Citizens School of Nursing: History, Philosophy, and Goals

Citizens School of Nursing is dedicated to graduating individuals prepared for registered nurse (RN) licensure and ready for entry-level practice in a wide variety of health care 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 then, over 2,400 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 two 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.

Understanding health

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.

How nursing affects health and the individual

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.

Our philosophy on learning

Learning is an active, participative, lifelong 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 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 reflects the application of theory to practice.

Students are supported as they strive for proficiency in critical thinking and critical decision-making skills essential to entry-level practice. They’re expected to be active participants in the educational process.

Serving our community

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.

Contact Citizens School of Nursing

Reach out today for more information or to attend an information session.