Transition Your Career to Nursing

Elmhurst University’s online Master’s Entry in Nursing Practice (MENP) program is the first of its kind in the country to be offered online. It is designed specifically for students with bachelor’s degrees in other fields who want to enter the profession of nursing.

Through this direct entry MSN program, students will earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree in just 20 months while preparing to sit for the registered nurse licensure exam (the NCLEX-RN) and clinical nurse leader (CNL) certification exam.

This accelerated MSN for non-nurses provides an immersive educational experience in nursing that emphasizes hands-on clinical practice and exceptional skills, with a focus on quality and safety.

You’ll be ready for your new role providing direct patient care and will emerge with the skills of a clinical nurse leader. You’ll also be eligible to bridge to a nurse practitioner role through post-graduate certification programs or a doctor of nursing practice program.

Fast-Path MENP

Direct Entry MSN Program
Build on your prior bachelor's degree to earn your MSN in just 20 months.

Prepared for Success

Prepared for Success
Elmhurst MENP graduates have a 93% NCLEX-RN pass rate (2023).

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Immersive Residency
Gain confidence and skills in simulated scenarios led by faculty in our innovative Simulation Lab.

Is this Direct Entry MSN Program Right for Me?

The online MENP is a rigorous, full-time program requiring 100% commitment. It’s strongly advised that you don’t work, even part-time, to exclusively focus on the program for its 20-month duration.

You will use an online learning platform to complete your coursework and have direct access to your professors and fellow students. All coursework is done entirely online, except for your clinical experience and one residency that will take place on Elmhurst University’s campus, located just west of Chicago. During the residency, you’ll build clinical knowledge and skills through active, hands-on learning in the state-of-the-art Simulation Center.

This direct-entry nursing program is currently offered for non-nurses who reside in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Mexico, Vermont and Wisconsin. It is specifically tailored toward second-career professionals who want to enroll in a fast-paced, immersive program to enter the nursing profession with an MSN.

Comparison of the Online MENP and ABSN programs

Both of our online nursing programs offer a fast path to a new and meaningful nursing career. If you’re undecided about which program to choose, this comparison chart may help you select the path that’s right for you. It is important to note that the MENP program awards a master’s degree, and the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program culminates in a bachelor's degree.




GPA for admission



Program length

71 credits/20 months

60 credits/16 months

Clinical hours



Program cost







RN, Clinical Nurse Leader


Ideal student

Students who want to enter nursing and advance to leadership roles to improve patient safety and quality outcomes

Students who want to enter nursing to follow their passion to care for others

*The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and the master’s degree program in nursing at Elmhurst University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791

Accredited and Recognized

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Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)*

#3 in Most Innovative Schools

#17 in Best Regional Universities in the Midwest

#15 Regional Universities Midwest

#17 in Best Value Schools in the Midwest

Online MENP Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

Admission requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university 
  • Minimum cumulative 3.2 GPA 
  • Prerequisite courses
  • Must reside in an approved state: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Mexico, Vermont or Wisconsin.
  • No prior nursing experience required

To be admitted to the nursing program, students must:

  • Meet certain health requirements and functional abilities;
  • Have the demonstrated ability to engage in diverse, complex and specific experiences essential to the acquisition and practice of essential nursing skills and functions; and
  • Have the unique combinations of cognitive, affective, psychomotor, physical and social abilities required to satisfactorily perform these skills and functions.

Your enrollment advisor will help you determine which prerequisites you need before you can start the online MENP program. You will need 22 credit hours of prerequisites, and completion of the following college-level courses, with a grade of "C" or better in each.

  • Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits) 
  • Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits) 
  • General Chemistry with Lab (4 credits) 
  • Microbiology with Lab (4 credits)
  • Intro to Psychology or Sociology (3 credits)
  • Statistics (3 credits)

Prerequisites for the MENP program must have been completed within 5 years.

If you haven’t earned credits for these courses an enrollment advisor will help you with the next steps.

Online MENP Curriculum Sample

NRS 502 Health Care Systems: Organization, Policy and Finance

Examines the structure, function and forces that shape U.S. and global health care delivery systems. Explores current and emerging technologies to support safe practice environments that optimize patient safety, cost-effectiveness and health outcomes for individuals and populations. Identifies policy decision-making in relation to advanced nursing roles. This course provides essential content to exercise clinical leadership in interprofessional teams in health care organizations and to advocate for individuals, diverse populations and the discipline of nursing.

NRS 508 Foundations for Professional Nursing Practice

Examines knowledge, skills and attitudes essential to professional nursing practice with individuals, families and populations across the lifespan. Clinical reasoning skills for the professional nursing role are developed using the concepts of quality, safety, evidence-based practice and patient-centered care within the health-illness continuum. Ethical principles and social determinants of health are introduced as a framework for professional nursing practice. Clinical practicum/lab provides opportunity for application of these concepts as a provider of care in a variety of health care systems.

NURS 517 Family Health: Childbearing

Examines patient and family centered nursing care for select conditions and health alterations specific to reproductive-age women, newborns, children, and families across the health illness continuum. Students develop the professional roles of provider and designer/manager/coordinator of nursing care using an evidence-based approach. Clinical practicum builds on previous knowledge, skills and attitudes and provides opportunity for application and synthesis of course concepts in a variety of health care systems.

NRS 527 Epidemiology and Biostatistics

This course is an introduction to epidemiological and statistical knowledge and skills that are fundamental to an advanced nursing role. Concepts essential for evidence-based practice, clinical prevention and population health are covered.

NRS 532 Technology in Health Care Education and Practice

Builds on the theories and principles of teaching/learning for an advanced nursing role that have been developed in the foundational courses. As an advanced competence course, emphasis is on knowledge and skills for teaching, learning and communication in technology-enabled environments. Focus includes management of relevant data and use of information to support professional nurses and to care for patients in multiple settings. Ethical and legal issues related to information technology are explored from the perspective of an advanced nursing role.

Important Dates
  • Application Deadline:
    June 28, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Start:

    August 26, 2024

Access Full Curriculum

Why Elmhurst University? Hear From a Student

Growing up internationally and spending one-on-one time with nurses due to her brother’s illness has inspired Breana to give back. She talks about why she chose an online direct entry master's in nursing program and what stood out about Elmhurst in her search for the right university.

Breana’s long-term goal following graduation is to further her education to become a nurse practitioner specializing in women’s health.

Breana Sutter