these six courses, it must be retaken which may affect the student’s ability to graduate in as little as four years.

At the UPMC Jameson School of Nursing (courses N 101 through N 360), a student is required to maintain an overall grade of C (76%) to progress to the next nursing course. This grade is not rounded. A student who does not earn at least 76% in one course may repeat it the next time it is offered. Only one nursing course may be repeated. The UPMC Jameson Grading Scale is as follows:

A
4.0
93-100%
A-
3.7
90-92%
B+
3.5
87-89%
B
3.0
84-86%
B-
2.7
81-83%
C+
2.5
78-80%
C
2.0
76-77%
C-
1.7
74-75%
D
1.0
72-73%
F
0
71% and below
Students who have successfully passed the NCLEX-RN to become professional Registered Nurses enter a two semester plan comprised of 400-600 level Nursing courses and completion of remaining Westminster Plan requirements. Students earn the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree upon graduation from the College.
To become a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP), a student must complete a Bachelor's degree in nursing then apply to a Master's degree program with a CRNP track. There are many of these programs around Pittsburgh including Duquesne, Pitt and Carlowe. CRNP's are one of the most "in demand" roles within nursing and the job growth is fantastic. For more information, see the Occupational Outlook Handbook (www.bls.gov/ooh/). Many CRNP programs require that an RN have worked at least 2 years before acceptance into the program.

 

 

What can you do with a Nursing degree?

Imagine yourself as a Registered Nurse (RN).  RN’s with a BSN degree have numerous options in nursing to choose from including medical-surgical nursing, intensive care, trauma nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics, oncology, home health care and community-health nursing.  In addition, many RN’s continue their education to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) degree.  Registered Nurses can also earn professional certifications to become nurse anesthetists (CRNA), nurse practitioners (CRNP) and nurse educators (CNE).  The profession of nursing IS more rewarding than you can imagine.