West Penn school

  1. 0
    Hello...

    I've just been accepted into West Penn's program for fall of '07. :hatparty:
    Naturally I'm very excited but I was wondering if there are any fellow students there, or how West Penn is in general to work for.


    TIA
    Last edit by sirI on Aug 9, '10
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  5. 0
    West Penn is really nothing more than a high acuity geriatrics facility that just happens to have a burn center as well. I like the facility for low acuity cardiac services and obstetrics, but that's about it. Any other service they offer can be matched elsewhere in the city...even burns can be handled at UPMC-Mercy, and high risk OB and neonatal services at UPMC Magee Womens.

    RN Diploma programs (and ADN programs), are a dime a dozen in the area.

    West Penn's nursing program is run by Clarion University; it's a good program; not as good as some, but better than others. One of my best friends went to WP...you will get an effective education there.

    Congrats!
  6. 0
    Thanks Shamira,

    I'm curious just for curiosity sake, who in your opinion are the "best" SON's in Pittsburgh? I did previously read your take on UPMC Maggie (I'm finding there's not a lot of high response rate on the Pa board so I'll search out posts with "west penn"!) I found that to be very interesting. I understand this is from your perspective...others may have theirs, but I was just curious as to who you thought was the best...and perhaps where the others fell such as OVGH or Sewickley. I figured UPMC Shadyside was top notch. Plus I am interested in possibly pursuing the burn unit route, although I'm aware nothing is definitive until I actually go through clinicals as to what I may or may not like.

    I'm also aware of who's affiliated with who I've done my homework! (i.e. WP/clarion) I was interested in Mercy/Carlow connection until UPMC stepped in. I was also interested in the Duquense 4 year program...but the money was insane, I'm sure the education would be great, but then maybe not, I've also heard hospital diploma programs are better than strictly universities b/c of the hands on training vs class room even though the latter does of course have clinical time. Anyway I was just curious on more of your thoughts if you'd like to share.

    Thanks much and to anyone else that may have an opinion on the schools/hospitals in the area.
    Last edit by sirI on Aug 9, '10
  7. 0
    Sorry, I really don't have a personal opinion regarding the best SON in P'burgh...specifically if you prefer a diploma program.

    If you are looking for a school that will give you the best shot at becoming an RN, I think you should look at the school that has the best balance of didactics, clinicals, and higher pass rates. BTW, as a diploma grad who immediately went on to finish a BS in nursing, the theory that diploma programs are superior is just not a true generalization. They aren't necessarily inferior, but they don't win any awards, either.

    You really shouldn't sell short the UPMC programs...besides, they now run four of the nursing programs (St. Mag, Shadyside, Univ. of Pitt, and now Mercy). Additionally, they often offer great tuition payback programs if you attend one of their schools and then work in one of their facilities for 2 years.

    You will get just as good an education at WP...but I would be suprised if they'd let a new grad go directly to their burn unit.

    In the end, we all take the same exam, so I suggest pursuing the program that best fits your personal needs and schedule, and don't limit yourself because of personal dislike for a name (i.e. UPMC). You may find that a ADN program like CCAC, Butler, or Westmoreland might fit your needs best, but no matter what you do, I highly encourage you to return and finish the BSN.

    Good luck.
  8. 0
    Hi again

    Maybe I wasn't too clear in my original post, and I apologize if I didn't but I have made my decision, best for me...I was just curious as to your thoughts about the other programs..it seems you know quite a bit about various ones...and I was just curious. Darn posting/emailing doesn't always convey thoughts the best.

    I did pick West Penn after much thought to the various schools. I did my prereq's at CCAC and wasn't thrilled at the prospect of having to take electives to round out my schedule which is why I crossed them off my list..that and the waffling of the situation at the north campus I have no idea if they've kept the program there or not but, things like dance or art history may have their place for twentysomethings...but not me, I'd rather get started if you will, with the business of nursing. I do also understand that I could take a language..but I'd rather brush up on the high school spanish that I had on my own time rather than risk messing up my gpa! However in order to get my ADN concurrently from Clarion at West Penn, I need to repeat the Psych I've already taken (and aced) in order to get the degree...but I think repeating it will be worth it...some may not.

    I'll refrain from the all too many comments that I've heard about UPMC running their hospitals into the ground. I've heard it not just from this board, but from local doctors that I know with friends who are surgeons etc...that are complaining about UPMC cost cutting tactics that are hurting things on the floor. Anyway I just don't like what I see as how they run things, I'm sure Presby is a top notch cutting edge hospital, but that's not where my interest lies. I have absolutely no desire to go to one of their hospitals so I can't see starting out in their school system and have to work for them for 2 years...it's my preference I do understand, and by no means is this a dig for people that found UPMC met/exceeds their expectation. We're all different thank God that's what makes the world go round. Thanks for the tip about the burn unit...again, I didn't mean to say I'd get in there right away...I just liked the idea of being in the same "park" so to say...maybe easier to make that switch down the line if that unit would be a good fit for me and vice versa...I just really like what I know and have seen of that hospital, I have a cousin that works within that system and Forbes as well. (so I hope to say I'm not looking at them with rose colored glasses from just what I've seen with my limited interaction there) I'm also interested in maybe working at a VA hospital in the future...then again DH and I have discussed the possibility of relocating to Virginia or North Carolina in years to come...some anyway I was just looking for some feedback out of curiosity sake...I've seriously not heard any bad things about West Penn and I just wondered of that all pans out. thanks much for your time in reading/responding.
  9. 0
    Quote from kittyhawk
    Hi again

    Maybe I wasn't too clear in my original post, and I apologize if I didn't but I have made my decision, best for me...I was just curious as to your thoughts about the other programs..it seems you know quite a bit about various ones...and I was just curious. Darn posting/emailing doesn't always convey thoughts the best.

