Massachusetts RN Programs
Evidence-based health care is how Massachusetts has been able to get almost 55% of their nurses to further their education. The state is looking to increase that average over the next few years and is providing incentives to the nursing industry. The number of new jobs annually are increasing by almost 20% per year. Nurses with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing or greater are seeing the benefits of having a higher education with placement options, salaries, and diverse opportunities in specialities. Massachusetts is committed to supporting their nurses in reaching for more.
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Many high school or mature students are searching for a path to a fulfilling and lucrative nursing career. Often, they begin their path by pursuing an ADN or Associate's Degree in Nursing. The degree is actionable with a high school diploma and a competitive GPA; classes are available at many public and private colleges throughout the state. With an ADN degree, students can apply to take the state's NCLEX-RN exam for licensure.
The state has about 20 technical and junior colleges that offer accredited ADN programming for students. With plenty of clinical time, students emerge with a firm grounding in patient care and health management.
What to Look For in an ADN Program in Massachusetts
Choosing between a numbers of well-appointed, well-reviewed ADN programs is a seemingly impossible task. To help students choose, we have outlined some of the core criteria that you'll want to look at, as well as tuition, location and faculty profiles. Read on to find out more:
How can a student know that a college will stand by its mandate for a quality education, or in fact if the diploma they're awarded will carry weight with future employers? These questions are addressed in the process of accreditation - where regulatory agencies review the college or the program in question and provide a status update for whether the college meets their criteria. In Massachusetts, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges reviews and accredits colleges, while the Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
One of the regulatory roles at the state Board of Nursing level is overseeing licensure of any program that wishes to offer an ADN degree. Each program is reviewed carefully on a rolling basis to determine if it meets the board's success criteria. Students should cross check information to make sure that a college's advertised ADN program status matches the BoN status; this information can be found on the Education part of the state nursing board's website.
An ADN program's reputation is carried in part by its program outcomes - that is, how well students do in the program, during licensure and in the workplace. In addition to the aforementioned metrics, here are some more factors that students should research:
- Dollars per student spend
- Job entry statistics
- Licensure data (first/more attempts)
- Faculty turnover
- Student salary information
Boston College, located in Chestnut Hill is home to a forward-thinking faculty and student body. BC's ADN graduates are prepared for the rigors of professional nursing, improving the health care outcomes of their community.
ADN Program Admission Requirements in Massachusetts
Admission cut-offs and requirements are often discussed in the high school counselor's office, and for very good reason. They can actually keep you from entering the program that you wish to attend! While requirements vary, we've included some of the core criteria to help you understand what you'll need to do to enter the program of your choice.
- Students must complete online application
- Students must submit all administration fees
- Students must submit all official transcripts
- Students must provide SAT and/or ACT test scores
- Students must submit to background screening
- Students must provide evidence of immunizations
Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in Massachusetts
Regardless of how cost-effective tuition and program costs are, it's still a big expense for students to cope with - probably the biggest expense of their lives so far. With that in mind, everyone from guidance counselors to financial aid administrators tries to make the payment and fee schedule easily understandable to students. In addition to tuition, a school may separately list costs such as nursing uniforms and equipment, insurance, and housing costs, so it's wise to research fully before committing to a school of your choice.
Bunker Hill Community College in Chelsea clearly outlines the cost of attendance for students. Residents of Massachusetts can expect to pay about $180 per credit. There are additional fees for being a student, which include health insurance, parking permit, nursing equipment and textbooks, as well as housing.
Advantages of ADN Programs
There are many advantages to pursuing an ADN program. Most notably, the smaller class sizes build an atmosphere of community learning. As well, due to the amount of community colleges found throughout the state, the ADN program is accessible to most, if not all students who want a post-secondary degree. Finally, the amount of hands-on learning means that students graduate prepared to enter the nursing workforce, post licensure.
