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Looking for a career change? Megan Horr '11 was - and chose Simmons to make it happen.

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Name: Megan Elizabeth Horr

Age: 28

Entered Simons: I started my nursing prerequisites- the required science courses- at Simmons in January 2010, and then my nursing sequence started in July, 2010

Major: Nursing

Month/ Year of Graduation: December 2011

Faculty Advisor: Professor Priscilla Gazarian

Education prior to Simmons: I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Rhode Island.

Before Simmons: I graduated from URI in 2005 and then worked for four years at three different hospitals. I worked in hospital development at Caritas Carney and Dana Farber, and in marketing at Massachusetts General Hospital before deciding to go back to school.

Immediately before Simmons: I had held a few different jobs and even took some time off to travel and do a bunch of informational interviewing in different industries.  I really wanted to make a career change that would offer a challenge along with a hands-on and fast-paced environment. I knew too that I wanted something that would involve direct interaction with people.

Why I chose Simmons: Simmons has a great reputation, and the way the program is set up with the science summer right before the start of the nursing sequence worked well with the timeframe I was hoping to stick to.

What I remember about the application process : I looked at a number of accelerated nursing programs here in Boston and in other parts of the country. I came to an Open House and then had a phone interview with Kathy. It was good to attend the Open House in the fall, as a lot of good questions that I may have not thought of were asked and it really sealed the deal for me as far as knowing I wanted to apply.

What I most feared about returning to school: Getting back into a study routine! I was worried that I had been out of the game for a bit so establishing a schedule, etc. would be difficult. When I started I was working full time too, so I was concerned about finding the right work/school/social life balance. Also, I was a liberal arts major so I was a bit intimidated by the science curriculum.

What I like best about Simmons: It is very different from my large public school education. The class sizes are small, and the faculty really seems excited about teaching and helping the students succeed.

My support system while at Simmons: Definitely family and friends and some of the other Dix scholars who can relate to the challenges of being back in school and in an accelerated program.

Biggest surprises: Honestly, the small size of the campus, but also just that the professors really do seem to want to see people succeed and offer the tools and support to make that happen.

Biggest challenge: As an "adult learner," balancing school/work/life.

Best class: I have only had six classes here so far, but I've really liked my Fundamentals of Nursing course. The professor has so much energy and enthusiasm.

Something I completed at Simmons that I am proud of: Getting through the accelerated science courses in summer session I prior to my nursing sequence start in July!

What's next? More school and my first clinical this fall. I hope at some point to pursue my master's too.