UPMC Schools of Nursing

UPMC has a commitment to the education and development of the next generation of nurse professionals. Our hospital-based nursing schools combine unparalleled clinical experiences with exceptional academics. We prepare our graduates to enter the workforce to become leaders in health care and advocates for their patients.

2020 has been a year of unprecedented events for the UPMC Schools of Nursing. This year the number of schools expanded from four to five, with UPMC Jameson creating a satellite location at UPMC Hamot in Erie, PA.

Like many other academic partners, the UPMC Schools of Nursing temporarily transitioned from a face-to-face program to a fully online curriculum due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This included both classroom and clinical experiences.  Since mid-summer, clinical rotations have resumed on a limited basis.  Classes were offered online or in-person in the fall of 2020.

UPMC Schools of Nursing continues to offer a full-time and a part-time evening/weekend program for interested students. The enrollment in the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing part-time program has grown 13% and is expected to have continued growth to meet the needs of students who attend school part time.

The first time NCLEX-RN pass rates continue to exceed the minimum threshold of 80% in all schools.

The student nurse population at UPMC Schools of Nursing has increasingly become more diverse over the past few years. Data indicates that in 2020, 13 percent of the student body are males and 11 percent are people of color. Our students have diverse backgrounds as well. Some students are single parents, heads of households, second career seekers, college graduates, recent high school graduates and full-time employees.

Nursing School
Over 17,000 Graduates Graphic

Academic Partnerships

Developing and maintaining strong partnerships with local and regional nursing schools is a top priority of the UPMC Center for Nursing Excellence. Students enrolled at these schools gain access to world-class clinical sites and provide a potential pipeline of talent for hospitals. The partnership between UPMC and academic institutions is mutually beneficial.

The Academic Service Partnership Council meets with the goal of promoting and supporting collaborative working relationships between UPMC and its academic partners. The council is made up of representatives from UPMC hospitals and regional schools of nursing who work to develop strategic plans to increase enrollment in schools and increase capacity of clinical groups to give students a robust learning experience.

In response to COVID-19, a Student Oversight Committee was formed to bring students safely back into the clinical environment while maintaining the safety of our patients and staff. The committee is comprised of service line leaders from each student discipline responsible for shaping the decisions for safely bringing students back into the clinical environment.

UPMC is affiliated with over 300 academic institutions across Pennsylvania and its surrounding regions.

A mutually beneficial partnership

UPMC Shadyside and UPMC Jameson Schools of Nursing both have unique partnerships with Chatham University and Westminster College (respectively) to offer a 1+2+1 program. Students enrolled in these programs will begin their studies year one with their respective colleges and graduate from UPMC Schools of Nursing after completion of year two and three. Upon receiving their diploma, these students are eligible to take NCLEX and will return to their respective colleges to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree during their fourth year.


This is a new PCT program with a four-week, hands-on, intensive training facilitated by nurse educators from the UPMC Center for Nursing Excellence. Throughout the training, participants focus on the clinical skills required for the role, as well as life success skills that contribute to a well-rounded employee.

On August 14, 2020, the inaugural cohort of 14 graduates successfully completed the new Patient Care Technician Training program, a collaboration between UPMC and our community partner, Energy Innovation Center (EIC).

After the inaugural cohort, 12 PCTs graduated in October, 15 in November, and 17 in December for a total of 56 new PCT graduates in 2020.

The Energy Innovation Center is a not-for-profit organization located in uptown Pittsburgh. Their mission is to engage corporate and community leaders, align workforce development and education, develop and demonstrate technology, and incubate businesses, in order to support emerging clean and sustainable energy markets. In addition to the new PCT training program, UPMC currently works with the EIC for an environmental services (EVS) associates training program, a partnership that has proven successful in reducing turnover with our EVS program graduates.

PTC Program group photo
Scholars Program

UPMC Scholars Program

The UPMC Scholars Program, in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, supports our vision to increase the diversity of the UPMC nursing workforce. With financial support from UPMC, selected students must enroll in and complete a four-year BSN degree and agree to enter a work commitment following graduation.

The selection process is highly competitive. On campus, prospective Scholars interface with representatives of UPMC and University of Pittsburgh and are asked to provide a written essay. Students also receive an opportunity to tour UPMC’s clinical facilities. After beginning the program, UPMC Scholars are provided mentoring opportunities by both UPMC and University of Pittsburgh.

To date, there have been over 30 UPMC Scholars. The third class started in the fall of 2020. UPMC is committed to bridging gaps in health care and workforce diversity and programs such as the UPMC Scholars Program are critical to its mission.

UPMC leaders attended a scholarship luncheon hosted by the University of Pittsburgh to recognize the scholars. Additionally, members of the UPMC Nursing Inclusion Council hosted a luncheon to network and provide mentoring to the scholars.


Our 10-week Student Nurse Intern (SNI) program offers soon-to-be graduate nurses excellent hands-on training in an engaging, dynamic atmosphere. For many, this program is the first chance to apply classroom knowledge with real patients. But they’re never alone — with 1-on-1 preceptors as guides, our SNIs are empowered and extended opportunities to provide important care.

Students apply during their junior year (or equivalent) and participate in a
10-week paid summer internship the following summer. During their internship, the student is located at one hospital on a unit in one of a variety of clinical settings with shadowing opportunities provided. They can work up to 40 hours/week and follow the schedule of their preceptor. Internship opportunities are also available in nursing specialty areas.

UPMC offers flexible schedules that enable student nurses to stay with UPMC as patient care technicians while they finish their senior year, which facilitates a transition to a registered nurse position after graduation. During the course of the SNI program, SNIs have the opportunity to learn about and apply for system-wide patient care technician and GN opportunities (and hopefully secure those opportunities before they even start their final year in nursing school).

2019 student nurse interns

“Improving on old and learning new skills was a huge part of this program. I had the opportunity to improve on physicals assessments, manage different types of ostomies, perform dressing changes, and more, but I also learned the importance of strong nurse-patient communication.”

Katie D., UPMC Passavant

Highlight Staff Member: Katie D.
2018 student nurse interns
Of the 2019 student nurse interns, 70% started as new GNs within UPMC in 2020