ACOPE- Simmons is a Brick and Mortor School in Boston, most of my friends had not heard of it either as they did not offer an online FNP until Oct 2013 (1st cohort started), I was referred to Simmons by Georgetown (in my opinion if GU is referring students there I'd say that's pretty good sign of their reputation!)...anyway, people choose their schools based on personal reasons. I applied to several, I chose Simmons....my reasoning was I didn't want an online school that was only assignment/paper writing/discussion board type setting. I did it for my BSN, and I did great, learned alot but I wanted some audio/visual and face to face time with instructors for my MSN. I also did not want to have to search for preceptors myself as I've seen on Allnurses the sheer panic of people looking for preceptors and Simmons places you, but I also wanted the flexibility that if some place came up (Which for me the Veterans Affairs down here did) that I could find my own preceptor....Now the North FL/S. GA VA is working together to sign an affiliation agreement for the school and vA to work together down here to place students (I wanted to do clinicals there, i called around found the person in charge and put them in touch with my clinical placement specialist, they are doing all the work now)....Money is a big issue for people as well. Simmons is a Private school like Georgetown and has a price tag to reflect. For me the benefits of what I wanted outweighed the cost of the school. I made a list of pros' and cons for me that helped me make a decision.
1. 100% board pass rate on-campus program
2. same material/instruction as on-campus program
3. pre-recorded lectures to watch each week
4. live weekly classes w/instructor & classmates
5. Reputable school/name
6. Preceptor placement
7. Admission and Student support was always quick to respond to questions
1. Price tag
2. making sure I could schedule live classes around my life/work
Everyone's Pro/Con list will be different, these were important to me personally. I then took the Simmons list and placed it against the other schools...many of my cons for other schools were lengthier (would not release a pass rate (BIG red flag to me!), discussion board/paper writing to "learn the material", no clinical placement help, varying reputation comments/reviews online, and the kicker was most of the schools I talked to the admission reps were either "pushy" like sales people or very closed mouth when asking questions or would not return calls/emails promptly.