LPN Programs in Massachusetts [2022 Guide]

Updated December 1, 2022

Interested in pursuing a license as an LPN in Massachusetts? Use this guide to find out what to expect when applying for licensure in Massachusetts.

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Healthcare jobs are experiencing rapid growth in Massachusetts, including LPN positions. The state's labor division predicts there will be 790 job openings for practical nurses each year between 2012 and 2022. And with the average age of nurses in Massachusetts sitting at 55, a growing number of retirees will soon leave many positions needing to be filled.

Massachusetts residents and relocating students looking to start or advance their nursing career can receive LPN training at a number of schools across the state. Close to 1,000 LPN students graduated from Massachusetts-based programs in 2014, and with good reason: professionals in this state receive the third-highest annual salary of LPNs in the entire country.

Keep reading for in-depth rankings of Massachusetts' best LPN programs, a guide on how to earn your nursing license, and a look at employment trends within the state.

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Top LPN Programs in Massachusetts

Methodology +

Lpn Programs

The top LPN programs listed in this state's ranking were determined by comparison of three primary, equally-weighted criteria including

  • Student-to-faculty ratio
  • In-state tuition
  • Graduation rate

Additional details for each school were included:

  • Count of programs available
  • Public and not-for-profit schools
  • Normalized on a 100 percent curve

The methodology used for tie-break is as follows...

  • Ties are broken based on lowest average net price for full-time, first-time undergraduates paying in-state tuition (average cost of tuition and expenses after grants and scholarships).
  • If necessary, the lowest in-state tuition rate is used as a second tie-break

#1 LPN Programs in Massachusetts [2022 Guide]

Holyoke Community College

  • Holyoke, MA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

A public school, Massachusetts-based Holyoke Community College provides online and on-campus associate and certificate programs. With technical, subject-specific classes, associate and certificate programs in nursing prepare students to succeed in entry-level roles. Graduates often apply their credits toward a bachelor's degree, which can lead to increased earning potential.

The school's online options eliminate transportation costs for enrollees not based near the campus. Additionally, many online nursing programs allow students to complete coursework at their convenience, which can be ideal for students with personal or professional responsibilities. Before enrolling, prospective applicants should review the institution's available programs to ensure they align with their goals.

Holyoke Community College at a Glance:

Number of Associate Programs: 26

Number of Associate Programs Available Online: 4

Number of Certificate Programs: 29

Number of Certificate Programs Available Online: 5

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,824
Out-of-state
$9,768
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,849
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#2 LPN Programs in Massachusetts [2022 Guide]

Greenfield Community College

  • Greenfield, MA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

With associate and certificate programs in nursing, Greenfield Community College maintains a campus in Massachusetts. With technical, subject-specific classes, associate and certificate programs in nursing prepare students to succeed in entry-level roles. To qualify for higher-paying jobs, many graduates pursue a bachelor's degree.

Enrollees located anywhere can take advantage of the school's online programs. Students who need flexible scheduling options, such as working professionals, often choose online programs as well. Before choosing a program, applicants should consider their personal interests and professional goals.

Greenfield Community College at a Glance:

Number of Associate Programs: 14

Number of Associate Programs Available Online: 4

Number of Certificate Programs: 23

Number of Certificate Programs Available Online: 2

Average Tuition
In-state
$624
Out-of-state
$6,744
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,761
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
13% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#3 LPN Programs in Massachusetts [2022 Guide]

North Shore Community College

  • Danvers, MA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Learners can obtain an associate degree or certificate from North Shore Community College, a public school located in Massachusetts. An associate degree or certificate qualifies graduates for many positions in the nursing field. Graduates often apply their credits toward a bachelor's degree, which can lead to increased earning potential.

Enrollees not based near the Danvers campus can pursue the school's programs online. Online programs typically offer more flexible scheduling options than on-campus programs, which can benefit busy students and working professionals. The institution's admissions counselors can help applicants select the best program for their goals and interests.

North Shore Community College at a Glance:

Number of Associate Programs: 47

Number of Certificate Programs: 41

Average Tuition
In-state
$600
Out-of-state
$6,168
Retention Rate
60%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,388
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#4 LPN Programs in Massachusetts [2022 Guide]

Berkshire Community College

  • Pittsfield, MA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Learners pursuing an associate degree or certificate in nursing should consider Berkshire Community College, a public institution. In addition to on-campus programs in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the school delivers online classes students can attend remotely. The flexibility of online learning often appeals to working professionals who prefer not to relocate.

Associate degrees and certifications introduce participants to the basic ideas and practices used in nursing. These programs often lead directly to entry-level nursing positions. To qualify for more advanced positions and higher earning potential, many graduates of associate or certificate programs pursue a bachelor's degree.

Berkshire Community College at a Glance:

Number of Associate Programs: 17

Number of Certificate Programs: 14

Average Tuition
In-state
$624
Out-of-state
$6,240
Retention Rate
54%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,627
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#5 LPN Programs in Massachusetts [2022 Guide]

Mount Wachusett Community College

  • Gardner, MA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

A public institution, Mount Wachusett Community College offers options at the associate and certificate levels for learners interested in nursing. Based in Gardner, Massachusetts, the school delivers programs online and on campus. Online learning eliminates the need to relocate and allows learners the flexibility to maintain full-time employment.