Roughly twice as long as an ADN, the BSN or Bachelor of Science in Nursing can be well worth the extra expense and a student's time. Many students and employers consider a BSN more valuable than its ADN counterpart and award jobs and remuneration accordingly. BSN graduates are also ideally positioned to pursue an MSN degree at some point due to their undergraduate work.
Despite the small size of the state, there are more than 15 BSN degree programs for students.
What To Look For in a BSN Program in Massachusetts
Want more technical and theoretical information than is offered at the ADN level? Pursue your Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Doing so at a 4-year university of your choice will enhance your ethical and clinical knowledge of the nursing paradigm, while preparing you to move upward in leadership as your experience grows.
Northeastern University's Bouvé College of Health Sciences educates their BSN students to provide competent, empathetic and ethical healthcare leadership that caters to the areas local needs.
BSN Program Length in Massachusetts
The average BSN program in the state is 4 years in length with summers off. Students can, however, pursue accelerated programming to shorten the time that they are in university. Applicants who hold their RN license already can apply for the RN to BSN track available at many universities. Additionally, courses are sometimes offered online to increase the flexibility of offerings for busy students.
BSN Program Admission Requirements in Massachusetts
BSN program requirements ensure that the university is able to continually meet its standards of excellence, and help the nursing profession by creating quality candidates for licensure. Criteria do vary from institution to institution, but read on to find out what the most common admission requirements are:
- Negative drug screening
- Background screening with no 'concerns'
- Be a student 'in good standing' regarding fees and forms
- Complete personal statement
- Provide proof of immunization
- Official transcripts must reflect a competitive GPA in core courses
Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in Massachusetts
The rising cost of university balanced against the merit and value of a degree? Sounds like a sticky situation - fortunately, there is lots of help for students who are interested in investigating university costs. Schools make this information as transparent as possible on their websites, outlining the costs of tuition, housing, fees, materials and other costs for students to start planning.
Worcester State University in Worcester has annual tuition costs of about $9,200 and room and board that is approximately $10,000 depending on lifestyle choices. Students are encouraged to fully investigate their options for financial aid each year.
Advantages of BSN Programs
BSN programs position graduates to pursue leadership roles once they get some experience on the hospital floor. With 4 years of schooling, BSN nurses come to the job with extensive theoretical and technical knowledge and often, a drive to be upwardly mobile in their career path.
MSN or Master's of Science in Nursing graduates are able to enter a certain specialty of nursing that allows them to practice the advanced skills that they've gained through experience and classroom time. If an interest in mental health, neonatal or teaching appeals to you, you might want to investigate MSN options in your state.
More than five schools in the state offer MSN graduate studies, both on campus and online. With varied offerings, students can meet the demands of their personal and professional obligations while working toward their graduate degree.
MSN Program Length in Massachusetts
MSN programs are comprised of a select array of courses over 3 - 5 semesters. Generally, there are a small number of didactic classes (teaching and learning) and a large number of clinical rotations in your chosen specialty. Students are encouraged to carefully balance their work and studies in order to meet with success.
MSN Admission Requirements in Massachusetts
MSN programs have academic and professional requirements that vary from program to program. While the criteria do vary from year to year, and between specialties, we've listed some of the core components of a successful entry package in order to help you achieve your goals.
- Application fee (non-refundable)
- Official transcripts in sealed envelope
- Competitive' GPA
- Personal essay
- Resume or CV
- Letters of recommendation from professional associates
- Ability to practice as an RN in Massachusetts
Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in Massachusetts
Fitchburg State University requires students to complete about 40 credit hours to be eligible for graduate degree status, as well as hundreds of hours of clinical work. Per credit hour, tuition is almost $400 for in-state residents. Fees, personal/professional equipment and costs of living are calculated separately.
