Simmons College vs Regis College Nurse Practitioner Program- BSN vs. no BSN

  1. Hello all!

    I am contemplating between Regis and Simmons college for their respective NP programs. Both have their pros and cons and what is really worrying me is the fact that Simmons does not offter the BSN after completing that part of the curriculum (however Simmons is right in the city, very convenient, and with great resources); whereas Regis offers the BSN and more flexibility in their program (however Regis has had bad reviews regarding their faculty and the resources they have in the school). I'm hearing various comments about how complicated it may be to get an NP job without a BSN. Is this true? Would I be able to find an RN job during the NP portion of my studies without a BSN? Is there anyone that is a current Simmons nursing student that has seen a fellow peer get a job in the city working as an RN without a BSN? Anyone see an "X-factor" between the two programs that would make me choose Simmons over Regis (or vice versa)?

    I'm still very indecisive on both of these programs but the main issue is that I am worrying about is the BSN predicament for furture nursing endeavors.

    I would greatly appreciate the help with this decision!!

    You can email me at or leave a comment!

  2. Poll: NP Program Pick

    • Simmons College

      50.00% 1
    • Regis College

      50.00% 1
    2 Votes
  3. Visit gregmRN890 profile page

    About gregmRN890, MSN, NP

    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 23; Likes: 3
    from US


  4. by   BostonFNP
    Being a 3rd year DE student, here's what I would consider:1.) All of my close friends who looked for jobs got an offer within 3 months of passing the NCLEX without a BSN (RN plus prior BS/BA).2.) Does Regis grant a BSN at midpoint or at the end of the entire program? It doesn't help you much if it comes at the completion of the program. 3.) What are the NCLEX pass rates for each program? 4.) What's the clinical reputation of each program? Clinical reputation and connections are the best way to get a job. If you have any questions about Simmons side, drop a message.
  5. by   gregmRN890
    Thanks so much for your two cents de2013! Regis college offers the BSN at the midpoint of their program. I hear the the Simmons students seem more prepared in the clinical setting than all of the other schools.

    How is the atmosphere at Simmons? I hear that the facilities are state of the art compared to Regis and that the faculty there is superb. Is this true? Regis has gotten a bad rap about their program and how much the students regret going. You can tell me the truth about Simmons because I have only heard good things about the program there! (And many bad things about Regis and their resources). How stressful is the workload and clinicals at Simmons? Is being one of the few male students a challenge with making friends/colleagues? My school history has consisted of an all boys high school (Malden Catholic) to Boston University and probably to the all girls setting at Simmons...!!!
  6. by   BostonFNP
    I can only really speak for Simmons as I have experienced it. The faculty has been great, some are better than others, but all are practicing NPs (a number of which went to Simmons for MSN/DNP/PhD). Almost all the faculty will take preceptees and/or be practice mentors. The clinical placments are (mostly) all great and the clinical faculty have always been amazing for me (there are two people I have heard some people have trouble with). Most importanly, Simmons students seem to be very well received by practicing nurses at clinic. Simmons is very involved with new research and recommendations for non-traditional pathway nursing education, and they make curriculum changes each semester to better prepare students. There are some things that are frustrating, nothing is perfect. Communication from the administration and faculty is sometimes not so great. Clinic placements process is stressful and sometimes last minute. Classes are expensive. The research indicates that self-directed learning is important for education and so Simmons expects you to teach yourself a lot of material (also part of being an accelerated program). The cirriculum is challenging for almost everyone (and I can honestly say that my entire cohort is hard working and highly intelligent) needs to really work to maintain the 83 average. You can still have a life and enjoy yourself, but it is no cake walk. Simmons has had a 100% pass rate for the past 4 or 5 years (iirc), so they have found success in challenging students (although it's not too much fun as a student!).Being a guy makes life easier in my opinion. You don't get a break academically, and in clinic you get held to the same or a higher standard) but you don't get involvEd in some of the lateral violence that some female students suffer. It's easy to make friends and find study groups, and people seem to always like to hear a male opinion. There are lots of males on campus with PT program and other grad programs, so it never feels awkard.
  7. by   jrwinney
    Thanks for starting this thread! I am interested to see the responses. And thank you de2013 for your always informative responses.

    I am currently accepted to Simmons Dix ABSN program starting in May and am waitlisted at Regis. I have heard nothing but amazing things about Simmons - but the fact that it is a BSN and not a DE program what the biggest down fall for me. That and the fact the majority of classes are during the day (I currently work at Children's right accross the street though) -- is that correct about class schedule de2013?

    At this point, I am getting sick of the run around with the waitlist at Regis. I keep getting told different things depending on who I ask. I love Simmons program and have had a great experience thus far with their staff - I actually work with the Lifespan Psych professor at Children's and she is amazing!

    I guess the only thing really holding me back from sending in my deposit to Simmons is the ABSN vs. DE part. But, I can always transfer into the NP portion if I wanted to later on.

