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UPMC and Harrisburg University yesterday celebrated the opening of the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing at UPMC Harrisburg with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the facilities. The new school will help bring more critically important nurses to the region and give area residents the opportunity to pursue a career in nursing through an affordable, accelerated program.

“This partnership between UPMC and Harrisburg University provides new opportunities for hundreds of our region’s residents to achieve their dreams of becoming nurses while fulfilling their calling to tend to the care and well-being of patients,” said Philip Guarneschelli, president of UPMC in Central Pa.

UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing at UPMC Harrisburg is a 16-month accelerated diploma program for registered nurses (RNs). First-year students will take non-nursing courses at Harrisburg University, take nursing courses from UPMC faculty and complete over 900 hours of clinical rotations at UPMC Harrisburg and other regional UPMC facilities. Once students graduate and pass the RN licensing examination, they will be well-positioned to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing from Harrisburg University while maintaining full-time employment.

“Our commitment to improve health care, access to health care and the types of skills and abilities that health care providers have in our region, I think, is unprecedented,” said Dr. Eric Darr, president, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. “And we couldn’t think of a better partner to pursue these activities than UPMC, an innovative leader. I look forward to even more innovative programming and outreach to the community as both organizations listen to the needs of the region and work to meet those needs in the coming years.”

“The partnership with Harrisburg University to create the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing at UPMC Harrisburg is unique in the way our faculties will work together to provide the nursing and non-nursing classes that our students need to become registered nurses,” said Lou Baverso, chief operating officer of UPMC in Central Pa. “Students also benefit from the close proximity between our two campuses, because Harrisburg University and UPMC Harrisburg are only a few blocks away from each other. This means classroom and clinical spaces are next to each other — just one of the benefits this program offers in supporting the next generation of our workforce.”

The UPMC School of Nursing will welcome its inaugural class on Monday, August 29, at Strawberry Square in downtown Harrisburg.

“This collaboration between our two organizations is crucial to the growing health care needs of our region,” said Penny Lenig-Zerby, Ph.D., R.N., C.S.N., director of nursing for the new program. “With the need for nurses expected to grow exponentially, we are here to solve that problem. With over 115 students already registered for our first class, it’s incredibly exciting to know that this program will educate hundreds and then thousands of new nurses over time!”

 The last day to register for the first class of the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing at UPMC Harrisburg is Friday, July 1. For more information, visit

About UPMC

A $24 billion health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates more than 92,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a more than 4-million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC contributed $1.7 billion in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution, and paid more than $900 million in federal, state, and local taxes. Working in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC shares its clinical, managerial, and technological skills worldwide through its innovation and commercialization arm, UPMC Enterprises, and through UPMC International. U.S. News consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside among the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For more information, go to 

About Harrisburg University

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private non-profit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717.901.5146 or email

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