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Massachusetts nursing licensure regulations either by examination or endorsement require criteria such as:
Candidates should not only complete the application for licensure by examination they must also have:
- Good moral character
- Passport photo- within the past 2 years/signed
- Proof of graduation - submitted by the nursing school
- Final official transcripts - submitted by the nursing school
- Registration for NCLEX exam
By endorsement licensure, you must submit/meet the above criteria and submit these additional documents:
- Verification of licensure from original state obtained - request form or NURSYS (if applicable)
- Proof of passing score on either NCLEX or State Board Test Pool Exam (SBTPE)
- Non-US educated nurses must complete the CGFNS process
Accelerated programs in Massachusetts can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to complete, while direct entry MSN programs can take 23 to 36 months to complete. Both programs are options for prospective students when moving from one BA to that of a nursing degree. Eligibility for admission requirements vary from one program to another, but must be completed before the first day of the degree program. Tuition cost will depend on a few factors including prerequisite courses needed, housing, if program is considered a graduate program, etc., check into the program on interest for further associated costs.
Selecting the best nursing school in Massachusetts can be difficult. To make the process easier first look for a school that supports students towards licensure and beyond. A great way to measure this is through NCLEX-RN "pass rates." We have ranked the top 20 nursing schools in Massachusetts by analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN "pass rates", meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, out of the 42 RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed include schools that offer an Associate in Nursing (ADN/ASN), BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree.
For more information on our top nursing school rankings, see our Methodology Page (https://www.registerednursing.org/rn-ranking-methodology/).
Note: At the time our analysis was conducted, 2014 was the most recent NCLEX-RN pass rates published by the state.
Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts is home to a well-regarded nursing program. Faculty molds nursing students into effective graduates who can facilitate safe, efficient and caring nursing practice. Check out the official Becker College nursing program.
University of Massachusetts Medical School
University of Massachusetts Medical School - Worchester is located between Springfield and Boston. Students pursuing a MSN degree learn about the ethics and practice surrounding healthcare legislation, financing, and policy development to deepen their practice. Learn more by visiting the University of Massachusetts Medical School nursing website.
Worcester State University
Worcester State University is home to an excellent nursing degree program. BSN and MSN students work to perform effectively and collaboratively in ways that will enhance their professional team. Check out the official Worcester State University nursing program.
Fitchburg State University
Fitchburg State University, located north of Worchester, has a long and distinguished history of nursing education. Experienced, caring faculty guide BSN and MSN students to model health promotion and interventions that improve patients' quality of life. Get all the program details by visiting the Fitchburg State University website.
Boston College, in Chestnut Hill, has a widely acclaimed nursing program. Boston College staff model professional behaviors that help students develop accountability, responsibility, ethical and legal conduct in their practice. Visit the Boston College nursing website to learn more.
Northeastern University in Boston strives to impart scientific knowledge and empathy in equal measures in order to help BSN and MSN degree graduates plan, direct, and evaluate patient health and care options. Get all the program details by visiting the Northeastern University website.
Bristol Community College
Bristol Community College in Fall River, Massachusetts is home to a well-regarded nursing diploma program. Experienced faculty help students assume the leadership role in a professional setting in order to guide their nursing practice. Visit the Bristol Community College nursing website to learn more.
Simmons College, located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, is home to an excellent nursing program. Future RNs learn to integrate care-quality and safety data in order to improve individual and population health outcomes. Learn more by visiting the Simmons College nursing website.
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Worcester campus is located in the core of the city. BSN and MSN students who are working toward their nursing degree or master's degree strive to integrate scholarly knowledge and evidence-based practice to meet professional standards. Visit the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences nursing website to learn more.
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
University of Massachusetts - Amherst is home to a prestigious nursing program. With BSN and MSN offerings, faculty goals are to help students develop personal frameworks that assure quality, efficiency and compassion in nursing care. Get all the program details by visiting the University of Massachusetts - Amherst website.
Springfield Technical Community College
Springfield Technical Community College is located in Springfield, Massachusetts. With an acclaimed nursing program, STCC graduates work through their practice to ensure individuals and communities see positive health outcomes. Follow the link to learn more about the Springfield Technical Community College nursing program.
