Reinvigorating our Nursing Program


"The world needs men and women who have a Catholic education and Catholic formation. It needs builders who can rebuild the Church and culture. Those are the men and women Franciscan University sends forth."

Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR '89

President, Franciscan University of Steubenville


Franciscan University's Nursing Program is one of a kind. In every aspect of the program, from classroom instruction to clinicals, our faculty seek to integrate faith and reason into the curriculum, giving students not only a first-rate nursing education, but also a deep respect for the dignity of the human person and the sacredness of life.

That integration has made our Nursing Program one of the strongest in Ohio. Graduates of the program have a 100 percent placement rate in nursing jobs and score higher than national and state averages on their first-time RN licensing exam. The also are widely sought after across the region, thanks to thier unparalleled reputation for Christ-like service and compassion.

Because of this, Franciscan's Nursing Program has grown rapidly over the last decade, with 265 students now enrolled in the newly name Terry and Barbara Caster School of Nursing. To keep pace with that growth and maintain the quality of the program, however, Franciscan's Nursing Simulation (SIM) Lab needs to be substantially expanded and upgraded.



Currently, all 265 students in Franciscan's Nursing Program have use of one combined SIM lab and skills lab in Egan Hall. With only six beds available in the lab, it is difficult to give each student the optimal amount of time to practice at the bedside what they've learned in the classroom.

Outdated technology in the lab also reduces the helpful feedback faculty can provide on what happens in the simulation lab. Right now, professors are only able to observe the students via a Skype connection, which is limited in multi-angle observation (an important aspect of providing feedback related to technique, etc.)

Franciscan Nursing by the Numbers:


Year Franciscan University launched its Bachelor of Science Nursing Program.


Percentage of Franciscan's nursing students who pass their NCLEX examination upon taking it for the first time after graduating.


Percentage of Franciscan's nursing students who pass their NCLEX examination upon taking it the second time.


Grade point average required to remain in Franciscan's Nursing Program.


Average number of nursing graduates sent forth by Franciscan annually.

"[A] new generation of builders is needed. Moved not by fear or violence but by the urgency of genuine love, they must learn to build, brick by brick, the city of God within the city of man." -Pope St. John Paul II


Through the Rebuild My Church Campaign, you can help Franciscan University send forth faithful, compassionate, skilled nurses by expanding and upgrading our laboratory facilities.

With the construction of the new academic building, the Nursing Program will move from its cramped quarters in Egan Hall to the second floor of the new academic building. There, in addition to new classrooms, will be a new eight-bed skills lab, as well as four SIM labs with a total of nine beds dedicated solely to Nursing Manikins (lifelike patient simulators used to represent real-world nursing scenarios).

Supporting these labs will be a control room for the faculty to observe and communicate with the students. This will allow for multi-camera observation as students work with the manikins. Following each lab experience, students and faculty will be able to meet in a new nursing conference area to discuss their work with the manikins.

The increased hands-on time in the SIM Lab, combined with a better opportunity to debrief afterward, will allow students to practice their critical thinking skills, ask more questions, and explore alternative protocols for treating the “patient.”



In our lifetimes, there has never been a greater need for compassionate, faithful, skilled nurses than there is right now. You can help Franciscan University meet this need and send forth nurses ready to love, serve, and heal their patients.

With your help, we can provide tomorrow’s nurses not only with an education rich in faith and reason but also with the state-of-the-art training they need to bring the best in patient care to the clinics and hospitals in which God calls them to serve.

Together, we can help our nurses live out their vocations.