Adult BSN

Thanks for your interest in nursing at Simmons and the Dorothea Lynde Dix Scholars program for adult women. On this page, you will find program highlights and requirements for our Dix Scholars.

Nursing Program Overview
  • Our ratio of clinical students to instructors is 6:1.
  • Simmons nursing faculty are all practicing nurses, thus assuring that students learn the most up-to-date science and techniques in patient care.
  • Simmons nursing students' pass rate on the (NCLEX) Registered Nurse exam is consistently above 90%. In 2012, it was 95% for first time takers and 100% for accelerated students. The national average for RN candidates is in the low 80% range.
  • There are three nursing sequences for adult students who do not already have the RN credential. All three lead to the BSN degree and prepare you to take the NCLEX. The lengths of the sequences are 16 months, two years, and three years. The primary differences among these tracks are based upon a student's educational preparation and the pace at which she chooses to pursue her BSN studies. Simmons also offers an RN to BSN option.
  • Our nursing program is a daytime program. A small number of classes and clinicals are sometimes offered on evenings and weekends, but students must be available to take most of their coursework on weekdays.
  • Students can apply with none, all or a few of their prerequisites completed. We strongly recommend that students apply with the intention of completing their prerequisites at Simmons. Admitted students cannot proceed into their nursing sequence unless each of the prerequisites has been satisfied with a C+ or higher.
Nursing Sequence Options
  • Students with some or no prior college experience may apply for the nursing program that begins in September each year. After finishing their prerequisites, students can elect to follow a two- or three-year sequence of nursing courses and clinicals. Students do not need to choose between the two- or three-year sequence during the application process. Before beginning either sequence, students must have enough credits to be on track to graduate at the end of their sequence.
  • Second bachelor's degree candidates may apply for the accelerated nursing sequence or a non-accelerated option and follow a two- or three-year sequence of nursing courses and clinicals.
  • Simmons also offers an RN to BSN program. This program is for the student who has graduated from an accredited nursing program, is a registered nurse, and has a diploma in nursing or an associate's degree in nursing. This is a daytime program and can be completed on a part- or full-time basis. RN students must complete 128 hours of credit and fulfill the Simmons modes of inquiry and competency requirements. While at least 48 semester hours of credit must be earned at Simmons, transfer credit, credit for prior learning, and advanced placement in nursing credit are also granted when certain specifications are met.
The Two-Year Sequence
The Three-Year Sequence
The 14-month Accelerated Nursing Option (for second bachelor's degree candidates only)
Prerequisite Courses
  • Students accepted into the nursing program at Simmons may take a single course that fulfills both General Biology and Microbiology, and a single course that fulfills both Inorganic and Organic Chemistry.
  • For second bachelor's degree candidates, many of the prerequisites are offered online at Simmons during Summer Session. These courses are: Lifespan Psychology, Biology + Microbiology, Inorganic + Organic Chemistry, and Anatomy & Physiology I and II. These classes are in an accelerated format only open to those who have already completed a bachelor's degree. Students are encouraged to take no more than two of the three accelerated science courses. The online courses are not credit-bearing and will not fulfill all-college graduation requirements. Some prerequisites are also offered in person over the summer; these classes are credit-bearing and can fulfill all-college graduation requirements.
  • The Biology prerequisite can be waived if you have confirmed approval to transfer credits for Anatomy & Physiology I and II, and Microbiology.
  • If you have taken a Child and Adolescent Development course you may also need to take Human Growth & Development. Your Development coursework must cover the entire lifecycle from birth to death; however, courses may be combined (for example, one semester of Child and Adolescent Development AND one semester of Adult and Elder Development) to fulfill the prerequisite.
  • Students taking their prerequisites at Simmons College must satisfy requirements before their nursing sequence start. Students taking their prerequisites elsewhere must satisfy requirements no later than July 1 prior to their nursing sequence start. You may apply prior to completing your prerequisites.
  • You can take your prerequisites in the spring, summer, and fall terms. Simmons prerequisite courses are offered throughout the year, but the selection of courses offered may differ by semester. Therefore, it is important to check the Simmons course schedule. Generally, the schedule is posted ten weeks prior to the start of the new semester. Note that the summer schedule includes courses for the two summer sessions.
  • Prior to being admitted to the Dix Scholars program you may take prerequisite courses as a non-degree student. There is limited space for students who have not been accepted to Simmons to take prerequisites. After completing your prerequisites, you would need to apply as a Dix Scholar for the nursing program.
  • Students who have been accepted into the Dix Scholars program are eligible for financial aid provided they take a minimum of two classes per semester. Non-degree students take prerequisites at Simmons on a per-course basis and therefore are not eligible for financial aid.
  • Prerequisite courses must be taken at a regionally-accredited institution and may be completed online or in person. With the exception of the two Psychology courses, all prerequisites must include a lab.
  • Prerequisites must have been completed in the past ten years.
  • A grade of C+ or higher is necessary to satisfy each prerequisite. Candidates for the nursing program will not be considered if they have earned below a C+ in a single science prerequisite course more than twice; in more than two science prerequisite courses in the past ten years; or if they earned a grade below C+ in their first attempt at Introduction to Psychology or Lifespan Psychology. Note that although we do consider students with one or two retakes in their science prerequisites, or with retakes from more than ten years ago, most successful applicants typically have not needed to retake any prerequisites typically have a 3.33 GPA or higher in prerequisite courses not taken at Simmons. A grade of "W" does not count against the retake limit, withdrawn courses are considered by the admission committee and may negatively affect your application. We recommend that candidates address any withdrawn courses in their application or interview.
  • You may apply if you are currently in a nursing program elsewhere as long as you are in good academic standing in your current or prior nursing program. In addition, you must not have taken (or need to take) any nursing course more than once.

