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School of Nursing

Duquesne University's School of Nursing has a long history of innovation. It was the first in Pennsylvania to grant the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (1937) and the first in the nation to offer an online Ph.D. program in nursing (1997). It is designated as a "Center of Excellence in Nursing Education" by the National League for Nursing.

The School prepares students to become professionals who meet the dynamic health care needs of individuals, families, groups, and communities. Faculty facilitate education in the art and science of nursing, promoting ethical, holistic, culturally competent, and population-based care in collaboration with a variety of health care systems.

With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more than 32 million Americans will soon gain access to health care services, including those provided by registered nurses and advance practice registered nurses.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of employed nurses will grow by 712,000, or 26 percent, by the year 2020. Add replacements for current nurses who retire, and the total number of job openings swells to 1.2 million.

More nurses are needed-and they need to be better educated. Only 50 percent of RNs nationwide hold bachelor's or master's degrees-only 32 percent locally-challenging Duquesne and other schools not only to educate growing numbers of new professionals but also to promote RN to BSN advancement.

What is taught-and how it is taught-is also in rapid transition. Experts-including the influential Carnegie Foundation-call for sweeping curricular reforms encompassing knowledge acquisition, critical thinking and technological utilization.

Under the leadership of Dean Mary Ellen Glasgow, Duquesne's School of Nursing seeks to create a distinctive academic experience through market-driven innovations. Investments in faculty, programs and facilities are the key to realizing this ambitious vision. You can make it possible by supporting one of the following funding priorities:

The School of Nursing needs support (staff, training, and equipment) to infuse informational technology skills throughout the curriculum.  The nurse of the future is going to be a "health technology expert." All faculty need training and experience with informational technology, simulation, and patient care technologies to teach our students to provide safe, high quality technology-infused patient care and access accurate, current information at the point of care. With the rapid expansion of knowledge, technological competence will decrease medical errors.

While all students require technology infused nursing education, our 5-year dual BSN BME (Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Biomedical Engineering Program) will require even stronger technology skills. The five-year program is the "first" of its kind in the nation and will provide students with a foundational body of knowledge that keeps patient care and practical application at the core of studies supporting innovations and technological advances. By gaining actual clinical experience, students also will develop new perspectives with respect to a patient's health and functional needs since engineers do not typically have clinical expertise. This dual degree gives our students both the engineering and nursing perspectives to solve "real world clinical problems.

Funds are needed for:

  • Equipment for state of the art simulation lab and faculty training
  • Technology initiatives, e-books, and online education applications
  • iPad initiatives for clinical faculty so clinical faculty can role model accessing information at the point of care
  • Donor for "naming rights" for the new Simulation Lab (Debriefing room, Health Assessment room, Medication room, Simulation rooms #1 and #2)
  • Regular and Clinical Faculty Development Program
  • Students' iPads and e-books


Duquesne University is a leader in ethics-infused education. The faculty believe that ethics is an integral component of nursing education. For example, while healthcare professionals agree to the scientific merits of hand washing, healthcare professionals do not wash their hands on a consistent basis resulting in hospital acquired infections. As technology increases, nurses will be faced with more ethical dilemmas and have increased moral distress. Moral distress occurs when one knows the ethically correct action to take but feels powerless to take that action or stop an action that they belief to be unethical. Research on moral distress among nurses has identified that the sources of moral distress are many and varied and that the experience of moral distress leads some nurses to leave their jobs, or the profession altogether. Some examples of ethical issues include unnecessary treatment, continued life support even though it is not helping the patient, inappropriate use of healthcare resources, inadequately trained or an insufficient number of staff to provide the required care, inadequate pain relief for patients with chronic and terminal diseases/conditions. We believe that a strong foundation in nursing ethics can strengthen values clarification and communication skills. It provides students with a broader view of what it means to be a patient in a complex healthcare system. It gives them useable advocacy skills and the ability to participate in ethical discussions and address conflicts between the internal and external environments. The ultimate goal is to provide quality patient care and advocacy for patients.

Funds are needed for:

  • Nursing Ethics Symposium Sponsor
  • Endowed Chair in Nursing Ethics
  • Research on nursing ethics
  • Doctoral program in nursing ethics


In order to provide qualified students with access to a mission-driven high quality, technology-infused clinical education, monies are needed for student scholarships for various student groups and activities.

  • Diversity-focused funding (scholarship, recruitment, high school student programming)
  • Recruitment and retention of military/veterans and socioeconomically disadvantaged students
  • Special scholarship funding (Second Degree, RN-BSN, and graduate students)
  • Emergency student scholarships
  • Merit scholarships
  • Study Abroad scholarships
  • Nicaragua mission service trip scholarship support
  • Doctoral student research & scholarship funding
  • Graduate fellowships and research post-doctoral experiences


The Center for Research for Underserved and Vulnerable Populations is a forum for networking, exchanging information, and fostering innovation in the School of Nursing. The Center is committed to promoting university, community, regional, national and global partnerships to achieve excellence in nursing science and nursing education Consistent with the mission of the SON and national priorities, overarching goals include: 1) using technology and informatics in research, education and patient care; 2) addressing disparities and ethics in healthcare; and 3) developing more interdisciplinary approaches to prevention and treatment.

Funds are needed for:

  • Research speaker series
  • Faculty development and start-up research funds
  • Endowed Chair for an established nurse researcher (s)


The mission of the Duquesne University School of Nursing Community-Based Health & Wellness Center for Older Adults (Health & Wellness Center) is to provide wellness oriented health care services to vulnerable populations in Pittsburgh. The goal is to deliver holistic and culturally competent care that promotes health, functioning, and quality of life. The Health & Wellness Center provides opportunities for interdisciplinary care experiences, service and research for students and faculty from the university. In all aspects of care, the uniqueness and strengths of the community and of each individual receiving care are maximized and respected.

Funds are needed for:

  • Funding for Wellness Centers 2.0 to provide needed services (Coordinator, health promotion teaching supplies)
  • Electronic Health Record for Wellness Centers
  • iPads for volunteers


The School of Nursing has dramatically increased its student enrollment to 930 students in response to the need for nurses due to an aging demographic and the 32 million newly insured Americans entering the health care system with the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The school is expected to grow even more in response to these external patient care needs. As a result, we are limited in student learning and faculty space as we increase our numbers to serve the public. A new building or additional learning space with is needed.