I'm currently a MEPN student and like I'm sure the previous poster has realized, I'm in the right place for myself. I started the program straight out of undergrad and while some thought I was crazy for going straight through, taking out copious amounts of money, etc., it has been the best decision of my life. If you're looking for very focused clinical experiences as well as a great way to get an MSN in addition to your RN licence, the program is for you. Yes, it's expensive, but you can't really put a price on a career choice you love. Also like the previous poster mentioned, there are other programs out there such as RN-BSN, etc that may be for you, so I would definately do lots of research before you commit to such an expensive program
But from the perspective of someone who is IN the program currently, I love it and I'm glad I did it, even if i'll be paying some loans back for a few years. If you think about it, when the starting salary of a nurse in SD is around $50k depending on the facility, you're in much better shape than say an entry level teacher who is paying back credential/graduate school loans.
Also, the program has changed starting with the group entering Sept 2007 where you will take a full 5 semesters to get your RN licence and MSN in Clinical Nursing. No one in the MEPN program, other than those in the last 5 years who have completed the pre-licencure year, will be admitted to NP programs any longer. So you will be getting an advanced degree in an area you will be getting TONS of experience in after 5 semesters
I'm currently on the 2 year track in which I will graduate with this very same degree, as I didn't have a great interest in becoming an NP after only 2 years of bedside practice.
So I would say despite the price, the program is wonderful and the best decision I've ever made. Hope this info helps, always good to get perspectives from both sides of the picture.