Trinity nursing school settles into new home

WORKING IN THE LAB — Educators teach proper techniques in a hands-on lab setting at the Trinity School of Nursing. Demonstrating patient care are Carla Milosevich in the role of patient, and, from left, Deborah Mathieu and Yvonne Tolson-Myers. -- Paul Giannamore

STEUBENVILLE — The Trinity School of Nursing has settled into its new location at Eastern Gateway Community College after more than a century at Trinity Medical Center East and its predecessor, Ohio Valley Hospital, at the edge of Pleasant Heights.

The school was founded in 1912 and was a full resident nursing school. There was a nursing dorm at Trinity East until 2007, though by then the school had made the transition to being nearly an all commuter school. The building had aged and was in need of major repairs and was not in the hospital’s master facilities plan to maintain.

“The hospital administration had good vision and the thought was why not find an existing educational setting. I thought that was very good insight into what the need was,” said Melissa Hassan, director of the Trinity School of Nursing since 2012. The school collaborated with EGCC, which had space for what the nursing school needed.

The 12 faculty members were able to keep their own office spaces as they had at Trinity East, and the school is completing a dedicated nursing skills lab and schedules its classes into classrooms at EGCC.

“The shared space is truly phenomenal,” said Hassan. “There is an on-site day care, plenty of parking, food service on campus and student lounges. The student gains have been tremendous.”

The spring semester, which began Jan. 16, was the first day for Trinity nursing students at EGCC.

There are 25 students who will graduate with their Trinity nursing diplomas in July and 48 in the current freshman class.

The school has continued its record of exceeding state and national passing averages for the national nursing exam. Students who graduate from the Trinity School of Nursing earn a diploma in nursing. The school had a 100 percent passing rate on the NCLEX-RN exam for 2017, and was recognized as the second-ranked nursing program in Ohio by Hassan noted the school that was ranked ahead of Trinity on the list was an LPN to RN program, meaning it was starting with students who already had some nursing background.

“We are very grateful for the support of the hospital administration in finding a space for the school and continuing our legacy,” Hassan said. Trinity School of Nursing has graduated 2,337 nurses in the past 106 years. “We have a great faculty that provides individualized instruction for our students. Nursing is difficult. People don’t realize how difficult it is. We have people come in who have bachelor’s degrees who say they’ve never studied so hard in their lives.”

Trinity School of Nursing is one of about 80 diploma nursing schools nationwide.

The students are able to learn much through hands-on clinical work experience.

“By the end of the first semester they are able to perform a head-to-toe assessment on an adult patient, pass medications, insert catheters, perform dressing changes,” she said. “It is an intense program.”

To learn more about the Trinity School of Nursing, there will be informational sessions held on March 22 and April 19, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Room 2100 at EGCC.

Hassan said those who are interested in careers in nursing need to be “compassionate, concerned with the welfare of others and have a desire to be a patient advocate.”