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Top 13 Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

best nursing schools in MassachusettsIn the city of Massachusetts, the demand for registered nurses is in high demand. There are over 40 accredited nursing schools in MA that offer nursing programs and degrees in nursing, and we have highlighted the best nursing schools in Massachusetts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from the period of 2012 through 2022, the demand for individuals in the nursing field will grow by 19 percent, which is significantly faster than most other occupations. The area’s major hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities continue to experience a shortage in qualified, licensed nurses, making it more important than ever for individuals to enter into this field.

Licensing Requirements in Massachusetts

Nursing schools in Massachusetts provide students with the educational requirements necessary to sit for the required exam to work in this field. Students will need to complete a nursing program in Massachusetts that is accredited and recognized by the state. Then, students need to sit and complete their NCLEX exam. In addition, individuals who wish to work in the field of nursing, especially as nurse practitioners in Massachusetts or RNs need to also complete an application and criminal background check. The applicant will then need to complete the Determination of Eligibility for Practical Nurse Reciprocity to qualify for licensing.

RN Schools in Massachusetts

Finding an RN or nurse practitioner program in Massachusetts is not hard to do since many of the area’s technical and community courses offer initial educational opportunities. The area’s state and university schools provide a wide range of options as well. The best nursing schools in Massachusetts are those who provide students with the highest level of modernized education, hands-on learning, area experience, as well as specializations. Many of these programs make it as easy as possible for students to complete their education. For example, online associate nursing programs in Massachusetts are becoming more popular than ever. Not all schools are the same, though. Consider these the top nursing schools in Massachusetts as ranked initially by their NCLEX exam pass rates for 2014.

Here Are the Best Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

Rank: 1

Boston College – MSN Program

The William F. Connell School of Nursing is committed to providing students with the ability to become leaders in the nursing industry. The goal of the program is to educate students to become well grounded in humanizing the experience of illness and health with a focus of social justice. The Master’s degree program provides some of the best levels of education and skill in the region.

Perhaps one of the most impressive and beneficial components of this nursing school is its intense clinical experiences. This ensures students are able to be immersed in the field so they have real world experiences. The school offers a wide range of specialization options, numerous modernized programs with the latest technology, and exceptional faculty from which to learn.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion: 56 Credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Those wishing to enroll in the program must complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing and then apply for the Master’s program.
  • Tuition: $1248.00 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: American Nurses Association Massachusetts, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation

Rank: 2

Simmons College – MSN

The Simmons College School of Nursing and Health Science offers an MSN program designed for BSN holders. This program, as well as others offered by the school, are focused on using the latest technology and curriculum approved by the accreditation provider. In addition, students are given the opportunity to work in world-renowned teaching hospitals in the area including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Students who complete this program can work in a variety of areas including family nurse practitioners, private practices, and in a variety of medical settings such as trauma centers and nursing homes. The program is intense and does offer a variety of options for students who want to specialize in areas such as pediatrics or geriatrics.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion: two years or 48 credit hours, with a three-year option.
  • Admission Requirements: Students enrolling in this program must have completed their Bachelor’s degree in Nursing or an associated area of study.
  • Tuition: $1246.00 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: 3

Worcester State University

The Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Nursing Department at Worcester State University has one of the longest records of providing high-quality nursing education to students. The program is an evidence-based learning program with a growing number of specialty options. The goal here is not only to prepare students for the diverse work environment and medical needs but also to develop true leaders and managers within the nursing industry. The program links theory and practice along with hands-on learning opportunities in a number of local world-class facilities.

The school also has a state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab and offers students clinical practice opportunities in the area. The organization also hosts a Sigma Theta Tau chapter, which is the international honor society.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion:  2 to 4 years depending on selected track
  • Admission Requirements: Three undergraduate and graduate programs exist for students to select from, all requiring admission into the school as a first step. Students then must take prerequisite courses and formally apply to the program.
  • Tuition: $150 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: 4

Becker College AD

Becker College offers both a pre and a post-licensing nursing program to prepare students to become RNs. Students learn a curriculum focused on compass, dynamic skill set, and competent healthcare. The programs are geared towards all levels of education, including students who want to go back to school to further their education into leadership and administration positions. Both associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs are available.

