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Massachusetts Nursing Programs and Degrees Guide

The following guide to nursing schools in Massachusetts provides you with key information, including several nursing program profiles, on the undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered in the state. The diverse nursing programs in Massachusetts allow students to concentrate in such areas as nursing education, adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, nursing administration services, and adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. Sometimes earning a nursing degree, however, requires more flexibility than afforded by a traditional college program. Many online universities confer bachelor’s and master’s in nursing degrees to students who complete all coursework online.

Schools with Nursing Progrms

  • 20 colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree in nursing.
  • 25 colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • 20 colleges and universities offer a master’s or advanced degree in nursing.
  • 7 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Graduate Schools in 2017 for Master’s in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs: Boston College (#31, MSN; DNP not ranked), MGH Institute of Health Professions (# 63, MSN; #50, DNP), Northeastern University (#79, MSN; #57, DNP), Simmons College (#115, MSN; #127, DNP), University of Massachusetts–Amherst (#45, MSN; #38, DNP), University of Massachusetts-Boston (#59, MSN; #62, DNP), University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth (#147, MSN; #120, DNP), University of Massachusetts-Lowell (#131, MSN; DNP not ranked), University of Massachusetts–Worcester (#79, MSN; #101, DNP), and Worcester State University (#175, MSN; DNP not ranked).

Institutional Facts for Schools with Nursing Programs

  • Highest graduation rate*: Laboure College 100%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Anna Maria College 48%.1
  • Highest net price*: MCPHS University $36,043.1
  • Lowest net price*: Middlesex Community College $4,384.1
  • Annual undergrad tuition range for schools in Massachusetts with a bachelor’s in nursing program: $10,376 – $32,930.2

Following are several profiles of the many undergraduate and graduate nursing programs offered in Massachusetts.

Schools in Massachusetts with Nursing Degrees

Associate’s in Nursing Programs

Becker College
Becker College offers an Associate of Science in Nursing designed to graduate entry-level registered nurses. The program emphasizes building the groundwork for lifelong learning and continuing education. Courses in the curriculum include Essentials of Health Assessment and Promotion; Human Growth and Development; and Anatomy & Physiology. Students also take several nursing courses that are divided between academic learning and lab/clinical practice. Admission to the program, which is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), is competitive and is based in part on preadmission standardized testing. Accepted students may be invited to begin the program in either the fall or spring semester. Other nursing programs at Becker College include PL to BSN and RN to BSN bachelor’s degree completion options, as well as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

Northern Essex Community College
Northern Essex Community College’s Associate in Science in Nursing degree is a daytime program that prepares graduates to sit for the NCLEX-RN and become entry-level registered nurses in a variety of healthcare settings. In addition to classroom-based learning, the program provides in-depth laboratory and clinical experience, as well as modules focused on holistic nursing care in childbearing and childrearing. Required courses include Pharmacology, Issues in Professional Nursing, and Lifespan Psychology. Students must also meet the college’s core academic skills intensive course requirements across six areas of study. The ASN program at Northern Essex Community College is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs

Endicott College
Undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Endicott College must complete between 126 and 128 credits, of both general college and nursing coursework, to fulfill degree requirements. Nursing majors will take such courses as acute care nursing, care of children, community health nursing, and psychosocial nursing. Students complete mandatory clinical practicums at one of approximately 60 affiliated public and private medical facilities in and around Boston. Nursing majors can become involved on campus by joining the Student Nurses Association. Graduates of the program will have the necessary qualifications to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Emmanuel College
Emmanuel College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program consists of 128 credits and generally takes four years to complete full time. Part-time study is also allowed. Core nursing curriculum consists of 36 credits focusing on health assessment, public health and the professional nurse, diversity in healthcare, and health promotion in nursing practice. Students must complete a practicum and a mandatory senior project. General college coursework typically falls into several categories, including social analysis, scientific inquiry, general studies, quantitative analysis, religious thought, and moral reasoning, aesthetic inquiry, and historical consciousness. Prospective applicants may submit application materials online.

Northeastern University
In Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern University offers several nursing programs, including a competitive online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree that allows students to complete the program and enter the workforce in 16 months. Lecture courses in the 67 credit hour program are completed online and supported by hands-on simulation lab training in an academic setting. Also included in the curriculum are clinical rotations with Northeastern University healthcare partners, a list comprising over 100 institutions including some of the best hospitals in the U.S. The ABSN program holds accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and is in good standing with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.

Master’s in Nursing Programs

University of Massachusetts
Graduate students pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at the University of Massachusetts may opt for full time or part time study. Two concentrations are available: adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner and adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. Both concentrations require 45 credits with full-time students generally able to fulfill degree requirements within two full years. Practicums are mandatory. Prospective applicants to the program must possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), must submit GRE scores and three letters of recommendation, and must provide evidence of a current registered nurse’s license in Massachusetts. Applications are due March 15.

Salem State University
Salem State University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program allows students to concentrate in administration of nursing services, nursing education, or adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner. Students must complete between 39 and 45 credits depending on the concentration. The nurse practitioner track prepares students for doctoral study. Graduate students are required to take such core nursing courses as health policy and leadership for advanced practice nursing, foundations of nursing science, and nursing research. Prospective students, who possess a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing, may apply for the university’s Direct Entry MSN program, which generally takes 15 months to complete.

