Master Entry Professional Nursing (MEPN) - JUMP | Western Kentucky University (2023)

  1. WKU
  2. CHHS
  3. School of Nursing
  4. Allied Health

With recent nursing shortages, now is the time to seek a rewarding career change. Transform any bachelor's degree into a nursing degree - become a RN in just 2 years with the Accelerated Nursing MEPN program at WKU!

Our Master Entry Professional Nursing (MEPN) program is designed for highly motivated individuals who have aprior bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. Once admitted, studentsmust maintain a 3.0 or greater cumulative GPA averagethroughout the MEPN program. This accelerated, year-round program allows qualified individuals to graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) following completion of 2 years of full-time study.

Participation in this Joint Undergraduate Master Program (JUMP) at WKU will allow you to concurrently complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Following completion of the MEPN program, you are eligible to sit forNCLEX-RN, the RN licensure exam. Ourtwo-year curriculum optionsinclude face-to-face, video streamed, and online instruction, with face to face classes meeting in Bowling Green, KY and clinical placements occurring in KY or TN.

MEPN Admission Requirements

The Accelerated MEPN program is for highly motivated students who have a bachelor degree BS or BA, or other bachelor degree, in a discipline other than nursing and have an overall minimum GPA of 3.0.

To be considered for MEPN admission, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Earned Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in any discipline other than nursing and is NOT a licensed Registered Nurse.
  • Cumulative Bachelor's degree GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • HESI nursing pre-entrance exam comprehensive score of 80 or above.
  • Successful completion or enrollment in required prerequisite courses as noted below
  • English as a second language (ESL) applicants must achieve minimum scores on the TOEFL internet-based test (TOEFL iBT): Minimum Cumulative Score of 86 combinedANDMinimum Individual Scores of 26 in Speaking, 20 in Writing, 20 in Reading, & 20 in Listening.

Prior to starting the MEPN program, the 3 required prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of B or above; the required courses are Human Anatomy & Physiology I, Human Anatomy and Physiology II, and Human Nutrition. [Applicants whose Anatomy & Physiology I & II were completed more than 5 years prior to enrollment, must either retake the courses, or demonstrate current competency by scoring 77% or higher on the Anatomy & Physiology section of the HESI Entrance Exam.]

BSN/MSN Outcomes Course Map

Master Entry Professional Nursing (MEPN) - JUMP | Western Kentucky University (1)

STEP 1: Undergraduate Application to WKU - WKU Admission Decision to follow

As MEPN students earn both a BSN (undergraduate) and an MSN (graduate degree), all applicants must be admitted to WKU prior to the applicable MEPN cohort application deadline (Sept 1 for spring cohorts or Feb 1 for summer cohorts) by following the undergraduate application directions below and fulfilling all WKU Office of Admissions requirements.* Applicants will not apply to the Graduate School until their second year of study and will be advised to do so once enrolled in the MEPN program.

  • On theApply Now for Admission at WKUwebsite, access theUndergraduate Applicationssection on the left side of the page.
  • Click Application for Admission to WKUto begin your WKU application within TopNet.
  • On theWKU Admissions Applicationweb page, follow the prompts as requested (logging in with your WKUID and PIN or creating an application account).
  • On thePre-Application Questionsweb page, use the drop-down list to select the appropriate term/semester you want to begin your course work. Note: Our cohorts start in the spring or summer semester.
  • Follow the application checklist prompts through each section. On the Planned Course of Study web page, from the dropdown lists select the following:
    • Category of Study: Bachelor’s Degree
    • Planned Course of Study: Nursing: Baccalaureate – Seeking Admission
    • Please indicate your primary location of enrollment: Main Campus
  • After paying the application fee and submitting your application, you will receive an email confirmation within 48 hours. If you have any questions or issues, please contact WKU Office of Admissions at 270-745-2551.

