School of Nursing Curriculum

UPMC Jameson School of Nursing offers a two-year diploma program with a summer break.  Graduates are prepared for entry-level nursing positions in a variety of settings such as hospitals, clinics, and other community agencies.  UPMC Jameson School of Nursing and various community settings provide students with necessary learning experiences.

Clinical experiences are scheduled primarily throughout the day shift.  However, some evening and night clinical experiences may be required.

The required five (5) prerequisite college courses can be completed in two (2) semesters which would be approximately eight (8) months.  The nursing program is presented in four (4) semesters throughout two (2) calendar years (16 months) with summers off.  Four (4) semesters are 15 weeks in length and courses are planned to present 14 weeks of theoretical content and clinical experiences.  The total time to complete the college and nursing courses is twenty-four (24) months.  The graduate will be qualified to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), formerly known at “State Boards.”  After successfully passing this examination, the graduate is entitled to practice as a registered nurse.

The nursing courses are considered to be a fixed curriculum, with each nursing course providing information that is essential for all subsequent courses.  Learning experiences are planned on a simple to complex basis with emphasis in the first courses placed on fundamental skills and basic care.  Later courses focus on the care needed by more acutely ill patients.  The medical-surgical areas provide primary clinical experience for all courses; however, each course incorporates some theory and clinical practice of one or more specialty areas such as: extended care, surgery, ambulatory care, maternity, behavioral health, pediatrics, and critical care.  Most clinical experiences are available in the local community.  Courses are presented by UPMC Jameson School of Nursing Faculty members.  Four (4) college course are presented on site by Penn State University Faculty.  One (1) course is presented in each of the semesters.

An ongoing evaluation process involves Faculty and students, thus ensuring an up-to-date, progressive educational program.  The Faculty to student ratio is approximately 1:8-10.

Students enrolled in the UPMC Jameson School of Nursing are expected to focus on meeting the demands of the accelerated nursing program.

With the addition of the four (4) college courses, a graduate of UPMC Jameson School of Nursing should be able to complete requirements for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing with one-two (1-2) additional years of full-time study.  The courses provide the graduate with a seamless transition into the BSN program.


Curriculum Design

First Level, Semester I
(15 weeks/13 credits)
First Level, Semester II
(15 weeks/15 credits)
Fundamentals of Nursing (Nursing I)
(130° theory, 130° clinical)
*Nursing 251 Health Assessment
Integrated Behavioral Health Concepts
10 credits
3 credits
Medical-Surgical Nursing (Nursing II)
(140° theory, 170° clinical)
*HDFS 129 Intro to Human Development and Family Studies
Integrated Behavioral Health Concepts
12 credits
3 credits
Total Credits
Ratio Theory:Clinical 1:1
13 creditsTotal Credits
Ratio Theory:Clinical 1:1.2
15 credits
Second Level, Semester I
(15 weeks/15 credits)
Second Level, Semester II
(15 weeks/19 credits)
Maternal-Newborn Nursing (Nursing III)
(55° theory, 65° clinical)
Integrated Behavioral Health Concepts
4 creditsAdvanced Medical-Surgical Nursing II
(Nursing VI) (165° theory, 225° clinical)
*Nurse 390US Transition and The Professional Nursing Role
Integrated Behavioral Health Concepts
16 credits
3 credits
Nursing Care of Children (Nursing IV)
(55° theory, 65° clinical)
Integrated Behavioral Health Concepts
4 credits
Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing I (Nursing V)
(55° theory, 65° clinical)
*NURS 458 Ethical Challenges in Healthcare Informatics
Integrated Behavioral Health Concepts
4 credits
3 credits
Total Credits
Ratio Theory:Clinical 1:1.8
15 creditsTotal Credits
Ratio Theory:Clinical 1:1.4
19 credits

*Courses are taught by Penn State

Note:  The credits assigned to the nursing courses do not reflect college credits and are solely listed for calculating QPA.

1 credit=15 hours theory
1 credit=45 hours clinical

The following pre-requisite courses must be completed by the end of the spring semester prior to entering Nursing I of the year beginning the program: A&P I, A&P II, General Psychology, Nutrition, Microbiology-This is approximately two (2) college semesters or eight (8) months.  Total time to complete pre-requisites and nursing courses is twenty-four (24) months.

Description of Nursing Courses

Fundamentals of Nursing (Nursing I): An introduction to basic nursing care required by all individuals.

Medical-Surgical Nursing (Nursing II): A medical-surgical course that incorporates the nursing process and focuses on individuals with moderate to complex deviations from the normal state of health.

Maternal-Newborn Nursing (Nursing III): Focuses on the needs and care of the childbearing family.

Nursing Care of Children (Nursing IV): A child focused, family-centered approach to the nursing care of children from infancy through adolescence.

Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing I (Nursing V): Focuses on the care of clients with select cardiac, respiratory, and behavioral health disorders.

Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing II (Nursing VI): Emphasis is placed on the comprehensive care needed by individuals with life-threatening illness and includes nursing judgment and decision-making processes. Behavioral Health Concepts have been integrated into the curriculum.

Description of Penn State Courses

Nursing 251 Health Assessment: Designed to broaden the student’s knowledge and skills in health assessment and physical examination across the lifespan.

HDFS 129 Intro to Human Development and Family Studies: This course provides a basic introduction to the concepts, theories, and research on human development as it occurs over the lifespan and in context.  Students will be introduced to developmental tasks and challenges unique to each stage of human development from the womb through infancy, early and middle childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood, middle age and old age.

NURS 458 Ethical Challenges in Healthcare Informatics: A case based collaboratory designed for the exploration and analysis of the ethical dilemmas facing healthcare informatics practitioners.

NURS 390US Transition and The Professional Nursing Role: Transition to baccalaureate education and professional nursing practice, emphasizing leadership, management, and issue influencing nursing education and practice.