    Make sure you keep us posted on your decision gregm!
  8. by   BostonFNP
    Most classes are during the day, and they tend to schedule them all on one day so you have the rest of the week to work (though it makes for a long school day).
  9. by   jrwinney
    Quote from de2013
    Most classes are during the day, and they tend to schedule them all on one day so you have the rest of the week to work (though it makes for a long school day).
    Well, that is great to know. I plan on dropping to part-time, so having most classes in one day would be okay with me!
  10. by   gregmRN890
    So glad to hear that it isn't too awkward! Would you be able to give me an example of what a class schedule for a first year would look like? If not, then it's ok!
  11. by   BostonFNP
    You start with Fundamentals in the summer. This is a three hour class that meets one day per week (currently Thursdays I think) plus a three hour lab that meets one day per week. This class sounds like it will be a breeze, but can actually be quite difficult as you need to learn a new language on top of all of your basic skills. This runs from end of June to beginning of August I think.

    FALL I:
    You move on to a more "full" schedule in the fall. This includes class two days per week (currently Tuesday and Thursday I think) plus one additional 8 hour day of clinical. You have Med-Surg I (2 hours/wk), Pathophys (2 hours/wk), Pharm (2 hours/wk), and Health Assess (2 hours/wk).

    Spring continues with a full class load and adds two more days of clinical. You have class one full day/wk plus an evening class on Wednesdays: you take Med-Surg II, Psych, and a Healthcare Systems class. You will have two clinical days for Med-Surg II plus a clinical day for Psych.

    There's a quick snapshot of year one.
  12. by   gregmRN890
    Thanks so much for the snapshot, de2013!

    Can you share how the workload is? Does it seem manageable/doable without going crazy and having a social life/support? Sometimes there are cases (I'm sure many people feel this way) where students do not feel smart enough with particular academic/clinical challenges. I love challenges but when it comes to a milestone of this magnitude, sometimes it takes a little encouragement to stay confident.

    Is the faculty availability apparent, or do you have to "hunt them down" for a particular topic? Also, are they reassuring in helping the students get through the hardships that nursing school brings?

    Thanks so much again for your feedback! It is a great help!

  13. by   BostonFNP
    I would be happy to elaborate on anything, and remember, this is only my experience (may not apply to everyone or anyone)!

    Workload - I my opinion, the overall workload is manageable without significant life sacrifices (at least for pre-licensure, the grad work is more significant time-wise). If you stay up with studying it shouldn't become overwhelming, but be prepared to work and to self-teach (by work I mean do 1-2 hours of work outside for every hour in class). Think of it as a full time job: if you plan to put in 9-5 weekdays, you will never have a problem. If you consider it a one day work week and don't put it effort, you will find it stacks up fast. Remember that each semester builds on the previous: if you cram to pass a test in patho you may struggle the next three semesters because you don't understand the pathology behind the problem. Study to learn not to test. That being said, you must average 74 on exams in preRN, so it can be stressful if you bomb an exam (and I think everyone does at least once in 3 years). It goes up to 83 for NP portion.

    Faculty - Some are outgoing and supportive while others are not as overt. I honestly feel they all want you to succeed. If you are struggling, they will be realistic with you. They will get you setup with a peer tutor. They won't bend rules for you. I have heard of cases were they suggest people do ABSN instead of DE, but from my own experience I have found support when needed. I advise you be proactive; find a faculty and clinical mentor as well as a student above you in the program to guide you, and do it right away. There are some key people that can make your life much easier if you develop a relationship. On the flip side, if you wait till you are in trouble an need a bailout, you may find some cold shoulders. Nursing is about being proactive!

    Hope that helps, shout if you have more questions.
  14. by   gregmRN890
    Thanks for all this man! Such a great help!

    I am feeling really good about this program. The environment seems very welcoming and positive.

    I promise this will be my last set of questions for a while!!

    If you remember, how was the fundamentals in nursing class in the summer? Was it challenging/nerve-wracking as the first nursing class? How do students usually do in this class?

    Also, what were some your highs and lows of the NP program? What were your hardest classes/clinical experiences during your time in the program? As a male in the program, did you feel as if you were treated different as the minority?

  15. by   BostonFNP
    Fundamentals - I think this is a challenging class, especially if you have no prior medical experience as you need to learn terminology, the nursing role, skills and techniques, and basic patho. When I took it, they were trying a hybrid style course and from my perspective it just didn't work. They have since gone back to a regular classroom-based course and I haven't heard of similar problems since. Do the readings and ask questions if you don't understand; much of the NCLEX, as well as your future learning, comes right from Fundamentals.

    Being a guy - I have had nothing but positive experiences from being male, both academically and clinically. I will say one thing: as a guy in nursing you have a little more control over your own destiny because you stick out of the pack. This can be an asset or a drawback depending on what you make of it. Faculty will know your name first and call on you in class, know your stuff and you are off to a great start, or stumble out of the blocks if you don't. Basically if you stick out and you are a good representation you are golden, if you stick out and are a poor representation then you have a uphill battle ahead. Overall,for me, being a guy at Simmons (and in nursing) has been a great thing.