UPMC St. Margaret School of Nursing Program Review

Since 1910, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center St. Margaret School of Nursing (UPMC SMSON) has been training future nurses. The School of Nursing is a part of UPMC St. Margaret, a 294-bed hospital specializing in acute care. There are no residential facilities for nursing students; the school is a commuter school. Students can choose the most convenient location for their classes, however. They can take classes at the UPMC St. Margaret campus, which is located in Blawnox. In this case, they will complete clinical rotations at UPMC St. Margaret. They also have the option of taking classes at the UPMC McKeesport campus in McKeesport, and completing clinical rotations at UPMC McKeesport.

UPMC St. Margaret School of Nursing offers two nursing programs, both of which are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.

School of Practical Nursing (LPN Program)

The School of Practical Nursing trains prospective Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). To complete the LPN program, a student must study for one full year. A student may begin in April on the Blawnox campus or in October on the McKeesport campus. The program is broken into two parts. During the first part, students take background courses in the sciences and social sciences, and begin clinical practice. The second part of the course includes more intense classroom instruction in nursing, in addition to clinical rotations. Over the course of the program, students earn twenty college credits that may be transferred. UPMC St. Margaret School of Nursing cooperates with Chatham University and Penn State Greater Allegheny, so students are assured of a smooth transfer of credits if they decide to continue their education through one of these schools. At the end of the program, a graduate receives a diploma in practical nursing, and is eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX_PN).

School of Nursing (RN Program)

The School of Nursing trains future Registered Nurses (RN). The program takes seventy-six weeks to complete, and is only available on a full-time basis. It begins twice a year, in February and in June, on UPMC St. Margaret campus in Blawnox, and in June only at the McKeesport campus. Before beginning, a student should complete courses in anatomy and physiology, English, and psychology at any college or university. Over the course of the program, the student must take additional background courses in nutrition, microbiology, and sociology, also at any college. Students take nursing courses at the School of Nursing, and complete clinical rotations at UPMC St. Margaret and UPMC McKeesport, as well at other local healthcare centers. After graduating from the program, a student is awarded a diploma in nursing and is eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN). The RN program has a high rate of success: over 95 percent of its graduates pass the NCLEX_RN on the first try, and over 95 percent find full-time employment.


UPMC St. Margaret School of Nursing – Blawnox Campus
221 Seventh Street,
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

UPMC St. Margaret School of Nursing – McKeesport Campus
1500 Fifth Avenue,
4 Kelly Building,
McKeesport, PA 15132


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