With that in mind, the Nursing@Simmons program will award the same degree as the CCNE-accredited on-campus program and will be made up of mostly online work that will include lectures from SNHS faculty in a live face-to-face online classroom, interactive coursework, chats, and discussion seminars.
It will also include a "real-world" component that will allow students to have clinical experiences in or near their own communities. Beal says this clinical placement is a hallmark of Simmons' more than 30 years of success in training family nurse practitioners: She says the program's graduates have had a 100% pass rate on the certification exam "always and forever," compared with the national average of 83%.
Beyond the classroom work, and even beyond the clinical experience offered by the program, Beal says leadership skills are a critical part of both the on-campus and Nursing@Simmons programs.
"The leadership component is really integrated throughout all of the primary care core courses," she says. "We will infuse this throughout the primary care course because nurse practitioners have to be leaders."
With that in mind, the program drives home the importance of professional nurse practitioners being visible in the governance of healthcare delivery systems by doing things such as serving on boards and being active in coalitions of nurse practitioners.