Duquesne University plans to offer a five-year undergraduate degree program combining biomedical engineering and nursing starting this fall.
Spokeswoman Karen Ferrick-Roman says the program is believed to be the first undergraduate program of its kind.
School officials say biomedical engineers typically lack clinical experience in dealing with patients, but that nursing training would remedy that.
Ferrick-Roman says the program would help the "nurse engineers" it produces to "gain both the technical and people-centered perspectives needed to make medical technology work its best within the daily routines of patients, health care providers and others learning to integrate these skill sets."
Ferrick-Roman says the university learned of one other U.S. school that combines the disciplines on a graduate level, but has been unable to find others offering an undergraduate degree.