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Nursing – Professional Education and Development

At Hershey Medical Center, our Nursing Education and Professional Development program helps nurses at every level grow and flourish in their profession.

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Penn State College of Nursing

This support starts with our academic Nursing Education programs. We recognize the importance of developing the next generation of nurses to continue the pursuit of clinical excellence. To accomplish this, we provide diverse clinical experiences to undergraduate and graduate nursing students from local, regional and national programs.

Our professional nurses benefit from our Professional Development programs. Working in central Pennsylvania's only academic, Level I, regional trauma offers you many opportunities for clinical and professional advancement. We are proud to be an organization where you can truly find your nursing niche.

Comprehensive programs

Nursing Education and Professional Development at Hershey Medical Center includes programs such as:

  • Specialty certification. This is one of the best ways for our nurses to demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills while receiving financial rewards.
  • Tuition assistance programs. These offer our nurses financial assistance for continued education.
  • Our Professional Clinical Ladder. This program is based on a theory of skill acquisition. It offers our nurses the opportunity for professional growth, career advancement and financial rewards. Our four-tier program is designed to recognize different levels of nursing expertise within the organization. 
  • Continuing education. Nurses at Hershey Medical Center are encouraged to participate in continuing education. View continuing education opportunities

Education assistance

Hershey Medical Center offers a variety of tuition programs intended to enhance the recruitment, retention and advancement of those employees interested in attaining a nursing degree, as well as advancing their nursing career. Employees interested in becoming nurses may benefit from the tuition reimbursement program. The nursing educational assistance program (SEIU, Article 34) and educational privileges at Penn State can assist current nurses with advancing their nursing careers.

Tuition reimbursement program

All full-time non-bargained employees of Hershey Medical Center have the option of attending a college or university of their choice (other than Penn State) and working toward a degree or certificate program, which is mutually beneficial to both the employee and Hershey Medical Center. The employee is reimbursed 85 percent of his or her tuition up to $5,250 per calendar year. Employees must submit grades and proof of payment at the end of each course for reimbursement. Many of our current Hershey Medical Center employees who are interested in pursuing a nursing degree use this program to complete their pre-requisite courses. The policy explaining this can be found under Human Resources, Policy HR58. Teamster employees are eligible to receive up to $2,100 for undergraduate courses and up to $2,500 for graduate classes.

Nursing tuition program

Administered through the Department of Nursing, this program allows both part-time and full-time nurses working toward an advanced nursing degree to be reimbursed 100 percent of tuition only. Grants and scholarships are not eligible for reimbursement. Full-time nurses qualify for up to $5,250 reimbursement in a calendar year, and part-time employees qualify for up to $1,500. Employees must submit grades and proof of payment at the end of the course for reimbursement. Information regarding this program is located in the SEIU Handbook, page 71, article 34, Educational Assistance, or refer to policy HR66.

Educational privileges

Educational privileges allow all full-time Hershey Medical Center employees to attend any Penn State campus and receive a 75 percent tuition discount. Classes are offered locally and current BSNs utilize this program to pursue master's level programs. The policy explaining this can be found under Human Resources, Policy HR35.

Programs may be subject to certain levels of taxation.

The tuition application process has been reorganized to allow easy access to all education benefits and opportunities with a single contact in Human Resources to guide you. For additional information or questions regarding any of these programs, contact Human Resources, at 717-531-3831.

Nurse anesthetist education expense program

This program provides newly graduated nurse anesthetists reimbursement for costs associated with their program of study. Hershey Medical Center will provide up to $40,000 toward expenses. To receive the maximum benefit, nurse anesthetists must maintain full-time employment with Hershey Medical Center as a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) for a period of 36 consecutive months.

To be eligible for this reimbursement, you must be a full-time, benefit-eligible (0.9 - 1.0 FTE) nurse anesthetist who fulfills a defined employment commitment at Hershey Medical Center. Eligible participants must have:

  • Graduated from a nurse anesthesia program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
  • Been hired by Hershey Medical Center into their first nurse anesthetist position since graduating their program of study
  • A current Pennsylvania RN license to practice their profession
  • Certification by the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA)

To learn more about our Nurse Anesthetist Education Expense Program, please contact our nurse recruitment team at nurserecruitment@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

Inspired Nursing program

"Inspired Nursing" is a program for any high school student, college student or other individual not currently in a health care-related program of study who is interested in exploring a professional career in nursing. "Inspired Nursing" highlights the diversity of roles and opportunities that exist in nursing. The day begins with brief presentations by nurses practicing in a variety of roles and clinical areas. Students will participate in clinical activities in our Simulation Center and have an educational tour of the medical center clinical nursing areas.

