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 Programs2025
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 Ranked RN Programs in MassachusettsTo 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 9 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


Grade
Degree
University
MA Rank
US Rank
City
Type:
Offered As:
Accreditor(s):
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97.81 ADNRegis College240 WestonPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
96.63 ADNBristol Community College482 Fall River

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 combines face to face classroom learning with online components.

The traditional program does use a flipped classroom approach, which entails that students will learn the class material beforehand through online lectures and/or readings, and classroom time is used to deepen that knowledge through discussion. Students will have various options for clinical experiences in both Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. BCC’s program takes a competency-focused approach to nursing education, and strives to prepare nurses who can meet and exceed their community needs.

There is an LPN to RN bridge program for those who have graduated within 3 years from schools BCC has partnered with.

PublicCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
94.63 ADNHolyoke Community College8162 HolyokePublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.85 ADNNorth Shore Community College13282 DanversPublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.48 ADNBecker College15297 Worcester

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 a close-knit learning environment to prepare students to deliver quality care in various healthcare settings. Licensed Practical Nurses may be eligible for advanced placement standing. The four-year BSN program is for those students who just graduated from high school. It incorporates a core foundation in the liberal arts with nursing science and clinical work. For busy nurses looking to advance their credentials, Becker College’s RN to BSN program is completely online. This flexible curriculum is compatible with full-time work schedules.  This is a four-semester program that can be completed at any desired length of time (up to 5 years).

Students studying on campus will benefit from the simulation lab in a collaborative environment. The nursing school at Becker College is highly competitive and offers a caring and highly qualified community of faculty and students.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusACENSee School Details
90.89 ADNBunker Hill Community College16322 BostonPublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.22 ADNMiddlesex Community College19347 BedfordPublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.15 ADNQuinsigamond Community College20350 WorcesterPublicCampusACENSee School Details
88.30 ADNGreenfield Community College21414 Greenfield

Greenfield Community College is located in Greenfield, Massachusetts.  Greenfield Community College has been offering their ADN nursing degree since 1963 – and are proud to boast that they are the first community college-based ADN in Massachusetts!

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
88.26 ADNNorthern Essex Community College22415 HaverhillPublicCampusACENSee School Details
88.11 ADNMount Wachusett Community College23424 GardnerPublicCampusACENSee School Details
87.96 ADNMassasoit Community College24430 Brockton

Massasoit Community College is located in Brockton, Massachusetts.  They offer a “nurse education” program, which is an associate’s degree program and an LPN to Advanced program, which is also an associate’s degree program, both preparing the student for a career as an RN.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.41 ADNBay State College26484 BostonPrivate For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACENSee School Details
85.11 ADNBerkshire Community College27513 PittsfieldPublicCampusACENSee School Details
84.22 ADNSpringfield Technical Community College28534 SpringfieldPublicCampusACENSee School Details
83.41 ADNRoxbury Community College29553 Roxbury CrossingPublicCampusACENSee School Details
82.56 ADNCape Cod Community College30572 West BarnstablePublicCampusACENSee School Details
81.56 ADNLaboure College31589 MiltonPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusACEN, CCNESee School Details
46.30 ADNQuincy College32699 QuincyPublicCampusSee School Details
95.37 BSNMass College of Pharm-Boston-Accelerated1126 BostonPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
95.37 BSNSimmons College1126 Boston

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 and skillful applications of nursing principles. With simulation labs, a core curriculum and a clinical education program, students at Simmons will be immersed in a full-time, supportive experience.

For adult learners they offer a special program: the Dorothea Lynde Dix Scholars Program, which is a BSN track that is to be completed in 16 months or two years. This program is open for those who are 24 or older. The 16 month option is ideal for those with a previous non-nursing bachelor’s degree who want to complete the program at an accelerated pace. The 2 year option is for those desiring a part-time program that does not require the student to hold a previous bachelor’s degree.

The school also offers a unique mentoring program entitled the Dotson Bridge and Mentoring program which is tailored to the needs, experiences, and prospective success of Native American, Asian, Latina, and African American students who are part of the nursing program.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
93.07 BSNBecker College2233 Worcester

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 a close-knit learning environment to prepare students to deliver quality care in various healthcare settings. Licensed Practical Nurses may be eligible for advanced placement standing. The four-year BSN program is for those students who just graduated from high school. It incorporates a core foundation in the liberal arts with nursing science and clinical work. For busy nurses looking to advance their credentials, Becker College’s RN to BSN program is completely online. This flexible curriculum is compatible with full-time work schedules.  This is a four-semester program that can be completed at any desired length of time (up to 5 years).

Students studying on campus will benefit from the simulation lab in a collaborative environment. The nursing school at Becker College is highly competitive and offers a caring and highly qualified community of faculty and students.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusACENSee School Details
90.93 BSNBoston College3302 Chestnut Hill

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 fully engaged with the campus community and receive a robust liberal arts foundation.  The nursing program focuses on the graduate’s ability to apply their skills and knowledge in all kinds of environments and circumstances.

Boston College has a vibrant community of students that participate in competitive sports, organizations, international study, and social justice initiatives. Nursing students are no different; they are encouraged to partake in all aspects the college experience, which BC emphasizes as a crucial component of undergraduate education. Students enrolled in the BSN program may apply for the BSN to MSN track after sophomore year. If eligible and accepted, they will be allowed to take graduate courses during their final 2 years.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
87.59 BSNRegis College4386 WestonPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
86.78 BSNSalem State University5406 SalemPublicCampus, HybridACEN, CCNESee School Details
86.30 BSNNortheastern University - Accelerated6414 Boston

Northeastern University is located in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Bouve College of Health Sciences offers a BSN program, an online RN to BSN program and an accelerated BSN program.  The accelerated BSN program is designed for students already holding a bachelor’s degree.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details

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.

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.
Area nameEmploymentHourly median wageAnnual median wage
Barnstable Town, MA2,540$36.27$75,440
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH59,660(8)-(8)-
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division43,460$41.67$86,670
Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, MA NECTA Division2,220$40.80$84,860
Framingham, MA NECTA Division3,010$38.66$80,400
Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, MA-NH NECTA Division1,520$31.64$65,810
Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, MA-NH NECTA Division2,190$36.25$75,410
Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner, MA1,130$36.70$76,340
Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, MA-NH NECTA Division2,160$38.00$79,030
New Bedford, MA1,680$34.49$71,740
Peabody, MA NECTA Division2,760$34.28$71,300
Pittsfield, MA1,050(8)-(8)-
Springfield, MA-CT6,890$34.77$72,330
Taunton-Norton-Raynham, MA NECTA Division640(8)-(8)-
Worcester, MA-CT6,670$40.49$84,230
Nantucket Island and Martha's Vineyard nonmetropolitan are210$37.11$77,190
Southwest Massachusetts nonmetropolitan area170$32.33$67,250
Northwest Massachusetts nonmetropolitan area520$37.80$78,620
North Central Massachusetts nonmetropolitan area330$27.80$57,820
Source: http://www.dol.gov/, 2014 Data