Additionally, all transcripts pertaining to your prior bachelor's degree must be received by WKU before an admission decision can be made. WKU graduates do not need to request transcript be sent. The preferred method for transcript submission is directly from the National Student clearing house for electronic delivery to WKU.Transcripts can also be mailed to 1906 College Heights Blvd. #11020, Bowling Green, KY 42101-1020. Questions about this process should be directed to the WKU Transfer Center.

Once you have submitted your undergraduate application to WKU Admissions, please email with your name and WKU ID indicating your interest in and application to the MEPN program.

*If your WKU bachelor’s degree is in progress, please contact for additional information about the WKU application process; please DO NOT submit a new WKU undergraduate application prior to speaking with MEPN program personnel.

All MEPN applicants must be officially admitted to WKU as a Nursing (Pre-Nursing) 586P major prior to the application deadline dates -February 1(for summer admission consideration) orSeptember 1(for spring admission consideration) - and before submitting the MEPN program application & application documents.

At the time of MEPN application, individuals must have either successfully completed all prerequisite courses or be enrolled in the final prerequisite courses.

If a prerequisite course was completed at a different institution, the transcript reflecting course completion must be submitted to and processed by WKU prior to the MEPN application deadline. The applicant may also be required to provide a course syllabus or catalog description of degree coursework. NOTE: Applicants, with previous course work that does not directly transfer to WKU as one of the prerequisites, can be given permission to use other courses by emailing the relevant syllabus to MEPN coordinator,Dr. Tonya Bragg-Underwood, for evaluation prior to the application deadline.

If a prerequisite course is currently in-progress at a different institution, the applicant must submit a copy of current class schedule (including course number, course name, dates of enrollment) as a part of the application materials. The applicant may also be required to provide a course syllabus or catalog description of degree coursework.

All applicants are required to complete the HESI Nursing Entrance Exam prior to applying to the MEPN program and a copy of the applicant's scores as a part of the MEPN application. The HESI exam evaluates general knowledge in areas of Reading Comprehension, Anatomy & Physiology and Math.Applicants may take the HESI exam one time during each application cycle. Applicants may not retake the SAME exam version. The HESI nurse entrance exam scores are valid for one calendar year. [Applicants may only take the HESI exam three (3) times.]

To register for the HESI Entrance Exam, please visit and search for "MEPN" to obtain information about the MEPN in-person or Proctor-U HESI testing format.

A MEPN application is comprised of the items in the bulleted list below & must be submitted tograduatenursing-mepn@wku.eduwith "[applicant name] MEPN Application" in the subject line by the application deadline date.

  • completed MEPN PDF application,Master Entry Professional Nurse (MEPN) Application(click link to download)
  • written goal statement, seeItems to include in Goal Statement(click link to download)
  • current resume
  • three completed reference forms, seeReference Form(click link to download)
  • copy of HESI entrance exam scores
  • if applicable, current class schedule

Nursing Student Health Requirements

All students will be required to submit documentation of meeting the SONAH Health and Safety Policies, (including relevant vaccinations) prior to enrolling in clinical nursing courses. See BSN Student Handbook Appendix D for more information. Nursing students are required to meet basic health requirements including routine childhood immunizations; annual flu vaccinations; testing for communicable diseases, including COVID; and random drug screening. Clinical agency contracts do not permit students to waiver these requirements.

For more information on tuition costs at WKU, please visit; in addition to tuition, there is a $400 program fee that will be billed to your University Account each semester enrolled as a Nursing 586 Major.

Check out the View From The Hill segment below, featuring WKU's MEPN Program!

Master Entry Professional Nursing (MEPN) - JUMP | Western Kentucky University (2)

MEPN Program

To learn more about the MEPN program at WKU, contact our MEPN coordinator, Dr. Tonya Bragg-Underwood.

  • 270-745-4377


Schedule a Tour

To schedule a tour of our Medical Health Sciences Complex (MCHC), please contact the School of Nursing and Allied Health by phone at 270-745-3391.