NCLEX Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

The following table allows you to easily compare not-for-profit Massachusetts nursing schools on a variety of factors. Click on the arrows in the top row to sort the table. In addition to seeking a program that leads to licensure in your desired area of nursing, it’s advisable to consider accreditation as a factor in your decision. If you are considering education beyond the associate’s level, know that a degree from a school that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is a common requirement for admission to master’s degree, ADN/LVN and RN to BSN, and specialized certificate programs. You should also check to ensure that the school you are considering is approved or accepted by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/hcq/dhpl/nursing/).

SchoolADN or LVN ProgramBSN ProgramGraduate Nursing ProgramACEN/CCNE Accredited*NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate**Number TakingNCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate***Number TakingNet Price****
Anna Maria CollegeNoYesNoACENN/AN/AN/AN/A$29,942
Bay State CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A57%28N/A
Becker CollegeYesYesYesACENN/AN/A97%36$28,102
Berkshire Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN77%2681%43$8,172
Boston College (BSN)NoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A92%95$26,284
Boston College (MSN)NoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A100%35$26,284
Bristol Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/AN/AN/A$6,306
Bunker Hill Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN90%2178%100$6,842
Cape Cod Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A84%67$8,485
College of Our Lady of the ElmsNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A72%76$22,379
Curry CollegeNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A62%112$31,104
Emmanuel CollegeNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$31,438
Endicott CollegeNoYesYesACENN/AN/A82%39$33,171
Fisher CollegeNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$25,551
Fitchburg State UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A93%43$12,833
Framingham State UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$18,027
Greenfield Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN90%3183%41$9,136
Holyoke Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN90%1077%39$6,914
Laboure CollegeYesYesNoACEN/CCNEN/AN/A60%105$30,675
Massachusetts Bay Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN92%2575%64$11,896
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A76%89$36,043
Massasoit Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A75%124$7,663
MGH Institute of Health ProfessionsNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A76%157N/A
Middlesex Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A85%73$4,384
Mount Wachusett Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN89%3587%105$7,839
Northeastern University (BSN)NoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A91%198$29,779
Northeastern University (MSN)NoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A95%20$29,779
Northern Essex Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN92%2658%52$8,440
North Shore Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN91%3487%55$7,523
Quincy CollegeYesNoNoACEN76%6783%127$11,460
Quinsigamond Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN88%4284%106$6,758
Regis College (MSN)NoYesYesACENN/AN/A90%52$26,560
Roxbury Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN73%1168%47$6,977
Salem State University (BSN)NoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A82%101$15,588
Salem State University (MSN)NoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A89%9$15,588
Simmons College (BSN)NoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A86%192$30,232
Simmons College (MSN)NoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A100%3$30,232
Springfield Technical Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A88%67$7,997
University of Massachusetts-AmherstNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A87%119$19,109
University of Massachusetts-BostonNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A74%216$10,980
University of Massachusetts-DartmouthNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A84%98$15,489
University of Massachusetts-LowellNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A70%99$17,035
University of Massachusetts-WorcesterNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A90%29N/A
Westfield State UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A81%21$15,203
Worcester State UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A98%52$15,203

*The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits ADN/ASN/BSN programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits BSN/MSN/DNP programs.4,5
**NCLEX-PN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.6 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
***NCLEX-RN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.6 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
****The National Center for Education Statistics calculates net price from the total estimated cost of attendance, including includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses, for in-state students minus the average financial aid award (such as grants and scholarships).

Student Reviews

Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
(413) 545-0111
https://www.umass.edu/

Student Review: “The program was comprehensive and devoted to thorough education. Much study focused on potential career and/or vocational opportunities in the field. The faculty was studied and interested in communicating the material in a timely fashion and the handouts were exhaustive and relevant. Highly recommend this program. There are numerous advisors and support in order to take full advantage of the academics and the library is highly representative of medical texts.” – Student at University of Massachusetts
stars-5

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Rd
North Dartmouth, MA 02747
(508) 999-8000
http://www.umassd.edu/

Student Review: “The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth nursing program was the most challenging four years of my life, in terms of education and study. The program was very well structured in regards to exposing its students to a wide variety of content and clinical experience. The classroom assignments were straightforward and reinforced by the instructors through hands on training in the field. As for clinical assignments, I found them to be extremely time consuming. However, upon graduating and beginning a career in a hospital setting, I realized how strong a foundation they were to help me face specific patient cases. I can honestly say that every night I spent awake preparing treatment plans, memorizing flashcards, and studying for tests was time well invested. The nursing program at UMASS Dartmouth requires determination, perseverance, and dedication to become a successful nurse in the healthcare field.” – Student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
stars-4

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. US News & World Report Best Nursing Grad Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/search?program=top-nursing-schools
3. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/?degree=4-year&state=MA&major=nursing&sort=best
4. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
5. American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation/accredited-programs
6. Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/researcher/physical-health/nursing/nclex/2014-performance-summary-for-massachusetts-nursing-educ.html