MEPN second degree program graduates first class

MEPN second degree program graduates first class

The first class to graduate from the Master's Entry into Professional Nursing program, with program Director and Associate Professor Diane Chlebowy (left).

The first cohort of the University of Louisville Master’s Entry into Professional Nursing (MEPN) program, comprised of 10 students, graduated in May.

The two-year program prepares students with a bachelor’s degree in any field outside nursing to become entry-level professional nurses. MEPN students earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in nursing.

One of the graduates – Meredith Grisanti – has begun a career as a labor and delivery nurse at Norton Hospital, where she did her capstone course.

During the program, Grisanti was a research scholar, working with Professor Marianne Hutti on her perinatal grief intensity scale. She and fellow MEPN student Jaclyn Hayden presented their poster, “Predicting Grief Intensity after Perinatal Loss” at the Midwest Nursing Research Society conference in April, winning third place in the master’s student poster competition.

Grisanti earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UofL in 2012, and then worked as a pharmacy technician and later with AmeriCorps in South Carolina.

The following is a Q-and-A with Grisanti.

Why did you decide to return to school for nursing?

My mom is a psych nurse. I realized that I’m a lot like her and I really do enjoy working with patients. With nursing, I was attracted to the variety of things you can do. I get bored easily and nursing has many applications.

What was your experience like in the MEPN program?

I learned so much. It was a quick learning curve, but I was ready for the challenge. It was important to realize that I didn’t have to be perfect. I think that in nursing, you’re so scared that you’re going to kill somebody. It’s high stakes, so you want to make sure you go all out on your work and everything is perfect, but at the end of the day that’s not what you’re learning. You’re learning the big picture. Not getting caught up in those little details was really important for me.

What would you say to others who are considering a transition to a nursing career?

Do it. Nursing incorporates so many skills outside of just health sciences. All of those critical thinking aspects of the liberal arts, for example, are applicable to a nursing profession. You become more holistic as you go through the MEPN program and you build on the skills you already have. Do it for the right reasons, however, because it is very challenging.

What did you think of having such a small class?

I think you can develop better relationships and I liked getting to know my classmates. We were really there for each other because we saw each other so often and there were so few of us. I really liked that aspect. You get more attention from the professors.

To learn more about the MEPN program, click here.