All participants must submit appropriate waivers before their registration can be finalized. On the day of the program, registration is from 7:30 to 7:45 a.m. The program begins at 7:45 a.m. and concludes at noon. Light refreshments are provided. 

Program registration Session 1:

Program Date: August 18, 2017
Registration Closes: August 4, 2017 
Notice of Acceptance: August 11, 2017

Program registration Session 2:

Program Date: October 9, 2017
Registration Closes: September 25, 2017 
Notice of Acceptance: October 2, 2017

Program registration Session 3:

Program Date: February 19, 2018
Registration Closes: February 5, 2018
Notice of Acceptance: February 12, 2018

Program registration Session 4:

Program Date: August 17, 2018
Registration Closes: August 3, 2018
Notice of Acceptance: August 10, 2018

Program registration Session 5:

Program Date: October 8, 2018
Registration Closes: September 24, 2018
Notice of Acceptance: October 1, 2018

Complete the required paperwork listed below

Once the Eventbrite registration has been completed, please send Code of Conduct/Waiver/ Confidentiality Agreement any of the following ways (Your Inspired Nursing program registration will not be considered complete until these documents are received):

  1. Fax to 717-531-8861; or
  2. Scan the documents and email to wkrenz@pennstatehealth.psu.edu; or
  3. Mail to:

Bill Krenz – Inspired Nursing Program
Penn State Hershey Medical Center
Department of Nursing
500 University Drive, P.O. Box 850 
Mailcode H102
Hershey, PA 17033-0850

Day of program checklist:

  • Wear business casual attire (please reference Code of Conduct and Dress Document within your registration paperwork for more information)
  • Wear comfortable shoes (no open toe)
  • Bring a pen
  • Bring directions to T2500 (see below)

Directions if driving yourself:

  • Use the main Hershey Medical Center entrance at University Drive and Governor Road/Rt. 322.
  • Follow University Drive to the first stop sign.
  • Turn left at stop sign and follow Campus Drive to Centerview Parking Garage.
  • Parking is available in the Centerview Parking Garage (building #7 on map).
  • Take shuttle to Main Entrance (entrance is #6 on map).
  • Enter Main Hospital Entrance and take stairway directly in front of Hospital Admissions to the second floor.
  • T2500 is located on the second floor directly above Hospital Admissions.

Directions if being dropped off:

  • Use the main Hershey Medical Center entrance at University Drive and Governor Road/Rt. 322.
  • Follow University Drive to the first stop sign.
  • Stay straight and head towards the Main Hospital entrance. 
  • Enter Main Hospital entrance and take stairway directly in front of Hospital Admissions to the 2nd floor.
  • T2500 is located on the second floor directly above Hospital Admissions.

Frequently asked questions

How should I dress for the Inspired Nursing Program?
Dress should be business causal, specifically: 

  • Clothing should be crisp, neat and classic rather than trendy. Neatly pressed khaki or dark pants and a pressed long-sleeved, buttoned solid shirt are appropriate for both men and women. Unwrinkled polo/golf shirts are appropriate. Excessively tight, revealing or baggy clothes are not to be worn.
  • Women may wear sweaters. Low cut tops/sweaters are not appropriate.
  • Skirts and dresses should not be shorter than above the knee. Backless, spaghetti straps and sundresses should be covered.
  • Only black jeans or dress pants may be worn. Absolutely no blue jeans.
  • Shorts should not be worn except in specifically approved areas.
  • Athletic fleece sweatshirts or sweatpants should not be worn.
  • Shoes must be neat, clean and appropriate for each work area. No open-toed shoes are allowed.
  • Hair must be neat, clean, dry and well groomed. Long hair must be secured. Hair color must be a natural tone and makeup subdued. 
  • Beards or mustaches must be neatly trimmed. 
  • Jewelry must be professional and kept to a minimum. No pierced jewelry, except earrings, is to be visible. 
  • Fingernails should be clean and neatly trimmed, with limited adornment. 
  • If possible, cover all tattoos.
  • Wear your nametag at all times, if applicable.

Is lunch included?
No, the Inspired Nursing Program will be dismissing at 12:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be included at the beginning of the program.

When is my registration complete?
Registration is not completed until all forms (including Participant Registration Form, Code of Conduct/Waiver/Confidentiality Agreement, and Health Form) have been submitted. You will be contacted at least one week prior to event to inform you of your acceptance.

Contact Information

If you have questions, please feel free to contact one of the following:
Heather Traum 
htraum@pennstatehealth.psu.edu 
717-531-0003, ext. 286357

Nursing Continuing Education

Continuing education events for nurses appear below, as available.

Penn State Hershey
Penn State Childrens
Penn State College of Medicine
Penn State University