Pittsburgh Technical Institute announces its first class of Practical Nursing graduates has surpassed the 80% benchmark established by the State Board of Nursing (SBON). In the 2011 exam year, PTI nursing graduates passed the state licensure exam with a 100% first attempt pass rate qualifying them as licensed practical nurses.
As a result, PTI’s PN program has achieved full approval from the SBON and is eligible to begin the two-year process of candidacy for accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission.
PTI welcomed its first class of PN students July 2010. After completing the one-year program these July 2011 graduates were eligible to sit for their licensure exam. PTI’s second PN class started July 2011; the third class started January 2012.
The PN program is designed to support the increasing needs of a high-demand profession and prepares students to sit for the Pennsylvania State Licensure Exam (NCLEX-PN) following graduation. Once they’ve successfully completed the test, graduates are licensed to practice in their chosen areas of the field.
The current class of graduates has expressed interest in serving the region’s needs in long-term care facilities, physician offices, medical-surgical inpatient units, pediatric and geriatric psych units and rehabilitation centers. Several members of PTI’s first graduating class of nursing students were hired as LPNs at the Masonic Villages of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information and Analysis predicts that the state will suffer a 32% shortage of LPNs by 2016. “Our research suggests that there is, and will continue to be, a nursing shortage, particularly in long-term care,” said Eileen Riley, Vice President of Education for Pittsburgh Technical Institute.
According to Riley, there are a number of factors that distinguish PTI’s Practical Nursing program. “PTI is one of only two Practical Nursing programs in Pennsylvania that offers an on-site simulation lab that enables students to use the lab for 20% of their clinical time,” she said. “This is particularly helpful in areas where clinical sites are minimally available, such as pediatrics.”
Each student is required to serve 1086 clinical hours (69% of the entire curriculum) and average 16 hours per week in a clinical or clinical lab setting. Clinical experiences focus on the specialty area of each course. Examples include gerontology clinical work completed at Kane Regional Centers of Allegheny County and OB/GYN clinical work at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.
Unlike the majority of nursing programs, PTI clinical sites are not only utilized for patient care, but also for creative guided study scenarios including researching lab values and group performance improvement projects. PTI’s nursing program offers its students the support of RN tutors who are licensed professionals assigned to students for additional services and guidance.
Faculty in the Practical Nursing program are credentialed health care professionals with personal experience in nursing education, nursing administration, OB/neonatal, emergency, medical/surgical, post-anesthesia, out-patient surgery and physician practice nursing.
The mission of the Practical Nursing program at PTI is to prepare graduates to become members of a healthcare team able to assess, plan, implement and evaluate preventative, rehabilitative, and restorative care under the supervision of a physician, a dentist, or a registered nurse to ensure patient comfort, understanding, or recovery. Once licensed, PTI’s nursing graduates can gain employment in hospitals and emergency centers, nursing care facilities, physician offices, community health agencies, home health care service providers and rehabilitation centers.