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.


Is MSN and MEPN the same thing? ›

MEPN programs are different from master of science in nursing (MSN) programs. MEPN programs are for second-degree graduate students who don't have a degree in nursing. MSN programs are designed for nurses who already have their BSN. MEPN programs prepare students to become nurse leaders.

Is MEPN a masters degree? ›

Interested in starting a career as a Registered Nurse? Our Master's Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) is a two-year, full-time master's degree program that provides students with the education, training, and clinical hours needed to become Registered Nurses.

Is WKU Nursing program accredited? ›

The BSN and Higher programs at WKU are accredited by AACN-CCNE. The ASN program is accredited by ACEN. In addition all WKU nursing programs are approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing.

How do I contact WKU School of Nursing? ›

The School of Nursing general phone number is 270-745-3391.

Is MSN higher than BSN? ›

The primary difference between the degrees is that an MSN provides nurses with more career options and opportunities to increase their annual salaries. While a BSN program teaches nurses how to provide quality patient care, registered nurses do not serve as primary care providers for patients.

What is higher than an MSN? ›

The DNP is the pinnacle of nursing degrees, and graduates are well-equipped to bring the science and art of nursing to current practice. It is one of two terminal degrees for nurses.

What does MEPN stand for in nursing? ›

​The Master's Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) is a three-year program leading to the Master of Science in Nursing degree; however, the MEPN program is intended for students who have no previous nursing preparation and who hold a bachelor's degree in another field.

Is MSN or MBA better? ›

Both degrees can lead to a management position and higher compensation, but if you want to remain in clinical practice but with a greater degree of expertise, autonomy, and responsibility, or if you want to teach other nurses about the clinical side of the career, then an MSN is most appropriate.

Is MSN a doctorate? ›

An MSN is a Master of Science in Nursing, and a DNP is a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The MSN is an intermediate graduate degree designed to provide Registered Nurses (RNs) with leadership and professional management skills as well as proficiencies in a nursing specialization.

What is the easiest nursing school to get into in Kentucky? ›

With an acceptance rate of 94%, Eastern Kentucky University is one of the easiest nursing schools to get into and earn an Associate of Science in Nursing degree.

What rank is University of Kentucky School of Nursing? ›

University of Kentucky 2023-2024 Rankings

University of Kentucky is ranked No. 20 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. See how this school scored on the key indicators used in the rankings.

What is the best accreditation a nursing school can have? ›

The two most prominent nursing accreditation agencies are the ACEN, a subsidiary of the National League for Nursing, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), a division of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

How hard is it to get into University of Kentucky nursing? ›

UK has the high acceptance rate of 96%, which means it is fairly easy to gain admittance as long as you submit a complete application with requested materials. Approximately 40% of accepted students are men and 60% are women.

Is it hard to get into IU nursing? ›

Application deadlines

Admission is highly competitive. 120 students are accepted into the Traditional track on the Bloomington campus each year.

Is Kentucky direct admit nursing? ›

Admission to UK does not guarantee admission as a Pre-Nursing Major. High school seniors are not admitted directly to the Nursing Major, regardless of the amount or nature of dual enrollment, AP, or IB credits earned.

Should I skip my BSN and go straight to MSN? ›

The short answer is yes. The most common path to earning an MSN degree is to earn a BSN degree first. However, some nursing programs allow non-nursing degree-holding students to earn an MSN without a BSN through a Direct Entry MSN program.

Is MSN better than RN? ›

Career Advancement

An MSN is often a requirement for most advanced nursing roles. The degree can set the stage for progressing to positions that allow greater autonomy and authority — including being able to prescribe medications. Advanced nursing roles may offer more stable working hours than many RN positions.

Do you put MSN and BSN after your name? ›

Start by listing the highest education degree, followed by the other degrees. So, a doctorate would be put before a master's degree, and so on (for example, Susan Smith, MSN, BSN). The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) suggests that you only use one degree - the highest one (for example, Susan Smith, MSN).

