By Haley Costen
On Oct. 14 the School of Nursing and Health Sciences launched Nursing@Simmons, an online Master of Science in Nursing program.
The program has 175 new students, with 114 of them in the first cohort and 61 in the bridge program, according to Judy Beal, professor and dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.
Simmons is fully approved to market, recruit and enroll students in 41 states. Students in the first cohort came from 37 states, with California, Texas, Georgia, and Maryland being the top providers.
Simmons also hired instructors from 14 states. The teaching model for online is different than on the ground in that there is a course designer, a course lead and multiple section instructors.
According to the program’s website, weekly live online classes are delivered face-to-face by Simmons faculty, with a maximum of 15 students in each live class. Faculty members also offer live, online office hours.
Courses use a highly interactive social networking platform, and open with an introductory video each week.
According to Beal, the program does not work in semesters like the average college class, but instead in eight week periods that have four starts throughout the year. Nursing@Simmons is expected to have five starts in the future.
“It’s so exciting to bring this program, that has a one hundred percent pass rate on the nurse practitioner exam, to other nurses across the country,” Beal said. “With the Affordable Care Act, nurse practitioners are going to play a big role in the future.”