Nursing Program for Adult Students

Thank you for your interest in our nursing program! Our Dorothea Lynde Dix Scholars program for second Bachelor's candidates or students 24 years old or older offers two ways to earn your BSN; a 16-month accelerated second Bachelor's degree, and a 2-year course sequence for students with at least 2 years of transfer credit. Our nursing programs are fall-start only, but we accept students in the spring and summer to complete their prerequisites at Simmons.

Accelerated BSN: Space Availability

  • There is space in our Fall 2022 cohort. Apply and submit all materials by December 15, 2021 for priority consideration; after that date, we will continue to review applications on a space-available basis.

  • We have seats available for students who would like to receive conditional admission for our fall 2023 cohort by taking their remaining prerequisites at Simmons starting in spring, summer, or fall 2022.

  • We are not yet accepting fall 2023 applications from students who are not taking their prerequisites at Simmons. Applications will be available in fall 2022.

2-year Sequence: Space Availability

  • All seats for spring, summer, and fall 2022 are full. You may apply for a spot on the waitlist, however, we anticipate we will be able to admit few or no students from the waitlist this year.

  • Our fall 2023 2-year sequence has limited seats available exclusively for students taking prerequisites at Simmons. If you have not taken all of your prerequisites, you can apply for fall 2022 admission to nursing. If admitted, your seat will be held in our fall 2023 cohort pending successful completion of your remaining prerequisites at Simmons.

  • We are not yet accepting fall 2023 applications from students who have completed their prerequisites outside of Simmons. Typically we have few or no seats available for students who do not take their prerequisites at Simmons. More information on the availability of seats will be posted in fall 2022.

  • If you are a current student at Mills College, you can still apply for our 2-year sequence for fall 2022.

You can only apply as a Dix Scholar if you have a prior Bachelor's degree in another field, or will be over the age of 24 when you start at Simmons. If you are under the age of 24, have completed more than 17 college credits after high school graduation, and do not have a prior Bachelor's degree, you must apply as a transfer student. If you are under the age of 24 and have earned 17 or fewer college credits since high school graduation, you must apply as a first-year student.

Don't hesitate to reach out to your admission counselor  if you have any questions about your nursing options.

Nursing Program Overview

  • 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.
  • Simmons nursing students' pass rate on the (NCLEX) Registered Nurse exam is consistently above 90%. The national average for RN candidates is in the low 80% range.
  • 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.

Admission Criteria

We are looking for students 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 demonstrated interest in Simmons.

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.

Simmons University is now test optional. This means you do not need to submit your test scores to be considered for admission, to be considered for scholarship, or to be considered for any special programs. If you took the ACT or SAT in high school, or the TEAS, we recommend you only submit scores if you meet one of the following

  • SAT: Successful applicants typically have at least 1200 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: Successful applicants typically have scores of at least 80% on each section.

Admission 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, as well as the final high school transcript or GED/HiSET. Official transcripts should be sent directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admission by the institution.
  • Recommendations - One recommendation is required (academic preferred if recently enrolled in school).
  • Simmons University is now test optional. This means you do not need to submit your test scores to be considered for admission, to be considered for scholarship, or to be considered for any special programs. 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 years 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 Simmons online application for Transfers. However, Dix Scholars can use the Common Application for Transfers or any of the Dix Scholar Online Applications through Simmons.

Admission Deadlines

Entrance DatePriority DeadlineFinal Deadline
FallDecember 15 - Extended to January 10July 1
SpringN/AMarch 18
SummerDecember 15 - Extended to January 10April 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 December 15. Students taking prerequisites elsewhere are strongly encouraged to complete their application, which includes submitting all required credentials, no later than December 15 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.

Prerequisite Courses

  1. General Biology (fulfilled by AP/IB credit, BIOL 113 or BIOL 123; waived if you have confirmed approval to transfer in A&P I and II as well as Microbiology)
  2. Inorganic Chemistry (fulfilled by CHEM 110 or CHEM 111)
  3. Organic Chemistry (fulfilled by CHEM 110 or CHEM 112)
  4. Anatomy and Physiology I (fulfilled by BIO 231)
  5. Psychology (fulfilled by AP/IB credit, or PSYC 101)
  6. Microbiology (fulfilled by BIOL 123 or BIOL 221)
  7. Anatomy and Physiology II (fulfilled by BIOL 232)
  8. Lifespan Psychology (fulfilled by PSYC 235 or PSYC 237N)
  9. Statistics (fulfilled by MATH 118) -- prerequisite for accelerated BSN only

Prerequisite Policies

  • 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.
  • With the exception of the two Psychology courses (and Statistics for the accelerated BSN), all prerequisites must include a lab.
  • Simmons must receive the final transcript(s) from students taking their prerequisites elsewhere no later than August 1. 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.
  • Prerequisite courses must be taken at a regionally-accredited institution and may be completed online or in person. 
  • Prerequisites must have been completed in the past ten years.
  • Students who do not achieve the C+ on their first attempt at a prerequisite or nursing department course may retake that course only once.
  • Students may not withdraw from more than one prerequisite or nursing department course (except for medical withdraws or other withdraws outside of the student’s control).
  • All prerequisite and nursing course retakes withdraws should be
    explained in the essay/ personal statement.
  • Students exceeding one prerequisite retake or exceeding one
    prerequisite withdraw within the past 10 years are not eligible for the Simmons BSN program.
  • Students who have been excluded from another nursing program or who have retaken or withdrawn from more than one nursing department course are not eligible for the Simmons BSN program.

A transfer credit evaluation (TCE) can help you better understand how many of your previously taken credits will transfer into Simmons, which graduation requirements you have already fulfilled, as well as which courses will fulfill Simmons's nursing prerequisites. The TCE alerts you to prerequisites that you will need to complete by the August 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 or university transcripts be sent to you from the institutions you attended.
  • Send official college or university transcripts to the Simmons University 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.

Find additional information about TCEs, including how to request an evaluation of one single course.

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 follow a two-year sequence of nursing courses and clinicals. Before beginning the 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-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 general education 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.

See the Two-Year Sequence and the 16-month Accelerated Nursing Option (for second bachelor's degree candidates only)