Nursing Program for Adult Students

Thanks for your interest in nursing at Simmons and the Dorothea Lynde Dix Scholar program for adult women. We have a variety of ways for you to complete your nursing degree; a 16 month accelerated program, a 2-year course sequence, and a program for registered nurses; that all lead to a BSN degree.

If you are a current Simmons MSN student interested in Direct Entry to the Dix program, please check out our checklist.

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 interview.

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 on the math section of a standardized test.

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 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. The final high school transcript or GED/HiSET is waived for applicants with a completed Associate's degree, and for applicants who are in the final semester of their Bachelor's program. Official transcripts should be sent directly to us 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 for first Bachelor's degree candidates applying to the Nursing Program. We prefer they 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 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 14July 1
SpringN/ANovember 1
SummerDecember 14April 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 14. Students taking prerequisites elsewhere are strongly encouraged to complete their application, which includes submitting all required credentials, no later than December 14 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)