Carr College of Nursing

Master's Entry into Professional Nursing

About the Program

The Master’s Entry into Professional Nursing (MEPN) — the first program of its kind in Arkansas — prepares students to become advanced entry-level professional nurses ready to work in direct or indirect care and with patient populations across the lifespan. Graduates will earn a Master of Science in Nursing and be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN national licensing exam. Students participating in the MEPN program attend classes three semesters a year, participating in face-to-face classes every semester including an online format for a selection of courses. Ideal for individuals seeking an exciting career change to professional nursing and healthcare, this degree will allow faster attainment of advanced practice roles in nursing and completion of the Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Traditional Track

Applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree in any other field and have taken all Arkansas nursing prerequisites, may apply for the MEPN program.

Early Entry Track

Applicants with 90 undergraduate credit hours and Arkansas nursing prerequisites can apply for early admission. Once early admission is granted, there will be two years of master’s work.

B.S. in Health Studies/MSN - MEPN Track

The accelerated track makes it possible for qualified students to complete both a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies and a Master of Science in Nursing in five years. Undergraduate students will complete liberal arts credits and nursing prerequisites during their first three years. They will then apply for the MEPN program and finish graduate school in years four and five. In order to earn a B.S. in health studies, students will complete 90 hours of undergraduate work and then 40 hours of graduate work toward the MEPN MSN.

Admission Requirements

Application Requirements

  • Online NursingCAS application and fees
  • Official transcripts (from all schools attended
  • MAT or GRE scores (if available, not required)
  • CV/Resume
  • Three references (academic and professional)
  • Writing sample

Additional Admission Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or completion of 90 credit hours and all required prerequisites
  • Health and regulatory requirements
  • Criminal background check and drug screen
  • Science GPA of at least 3.0 on prerequisites with a C or higher in all required courses. Sciences courses must be taken within the last five years.
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.2
  • Evidence of current American Heart Association CPR for
    healthcare providers maintained throughout the program
  • Proof of completion of a certified nurses' aide course (CNA). Certification as a CNA is not required.
  • HESI A2 nursing entrance exam
  • Seat deposit payment (post-admittance)
  • An interview may be required

Criminal Background Check Policy

The Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) requires that every nursing student in Arkansas be made aware of potential bars to being able to obtain nursing licensure. Some clinical agencies require the nursing student to undergo background checks prior to participating in clinical experiences in the agency. The Nurse Practice Act of the State of Arkansas details information regarding (1) the requirements that first-time applicants for nursing licensure in Arkansas undergo a state and national criminal background check; and (2) criminal offenses which can potentially disqualify an applicant from taking the licensure exam and/or receiving a professional nursing license. Graduating from a nursing program does not assure the student of ASBN’s approval to take the NCLEX-RN® licensure exam.

Curriculum & Clinical Experience

The faculty of the MEPN program work within HCCN and the Center of Health Sciences at Harding University. The curriculum is 72 semester credit hours and requires 1,032 clinical practice hours. The full-time plan of study can be completed within two years (five semesters) and includes on-ground primary core courses and master's essential hybrid online courses covering health promotion, healthcare leadership, management, outcomes, safety and evidence-based practice.

Students will experience a variety of clinical settings in the Searcy and Little Rock regions as well as through the College’s own state-of-the-art simulation experiences and equipment.

A degree plan for EMEPN can be found in this Curriculum plan pdf.

A degree plan for MEPN can be found in this Curriculum plan pdf


The professional nursing programs seek to provide information regarding licensing for all US states and territories.


  • General or College Chemistry - 4 hours
  • Math: Introduction to Statistics - 3 hours
  • Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab - 4 hours
  • Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab - 4 hours
  • Introduction to Microbiology with Lab - 4 hours
  • General Psychology - 3 hours
  • General Sociology - 3 hours
  • Nutrition - 3 hours
  • Growth and Development across the Lifespan - 3 hours
  • English: Intro to University Writing & Research - 3 hours
  • Undergraduate Pathophysiology (strongly recommended) - 3 hours
  • Minimum grade: C is minimum on all pre-requisites and B or better preferred in science courses but must have 3.0 average between all 4 science prerequisite classes which must have been taken in the last 5 years
  • Minimum credit: MEPN transcript shows confirmation of degree earned and completion of all prerequisite classes
  • EMEPN: 90 hours required including prerequisites to enter the EMEPN track but could transfer to HU before 90 hours completed if you choose, call us if questions


