The Master’s Entry into Professional Nursing (MEPN) is an on-campus, accelerated program that gives nursing students with a bachelor’s degree preparation to become entry-level nurses. Luckily, for Fairfield nursing students, the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies now offers this program to the University’s undergraduate students. With that said, Fairfield is the first university in Connecticut to introduce the MEPN program to its nursing students.
This accelerated program gives students the eligibility and opportunity to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination. Upon the completion and passing of this exam, students are rewarded by becoming registered nurses (RN). In an article from news@fairfield, it was stated that the Connecticut State Board of Nurse Examiners recently gave approval for the program. Fairfield University took advantage of this approval and decided to give their students the opportunity to be a part of this advantageous program.
While this newly accelerated program is being instituted on our very own campus for the first time, it is on the rise at some other colleges as well. The program is not seen at too many schools across the northeast; however, the program has thus far proven itself to be successful, which has allowed for it to gain a great deal of popularity.
This news of the institution of the MEPN is groundbreaking for Fairfield University. The University has already been applauded for the great success of the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, so I firmly believe that the University introducing the MEPN will allow for even greater success in the future. With that said, Fairfield advertising this program to potential students seeking to pursue a degree in nursing will not only be great publicity for the University, but will also draw more students to Fairfield. While I am not a nursing student myself, I am still so happy to see my University implement such a beneficial program, like the MEPN, for its students.
Before the MEPN was created, it was much more difficult for students with a bachelor’s degree to advance to the graduate level of nursing. Now, with the creation of the MEPN, students will be able to receive 76 credits, along with 800 clinical hours, all over the course of two years. This is a great opportunity for any nursing student here at Fairfield who wishes to further their education in nursing.
As a student, I know how anxious I get waiting to apply my knowledge from the classroom into the real world and begin my career, which is why I am so happy that a program such as the MEPN is now available for students. The hard work and dedication we as students put into our school work and classes can be very stressful at times. For many students, in particular fields, there is a significant amount of schooling that needs to be completed prior to them even being able to join the workforce. With that said, an opportunity for nursing students to join the workforce only two years after earning a bachelor’s degree is something that should strongly be taken advantage by those who wish to pursue their career as early as possible.
While the MEPN has been instituted at Fairfield, the University will still offer its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. However, this program typically takes three years to complete, whereas the MEPN only takes two years to complete, as it is an accelerated program. It is also at the same education level as the BSN program, and the same faculty will be teaching in both programs. Students will now be able to decide which program will work better for them based on what degree of effort they would like to put forth. Those who choose to participate in the MEPN program have been advised to not work while fulfilling the program, due to the fast moving pace. Some students may have a tough decision now, when it comes to choosing between the BSN program or the MEPN program offered at Fairfield.
Program director Erica Wuchiski, MSN, RN expressed her feelings towards the program saying: “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.”
I strongly believe that the implementation of the MEPN will allow for students to acquire an extensive skill set that will thoroughly prepare them for whatever field of nursing they choose to explore. The MEPN, while an accelerated program, appears to only be beneficial to students who choose to be a part of it. Having two roommates who are nursing students, I have noticed the pressures and stress that come with being a member of the nursing school. The amount of time they spend studying and preparing for their exams and labs is intense. With that said, I am happy that the MEPN is now offered for students, such as my roommates, as the program will allow for them to join the workforce even earlier.
Any student at Fairfield should strongly consider participating in this new, up and coming program. Everything it has to offer gives students the wonderful opportunity of starting their career in just two years.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is still something that holds a strong effect on our country, the need for nurses is still at a high demand. With that said, I think it is great that the MEPN allows for students to start their nursing careers so quickly after receiving their bachelor’s degree. Two years is such a short amount of time, and will be both beneficial to those pursuing careers in nursing, as well as to the community. Students will be able to start their professional careers early, while helping those who need it most, as hospitals throughout the country still continue to see an influx in their amount of patients.