North Shore Community College
Located in Danvers, Massachusetts, northwest of Salem, Massachusetts, North Shore Community College is home to an excellent nursing program. With caring faculty, students grow their experience through scholarship, clinical practice and life experience. Visit the North Shore Community College nursing website to learn more.
Lawrence Memorial/Regis College
Lawrence Memorial/Regis College is located in Medford, Massachusetts. Nursing graduates are welcomed to engage in collaborative practice to improve their own clinical experience and that of their patient outcomes. Learn more by visiting the Lawrence Memorial/Regis College nursing website.
Middlesex Community College
Middlesex Community College is located in Bedford, Massachusetts. With a nursing program extolled by many, students study the health needs of a population in order to model and intervene with preventative health maintenance strategies. Get all the program details by visiting the Middlesex Community College website.
Cape Cod Community College
West Barnstable's Cape Cod Community College is home to a notable nursing diploma program. CCCC graduates are welcomed to the ranks of professional nurses as they can demonstrate ethical practice and professional growth over time. Check out the official Cape Cod Community College nursing program.
Greenfield Community College
Greenfield Community College is located north of Northampton, Massachusetts. Nursing students model effective, caring collaboration with other healthcare teammates as well as patients and communities. Learn more by visiting the Greenfield Community College nursing website.
Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital School of Nursing
Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital School of Nursing is a private institution for nursing education, originally founded in 1897. Brockton is located between Taunton and Boston. Graduates are a welcome addition to clinics and communities alike. Follow the link to learn more about the Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital School of Nursing nursing program.
Berkshire Community College
Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Massachusetts is home to a well-established nursing program. Students develop an understanding of their role in primary healthcare, as well as determining factors for health under current models. Visit the Berkshire Community College nursing website to learn more.
Located in the heart of Quincy, Massachusetts, Quincy College fosters an excellent nursing program. Undergraduates apply their theoretical knowledge in a competent fashion and, once graduated are a welcome addition to many health care teams. Follow the link to learn more about the Quincy College nursing program.
University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth
The University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth is an integral part of the Dartmouth medical community. Dartmouth BSN and MSN graduates are highly sought after for their development as nursing professionals who practice within a clear and compassionate ethical framework. Follow the link to learn more about the University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth nursing program.
Continued List of All RN Programs in Massachusetts
Massachusetts Bay Community College
19 Flagg Drive, Framingham, MA 01702
Massasoit Community College
1 Massasoit Blvd, Brockton, MA 02302
Quinsigamond Community College
670 W Boylston St, Worcester, MA 01606
MGH Institute of Health Professions
36 FIRST AVENUE, BOSTON, MA 02129
Programs: BSN, MSN
Salem State University School of Nursing
352 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970
Programs: BSN, MSN
American International College
1000 State St, Springfield, MA 01109
Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA 01040
235 Wellesley St, Weston, MA 02493
Programs: BSN, MSN
Endicott College School of Nursing
376 Hale St, Beverly, MA 01915
Mt. Wachusett Community College
444 Green St, Gardner, MA 01440
University of Massachusetts - Lowell
113 Wilder Street, Suite 200, Lowell, MA 01854
Bunker Hill Community College
250 Rutherford Ave, Charlestown, MA 02129
Roxbury Community College
1234 Columbus Ave, ROXBURY CROSSING, MA 02120
University of Massachusetts - Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125
1071 Blue Hill Avenue, Milton, MA 02186
Our Lady of the Elms College
291 Springfield St, Chicopee, MA 01013
Northern Essex Community College
100 Elliot St, Haverhill, MA 01830
MCPHS University - Boston
179 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
Programs: Accelerated BSN
303 Adams St, Milton, MA 02186
Anna Maria College
50 Sunset Lane, Paxton, MA 01612
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Bay State College
122 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02116
Westfield State University
577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA 01086
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