What does MSN mean in salary? ›

The starting Master of Science Nursing salary is around $70,000 and with a few years of experience, that figure can quickly climb to over $110,000. The average annual MSN salary in the nation is around $114,000.

What is a nurse with a masters called? ›

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse who is educated at the master's level or higher, and represents a step up in responsibilities and autonomy compared to registered nurses.

Can you skip MSN and go to DNP? ›

To enroll in a DNP program, you must have completed a BSN or MSN degree. If you don't have a BSN degree, you can't take a direct path from RN to DNP.

Is MSN the same as DNP? ›

The MSN is a graduate degree that may provide you with specialized knowledge, skills and expertise to pursue career opportunities like nurse administrator, nurse educator and clinical nurse specialist. The DNP is a doctoral program that may help prepare you for advanced nursing roles and leadership opportunities.

What is the difference between RN BSN and MSN? ›

The main difference is that a BSN RN focuses more on hands-on patient care, while an MSN RN covers leadership, administration and educational roles, and can still work bedside patient care. That is why the skills that you gain during these programs are quite different.

What is the role of MSN nurse? ›

If you're still asking, “What does an MSN Nurse do?” the short answer is this: an MSN nurse is a leader, a mentor, and a forward-thinker in the nursing field. MSN nurses are needed to guide aspiring nurses and health care staff, and to ensure the quality of care that patients receive on the day-to-day.

Which pays more masters or MBA? ›

Entry-level salaries for MBA degree holders typically range between $77,020 and $128,750. For M.S. in management degree holders, entry-level salaries are between $50,000 and $86,000. Mid-career salaries can be between $127,000 and $152,000.

Is getting MSN nursing worth it? ›

An MSN degree helps you earn a higher salary

Some advanced positions, such as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, have a high-paying salary, with an average of $183,580 or even more. Aside from a higher base salary, you can increase your annual salary as you gain experience and expertise over time as an MSN nurse.

Is MSN in nursing education worth it? ›

Achieving a master's in nursing degree can be a game-changer in a nurse's career. The advanced degree opens doors to new career options. Nurses with an MSN degree often earn higher pay and might have greater autonomy and job satisfaction.

What's next after MSN? ›

Nursing professionals who want to continue their education after an MSN degree, or are interested in a particular advanced practice specialization, would then pursue the DNP degree. There are two options for a DNP degree: DNP and DNP-NP.

What is the pay difference between MSN and DNP? ›

According to, individuals with a DNP earn a higher average income than those with the MSN: DNP: $102,000 average salary. MSN: $93,000 average salary.

What is a nurse with a doctorate called? ›

Introduction. Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) provide at least a portion of the clinical care received by some Missouri residents. A subset of these ANPs have earned a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Patients generally value the care they receive from their ANP clinicians, be they a DNP, or not.

What is the hardest class in nursing school? ›

Hardest Nursing School Classes
  • Pathophysiology. In this course, students learn how different anatomical systems work and how diseases or injuries affect these systems. ...
  • Pharmacology. ...
  • Medical Surgical 1 (also known as Adult Health 1) ...
  • Evidence-Based Practice.

What is hardest field of nursing to get into? ›

Here are just a few of the specialties our readers mentioned — along with a little insight into what makes these nursing jobs so difficult.
  • Oncology. There's no surprise that this specialty is near the top of the list. ...
  • Hospice. ...
  • Medical-Surgical. ...
  • Geriatric Care. ...
  • Emergency Room. ...
  • Psychiatry. ...
  • Correctional Nursing.

Will a 3.7 GPA get me into nursing school? ›

GPA requirements depend on the type of nursing program you want to apply for, but most programs require at least a 3.0 GPA or higher. However, due to the competitive nature of nursing programs, most schools prefer a 3.7 to 4.0 GPA.