The Nursing ASN program is a two-year licensing program that allows students to move into their desired field. The program, which is flexible in terms of curriculum, provides a hands-on learning experience, outstanding faculty, and a widely flexible schedule to accommodate the student’s existing schedule.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion: 2 years
  • Admission Requirements: To enroll, students will need to complete enrollment into the college as a first step and then take prerequisite courses as needed. Many students enter right into the nursing program after taking an exam for basic skills.
  • Tuition: $16250.00 per semester
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN)

Rank: 5

Northeastern University – MSN

Northeastern University’s Bouve College of Health Sciences is a leader in its industry within the state. The school provides an evidence-based program that is culturally diverse and dedicated to providing students with the highest level of education and most advanced curriculum possible. The program is geared towards teaching students not only to provide medical care but also to become leaders in international healthcare including as scholars and researchers.

Northeastern University’s MSN program offers a wide range of options for students to select from for their course of study. This includes programs such as Adult Gerontology Acute Care, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, US Army Grade Programs for Anesthesia Nursing, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner programs. These diverse programs incorporate the most modern techniques and procedures while also providing the student with an ongoing desire to learn and grow in the field.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion: 2 to 4 years
  • Admission Requirements: Students must enroll into the college by meeting all requirements. To gain entry into the MSN program, students must complete a Bachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited school.
  • Tuition: $1335.00 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing

Rank: 6

Fitchburg State University

For students interested in beginning their education in nursing, the Fitchburg State University Nursing Department offers a comprehensive program. It is a long time distinguished program that provides contemporary nursing to students. The program is flexible, designed to be accommodating to students of a wide range of cultural backgrounds, and is focused on advanced nursing studies.

Undergraduate and graduate options exist. The school also offers a variety of distance learning opportunities. The school is well equipped with a health assessment lab, a state of the art clinical studies and simulation lab, home care setting lab and numerous program-specific options for students.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion: 4 year Bachelor program.
  • Admission Requirements: Students must gain entry into the college itself. Then after completing 1 to 1.5 years of education and prerequisites in math and science, students can enter into the nursing program after applying to do so.
  • Tuition: $413.97 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: 7

Brockton Hospital

The Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital School of Nursing is a diverse, hands-on learning experience aimed at providing students with an incredible level of education in the field of nursing. The school offers a wide range of nursing curriculum options as well as numerous specialization options. As a private coeducational institution of nursing, it has some of the most advanced educational options available. It is a prestigious school that can be difficult to gain admittance into.

Students will find this is the only hospital-based nursing program in the region. It has graduated over 2,000 nurses in its history. The school offers flexible day and weekend as well as evening and online programs. The curriculum is designed to offer the versatility students need who are going back to school or looking to complete their education in a secondary field.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion:
  • Admission Requirements: Students may apply with high school transcripts, SAT or MCAS scores, and through a formal application into the program. Students should have a B average or above in high school algebra and biology and must be a permanent resident of the country.
  • Tuition: $25813.00 per year
  • Accreditation:  Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: 8

Regis College

Regis College School of Nursing and Health Sciences is a leading, Catholic-based educational program designed for individuals with all levels of nursing education. Program options are available for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students with specializations in fitness, public health, social work, health informatics, and many other areas. The program is linked to the Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where students often gain additional training and hands-on learning experience in a working hospital setting.

This school offers a designated clinical resource and simulation center and is one of the area’s leading schools for its honor society. The school teachings advanced nursing methods and offers students various options for specializations.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion:
  • Admission Requirements: Students will need to apply to the college and meet admission requirements. Most students will need to apply with a “B” average or higher on prerequisites to qualify for the nursing program.
  • Tuition: $37540.00 per year
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: 9

Bristol Community College

The Bristol Community College Nursing Program, first established in 1968, has three campuses for students to attention and offers a number of entry-level nursing programs. These individuals will be able to complete most of their education on campus, in local medical facilities for hands-on learning, and through online or distance learning opportunities. Students can complete a two-year program and earn an AS in nursing, which allows the student to sit for the NCLEX-RN program.

Students who begin their education here can easily transfer to other programs if they desire to for continuing education or additional, more focused nursing training.  This includes taking the LPN to RN Bridge Program or the MassTransfer Program. The school offers a variety of advanced degree options in this manner. Onsite, the school offers a high-quality lab, simulation, and various high-level faculty members.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion: 2 year program
  • Admission Requirements: Students wishing to enroll in this somewhat difficult to get into program will first need to apply with high school or other qualifications. Students must earn a C grade or higher on all nursing related courses to continue studies throughout their program admission.
  • Tuition: $179.00 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: 10

University of Massachusetts – Worcester

The Graduate School of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Medical School – Worcester is an advanced, high-paced and research-based program with some of the most cutting-edge technology available. These high-level professors are some of the leaders in their industry and they offer a wide range of educational programs to prepare students for the world of more advanced education in the nursing field.

