January 16, 2022

Overview of Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

  • There are 40 nursing schools in Massachusetts. The CCNE accredits 21 nursing schools and the ACEN accredits 31 schools in Massachusetts.
  • On average, attending an RN program in Massachusetts will cost you between $2,557.00 and $32,860.00 per year.
  • In Massachusetts, the average undergraduate student borrows between $4,725.00 and $14,000.00 per year.
  • Typically, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) will take between 18 to 24 months to complete, and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) will take about 4 years to complete.
  • The average, the NCLEX passing rate range for Massachusetts ADN students is between 69.00% and 97.11%.
  • On average, the NCLEX passing rate range for Massachusetts BSN students is between 80.89% and 92.67%.
  • The average annual salary for a registered nurse in Massachusetts is between $52,080 to $111,220 a year.
  • Registered Nurses (RN) throughout the country and in Massachusetts can expect a favorable job growth of 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 which much faster than the average for all occupations.

Online BSN Programs Liked by Registered Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

About Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

The role of a professional nurse in Massachusetts is reliant on dedication of being a lifelong learner and the ability to apply what you learn to your career. The field of nursing is a distinct field that requires technical knowledge along with a comprehensive approach to nursing research. There are many traits that can be learned through experience on the job. However, this is not the only way information can be obtained. There are other ways to expand your knowledge and strengthen your skills as a nurse. The best way this can be accomplished is by obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing.

In our Massachusetts RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Massachusetts RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of Massachusetts, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Massachusetts RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs2024
Average NCLEX Passing Rate85.78%86.59%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range69.00% to 97.11%80.89% to 92.67%
Average Net Price$11,828.75$23,138.13
Average Net Price Range$2,557.00 to $29,282.00$10,575.00 to $32,860.00
Average Student Loan$9,713.30$21,516.91
Average Student Loan Range$3,650.00 to $27,250.00$13,500.00 to $27,374.00
See Additional DetailADN Rankings for Massachusetts StateBSN Rankings for Massachusetts State

Best Ranked RN Programs in Massachusetts

Best Nursing School Programs State

To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Massachusetts and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 19 ADN degree programs and 8 BSN degree programs in Massachusetts. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Massachusetts to provide our state rankings. View our methodology

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Best Nursing Schools (BSN) in Massachusetts

The knowledge gained while working in the nursing field and experience with patient care can only benefit from the advancement of nursing information. Completing a BSN degree program can do this. The curriculum for most BSN programs help experienced nurses will further their knowledge in leadership, management, and professionalism can assist nurses in these demanding roles. Courses in typical BSN curriculum in Massachusetts may include:

  • Nursing research, clinical studies, and theories
  • Advanced studies in the management of complex systems and health issues
  • Clinical experiences
  • Pathophysiology for nurses
#1

Simmons College

  • 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA - 02115-5898
  • (617) 521-2000
  • Grade: (A) 95.37%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN, MSN to DNP
Simmons College is a private school in Boston, MA that was founded in 1899. Though all undergraduate programs are women-only, they do offer co-educational graduate programs. The nursing school offers a BSN program as well as a BSN to MSN program. The traditional four year program is centered around compassionate
View More →
#2

Becker College

  • 61 Sever St, Worcester, MA - 01609-2165
  • (877) 523-2537
  • Grade: (A) 93.07%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
Becker College is located in Worcester, MA. Their nursing division was established in 1982, and today they offer 3 ACEN accredited programs: an ADN program, a BSN program, an RN to BSN program as well as an LPN advanced placement option. The ADN program is a two-year track that fosters
View More →
#3

Boston College

  • 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA - 2467
  • (617) 552-8000
  • Grade: (A) 90.93%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Award Levels: Accelerated MSN, Bachelor, BSN to PhD, MSN, Post Master's NP Certificate, RN to MSN
Boston College is a private Jesuit university in Chestnut Hill, MA. The Connell School of Nursing offers a CCNE accredited BSN program, a BSN to MSN program, as well as an MSN, DNP and PhD program. The four year bachelor’s program is an immersive, traditional college experience where students are
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Best Nursing Schools (ADN) in Massachusetts

RN programs in Massachusetts typically are offered with a variety of options; programs may be offered on-campus, online, or as a hybrid format.  Some RN programs are reserved specifically for students graduating with their LPN from that college, so space is limited.  Colleges and universities in Massachusetts may offer all types of nursing options, from practical nursing to BSN nursing, making it easy for students to continue their education under one institution.

