SEARCY, Ark. – The Harding University Carr College of Nursing has launched a Master’s Entry into Professional Nursing (MEPN) program. This program is the first prelicensure Master of Science in Nursing program in Arkansas and will permit graduates to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam and to achieve higher levels of nursing.

The MEPN program will equip registered nurses to creatively design excellent patient care and problem solve within the complexities of the health care system. Graduates will be prepared for direct patient care roles, as well as indirect care roles in health care facilities such as infection control, quality improvement, care coordination, education, and research as well as leadership, management and administration roles later in their careers.

The year-round, five-semester program will include 72 credit hours, 1,032 clinical hours and will prepare students with a bachelor’s degree or at least 90 undergraduate credit hours and undergraduate nursing prerequisites to become advanced entry-level professional nurses. The MEPN program is ideal for individuals seeking an exciting career change to professional nursing and health care. The degree will allow faster attainment of the advanced practice roles in nursing and completion of the Doctor of Nursing Practice following graduation.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the Carr College of Nursing to offer a master’s entry for those who already have a bachelor’s degree but also for incoming freshmen to move straight through undergraduate classes right into master’s level courses,” said program director Debby Nutt, DNP, RN. “The nursing faculty are extremely hard-working and are dedicated to our student’s success. The program will be a benefit to health care organizations across the state of Arkansas, the United States and other countries.”

The Carr College of Nursing’s mission is to develop nurses as Christian servants, providing a quality professional education, which leads to an understanding and philosophy of life consistent with Christian ideals. The programs provide a supportive environment to both challenge and encourage students to reach their full potential.