About the School

The purpose of Citizens School of Nursing is to graduate individuals prepared for registered nurse (RN) licensure and competent for entry-level practice in a variety of healthcare settings.

History of the school

Citizens School of Nursing was opened under the original name of Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing in late 1913 by Citizens General Hospital. Citizens General Hospital, originally established as Trinity Hospital, was chartered in December 1912. The School opened with two students under the direction of two “nurse executives” who were responsible for the Hospital and the School. The first formal graduation of six students was held in May 1917. Since that time, 2462 students have graduated.

In October of 1922, the Nurses Home was donated by the H. E. Kinloch family and furnished by the Hospital Auxiliary. In June 1962, the Aluminum Company of America presented their “Clubhouse” at 200 Freeport Road to the Hospital.

The early curriculum of the school was implemented with three formal nursing instructors, physicians, and hospital departmental supervisors. In the mid 1950s, the nursing faculty positions were expanded so that nursing instructors taught classroom theory and supervised clinical experience. The first male student was admitted in 1957, making this one of the early co-educational programs in Pennsylvania.

The School of Nursing earned its first accreditation from the National League for Nursing (NLN) Accreditation Council in 1960 and continues to enjoy the privilege of full accreditation.

The original 36-month curriculum has been revised often over the School’s history so that the educational program could keep pace with innovations in nursing and health care. Today the program is 2 years long and consists of 50 nursing credit equivalents and 24 earned college credits.

In November 2000, Citizens General Hospital closed and the ownership of Citizens School of Nursing was transferred to Allegheny Valley Hospital. The change of ownership of the School of Nursing was approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and the NLN Accrediting Commission in early 2001.

Allegheny Valley Hospital, which is part of Allegheny Health Network, fully supports the School of Nursing. It provides hands-on clinical experiences in medical-surgical, critical care, oncology, mental health and emergency nursing. The School of Nursing as part of Allegheny Valley Hospital will strive to provide highly competent entry-level nurses to serve the Alle-Kiski Valley and greater Pittsburgh area for many years to come.

In the Spring of 2004, the School moved back to its original location at the Citizens Ambulatory Care Center in Tarentum, PA, and the School’s facilities and offices were updated.

Philosophy of the School

The Faculty of the Citizens School of Nursing believes that the individual is in constant interaction with the environment and lives within the context of a family. This family is a set of significant others, a person, group, or community, defined by the individual and identified as having a major impact on the individual’s well-being. Individuals are diverse composites of the dynamic interrelationships among physiological, psychological, socio-cultural, developmental and spiritual variables in their environment. The individual’s interaction with these variables determines the individual’s perception of health. The individual is viewed as being in constant change striving to move toward the highest possible state of well-being.

Health is a perceived state along the wellness-illness continuum. It may or may not be defined as the absence of disease but may be defined in terms of the highest state of functioning or comfort in the presence of a serious illness. It is defined by the individual and family.

Nursing is a dynamic, evidence-based, caring profession rooted in the scientific theory of bio-psycho-social sciences. Critical thinking, interprofessional and therapeutic communication, leadership and management skills are everyday tools of nursing. The focus of nursing is the provision of high quality, safe, patient-centered care consistent with evidence-based, best practice and nationally established standards of care. The nursing process includes interventions to promote, maintain, and restore health in a variety of settings. Nursing is autonomous and therefore morally, ethically and legally responsible to the individual, family, multidisciplinary health care team and society for the quality of care provided. Nursing influences and is influenced by the current political, social, and economic trends that impact health care.

Learning is an active, participative, life long process that results in the acquisition of knowledge and skills, as evidenced by changes in an individual’s behavior, values, and attitudes. The learning process progresses from simple to complex, general to specific, and directed to self-directed. It is influenced by past experiences, readiness, and motivation of the learner. Nursing education is a student-centered, collaborative process based on a mutual trust, respect, and acceptance of responsibility between the educator and the student. In the educational process the teacher is responsible for planning and guiding the learning experience, which reflect the application of theory to practice. The students are supported as they strive for proficiency in critical thinking and critical decision-making skills essential to entry-level practice. The students are expected to be active participants in the educational process.

The School of Nursing serves the community by preparing competent entry-level professional nurses who live and work primarily in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the general Southwestern Pennsylvania region. The School also serves the community by encouraging faculty and student participation in health-related activities that promote the health of the community and demonstrate the role of the professional nurse in the community.

School goals

The planned total program:

  • Prepare graduates with the knowledge, values, and skills essential for entry-level practice as a professional nurse.
  • Provide high-quality nursing education that is responsive to the individual consumer and the community’s need for qualified nurses.
  • Foster educational mobility and the pursuit of independent initiatives for continuing education to ensure personal and professional growth.
  • Satisfy the standards of the State Board of Nursing and National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) by providing essential curriculum and program resources to support students and faculty.
  • Facilitate successful licensure of graduates.

Educational mobility plan (BSN)

Citizens School of Nursing has established an educational mobility plan with the Penn State University (PSU) Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

Under this plan, qualified graduates of Citizens School of Nursing will be eligible for consideration for admission to the extended Penn State University BSN program with advanced standing.

Non-discrimination policy

In furtherance of our nation’s commitment to end discrimination on the basis of disability and in accordance with the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992 and all regulations properly issued there under to protect the rights of disabled persons, it is this hospital’s policy that:

The School of Nursing Educational Program administered by Allegheny Valley Hospital shall not exclude from participation, deny benefits to or subject to discrimination any qualified individual solely by reason of his or her disability. Also, the school does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, sex, marital status, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age or ancestry.

Cost of Citizens Education

Citizens School of Nursing offers competitive tuition and financial aid (if qualified). You may estimate the net cost to students in your situation who matriculated at Citizens School of Nursing in 2018-2019 using the U.S. Department of Education's Net Price Calculator individualized for Citizens School of Nursing.