Mercy Hospital School of Nursing Program Review

The Mercy Hospital School of Nursing (MHSN), which is part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center – Mercy (UPMC Mercy) has been training nurses in the Pittsburgh area since 1893. The school offers a hospital-based nursing diploma program which, in the years since it first began, has trained nearly 6000 nurses who have gone on to successful careers in the nursing field. Here is an overview of the program:

Diploma in Nursing Program Overview

A student  in the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing’s Diploma in Nursing program must commit to twenty-one consecutive months of full-time study to complete the program. In the first year, she takes a combination of foundational nursing courses in addition to background courses in the sciences, social sciences, and liberal arts. The background courses are offered by Carlow University. In the second year, the student focuses solely on upper-level nursing coursework. The program has a strong emphasis on clinical practice. Students begin hands-on work during the very first semester, and complete over 1000 hours over the course of the twenty-one months.

The program also has a strong focus on Christian values (the school is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and was founded by the Sisters of Mercy). In particular, the program emphasizes community service, respect for the dignity of each life, and culturally sensitive nursing care. A graduate of the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing is eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN). If successful, she may begin working as a Registered Nurse (RN). Alternatively, a graduate can transition into an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program offered through a college or university. If she chooses this path, she will be able to transfer thirty credits from Carlow University, in addition to advanced placement credits that she will receive for nursing courses.

Program Facts

The Diploma in Nursing program boasts a first-time pass rate of over 90 percent on the NCLEX_RN. In addition, nearly 100 percent of the program’s graduates found full-time work in the field. The Diploma in Nursing program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, and approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

Diploma Programs – General Information

In the past, diploma programs affiliated with hospitals were the most common way of training new nurses. There are few of them now; most RNs are now graduates of associate degree programs or bachelor’s programs. However, diploma programs have their own advantages. Usually, a diploma program, working closely with a hospital, has a stronger emphasis on clinical practice than an associate degree program. The clinical portion of the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing’s program, for example, begins right away rather than later in the program. And since diploma programs are generally tied to colleges, as is the diploma program through Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, a student can earn credits toward a BSN degree while completing a diploma program.

Mercy Hospital School of Nursing
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center – Mercy
1401 Boulevard of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15219