While earning an associate degree or certificate in nursing, participants examine core concepts in the field. With the knowledge and skills developed during their training, individuals can enter the workforce immediately after graduation. Before entering the workforce, graduates often choose to enroll in a bachelor's program, many of which accept transfer credits from community colleges.

Mount Wachusett Community College at a Glance:

Number of Associate Programs: 39

Number of Associate Programs Available Online: 6

Number of Certificate Programs: 28

Number of Certificate Programs Available Online: 5

Average Tuition
In-state
$600
Out-of-state
$5,520
Retention Rate
56%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,674
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

Finding an LPN Program in Massachusetts

With a variety of community and career colleges offering state-approved LPN programs in Massachusetts, prospective students can find a program that meets their educational, financial and geographical needs. Start your school search below to uncover the perfect match.

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Licensure Requirements for Massachusetts LPNs

Becoming an LPN in Massachusetts is similar to the process used by many other states, but students should still consult these specific mandates to ensure they are eligible to be licensed when the time comes.

Basic Eligibility

Some of the most basic requirements students must meet before enrolling in an educational program include:

  • Holding a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Possessing a social security number
  • Showing proof of up-to-date immunizations
  • Undertaking and passing CPR certification coursework

Education & Training Requirements

Perhaps the most important step in the journey to becoming an LPN in Massachusetts is ensuring a state-approved program is chosen. The Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services lists the 27 programs it considers suitable and also provides a list of unapproved programs that attempt to recruit students. Prospective LPNs should review this list carefully as the Board is quick to state that no graduate of these programs will be eligible for licensure within Massachusetts.

After completing an approved program, candidates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN examination. They must first apply to the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Nursing and wait for an Authorization to Test notification before registering with Professional Credential Services, an independent organization contracted by the Board to process applications. Candidates should note that they must take the exam within 60 days of receiving authorization and be able to pay the $230 application fee. Once the examination is successfully passed, candidates can expect to receive their license within 21 days.

Additional Requirements for Licensure

Aside from basic mandates and educational requirements, candidates must be prepared to meet a few other guidelines in order to practice as an LPN in Massachusetts. The top requirements include:

  • Passing a health and background check
  • Filling out the Criminal Offender Record Information form
  • Completing the Sex Offender Record Information form

Renewal

LPNs in Massachusetts are required to renew their licenses every two years. In order to be eligible for renewal, they must show proof of continuing education credits received during the interim. Current LPNs have numerous options for applying for renewal, including an online form, a mail-in paper renewal application, or a visit to the Board in Boston.

Salary for LPNs in Massachusetts

LPNs working in Massachusetts receive one of the highest salaries of all LPNs in the nation, making it an attractive career for natives and a popular destination for newcomers. While the highest wages are found in Boston, other locales throughout the state offer higher-than-average pay when stacked against comparable cities in other states. Use the tables below to learn about earning potential.

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[Charts]

Massachusetts LPN Employment Trends

While Boston may be the first city most people recall when they think of Massachusetts, the state offers numerous locations for aspiring or current LPNs to find fulfilling roles in a variety of healthcare settings. The tables below highlight some of the best cities and towns and provide data on how these areas are expected to continue growing their LPN workforce in the coming years.

Top Locations for Employment

AreaTotal Employment (2014)
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA-NH11,060
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA NECTA Division6,570
Worcester MA-CT1,670
Springfield MA-CT1,560
Peabody MA NECTA Division880
AreaTotal Employment (2014)
Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford MA-NH NECTA Division850
Lawrence-Methuen-Salem MA-NH NECTA Division720
Barnstable Town620
Framingham MA NECTA Division500
Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton MA NECTA Division440

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Employment of LPNs in Massachusetts
2012 - 17,730
2022 - 21,320
Average Annual Openings 790

Source: Projections Central

Resources for LPNs in Massachusetts

American Nurses Association, Massachusetts Chapter
ANA's Massachusetts chapter supports nurses throughout the state by offering continuing education, legislation updates, scholarships, resources, and a career center for jobseekers.

Continuing Education checklist
Wondering if a particular continuing education credit counts toward Massachusetts Board requirements? Use this checklist to find out.

Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
EOLWD maintains up-to-date research and data about LPN careers throughout the state, including information about hot industries and geographical regions for employment.

LPN License Verification
The Massachusetts Health Care Safety & License Verification website can be used to find out the license status of a particular LPN practicing in the state.

Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing
The BRN serves as the official governing and regulatory body for all nurses throughout the state and provides a variety of helpful information on their official website.

Massachusetts Nurses Association
This member-based organization serves as the voice of nurses in the Bay State, offering information about unionizing, legislation and resources while also providing conferences, advocacy efforts, and educational opportunities.

NCLEX pass rates for programs in Massachusetts
The Department of Health and Human Services provides a list of pass rates for approved LPN programs in Massachusetts reaching back to 2008. This data can be used to help students find a program with demonstrable results in suitable training.

Professional Credential Services
The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing uses PCS to complete all of their licensure procedures. This organization provides a helpful list of information for first time applicants, those who received their degrees in other countries, and details about eligibility.

State-Approved Nursing Programs
The Board of Registration in Nursing provides a full list of the 27 LPN programs they currently approve, along with information about their locations and contact information.

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