Hardin-Simmons University Nursing School Review

Founded in 1891 as Abilene Baptist College, Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) is a private university, and has been affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas since 1941. The campus sits on over 200 acres in Abilene.

HSU enrolls almost 2500 students each semester. The school has a student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1, giving students the opportunity to get to know their professors. Though located in a large metropolitan area with a population of 133,000, HSU has a small town feel.

Nursing Programs

The Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing (PHSSN) is a group of schools made up of HSU, Abilene Christian University, and McMurry University. This program is the only one of its kind, and is a model for other programs looking to provide a professional nursing program that is both efficient and of high quality.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Students in this program will graduate with a bachelor’s degree and will be eligible to take the Registered Nurse (RN) licensing exam. Students will take prerequisite classes their first two years, and will be admitted to the nursing program at the beginning of their junior year.

The prerequisites for this program are Introduction to Chemistry I and II, College Algebra or Quantitative Reasoning, Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Life Span Development, Microbiology, Statistics, Introduction to Nursing Skills, and Pathophysiology.

Students are eligible to apply to the program if they have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, have earned at least a C in all nursing core classes and a B in Anatomy and Physiology I and II and Pathophysiology, taken the HESI nursing entrance exam, have two references from nursing instructors, and completed all prerequisites.


This program is for students who have completed an associate or diploma in nursing from an accredited program and have an RN license. Once they enter the program in the fall, students will be able to complete it in two semesters.

RN to BSN students must take the same general education courses as traditional BSN students. To apply to the program, they must be admitted to HSU, and have completed at least 45 semester hours of prerequisites.

Students will need to take the National League for Nursing (NLN) RN Mobility Exam (ACE II). When they successfully complete the exam, they will be awarded 29 semester hours for upper-division nursing classes. Students may also test for credit in Health Assessment, Mental Health, Pharmacology, and Pathophysiology.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

This is a two year Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. Students will complete 44 semester hours of classes, including 20 hours of core classes. FNP students will also complete 778 hours of clinical practice.

To apply for this program, students must have a BSN degree from an accredited nursing school. They will need to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0, a 3.0 GPA in their nursing courses, and GRE scores. Students must also be licensed RNs, have at least one year of clinical practice experience, three letters of recommendation, a completed PHSSN application, and be certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

Education and Administration

This is a two year MSN program. Students will complete 33 semester hours of classes, including 20 hours of core classes. Education and Administration students will also take 180 hours of clinical practice.

To apply to the program, students must meet the same requirements as for the FNP master’s track.

Post-Masters Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) Certificate

This is a two year Post-Master’s program, with an FNP focus. Students will complete at least 21 semester hours of classes.

To be able to apply, students need to have an MSN degree from an accredited nursing school and a current RN license. They will need to meet with the program director to determine the courses needed for their program.

To graduate, they will need to have a GPA of at least 3.0, and finish all designated classes. Students are required to complete this program within six years of being accepted.

Hardin-Simmons University
2200 Hickory,
, TX 79698