The State System is a major educator of Pennsylvania’s medical workers, with healthcare as its third largest academic program. The System is ready to help meet the need for more nurses.

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Success Highlights

Luz Guerrero Lorenzo, a senior nursing major at Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg, has always had “caregiver” as part of her identity. She wanted to help her mother with her bad hypertension but didn’t understand it, so she felt helpless. That’s why she chose to study nursing. An affordable cost and closeness to home led Guerrero Lorenzo to Bloomsburg.
In January, Cheyney University kicked off its partnership with AtlantiCare, which aims to expand student learning and career opportunities and improve health equity by engaging students in rich, real-world observation and clinical experiences. During their winter break, 25 of Cheyney's pre-nursing and pre-med students shadowed healthcare professionals in a week-long immersive experience that exposed students to various healthcare and clinical career paths.
David Akinwande, a 2022 East Stroudsburg University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, is a full-time registered nurse in his “dream job” at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). As the recipient of several scholarships that helped make his academic journey possible, he said that ESU gave him the confidence to develop skills and knowledge to work at one of the most prestigious children’s hospitals in the country while pursuing his passion as a pediatric nurse.
Alexi Cabrera, a senior nursing major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), has been making the most of her undergraduate experience through her involvement in several student organizations, including the Student Government Association, where she serves as secretary. All of her experiences have helped to shape her into the person she is today—one who values teamwork, time management, active listening, and good communication. All these components are vital to her becoming a pediatric travel nurse.
For most parents, it's a dream come true to see their child graduate from college, even as they watch them receive their diploma from the audience hundreds of feet away. Susan Mills' view of her daughter Emalea earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from Commonwealth University-Lock Haven was much more intimate than that. That's because she was right at Emalea's side earning a BSN of her own.
For Caden Fisher, a 2022 graduate from Commonwealth University-Mansfield and former track team member, working as a registered nurse in the emergency room of a Level II Trauma Center is incredibly rewarding and fascinating. Caden began learning about nursing at Williamsport High School before earning his Bachelor of Science in Nursing and starting at UPMC Williamsport last summer. 
While telehealth was developed and practiced years prior, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of providing healthcare virtually. Millersville University students now have the opportunity to earn a certificate in telehealth as a part of their baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate studies. The certificate is open to all majors, especially students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine or looking to enrich their experience in healthcare.
Being a nursing home administrator has long been a “dream job” for Abby Testa, a 2016 PennWest California graduate. Now that job is hers. Testa is administrator of Westmoreland Manor, a county-owned nursing home near Greensburg, Pa.
Early in 2019, a group of community stakeholders began conversations about bringing an Associate of Science in Nursing program to Somerset County. Seeking partnership with a quality, experienced educational institution, the group—comprising members of Somerset County Commissioners and Somerset County Foundation for Higher Education—turned to PennWest Clarion. Three years later, two classes of nurses have completed the program, adding 60 skilled registered nurses to the region’s healthcare facilities.
When the time came for Cranesville, Pa., native Heather Bowers to choose a career path, the decision was easy. Nursing emerged as the ideal blend of her greatest passions—science and helping others. And for Bowers, who graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a minor in biology, choosing to attend PennWest Edinboro was even easier.
Slippery Rock University has signed 3+1 articulation agreements with four community colleges in western Pennsylvania that will help more students complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. The agreements apply to students pursuing their associate degree in nursing at the following institutions: Butler County Community College, Community College of Allegheny County, Community College of Beaver County, and Westmoreland County Community College.
Nursing shortages have challenged the healthcare industry for years. As the U.S. population ages, health systems have faced retirement waves while demand for care simultaneously increases. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbating these already sobering trends and further exposing the workplace challenges that nurses must learn to navigate. Amid this reality, a West Chester University Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) candidate has created an opportunity to enact positive change.