The most common course is the Masters of Science in Nursing, which has held accreditation for more than ten years. The school also offers Inter-professional studies, DNP programs, and PhD programs. The student will learn more leadership and managerial skills in these more advanced programs, as well as learn how to positively impact the industry.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion: 2 to 4 years depending on program
  • Admission Requirements: As advanced educational programs, students must have obtained at least a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing or a related medical field prior to applying for the graduate program. Program slots are limited, so high-level education and accreditation can make.
  • Tuition: Tuition and fees are waived for graduate students
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: 11

Salem State University

The Salem State University School of Nursing program is diverse, offering students from all backgrounds key opportunities to explore their degree and career. The program options begin with the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a traditional BSN program for four years. The school also offers a Master of Science in Nursing, MSN, for those who are already a registered nursing looking to progress their education further. MSN program options include nursing education, leadership in health systems, or adult-gerontology, nurse practitioner, and primary care provider.

The school of nursing here has high standards and has the ability to maintain a leading edge in the field because of its importance in the community. Students will learn in a number of onsite locations, depending on the type of focus they enroll in for hands-on education. Additionally, the school offers a high-tech simulation lab for the most advanced curriculum and training.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion: 4 year bachelor’s, 2 year master’s
  • Admission Requirements: Students must gain admission into Salem State University as a first step. Students will take science, math, and prerequisite health-based programs during their initial year prior to applying directly to the nursing program.
  • Tuition: $4400.00 per year
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing

Rank: 12

MGH Institute of Health Prof – MSN

The MGH Institute of Health Professions offers an MSN program designed to help students to become the very best nursing professionals they can be. The school offers direct entry programs in for a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing. It also offers several post-professional degree paths, which are avenues in becoming a nurse practitioner, including a Master of Science Nursing (Post-RN), Doctor of Nursing Practice, Mind Body Spirit Certificates, Certificate of Advanced Study, and Global Health Certificates. This versatility makes this a stand out school for all types of nursing education.

A few key things help this school stand out including the fact that it ensures all nursing students are mentored by high-level practitioners and researchers in the field. About 80 percent of its faculty maintain a doctoral degree and many publish regularly. Students receive clinical rotation placement within just the first few weeks of their nursing education. The school partners with numerous hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and Children’s Hospital Boston. This provides some of the best in high-level, hands-on training.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 88%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion: 2 to 4 years
  • Admission Requirements: After meeting qualifications for admittance into the college itself, students will apply to the nursing program during their first or second year at the school. Admission requirements can be strict and competition can be significant.
  • Tuition: $1170.00 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing

Rank: 13

Springfield Tech Community College

Springfield Technical Community College offers a general nursing program that has received significant approval for its ability to provide high-quality nurses. The school offers an Associate Degree in Nursing that helps prepare students for careers as registered nurses. Students who complete the program will be able to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.

The school’s curriculum is extensive and includes a nursing skills lab, participation in numerous patient simulation experiences, and hands-on learning opportunities. In addition, students will participate in clinical rotations each semester. These allow the student to enter into area hospitals and health care facilities in the local community to gain real life experience. These take place in Pioneer Valley and Springfield. The school offers a day time program, but students can complete their clinical experiences in the evenings and weekends as well for more flexibility.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 88%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours to Completion: 2-year program
  • Admission Requirements: Students with a high school diploma or the equivalent can apply for admission into the nursing program. Maintaining a C or better on all courses is a requirement.
  • Tuition: $282.00 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing

From top RN schools to some of the best options in a nurse practitioner program in Massachusetts, there is no doubt the education desired for a nursing career is present in the state. These schools were ranked based on NCLEX-RN pass rates for the 2014 test year. Student experiences, school technology, and overall diversity in options also helps rank these programs.

Is your school offering a diverse, innovative nursing program? Get listed as one of our local or online nursing programs in Massachusetts by contacting us today.

Are you looking for the top nursing schools in Massachusetts? Check out these local and online nursing programs in Massachusetts ranked by NCLEX pass rates.