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Penn Nursing recently announced a Master of Professional Nursing program. Credit: Oscar Vasquez

Penn's School of Nursing recently developed a new entry level Master of Professional Nursing program intended for students with a bachelor’s degree in another field.

The MPN program is a four-semester, 15-month, full-time program that helps nurses gain a variety of skills in “population health, health equity, interprofessional collaboration, care transitions, and systems thinking,” according to the Penn Almanac. With Penn’s numerous partnerships with various clinical sites, students are able to learn to attend to diverse patient populations and deliver high-quality care to patients. 

Julie Sochalski, associate dean for academic programs at the Nursing School, said the program was created in March 2023 and was approved in April 2023 by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing. Applications have recently opened for the inaugural fall 2024 cohort. The program expects that 90 to 95 students will be enrolled for the first class, she added.

Penn joins many other institutions that have begun to offer master's entry into nursing. These programs offer an opportunity for students previously without a nursing background to explore their career. Penn’s program is unique in that it has an MPN/MSN option that allows students to gain advanced nursing roles, such as becoming a nurse practitioner or a nurse midwife. The MPN program also has 11 MSN specialties to choose from.

“Penn has had a long tradition of being a leading school in the field of nursing and this new program is one more way in improving nursing education and the opportunity to help the health of the public,” Sochalski said.

The program also aims to help students use "equity-centered nursing interventions" and "lead policy and advocacy initiatives" for responsible health care, according to the Nursing School website.

This is not the first new program that Penn Nursing announced this year. In January, the School of Dental Medicine and the Nursing School announced a new dual-degree program allowing students to earn a master's degree in nutritional science.