Whether you’re entering the workforce for the first time, changing careers into nursing later in life, or somewhere in between, graduating from nursing school is a huge accomplishment. It’s the bold first step into a new career path – and into the opportunity to change lives through clinical care. UPMC is proud to invest in the future of the nursing profession by training new nurses through UPMC Schools of Nursing.

With six campuses throughout Pennsylvania and various program lengths including a track to become a Registered Nurse in as little as 16 months, UPMC Schools of Nursing paves the way for future nurses to get their degree in a way that best works for their life and schedule. Students walk away from UPMC Schools of Nursing fully equipped to impact patients, provide outstanding care, and make a difference in their communities.

Still want to know more? Click on a campus to hear from some of our most recent graduates about what their experience at UPMC Schools of Nursing has meant to them.

UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing

UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing at Harrisburg

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UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing

Billi Marie M.2023 Graduate

“My path to nursing school began after experiencing a traumatic medical error during the birth of my daughter, Mikaila. This event motivated me to pursue a career in nursing and become an advocate for my patients during their most vulnerable moments, to help prevent them from having to endure the same hardships I did. 

As a mother who works full-time, I opted for UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing as it provided an excellent balance between studies and personal life. Being accepted into the part-time cohort allowed me to work during the weekdays, take care of my family, and attend classes in the evenings and weekends.   

My plan after I graduate is to become a Professional Staff Nurse at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and to obtain my master’s degree in nursing education.” 

Crystal B.2023 Graduate

“I chose UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing because of the availability of the 16-month track. A few of my friends received their nursing degrees here and shared good things about their experiences. I liked the small class size and the flexibility of classes. For me, nursing school meant an opportunity to provide more for my children.  

One of the things I enjoyed most in my nursing school experience was being a class representative. As students, we will never be able to make changes if we don’t speak up. Administration did a great job of hearing our voices.  

I accepted a full-time position with UPMC Passavant in the Medical-Surgical ICU (MSICU), and in July I will begin pursuing my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).” 

Nicole C.2023 Graduate

“I’ve wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember. Life happened and I decided to take a different pathway, so I didn’t start nursing school until I was 33 years old. I chose UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing first and foremost for their 16-month fast track program. As a mom of three, I was interested in finishing school as quickly as possible. Once I met with the faculty for my interview, I knew I had made the right decision. Everyone was so encouraging and positive that I know this would be the right fit for me. 

I really enjoyed the fact that we were hands-on from day one. Even if it was just the simulation lab at first, there was always a tactile experience that really brought everything to life. I truly feel like I am well-prepared to start my career and journey as an RN with everything I’ve learned, not to mention the great friendships I’ve gained throughout this process as well.  

My next step after graduation is to enjoy my family, travel a bit, prepare for my NCLEX, and then continue my career in geriatric nursing in a skilled nursing facility where I’ve been working for 11 years. I’m excited to take what I’ve learned over these last 16 months and make sure my residents are getting the most holistic, person-centered, safe, and competent care possible.” 

Molly G.2023 Graduate

“Ever since I was a child I have always been interested in the medical field. When I was 5 years old my mom had thyroid cancer and that began my first experience in and out of the hospital. After that, both of my brothers were born with severe peanut and tree nut allergies, so I always would take care of them if they ever had an allergic reaction. My middle brother has epilepsy. He had a seizure the summer before I started nursing school. After that, I knew I that nursing was exactly what I wanted to do. I decided to go to Chatham University to get my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and Chatham partners with UPMC so I received my nursing diploma from UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing. 

One of my favorite parts of nursing school was meeting so many amazing friends. Nursing students are really kind and caring people who are very easy to get along with – and there’s nothing like going through something tough together to really create a bond! 

My plans after graduation are to work at Magee Women’s Hospital in their obstetrics (OB) rotational program. In the future, I would love to further my education and get my BSN, MSN, and potentially become a nurse practitioner.” 

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UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing at Harrisburg

Heather M. • 2023 Graduate

“What I have enjoyed in my nursing school experience is the relationships I have developed with the instructors and students. The instructors have been my backbone. They are always there, showing up for us with consistency, support, and motivation. Also, the relationships I have built with other students are unmatched. I am so grateful to be able to be on this journey with them. I have learned so much from so many of the students that I will always keep with me when I move forward with my career.

The Emergency Department has my heart, and it will be where I begin my adventure as a Registered Nurse. We all have a story and I believe that my story has just begun, and I can say that I finally found my purpose.”

Kalynn K. • 2023 Graduate

“I started at UPMC Schools of Nursing at Harrisburg after being an LPN in the UPMC system for over 7 years. I picked UPMC due to the accelerated program, convenience, and the fact that it was already associated with the hospital where I worked. When I got my acceptance letter, I was at work and cried because I felt my dreams were becoming a reality.

Here at UPMC Schools of Nursing, I feel as if the instructors have a personal investment in our best interest. They do not treat us all as if we are numbers, they treat us as if we are their pride and joy and they want the absolute best for us, and that includes all of us passing and walking that stage in December.

After graduation, I have accepted a position in Harrisburg’s Emergency Department on night shift full-time.”

Scarla C. • 2023 Graduate

“I chose UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing at Harrisburg because I desired a full-time program that was straightforward. I have had the best instructors and director. The instructors at our school are dedicated to seeing us succeed. I have seen many instructors stay late with students to go over practice questions or clarify a topic. We have been drilled on study techniques and identified our learning styles to better understand the material presented in lecture. I am grateful for all the time our instructors devote to our triumph.

After graduation, I plan on working for UPMC. I’m taking the route of starting in Med-Surg and eventually moving onto the ICU. Ultimately, I hope to be a Labor and Delivery nurse.”

Zabria E. • 2023 Graduate

“Nursing has always been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I chose UPMC Schools of Nursing because it was close to home and seemed to be the best fit for me. I am happy to say that I am glad that I chose this school. I have met a lot of new friends; we all study together and encourage each other in our studies. The instructors at UPMC are top notch, they are very personable, and they always have a ‘you can do it’ approach.

My next step after graduation will be to pass the NCLEX and start my nursing career. I would love to either be a Labor & Delivery nurse or a Maternity Nurse.  I am still up in the air about that, but wherever I go, I will be prepared because of the training I received at UPMC.”

Whether you’re just getting started, looking for a fresh start, or advancing your nursing career, learn how UPMC Schools of Nursing can help you accelerate your goals.

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