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New Citizens School of Nursing Location Opens at Pittsburgh Mills

Thursday, January 3, 2019

FRAZER TWP., PA  - Citizens School of Nursing, an affiliated program of Allegheny Health Network’s (AHN) Allegheny Valley Hospital (AVH), today opened the door to its new home at the Pittsburgh Mills mall.  The new 21,000-square foot facility provides nursing students with a modern, high-tech educational environment and positions the school for continued growth as the health care industry strives to recruit and train more nursing professionals.

The new School of Nursing offers students a variety of amenities, including wired classrooms, medical simulation training capabilities, a library, ample free parking and access to main highways and local retail outlets.  First established by the former Citizens General Hospital in New Kensington, the 100+ year old school transitioned to AVH in 2000.  Development of a new state-of-the-art academic facility has long been the vision of AVH president Bill Englert.  

“I am extremely grateful to AHN and Highmark for supporting our vision and for providing the resources to make this new school a reality,” Englert said. 

“AHN and Highmark Health are deeply committed to the Alle-Kiski Valley region,” said AHN president and chief executive officer Cynthia Hundorfean. “From our recent and ongoing renovations at Allegheny Valley Hospital, to our planned neighborhood hospital in Harmar Township, and now the new Citizens School of Nursing, we believe in this community and the importance of investing in its future.  We greatly appreciate the efforts of Bill Englert and everyone else who helped bring this facility to life for our nursing students.”

According to the American Nurses Association, an estimated 1.1 million new nurses will be needed by 2020 as the nation’s population grows older and health care needs increase.

Citizens School of Nursing enrolls an average of 150 to 175 students, graduates 60 to 80 per year, and employs 27 faculty and support staff. Citizens graduates traditionally stay in the western Pennsylvania area to practice nursing, a trend that is expected to continue.

“Nurses are the beating heart of our health care network and America’s health care system,” said Claire Zangerle, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN, AHN’s Chief Nurse Executive, “Every minute of every day, they make a positive impact on our patients’ lives with personalized and expert care.

“It’s an extremely critical time for us to attract new students to this rewarding profession,” Zangerle said. “The new Citizens School of Nursing location is an important part of our strategy for meeting that challenge and expanding our capacity to train the next generation of skilled registered nurses.”

Dr. Robert and Mrs. Joyce Pacek of Natrona Heights made a generous donation toward the school. Dr. Pacek practiced family medicine for almost four decades in Tarentum while Mrs. Pacek was a public health nurse. Additional donors made generous gifts that will allow the school to award scholarships to selected local residents who are pursuing a career in nursing.

“Citizens School of Nursing employs skilled and dedicated faculty and staff who are committed to nursing education, and our students are bright and caring individuals who love this region and its people,” said Lynne Rugh, MS, RN, director, Citizens School of Nursing. “I am delighted that we are able to afford our staff and student access to such a beautiful new facility that was expressly designed for a high quality learning experience.”

Students will transition to the new Citizens School of Nursing location on January 7.    

Citizens School of Nursing is one of two nursing schools operated by AHN. The West Penn School of Nursing in Bloomfield annually enrolls more than 122 nurses and graduates 45.