Nursing FAQ


Why should a student choose Pitt-Johnstown for nursing education?
At Pitt-Johnstown, our goal is to get students ready for the Real World! Our nursing curriculum prepares graduates for clinical practice now and in the future, with high quality classroom and state-of-the-art simulation laboratory instruction coupled with a wide variety of clinical experiences in acute, long-term, and community care. Pitt-Johnstown nursing graduates will enjoy the reputation of a degree widely recognized for academic and clinical excellence. In addition, students choosing nursing at Pitt-Johnstown have the opportunity to experience benefits associated with our campus, including small classes, scenic setting, wide-ranging student activities and organizations, and REAL WORLD preparation to assure achievement of personal and professional goals.

How long does it take to complete the nursing major and can I complete it part-time?
A full-time student should be able to complete the BSN in 4 academic years, without summer courses. There are 9 major clinical courses that are taken in a precise sequence. These courses begin in the fall semester of the sophomore year and proceed in an exact order over the next 6 semesters. Certain non-nursing pre-requisite courses are required before beginning the clinical sequence. Prospective students who wish to transfer credits should make an appointment with or contact the Admissions Office and/or the Department of Nursing for a projection of the time for their program completion.

Part-time scheduling may be achieved for the first 31 credits of the program, but full-time enrollment is strongly encouraged after that. Students wishing to schedule part-time should be aware that doing so will increase the length of time required for program completion.


Which hospitals/agencies do you use for clinical experiences?
The nursing program holds clinical contracts with several different clinical agencies in the area. Most are within 15-20 minutes travel from the campus; a few may require longer travel times. Agencies vary among the many different types of places that registered nurses typically work including small and large hospitals, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, rehabilitation hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and more. A wide range of clinical opportunities are provided within these hospitals and agencies including clinical rotations in pediatrics, maternity, medical-surgical units, critical care-adult and pediatric, emergency department, operating rooms, outpatient clinics, in-home nursing care and more.

When do I start my clinical rotations?
Nursing students begin clinical in the first semester of the sophomore year. Students spend 1 day per week the first semester of the sophomore year and 2 days per week in the second sophomore semester. In the senior year students are at the clinical site 3 days per week.

How do students travel to off-campus clinical agencies for their clinical experiences?
Nursing students are required to provide their own transportation to clinical agencies beginning in the sophomore year. Students are often able to carpool with other students, and public transportation is available to some clinical sites.

How large are clinical groups?
Clinical groups are normally 8-9 students per faculty member.

Do full-time faculty teach/supervise clinical experiences in hospitals and clinical agencies?
Full-time faculty have both classroom and direct clinical teaching and supervision responsibilities. Experienced part-time faculty who are expert clinical nurses with advanced degrees also supervise clinical experiences.


Do you admit a large number of students to the nursing program, and then "weed-out" students in the early semesters of the program?
The faculty strive to support all admitted students toward success in the nursing program; however, the nursing program has rigorous standards and high expectations. Some students may find the nursing major is not ideal for them and choose to seek another major. Faculty are always available for advisement and counseling to assist students to meet their educational goals. Our goal is to graduate 40 nurses per year. Small class sizes ensure individualized attention.

Is it possible to specialize in one area of nursing while getting a baccalaureate degree in nursing?
No, specialization in nursing occurs at the master's or graduate level of study. Study for the baccalaureate degree in nursing is at a generalist level. Acquiring the baccalaureate degree is the foundation required for master's level study in nursing. However, at the completion of this program and after successful completion of the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam, students are prepared to work in many different clinical areas of nursing.



What is the passing rate of graduates on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN)?
In recent years, the passing rate for graduates of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing has been 90% to 100% for candidates taking the examination for the first time.


Is it possible to play sports and be a nursing major?
Some nursing majors have played varsity sports. Nursing faculty and coaches work collaboratively to assist students who wish to play sports.