#1

Regis College

  • 235 Wellesley St, Weston, MA - 02493-1571
  • (781) 768-7000
  • Grade: (A) 97.81%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor, MSN, Post Master's NP Certificate
#2

Bristol Community College

  • 777 Elsbree St, Fall River, MA - 02720-7395
  • (508) 678-2811
  • Grade: (A) 96.63%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Bristol Community College is located in Fall River, MA. They offer a two-year ACEN accredited ADN program that has two different curriculum delivery options. Students can opt for a traditional education experience through face to face classroom learning, or they have the EHealth option, which is a hybrid model that
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#3

Holyoke Community College

  • 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA - 1040
  • (413) 552-2000
  • Grade: (A) 94.63%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
#4

North Shore Community College

  • 1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, MA - 01923-0840
  • (978) 762-4000
  • Grade: (A) 91.85%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
#5

Becker College

  • 61 Sever St, Worcester, MA - 01609-2165
  • (877) 523-2537
  • Grade: (A) 91.48%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
Becker College is located in Worcester, MA. Their nursing division was established in 1982, and today they offer 3 ACEN accredited programs: an ADN program, a BSN program, an RN to BSN program as well as an LPN advanced placement option. The ADN program is a two-year track that fosters
View More →
#6

Bunker Hill Community College

  • 250 New Rutherford Ave, Boston, MA - 02129-2925
  • (617) 228-2000
  • Grade: (A) 90.89%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
#7

Middlesex Community College

  • Springs Rd, Bedford, MA - 01730-9124
  • (978) 656-3200
  • Grade: (A) 90.22%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
#8

Quinsigamond Community College

  • 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester, MA - 01606-2092
  • (508) 853-2300
  • Grade: (A) 90.15%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Additional Listings for Massachusetts Nursing Schools

Grade
University
Massachusetts Rank
Degree
88.30 Greenfield Community College 21 ADN
88.26 Northern Essex Community College 22 ADN
88.11 Mount Wachusett Community College 23 ADN
87.96 Massasoit Community College 24 ADN
86.41 Bay State College 26 ADN
85.11 Berkshire Community College 27 ADN
84.22 Springfield Technical Community College 28 ADN
83.41 Roxbury Community College 29 ADN
82.56 Cape Cod Community College 30 ADN
81.56 Laboure College 31 ADN
46.30 Quincy College 32 ADN
87.59 Regis College 4 BSN
86.78 Salem State University 5 BSN
86.30 Northeastern University - Accelerated 6 BSN

Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Massachusetts

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Nurse Practitioner Programs in Massachusetts

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Massachusetts  and research schools in Massachusetts offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:

Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Online NP Programs Liked by Massachusetts Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Massachusetts  RN Licensing Requirements

Massachusetts State Board of Nursing

Board of Registration in Nursing
239 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 973-0900 
Fees:
Initial licensing fee, RN: $230
License renewal (every two years), RN: $120

Continuing Education Requirements:
RNs and LPNs: 15 contact hours every renewal period

RN Licensure by Exam

Candidates must submit two applications upon graduation: one to Pearson VUE (the company that administers the NCLEX-RN) and the other to the Massachusetts Board. The application itself costs $230 and the NCLEX registration costs $200. The steps should be completed simultaneously. When the applicant provides an email address to Pearson, they will receive an Authorization to Test within a few days. Exams are computer based and can be completed when it is most convenient to the applicant. If the candidate is unsuccessful in passing the NCLEX exam, there is a 45-day waiting period before retaking it.

RN Licensure by Endorsement

Nurses who have been granted licensure in one of the other 50 states may apply for licensure by endorsement. The application for licensure by endorsement is $275 and license verification must also be submitted.

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

International candidates should have high school education that is separate from their nursing school education. Registered nurses are eligible to apply for licensure when they have passed a Qualifying Examination Certificate or obtained a Visa Screen Certificate. Canadian candidates are able to submit evidence of graduating from a Board approved program but they will still be required to pass the NCLEX exam. There is a $50 fee for Canadians who wish to pursue this route. International candidates must demonstrate English proficiency and there are many exams available to choose from. Lastly, international graduates will submit a Certificate of Graduation to PCS.

RN Salaries in Massachusetts

There are several opportunities for nurses who have completed a BSN degree program. A majority of the specialty hospitals in the area require a BSN to qualify for the position. As a new graduate of a program nurses may find expanded opportunities such as:

  • Mental Health RN who visits patients in their homes
  • Wound and ostomy nursing
  • Administration or executive roles in healthcare facilities

Nurses who have obtained a bachelor’s degree are preferred over a nurse who has not in most cases. There are a few hospitals in Massachusetts who are pushing to only hire nurses with a BSN.

Massachusetts Registered Nursing Salaries

Boston has, by large, the largest amount of registered nurses employed than any other metropolitan area in Massachusetts. The Cambridge-Quincy metropolitan area has the highest annual median wage along with the highest hourly mean wage. This is considering some estimates that were not released.
Source: BLS, Department of Education, State Board of Nursing, Nursing School Websites.

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