Simpson is working with Allen College in Waterloo, Iowa, to form an agreement to allow Simpson students to graduate with a nursing degree.
The program will allow students to graduate with two degrees. During the first three years at Simpson, students will major in biology. For the fourth year the students will transfer to Allen College and graduate with a bachelor of science in nursing.
“It will be a program that prepares students in a general biology format here (at Simpson),” said Jim Thorius, vice president for student development and dean of students. “The last year would be an intensive year of clinicals in the nursing area at Allen.”
Over the last few years Simpson has been looking ahead to see what jobs are in demand and how Simpson can offer more programs for students.
Thorius said he has been a big supporter of the nursing program.
“We have to pay attention to the marketplace,” Thorius said. “The health profession in nursing is in demand.”
Simpson and Allen College will be signing an agreement within the next couple weeks said Steven Griffith, senior vice president and dean for academic affairs.
This agreement has been a lengthy one taking nearly five years to complete Griffith said.
“It’s an agreement that says, ‘Students who are at Simpson apply to Allen College and then at the end of their time here they can go to Allen College and within a specified time take these classes,'” Griffith said.
Griffith said this program will make it easier for students and reduce the amount of time spent in college. This will be something that admissions will share with prospective students who may find it appealing about Simpson.
“It’s not unusual for us to have our admissions folks in contact with prospective students who want to pursue a nursing degree but would like to come to Simpson,” Thorius said.
In previous years Simpson has had to tell students that Simpson doesn’t offer a nursing program.
“I think it will open the door for students who want to pursue a nursing degree and also have a real desire or interest in being at Simpson and hopefully recruit more students for us,” Thorius said.
Students who come to Simpson wanting to be doctors who then discover that isn’t the right route have the option to stay in medicine by going through the nursing program.
“I think it will benefit students like myself coming into Simpson as pre-med students who decide med school isn’t for them,” sophomore Lex Lisle said.
In the past, Simpson hasn’t had an option for students like this and students have had to leave Simpson to pursue a nursing degree.
“Every year I see students come in to withdraw who are leaving us to go to a nursing program at some other institution,” Thorius said. “Now we’ll have a real chance for those students to stay here and finish their Simpson degree and get their nursing degree through Allen.”
One thing students need to be aware of is the grade requirement.
“You have to have a C average or better unlike Simpson where you have to have a C- average or better,” Lisle said.
Students who are unaware of this requirement could be affected by it.
“They need to make students aware that they need to have a C average because that could affect students being accepted into the program,” Lisle said.
Griffith believes the nursing program will bring students to Simpson who will come and join the campus community.
“We are very excited about the opportunity,” Griffith said. “We know that the health care industry is growing like crazy, and students at Simpson ought to think about that as a future career option.”