Download the prerequisite courses for each sequence:

The Two-Year Sequence
The Three-Year Sequence
The 14-month Accelerated Nursing Option (for second bachelor's degree candidates only)

Admission Criteria

Typically, admitted students have a college GPA and a science GPA exceeding 3.0, with a pre-requisite GPA exceeding 3.3. Students must earn at least a C+ on prerequisites. We also like to see success in a math course above the level of Algebra II (preferably, at least through PreCalculus) or on the math section of a standardized test.

We are looking for women who can succeed within our nursing program and contribute to the Simmons community. The committee reviews applications holistically, meaning that in addition to your academics, we consider other factors such as your personal statement, recommendations, experiences outside of the classroom, and interview.

If you have not received a bachelor's degree, we require you submit one of the following tests:

  • SAT: Successful applicants typically have at least 1100 or higher on the Critical Reading and Math sections of the SAT.
  • ACT: Successful applicants typically have at least a 24 or higher for their composite score and a 24 or higher on the math section.
  • TEAS V: Successful applicants typically have scores of at least 80%..
Application Requirements

The admission committee will review your application to learn not only what you have accomplished, but also who you are. To apply as a Dix Scholar, you need to submit the following information in addition to the application:

  • Official Transcripts - Simmons requires official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities. High school transcripts and GEDs are required for first-degree candidates only. Official transcripts should be sent directly by the institutions Office of Undergraduate Admission.
  • Recommendations - Two recommendations are required and at least one from an academic reference is preferred.
  • Standardized test scores - SAT, ACT, or TEAS scores are required of applicants to the Nursing Program and must be taken within 18 months of your intended start term. If you are a non-native English speaker, you will also need to submit a TOEFL exam.
  • Personal Statement - Describe how your personal and professional experiences have influenced your decision to attend college as an adult student.
  • For RN to BSN candidates: RN license.

All students who are 24 or older, or are applying for a second bachelor's degree, are considered Dix Scholars. Even if you have college coursework, you should not use the transfer application. Please use the Dix Scholars application.

Application Deadlines
Entrance Date  Priority Deadline Final Deadline
Fall January 1 July 1
Spring n/a Nov 1
Summer January 1 April 1
  • Students have the option to enroll at Simmons (part-time or full-time) in order to take all or some of their prerequisites in the semester(s) prior to the nursing sequence to which they have been admitted. Students interested in taking prerequisite courses at Simmons are strongly encouraged to complete their application as soon as possible as applications will be reviewed for admission to nursing on an individual, rolling, and space-available basis.
  • The priority deadline for students who will not be taking prerequisites at Simmons is January 1. Students taking prerequisites elsewhere are strongly encouraged to complete their application, which includes submitting all required credentials, no later than January 1 in order to be included in the priority nursing admission committee review.
  • If you are placed on the waitlist, should space become available we will re-review all students on our waitlist to be offered a spot in the class. We encourage all students on the waitlist to continue working towards completing their prerequisites, so they will be prepared if they are offered admission. We will notify all waitlisted students of their final decision by mid-August.
  • If you were denied acceptance and still wish to pursue a Simmons nursing degree, contact your admission counselor to develop an application strategy.
Transfer Credit Evaluation (TCE)

A transfer credit evaluation (TCE) can help you better understand how many of your previously taken credits will transfer into Simmons, which all-college graduation requirements you have already fulfilled, as well as which courses will fulfill Simmons's nursing pre-requisites. The TCE alerts you to prerequisites that you will need to complete by the July 1 prior to your nursing sequence start.

All admitted or waitlisted applicants will receive a transfer credit evaluation by email after acceptance. Please allow several weeks after your acceptance for evaluation.You may also request a preliminary evaluation prior to acceptance by:

  • Requesting ALL official college transcripts be sent to you from the institutions you attended.
  • Send official college transcripts to the Simmons College Office of Undergraduate Admission in one large envelope with a written request for a preliminary transfer credit evaluation.

Typically the following coursework will be accepted for credit toward graduation: courses taken at an accredited college or university, and courses that carry three credits or more, in which you have earned a C or better. (Note that a grade of C+ or better is required of courses to satisfy the nursing department's prerequisite policy.) You may transfer in up to 80 credits.

Our Students

Our Dix Scholars do amazing things.