Donald Swarmer RN, BSN, CDE

Certified Diabetic Educator

Children's Hospital In Pittsburgh

The Pitt-Titusville Nursing Program would like to showcase some of the 150+ graduates of the past nine years and pay tribute to their hard work and dedication to the profession of nursing. This ongoing spotlight series will feature graduates that permit us to share their experiences as former students of Pitt-Titusville as well as their careers now as professional nurses in the field.

The University of Pittsburgh at Titusville campus associate degree nursing program has been graduating RN candidate nurses since 2007 with the ninth class about to graduate in April of 2015. The program officially began accepting the first nursing class on April 1, 2005 after approval by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. It obtained initial full accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) in 2008 and recently achieved re-accreditation until 2020 upon further review. The NCLEX-RN pass rate has remained consistently above the 3 year average for ASN programs nationwide since inception. Our graduates are working all over the United States with many of them continuing their education and securing advanced positions in the clinical field, teaching, and/or management. The program has a solid reputation in the community as producing strong clinical based nurses that provide safe, effective evidence-based nursing care to all clients of all ages. The 5 main program objectives continue to be emphasized: professionalism, communication, organization, nursing process, and lifelong commitment to education. Admissions are still being accepted for the fall of 2015 class.

Our first spotlight on a graduate focuses on Mr. Donald Swarmer, RN, BSN. Donny is a 2008 graduate of the second class of the Pitt-Titusville Nursing Program and the faculty is very proud of the advances he has made in his career. Donny came to Pitt-Titusville immediately after completing high school in Pittsburgh and shared his aspirations to obtain his associate degree in the hopes of eventually becoming a pediatric diabetic educator. Donny was a traditional student that lived on campus and met the challenges of the rugged life as a nursing student. In interviewing Donny, he spoke highly of the Pitt-Titusville program and stated,

“I attended Pitt-Titusville for my associate degree in nursing (ASN) between the fall of 2006 and the spring of 2008. I knew right away I had found a fantastic institution to begin my nursing career. I thoroughly enjoyed the small classes and clinical groups. This close knit learning environment allowed me to excel academically because I was strongly supported by my instructors and I never once felt lost in the shuffle, which can often be the case with bigger universities. I was able to practice my hands on skills in the nursing lab and apply them in the real world during clinical with confidence. My instructors were there for every step along the way and I grew close with my classmates due to the small class sizes. This greatly helped my focus during the program.

By the spring of 2008, I had already secured a job at a Pittsburgh hospital even before I had officially graduated. Once I began to work as a nurse, I felt like I was able to acclimate myself quickly because I had built a strong base of nursing fundamentals thanks to the education I received at Pitt-Titusville. I honestly can say I felt absolutely prepared for the real world nursing experience because Pitt-Titusville replicated it both in theory and the lab. I would recommend Pitt-Titusville to anyone interested in making nursing a career because you will acquire all of the hands on skills and the mentality needed to succeed in any setting in the nursing field.” 

After graduation, Donnie began working immediately as a registered nurse at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Pittsburgh and enrolled in a BSN program. He graduated from Ohio University in 2012 with a BSN Degree and obtained his certification as a diabetic educator in 2014. Donny clearly learned the Pitt-Titusville Nursing Program objective of life-long learning. Donny then achieved his original all time goal of becoming a diabetic educator at the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh of UPMC. Donny also has volunteered to come back to Pitt-Titusville in March and share his expertise on diabetes mellitus with the current class of nursing students.