Master’s Entry to Practice Nursing

Master’s Entry to Practice Nursing

Fairfield student

Fairfield Egan launches new accelerated Master’s Entry to Practice Nursing (MEPN) program — the first in Connecticut.

My goal as a healthcare provider is to provide empathetic, compassionate, personal care to help patients feel good physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

— Hannah Dellecave

If ever there is a time that highlights the need for more highly qualified nurses in the workforce, it is now, amid this coronavirus pandemic. The launch of the MEPN program couldn’t have come at a better time,” said professor and program director Erica Wuchiski, MSN, RN. The Master’s Entry to Practice Nursing (MEPN) program provides a unique opportunity for students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree to pursue a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree in an accelerated format. The program is designed to draw upon prior education and experience, allowing students to earn a master’s degree in two years. The MEPN program will equip students with valuable knowledge and skills to lead change, promote health, and elevate care in a variety of settings.

At the completion of this program, students will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX to become a registered nurse. MEPN programs are newer but are increasing in popularity and success. Recently approved by the Connecticut State Board of Nurse Examiners, Fairfield’s MEPN is the first such program in the state of Connecticut to prepare advanced generalists for registered nursing practice and leadership. The MEPN program’s first class of students began in May 2021.

Originally planning to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant, Hannah Dellecave decided that nursing was a better option.

“I’ve always been excited to work in healthcare, and initially I thought PA school was the most efficient way to get there. This turned out to be the wrong fit for me. It focused much less on patient care and experience than nursing programs do. My goal as a healthcare provider is to provide empathetic, compassionate, personal care to help patients feel good physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I felt that I was not in the appropriate environment to learn the values that I believe should be at the core of any healthcare career,” she explained. “After doing some research (and some soulsearching), I became more familiar with other branches of medicine and healthcare. Nursing seemed to better fit my personality and my overall career goals.”

The MEPN is a full-time 76-credit/800-clinical hours program to be completed in 24 months. Admission to the program will be competitively offered to students who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four–year college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.3. Applicants must have completed the required prerequisite courses prior to admission.

On her experience thus far, Dellecave said, “All of the professors we have encountered have been very fair, helpful, and supportive. The courses are fast-paced, but not overwhelming. This cohort is a wonderful group of people and I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by such smart, kind, friendly classmates. I’m excited to continue on in this experience with them!”

Tags:  Egan School


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