by Shahum Ajmal
Pitt-Greensburg has introduced a new Nursing program for the start of the 2017-2018 academic term.
Dr. Fioravanti, associate professor and Director of Nursing at Pitt-Greensburg, was more than willing to tell me more about the program and how it is going.
Fioravanti has been a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh at Oakland for 16 years and taught junior level medsurge and clinical during that time.
“I’ve been dying to have a program open this way, because there are no Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing programs in Westmoreland County,” Fioravanti said.
The Dean’s office in Pittsburgh has increased the Nursing program student capacity from 40 students a year to 50 students.
“The program is going to grow, and it is going to grow very quickly,” Fioravanti said.
New students interested in applying to the Nursing program must have a minimum high school GPA of 3.2 and a minimum SAT score of 1170.
There have been no faculty members hired as of this year to teach nursing specific courses.
“We are waiting for Oakland to approve a position, so we will be getting a new faculty member next fall,” Fioravanti said. “We are looking selectivity for somebody who might be able to do several different kinds of courses.”
One of the Nursing program requirements is that anyone teaching a didactic (instructive) course, must have a Doctoral degree.
“Next year students will be going to the hospital and or nursing homes and will start to work with patients,” Fioravanti said.
There are no new classes this year being offered to nursing students.
“Unfortunately, the curriculum is really tight,” Fioravanti said. “Not because we are trying to be mean about it, we have certain standards and requirements that are necessary under the American College of Nurses that we have to follow.”
Pitt-Oakland, Pitt-Greensburg, and Pitt-Johnstown are all following the same nursing curriculum.
“The only thing that is different are tests to avoid friends from different campuses sharing test answers with each other,” Fioravanti said.
The new Nursing Seminar class, that all new nursing students must take is a 0-credit course.
“This is more of a fun course while the students are still getting all the necessary information,” Fioravanti said.
Upperclassmen students have the opportunity to switch over to nursing, but cannot, for example, just start off as a sophomore, since the program has not been developed that far yet.
“If students are interested they should go see Matthew Zidek in Admissions, because he takes all the transfers, or that person should talk to their advisor,” Fioravanti said.
Students should be aware that if you start the nursing program at Greensburg, the hope is that you stay at Greensburg.
“The student to professor ratio is so much better here. I would have 80-100 students at Oakland, and unless you were a problem student or were in the clinical component of the course,
I wouldn’t know who you were,” said Fioravanti. “This way I get to know people, and I am excited about that.”
The Nursing program is designed so that students are in the hospital by their sophomore year, and begin their rotations to gain experience in various areas.
The new nursing building is set to open in 2019, designating the second floor as the nursing floor, with nursing stimulation rooms and a skills lab.
Most students clinicals will be held at Excela Health since it is so close. Students will then have the opportunity for loan reimbursement once they graduate and become licensed nurses.
The reimbursement will be 100/mo. for up to 50 months.
“I know this journey is going to be the hardest endeavor I have ever attempted to pursue,” Christina Pacacha, a freshman Nursing major said. “I am confident that the teachers, myself and fellow nursing class of 2021 can and will achieve our goals.”
Pitt-Greensburg is shaping nurses to leave their four years with a BSN, GN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Graduate Nurse).
Students will then take the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination), to become a BSN, RN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse).
It is then up to students if they wish to pursue masters or a doctoral program.