Millikin University's Master's Entry into Nursing Practice (MENP) track is designed for students who already hold a non-nursing bachelor's degree and are interested in entering the nursing field.
The track consists of an intensive, fast-paced curriculum delivered in the classroom and clinical and practical settings five days a week for 30 continuous months, providing the opportunity for entry level nursing practice into the graduate level.
Successful students are conferred a MSN degree upon graduation and are prepared to take the professional registered nurse licensure exam (NCLEX-RN) as well as the Nurse Educator Certification exam.
Graduate student Lauren Horve, from Forsyth, Ill., says the program has changed her life. She went to the University of Missouri taking pre-med courses and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. It was during her junior year, while volunteering in an emergency room, that she realized a career change.
"There were trauma patients coming in and out, and as I was watching, I thought, I don't want to be the one standing and giving orders. I want to do the CPR and be the one starting the lines – I want to be a nurse," Horve said. "But I was already a junior."
A similar experience happened to Darrah Hulva '14, from Decatur, Ill., who started her academic career at Millikin in 2010. Hulva changed her major to communication with a minor in entrepreneurship and graduated from Millikin in 2014. She left Decatur for a year and was hired by Pi Beta Phi Sorority as a leadership development consultant.
After a year away from Decatur, Hulva knew nursing was the route she wanted to take in terms of a career and came back to Millikin in July 2015. Hulva met with Dr. Mary Jane Linton '70, Millikin professor of nursing, who convinced Hulva to enroll in the Master's Entry track.
"I was a member of the Youth Leadership Institute in Decatur during my junior year of high school," Hulva said. "We had an opportunity to visit Decatur Memorial Hospital and I watched a live birth. Since that day I've developed a passion for wanting to care for patients. I know it's a good career choice."
In terms of the MENP program, Lauren Horve noted, "You learn the fundamentals first – the basic nursing process. And throughout it all, there's no fluff – it's nursing all the time. You also learn all the different types of nursing, the research process, policy and nurse education."
Dr. Pam Lindsey, director of Millikin's School of Nursing, says the MENP program is beneficial to both Millikin students and the nursing program.
"It's a career-change opportunity – there are plenty of available jobs in nursing, and the MENP just makes them more sought after," Lindsey said. "People think nursing shortage and they think the typical nurse at the bedside. But the shortage extends to administration and university faculty. Any dean or director of a nursing program will tell you they're worried about the nursing faculty shortage. Everyone is looking for faculty."