What nursing school has the highest acceptance rate? ›

Which nursing school has the highest acceptance rate? There are several nursing programs in the US with 100% acceptance rates, including the Lubbock Christian University, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

What is the Nclex pass rate for University of Kentucky College of nursing? ›

NCLEX pass rates -- UK Nursing's BSN graduates consistently maintain an NCLEX pass rate above 97%.

Is University of Kentucky a top 10 school? ›

University of Kentucky's ranking in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #137.

What is the failure rate for nursing school? ›

Average Attrition Rate has been 14.7%!!!

Can you take the NCLEX without going to an accredited nursing school? ›

In order for nursing graduates to be eligible to take the NCLEX, the U.S. nursing regulatory model dictates that the new nurse must show evidence of graduating from a nursing regulatory body that is an approved nursing program.

What are the fastest nursing certifications? ›

Of all the nursing certifications, LPN or LVN programs are the quickest and most convenient options. Because training can be completed at a hospital, vocational technical school, community college and even online, LPN/LVN programs are ideal for students who work or have other obligations.

Is a 3.3 GPA bad for nursing school? ›

GPA requirements vary from school to school, and some early admission nursing programs require an even higher GPA of at least 3.8 or higher (weighted or unweighted). In general, you can expect that any highly competitive nursing program will have a high GPA requirement for applicants.

What is the lowest GPA for nursing? ›

While most nursing schools set their minimum GPA requirements at 3.0, there are accelerated nursing programs out there that accept students with 2.7 and 2.8 GPAs. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean you'd receive a lesser nursing education with these programs.

Is a 3.3 GPA good enough for nursing school? ›

Is a 3.2 or 3.3 GPA good to start nursing school? Yes. But it may also depend on the school you intent to apply to attend so I would recommend contacting the School and asking what is their requirement.

What is the highest GPA for nursing? ›

Requirements. After acceptance into the nursing program, each student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for coursework in the nursing major to remain in the nursing program.

What is the average college GPA for nursing? ›

Average GPA: 3.53

(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

What GPA do you need for IU Nursing School? ›

You must be admitted through the IUE Office of Admissions. Recommended Cumulative GPA of 2.7 (4.0 Scale) for all courses attempted. Recommended Nursing GPA (NGPA) of 3.3.

Is there a nursing shortage in Kentucky? ›

Kentucky is not immune to the ongoing shortage of nurses. In fact, the Kentucky Hospital Association recently released its 2022 Workforce Survey Report, which reported 13,423 full-time equivalent vacancies at the end of 2021.

How much does a RN BSN make in Kentucky? ›

$67,661 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $114,791 is the 75th percentile.

How much does a nursing person get paid near Kentucky? ›

How much does a RN make in Kentucky? As of May 5, 2023, the average annual pay for a RN in Kentucky is $73,150 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $35.17 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,406/week or $6,095/month.

What is a nurse with a MSN called? ›

Two popular, advanced-level degrees for ambitious nurses are the: Master's in Nursing (MSN), and. Nurse Practitioner (NP) degree, also known as an APRN-MSN.

What is MSN in medical surgical nursing? ›

MSN means Master of Science in Nursing. This type of degree allows Registered Nurses (RNs) or BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) graduates to advance their careers.

Does MSN mean doctor? ›

An MSN is a Master of Science in Nursing, and a DNP is a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The MSN is an intermediate graduate degree designed to provide Registered Nurses (RNs) with leadership and professional management skills as well as proficiencies in a nursing specialization.

Is Masters in nursing hard? ›

Advanced degrees in nursing are tough

Master's programs are challenging – there's no doubt about that. But even more so for nurses who are continuing to work and juggle family responsibilities as they take classes.

What is the highest nurse position? ›

Chief nursing officers are nursing administrators who work within the leadership team of a healthcare organization. They are considered the highest level of nursing leadership.


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