Simpson pre-nursing programs

by Sarina Rhinehart

Simpson’s pre-nursing program provides students with guaranteed acceptance into Allen College’s 15 month accelerated nursing program, a program that only admits 40 students per year and has on average over 150 qualified students apply. 

Since late last fall, Simpson has had a formal partnership with Allen College of Nursing, located in Waterloo, IA. There are currently four students at Simpson who are interested in applying to Allen College.

Students attend Simpson for three years, completing a major in biology or another approved major, and then start the 15 month accelerated program during May Term of the student’s third year. Upon completion, students receive a Bachelor of Arts from Simpson and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Allen College.

“Hospitals are moving toward requiring the BSN for their nurses,” said Director of the pre-nursing program at Simpson, Pat Singer. Those who have a BSN, instead of an Associate Degree, in Nursing have greater career opportunities and the ability to achieve a higher salary.   

“If you know from day one you are set on nursing, Coe or Luther would be great programs, but what if you’re toying with ‘well maybe I’d like to be a physician’s assistant, or I’m not sure what I want to be’ then Simpson is a good place to go,” Singer said. “You don’t have to lock into any particular field. If we had a pre-nursing major, the students would be locked in, and if they decided at the end of their three years that they weren’t going to go to Allen College, the student would be stuck with a major that has limited value.”

One of the Simpson students looking to apply to Allen College is sophomore Amelia Blair. “When I was looking at colleges, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a major,” Blair said. Once at Simpson, she decided to pursue the nursing field and looked into transferring; however, she decided to stay after being accepted into the athletic training program.

“Yes, it probably would be extremely cheaper to transfer to an actual nursing school and only do nursing, but staying at Simpson will essentially give me a double major, a minor in coaching and the ability to become a more well-rounded individual,” Blair said.

Current students at Simpson interested in applying to Allen College are in various majors including biology, athletic training and sociology. Students can major in anything as long as they meet the admissions requirements for Allen.

Any Simpson alums that meet these requirements are also eligible to apply. Singer said that she has also had several perspective students ask her about Simpson’s pre-nursing program.  

Singer does not think that Simpson will ever get its own nursing program because so many other college already have this program including Grandview, Mercy College of Health Sciences, Coe, Allen and Luther. Simpson is not unique in having a relationship with Allen because other private colleges, including Wartburg and Central also offer this same program.  

“The thing that drew me to the nursing field was the endless possibilities that you can accomplish in this field,” Blair said. “I also enjoy the fact that my job truly works with individuals, and I can ultimately help others. Working in this field can be extremely mentally and physically difficult, but the impact I am making in their lives will not only change their life but ultimately mine as well.”