    I did pick West Penn after much thought to the various schools. I did my prereq's at CCAC and wasn't thrilled at the prospect of having to take electives to round out my schedule which is why I crossed them off my list..that and the waffling of the situation at the north campus I have no idea if they've kept the program there or not but, things like dance or art history may have their place for twentysomethings...but not me, I'd rather get started if you will, with the business of nursing. I do also understand that I could take a language..but I'd rather brush up on the high school spanish that I had on my own time rather than risk messing up my gpa! However in order to get my ADN concurrently from Clarion at West Penn, I need to repeat the Psych I've already taken (and aced) in order to get the degree...but I think repeating it will be worth it...some may not.

    I'll refrain from the all too many comments that I've heard about UPMC running their hospitals into the ground. I've heard it not just from this board, but from local doctors that I know with friends who are surgeons etc...that are complaining about UPMC cost cutting tactics that are hurting things on the floor. Anyway I just don't like what I see as how they run things, I'm sure Presby is a top notch cutting edge hospital, but that's not where my interest lies. I have absolutely no desire to go to one of their hospitals so I can't see starting out in their school system and have to work for them for 2 years...it's my preference I do understand, and by no means is this a dig for people that found UPMC met/exceeds their expectation. We're all different thank God that's what makes the world go round. Thanks for the tip about the burn unit...again, I didn't mean to say I'd get in there right away...I just liked the idea of being in the same "park" so to say...maybe easier to make that switch down the line if that unit would be a good fit for me and vice versa...I just really like what I know and have seen of that hospital, I have a cousin that works within that system and Forbes as well. (so I hope to say I'm not looking at them with rose colored glasses from just what I've seen with my limited interaction there) I'm also interested in maybe working at a VA hospital in the future...then again DH and I have discussed the possibility of relocating to Virginia or North Carolina in years to come...some anyway I was just looking for some feedback out of curiosity sake...I've seriously not heard any bad things about West Penn and I just wondered of that all pans out. thanks much for your time in reading/responding.
    West Penn was not a bad choice, especially if it fits your needs and ideals. None of the other schools would've been bad choices either, if chosen for the same reasons.

    The theory that UPMC runs their facilities into the ground is a myth. They run it like a business...a health care business, which is why they've survived while Allegheny General and St. Francis have 'for real' been run into the ground, gone into bankruptcy or gone out of business, and while Mercy had to merge to survive.

    You won't hear much bad about West Penn...they keep it low-key. But that means it's a rather boring facility. When a family member required low-budget heart surgery, I encouraged them to go to WP, but if they were high risk, I would've referred them to UPMC. WP does well with what it does, but aside from a burn unit, it's kind of a boring facility, attracting a more chronic geriatric population. If you have intentions on getting some intense experience which will serve well when you relocate (which is what I did), UPMC has some great places to build confidence. A traveler in our unit once told me that if you could cut it in our unit, you could survive in any unit in the country.
  10. 0
    Michele,

    Congratulations on selecting West Penn. I am a graduate, and feel that it provided me with an excellent preparation. I don't think it's a boring facility either. Just because it's not the mothership of the UPMC galactic empire doesn't mean that you don't get good experience.

    -Josh
  11. 0
    Few would disagree; WP is not functionally substandard in the Pittsburgh market.

    However, no real pediatrics, no transplant (except bone marrow), no trauma services, no international exposure, no sports medicine, no bioterrorism facility, no toxicology center, etc.

    What they do, they do fine, but when the other facilities have exponentially more alternatives to offer, such as rotating out to Italy, Qatar, or Ireland for a few months, I have to say that one has more exciting opportunities than the other. Maybe it's better to say it that way instead of saying WP is 'boring.'
  12. 0
    Thanks for confirming what I thought I knew...I made the right choice for me.

    Josh, thanks for relating your good experience with WP I'm really looking forward to it, I enjoyed everything I've read about them, and I even love their mission statement...and the quote that they use from Florence Nightengale on the student guides...perhaps pedestrian to some but it spoke to me!



    My life is more complete with my top priorities...my husband/family, however it's perfectly understandable if there are others that do need to be on the cutting edge of medicine and want all the other "exciting" opportunities that I'm sure are out there...that's just not my goal in doing this, I guess I like more simplicity and "back to the basics" things in life...it's where I find the most peace and happiness. However I will add that I still have a desire to be able to do nursing well to the best of my abilities and I'd like to be in an evironment that will foster that.

    Thanks to all who have replied and the feedback is very interesting, so if anybody else still has thoughts, please share.
    Last edit by sirI on Aug 9, '10
  13. 0
    Congrats Kittyhawk for getting into West Penn's School of Nursing. I think you will love the program. West Penn has many interesting and award winning programs. Their CardioVascular/Cardiology program is award winning, as is their Josilin Diabetes Clinic, and Invitro Fertilization programs. They also have an excellent neonatal ICU and Bariatric Center. Let's not forget that West Penn is the first and only Magnet recognized hospital in the Southwestern Pa area. If, this is not a big deal, why is every other hospital in the area striving for this recognition?
    UPMC is not one hospital. It is a group of hospitals throughout the Pgh area. Each hospital has it's own specialty, or two.
    St Francis was "run into the ground" because of it's belief of treating body, mind and spirit, regardless if the patients had money or insurance. This is commendable, IMO. It is unfortunate that the Catholic church would not help financially. Allegheny General was "run into the ground" by one man who ripped off the institution. They have always done well, both before and after that.
    I understand that a hospital is a business, but leave caring for patients to the nurses, not some "suit" who only cares about the "bottom line".


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