RINDGE — Franklin Pierce University is rolling out a new master’s degree for people who want to get into nursing as a second career.

The Master’s Entry Program in Nursing will be an accelerated degree program for people who hold at least a bachelor’s degree in another field and are considering a switch to nursing, according to a news release from the university. It will allow people to earn both an RN and a Master of Science in Nursing over 18 months.

It is slated to start this fall, according to the news release.

The degree program is meant to provide graduates with a general foundation in nursing while readying them for leadership positions in the future, the university said in the release.

“Graduates of the Franklin Pierce MEPN program will be well prepared to assume leadership roles in healthcare settings,” Dr. Paula McWilliam, director of the Franklin Pierce School of Nursing, said in the release. “Graduates of accelerated programs are prized by nursing leaders, who value the many layers of skill and diverse professional experience these graduates bring to the workplace.”

The program involves online classes paired with clinical experience, in partnership with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health system.

The School of Nursing offers several other master’s-level programs, but this is the first open to people without previous nursing credentials.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing is expected to experience faster-than-average job growth through 2028, and some parts of the country, particularly the South and the West, may face shortages.

Paul Cuno-Booth can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1409, or pbooth@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @PCunoBoothKS