Student Life / Professionalism

Information is provided on this page about the following topics for Citizens School of Nursing students:

Professional appearance

A dress code policy is provided to students on pre-admission day.

Applicants need to be aware that nursing students must follow the professional dress codes of Allegheny Valley Hospital and affiliating agencies. These dress codes typically require conservative hairstyles and prohibit visible tattoos, visible piercings (eyebrow, nose, lip, tongue), and artificial fingernails.


Student employment

Citizens School of Nursing students are permitted to be employed. However:

  • If employment is within a health agency, the student is not permitted to perform the functions normally assigned to a professional nurse.
  • If employment is within a health agency, the student is not permitted to perform the functions normally assigned to a practical nurse unless the student is a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
  • No part of the Citizens School of Nursing uniform, nor the school/hospital student identification badge, is to be worn while carrying out off-site employment duties.
  • The School assumes no responsibility for the student’s employment.
  • The employer assumes complete responsibility for the student during working hours.
  • The student’s working hours must not conflict with scheduled class or clinical experiences.

All students who elect to work while enrolled in the nursing program are encouraged to insure that their work schedules do not interfere with required scheduled activities of the educational program. Students also must provide sufficient after school study time to be successful in the program.

It is highly recommended that students work less than 16 hours per week.


Policy on drug-free workplace

Allegheny Valley Hospital and Citizens School of Nursing will provide a drug-free workplace in accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. Students will be made aware of the effects of drug use and the hospital policies regarding the unlawful possession of controlled substances on hospital property outlined as follows:

  • General information concerning substance abuse, the related legal implications, and the School policies will be included during orientation to each academic year.
  • Students are expected and required to report for clinical experience and class on time and in appropriate mental and physical condition. Policies for immediate on-site testing of impaired individuals are in place.
  • The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance on hospital property or while participating in a school-related activity off hospital premises is absolutely prohibited.
  • Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Students involved in violations of this policy may also be subject to legal consequences.
  • Students with drug dependency or substance abuse problems are encouraged to seek help in dealing with such conditions through the Employee Health Service, where appropriate referrals can be made and where health insurance plans can provide assistance with treatment options as appropriate. Students who voluntarily seek assistance will not jeopardize their positions in seeking such help. However, clinical performance problems and other violations of school policy will continue to be noted and may subject the student to the disciplinary process.
  • As a further condition of continuing enrollment, students abide by the terms of this policy and also must report to the Director of the School of Nursing any conviction under a criminal drug statute for violations occurring on or off hospital premises.
  • The hospital is required to take appropriate action against any student convicted of criminal drug offense and is required to impose sanctions, which can range from discharge to a requirement of satisfactory participation in a drug/alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program, as a condition of readmission to the educational program.
  • Any student receiving financial aid will acknowledge in writing his/her understanding of the imminent loss of financial aid when arrested or convicted of a drug-related offense.


Advisor Program

Upon admission to Citizens School of Nursing, each student is assigned a faculty member who will serve as an academic advisor. The objectives of this program are to assist the student as follows:

  • In obtaining maximum benefit from learning experiences.
  • In identifying academic strengths and weaknesses.
  • In developing plans to remedy any academic weakness.
  • In determining the need for specialized counseling services.

Students who need more than academic guidance are referred to qualified counselors.


Professional and social activities

All students have representation on Student Council and have membership in the Student Nurse Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP). Each class elects representatives to Student Council. Through the Student Council, students have an opportunity to participate in community service, school, and social functions; to become involved in faculty committees; to develop leadership qualities; and to become self-directed. Students have representatives on the Library, Curriculum, Grievance, and Recruitment Committees of the Faculty Organization. The activities program is planned by the student council under the guidance of a faculty member and is considered an integral part of the School Program.

SNAP presents the student with an opportunity for professional development. Students may attend state meetings or serve on various local and national organization committees.


Formal complaint/ grievance policy

The Student Bill of Rights, Student Conduct Policy, and Grievance Policy are contained in the Student Handbook. If a student feels that there has been an infringement of the Student Bill of Rights that has not been successfully resolved through the established lines of communication, then the student may file a formal complaint/grievance.

The School of Nursing intends to be open to and responsive to formal complaints about the school, applicants, or students that are submitted by students or others.

A formal complaint must be in writing and signed by the person submitting the complaint.

The complaint is to be submitted to the Director, School of Nursing, who will investigate the complaints and respond to the person submitting the complaint as per the Hospital policy on investigation of complaints. The complaint may also be referred to an appropriate committee of the Faculty Organization for consideration and action.

Documentation of the complaint and its disposition will be housed in the School of Nursing Office.


Campus security

Citizens School of Nursing is located in the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) in Tarentum, PA. The school is not aware of, and does not recognize, any other building or property that may be controlled by student organizations. Allegheny Valley Hospital is located in Natrona Heights, Pa., approximately four (4) miles from Citizens School of Nursing.

There has not been a reported instance involving students or any known occurrence of an arrest of a student for any of the following criminal offenses for the last three (3) reporting years:

  • Murder/ negligent, non-negligent manslaughter.
  • Rape (forcible and non-forcible sex offenses).
  • Aggravated assault.
  • Motor vehicle theft.
  • Robbery.
  • Arson.

Also, there have been no known arrests occurring on campus for the last three (3) reporting years for the following crimes:

  • Liquor law violations.
  • Drug abuse violations.
  • Weapons possessions.

The yearly statistical report, which also contains policies related to security and safety, drugs and alcohol, and sexual assault, is on file in the School of Nursing Office and available upon request.

The school has developed and implemented policies and procedures to facilitate the reporting and documentation of any criminal activity such as listed above.

The Director of Security of the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) has full authority for enforcing safety and security policies and practices at the school. In addition, the Director of Security maintains close working relationships with both local and state police agencies in the event that immediate assistance is required for either emergency or investigative services.

The school has adopted policies to insure that all students and employees are informed regarding safety and security measures. Special programs are conducted relative to drug and alcohol abuse, rape and sexual assault, the incidence of violent crimes, and other forms of abuse. Policies concerning safety and security are published in the Student Handbook.