The Carr College of Nursing is blessed with generous donors of scholarships who are interested in educating Christian professional nurses and advanced practice nurses. Students admitted to the professional nursing (BSN, MSN-MEPN) programs or the advanced practice nursing program (MSN- FNP) are eligible to apply. Scholarship applications for students admitted to the MEPN program can be submitted at any time and forms obtained by request at

Special Learning Opportunities

Healthcare Missions Opportunities - Guatemala, Tanzania, Cambodia/Thailand
Future possibilities Nicaragua and Zambia

The Carr College of Nursing plans healthcare mission trips for faculty and students in a variety of settings. Recent trips included Guatemala, Tanzania, Cambodia/Thailand, and Zambia. The nursing faculty seek to prepare students to serve cross-culturally with an increased understanding of the health challenges of the region, and to understand the cultural values and viewpoints of the patients and families they serve.

Harding Nurses Student Association - Largest chapter in Arkansas, participate in state and national HNSA events and leadership positions, service projects

The Harding Nurses Student Association (HNSA) is the largest chapter in the state of Arkansas. Students lead and serve in service projects, professional development, state and national events and decisions. The HNSA meets monthly and officers are elected each year among the students. There are two faculty sponsors to guide and mentor the students in these activities.

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing - Service projects and professional development events

The Carr College of Nursing hosts the Epsilon Omicron chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Once admitted to the professional or advanced practice nursing programs, the faculty leaders and members chose the top 30% of the program students based on grade point average. In addition to academic achievement, students are invited to join based on his or her professional attributes, service and leadership.

Research and quality improvement projects in NURS 6700

MEPN students will be provided with an opportunity for clinical research and quality improvement projects in NURS 6700 Leadership in Diverse Care Settings. These synthesis projects will provide greater depth of understanding of current clinical, management or leadership issues in their acute practice areas.

Student Learning Outcomes

Master’s Entry into Professional Nursing Curricular Strands and Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this program, the professional nursing practice graduate will be prepared to:

  • Clinical Judgment: Demonstrate clinical judgment in making evidence-based clinical decisions for safe and quality nursing care relevant to comprehensive patient problems encountered in diverse care settings.
  • Population Care: Integrate evidenced-based clinical prevention and population care for aggregates and identified populations encountered in diverse settings.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Implement research findings and evidence-based best practices in the provision of professional nursing to enhance safety and quality in patient care. Use informatics and patient care technologies to facilitate and reach the highest patient care outcomes.
  • Research: Analyze disparities in knowledge or evidence, articulate research questions, design a research study and evaluate patient outcomes in professional nursing for refinement of safety and quality care.
  • Accountability: Demonstrate accountability for patient and system quality outcomes, using quality improvement, acting as a change agent, and engaging in patient advocacy.
  • Servant Leadership: Analyze political, legal and ethical influences in healthcare systems that affect health policy, economics, care coordination, and patient/population outcomes. Facilitate opportunities for personal, professional and spiritual growth.
  • Collaboration: Communicate to, collaborate with and listen to patients, families, and interprofessional team members for patient and family teaching learning needs, and quality patient and system outcomes.
  • Ethics: Demonstrate commitment to Christian principles, professional ethics, and standards of professional nursing practice to provide culturally competent, patient-centered care to patients, families and populations in local and global communities.

Tuition and Fees

Estimated Tuition and Fees
Tuition Beginning Fall 2023: $835 per credit hour
Technology Fee $270 per semester
Clinical Fees $4,500 over 5 semesters
Licensing Preparation $1,200 final semester (NURS 6900)
Graduation Fee $175
Estimated Total Cost $63,601
*All fees are subject to change each year.

Beyond tuition and university fees, graduate nursing students incur personal incidental expenses for which students are personally responsible. These include, but are not limited to: a Windows or Mac computer Meeting Requirements, mobile computing device, clinical expenses, health-related expenses, standardized tests, licensing application and examination fees, health insurance, lab coats, healthcare assessment equipment, transportation, and personal costs while attending campus activities. Application for the national licensing exam is a graduate expense.

Learn more about the Federal Financial Aid Cost of Attendance and find a comprehensive listing of expenses that may be associated with enrollment.

Due to the demands of this professional nursing program, the dean and director recommend that financial aid and payment plans are finalized prior to beginning the program.

Contact Us

Carr College of Nursing


Fax: 501-279-4669

Mailing address:
Harding University
Carr College of Nursing
HU 12265
Searcy, AR 72149-5615