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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ADN Programs in Massachusetts

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.

Program Outcomes

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.

BSN Programs in Massachusetts

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 Programs in Massachusetts

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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Getting a Massachusetts Nursing License

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 Nursing Programs in Massachusetts

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.

2018 Best RN Programs in Massachusetts


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/).


Worcester State University

486 Chandler St, Worcester, MA 01602 (508) 929-8000

Worcester State University is home to an excellent nursing degree program, with BSN and LPN to BSN pathways. Enrolled students work to perform effectively and collaboratively in ways that will enhance their future interdisciplinary healthcare team. Check out the official .

Score: 97.08| Programs: LPN to BSN, BSN

Boston College

140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 (617) 552-4925

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 to learn more.

Score: 95.83| Programs: BSN, MSN

Fitchburg State University

160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, MA 01420 (978) 665-3000

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 .

Score: 94.76| Programs: LPN to BSN, BSN

Becker College

61 Sever St, Worcester, MA 01609 (508) 791-9241

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 .

Score: 94.18| Programs: Associate in Nursing

University of Massachusetts Medical School

55 N Lake Ave, Worcester, MA 01655 (508) 856-8989

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 .

Score: 93.66| Programs: MSN

Simmons College

300 Fenway, Boston, MA 02115 (617) 521-2000

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 .

Score: 92.16| Programs: BSN

Northeastern University

360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115 (617) 373-2000

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 .

Score: 91.61| Programs: BSN, MSN

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

19 Foster St, Worcester, MA 01608 (508) 890-8855

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 to learn more.

Score: 91.16

Massachusetts Bay Community College

19 Flagg Drive, Framingham, MA 01702 (508) 270-4000

Located in Framingham, Mass Bay Community College offers an ADN that’s been ACEN-accredited since 1991. This rigorous program’s curriculum consists of classroom lectures, laboratory and clinical practicums. The goal of the ADN program is to guide students toward utilizing ethical values and legal principles in providing patient care. Follow the link to learn more about the .

Score: 91.15| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Bristol Community College

777 Elsbree St, Fall River, MA 02720 (508) 678-2811

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 to learn more.

Score: 90.81| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Westfield State University

577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA 01086 (413) 572-5300

Westfield State University offers a BSN program designed to prepare graduates as generalists in nursing. The curriculum includes a strong foundation in the liberal arts as well as nursing theory and labs. Clinical practice is arranged in a variety of healthcare and community agencies so that students can develop responsible care practices. Follow the link to learn more about the .

Score: 90.80| Programs: BSN

MGH Institute of Health Professions

36 First Avenue, Boston, MA 02129 (617) 726-2947

Boston’s MGH Institute of Health Professions offers both an accelerated BSN program and a direct-entry MSN program to prepare tomorrow’s nursing leaders. These programs arm students with the nursing essentials to provide quality patient care and to advance the field of nursing as a whole. Check out the official .

Score: 89.25| Programs: BSN, MSN

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

285 Old Westport Rd, Dartmouth, MA 02747 (508) 999-8000

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 .

Score: 88.65| Programs: BSN

American International College

1000 State St, Springfield, MA 01109 (800) 242-3142

American International College, located in Springfield, offers a BSN geared toward providing students the knowledge and skills needed to enter the high-demand field of registered nursing. Graduates of the program are able to take on the role of nurse in a compassionate and professional manner. Check out the official .

Score: 87.69

Mt. Wachusett Community College

444 Green St, Gardner, MA 01440 (978) 632-6600

Gardner’s Mt. Wachusett Community College boasts an ADN program designed to help guide students into a fulfilling career as a registered nurse. This ACEN and board-approved degree pathway teaches students to become advocates and educators for both individuals and families to maximize favorable health outcomes. Visit the to learn more.

Score: 87.59| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Middlesex Community College

591 Springs Rd, Bedford, MA 01730 (781) 280-3200

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 .

Score: 87.47| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital School of Nursing

680 Centre Street Brockton,, Brockton, MA 02302 (508) 941-7000

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 .

Score: 87.13| Programs: Diploma

North Shore Community College

1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, MA 01923 (978) 762-4000

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 to learn more.

Score: 86.75| Programs: Associate in Nursing

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Skinner Hall 651 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003 (413) 545-2703

University of Massachusetts - Amherst is home to a prestigious nursing program. With accelerated BSN 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 .

Score: 86.49| Programs: BSN

Curry College

1071 Blue Hill Avenue, Milton, MA 02186 (617) 333-0500

Milton’s Curry College offers an accelerated second-degree BSN program designed for those who already hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. For those wanting to switch over to a nursing career, Curry College’s program can be completed in just 16 months, and their curriculum includes experiential learning and clinical placement opportunities. Learn more by visiting the .

Score: 86.09| Programs: BSN

Continued List of All RN Programs in Massachusetts

#21 Regis College
235 Wellesley St, Weston, MA 02493
(781) 768-7000
Programs: BSN
#22 Endicott College
376 Hale St, Beverly, MA 01915
(978) 927-0585
Programs: BSN
#23 Lawrence Memorial/Regis College
170 Governor's Avenue, Medford, MA 02155
(781) 306-6600
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#24 Greenfield Community College
1 College Dr, Greenfield, MA 01301
(413) 775-1801
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#25 Quinsigamond Community College
670 W Boylston St, Worcester, MA 01606
(508) 853-2300
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#26 Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 538-7000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#27 Berkshire Community College
1350 West St, Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 499-4660
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#28 Our Lady of the Elms College
291 Springfield St, Chicopee, MA 01013
(413) 594-2761
Programs: BSN
#29 University of Massachusetts - Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125
(617) 287-5000
Programs: BSN
#30 University of Massachusetts - Lowell
113 Wilder Street, Suite 200, Lowell, MA 01854
(978) 934-4525
Programs: BSN
#31 Springfield Technical Community College
1 Armory St, Springfield, MA 01105
(413) 781-7822
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#32 Massasoit Community College
1 Massasoit Blvd, Brockton, MA 02302
(781) 821-2222
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#33 MCPHS University - Boston
179 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
(617) 732-2800
Programs: Accelerated BSN
#34 Northern Essex Community College
100 Elliot St, Haverhill, MA 01830
(978) 556-3000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#35 Cape Cod Community College
2240 Iyannough Road, West Barnstable, MA 02668
(508) 362-2131
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#36 Salem State University School of Nursing
352 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970
(978) 542-6000
Programs: BSN, MSN
#37 Bunker Hill Community College
250 Rutherford Ave, Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 228-2000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#38 Anna Maria College
50 Sunset Lane, Paxton, MA 01612
(508) 849-3300
Programs: BSN
#39 Bay State College
122 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02116
(617) 217-9186
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#40 Roxbury Community College
1234 Columbus Ave, ROXBURY CROSSING, MA 02120
(617) 427-0060
#41 Labouré College
303 Adams St, Milton, MA 02186
(617) 296-8300
Programs: Associate in Nursing
#42 Quincy College
1250 Hancock St, Quincy, MA 02169
(800) 698-1700
Programs: Associate in Nursing

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