Top Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

Rank School Name Score Tuition Student/Teacher ratio Program count Graduation Rate
1 Holyoke Community College 96.50 $$$$$ 17:1 2 22%
2 Greenfield Community College 95.50 $$$$$ 13:1 2 22%
3 Cape Cod Community College 95.00 $$$$$ 13:1 2 16%
4 Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing 95.00 $$$$$ 7:1 2 100%
5 North Shore Community College 94.25 $$$$$ 15:1 2 18%
6 Berkshire Community College 94.25 $$$$$ 15:1 2 19%
7 Bristol Community College 94.00 $$$$$ 18:1 2 19%
8 Roxbury Community College 93.50 $$$$$ 14:1 2 8%
9 Bunker Hill Community College 93.50 $$$$$ 17:1 2 11%
10 Mount Wachusett Community College 93.25 $$$$$ 13:1 2 16%
11 Springfield Technical Community College 92.75 $$$$$ 17:1 2 20%
12 Massasoit Community College 92.50 $$$$$ 17:1 2 15%
13 Northern Essex Community College 92.25 $$$$$ 20:1 1 19%
14 Massachusetts Bay Community College 92.25 $$$$$ 18:1 2 15%
15 Quincy College 91.75 $$$$$ 18:1 2 18%
16 Quinsigamond Community College 90.50 $$$$$ 18:1 2 16%
Rank School Name Score Tuition Student/Teacher ratio Program count Graduation Rate
1 Simmons College 93.50 $$$$$ 10:1 2 67%
2 Fitchburg State University 92.50 $$$$$ 15:1 8 57%
3 Endicott College 92.50 $$$$$ 13:1 11 73%
4 Elms College 92.25 $$$$$ 13:1 11 78%
5 Boston College 92.25 $$$$$ 15:1 1 91%
6 Worcester State University 92.00 $$$$$ 16:1 8 53%
7 Framingham State University 91.25 $$$$$ 16:1 11 51%
8 Northeastern University 91.25 $$$$$ 14:1 6 82%
9 Salem State University 91.00 $$$$$ 15:1 11 46%
10 University of Massachusetts-Lowell 90.75 $$$$$ 18:1 3 54%
11 University of Massachusetts-Boston 90.50 $$$$$ 16:1 3 42%
12 University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 90.50 $$$$$ 18:1 3 47%
13 American International College 89.75 $$$$$ 13:1 8 38%
14 Regis College 89.75 $$$$$ 12:1 7 45%
15 Curry College 89.50 $$$$$ 11:1 11 45%
16 Laboure College 89.25 $$$$$ 8:1 11 33%
17 Anna Maria College 89.00 $$$$$ 11:1 11 40%
18 Westfield State University 88.50 $$$$$ 17:1 19 63%
19 Becker College 86.25 $$$$$ 16:1 11 31%

Find Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

Through its network of community colleges, Massachusetts makes it easy to earn an associate degree in nursing. There are also plenty of public and private colleges with baccalaureate and graduate degree programs. To find a nursing school in Massachusetts that meets your criteria, try starting with the search tool below.

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MA State Nursing Licenses

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing licenses nurses in the state. This government agency also investigates complaints against healthcare workers under its purview and disciplines those who have committed professional infractions. The state board uses Professional Credential Services (PCS) to facilitate the licensure process. Details about initial licensure requirements are provided below.

Step-by-Step Licensure Procedure

The process for applicants in Massachusetts includes:

  • Submitting an application, including an attestation of good moral character
  • Sending a graduation verification form to the administrator of the nursing program they graduated from
  • Paying a $230 fee
  • Contacting Pearson VUE to register for the NCLEX and paying a $200 exam fee
  • Receiving an authorization to test (ATT) and scheduling to take the exam within three months
  • Passing the exam

Applicants who fail the exam can reapply to both the state and Pearson VUE within one year by resubmitting an application and paying an $80 and $200 fee to each, respectively.

RNs with a license from another state can apply for licensure by reciprocity, which entails:

  • Submitting an application, including an attestation of good moral character
  • Having license verifications sent to PCS
  • Paying a $275 fee

Massachusetts’ Renewal Process

Nursing licenses must be renewed every two years, on even-number years, before the licensee’s birthday. Renewal can be done online and costs $120 for RNs and $180 for advanced practice nurses. There is an additional fee of $57 for late renewals. To be eligible for renewal, nurses must complete 15 contact hours’ worth of continuing education over two years.

Advanced Practice Authorization for MA Nurses

There are five types of advanced practice registered nurses in Massachusetts: nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, psychiatric clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives. Although there are tiny variations in the APRN authorization process per specialty, the general requirements are:

  • Hold an active Massachusetts RN license
  • Graduation from a relevant master’s program that includes advanced coursework in assessment, pathophysiology and pharmacotherapeutics
  • Good moral character
  • National certification in the specialty
  • $150 fee

For more information on earning APRN authorization, check out the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.

Money in Massachusetts: Nursing Salaries

Massachusetts’ nearly 80,000 working RNs make the fifth-best salary in the country. The state’s advanced practice nurses are also well compensated, with Massachusetts-based NPs and nurse midwives in the top 10 earners of any state. To go more in-depth, take a look at the statistics below.

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Massachusetts

Area Hourly Median Wage Annual Median Wage
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA NECTA Division $41.67 $86,670
Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton MA NECTA Division $40.80 $84,860
Worcester MA-CT $40.49 $84,230
Framingham MA NECTA Division $38.66 $80,400
Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford MA-NH NECTA Division $38.00 $79,030
Northwest Massachusetts nonmetropolitan area $37.80 $78,620
Nantucket Island and Martha's Vineyard nonmetropolitan area $37.11 $77,190
Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner $36.70 $76,340
Barnstable Town $36.27 $75,440
Lawrence-Methuen-Salem MA-NH NECTA Division $36.25 $75,410

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Massachusetts vs. National Numbers

Salary
  • Massachusetts
  • National
  • Annual Salary (25th percentile)
  • Annual Salary (median)
  • Annual Salary (75th percentile)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Employment
Total Employment (2014)
2022 occupational outlook
Avg. annual openings (2012 – 2022)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central

Additional Resources

Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses

Nurses who work in public health can join the MAPHN. Its website is a particularly good resource for discovering workshops and webinars.

Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing keeps up-to-date information on licensure requirements and processes for all the state’s nurses.

Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners

The Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners promotes high standards in nursing care, research and education. It is also working to protect the rights of nurse practitioners in Massachusetts through legislative advocacy. It has 10 regional groups throughout the state.

Massachusetts Emergency Nurses Association

The Massachusetts Emergency Nurses Association provides a speaker’s bureau, scholarship opportunities, networking events, mentoring services and employment news to its members. It is the state chapter of the Emergency Nurses Association.

Massachusetts Nurses Association

Members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association have the union support of an organization that has been the voice of the state’s nurses since 1903. The MNA is part of National Nurses United, an 185,000 strong RN union.

Massachusetts School Nurse Organization

An affiliate of the National Association of School Nurses, MSNO has represented the needs of school nurses since 1970. It has 10 regions in the state, allowing for more engaged advocacy and networking.