nursing schools in massachusetts

The Top 8 Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

Choosing a school among the many nursing schools in Massachusetts (MA) can be a big challenge. Especially when you have no idea what to look out for in the schools.

This article will guide you in your search for the best nursing schools in Massachusetts, which is the most populous state in the New England region of the United States.  

You’ll get insights about their tuition, NCLEX pass rates, accreditation, and most importantly, the programs they offer. You’ll also get to know about the different places the schools are located in Massachusetts, as the proximity of the school could be an important factor in your considerations.

Just like in every other U.S. state, attending one of the best nursing schools in Massachusetts makes it easier for you to navigate your career in the state.

But, how favorable is Massachusetts to nurses? Do they get well paid and appreciated? Let’s find out.  

Would you like to know these 15 Affordable Gifts for Nursing School Graduates?

Why Should I Study Nursing in Massachusetts?

Being the 7th most populous U.S. state, Massachusetts is one of the largest employers of nurses in the nation.

And a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the mean annual salary of registered nurses in Massachusetts is $96,630.

That means Massachusetts isn’t just one of the largest employers of nurses in the nation, it is also one of the states that pay the highest. 

Though a recent study by CNBC places the state as one of the most expensive places to live in America, you have to look at its positive sides. It has more job opportunities for nurses than in other states.

With a nursing quotient of 1.17, MA employs more nurses per 1000 workers than the other U.S. states.

nursing schools in massachusetts

How Do I Become a Registered Nurse in Massachusetts?

To become a registered nurse in Massachusetts, follow these simple steps:

  • Graduate with either a BSN or an ADN from an accredited nursing school in MA
  • Write and pass the NCLEX licensure examination
  • Meet the state requirements for nursing licenses.

If you already have a nursing education from another state, you have to visit the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing to know the next steps to follow. At the very least, you’d be required to fulfill the state’s requirements to be issued a new license, as Massachusetts doesn’t currently support the transfer of licensure among states.

The Top 8 Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

These are the top 8 nursing schools in Massachusetts and their key details:

1. Boston College

Location Boston, Massachusetts
Tuition$1,636 per credit
NCLEX Pass Rate100%
ProgramsBSN, MSN, DNP, PhD

The Boston College Connell School of Nursing ranks as one of the best in Massachusetts. This could be because of how BC Nursing prepares its students to meet the various demands of nurses in the healthcare sector.

BC Nursing sees its nurses as being more than caregivers. It sees them as educators, practitioners, scientists, and leaders, and it prepares them to be all of that.

The programs at BC Nursing are structured to be rigorous, in-depth, and high-valued. The students undergo several clinical sessions to be well-equipped for real-world nursing demands.

With a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:14, you’ll get your professor’s attention at any time and as much as you want it.  

Click here to visit the school website.

2. Simmons University

Location Boston, Massachusetts
Tuition$47028 per year
NCLEX Pass Rate92%
ProgramsBSN, MSN, RN-to-BSN, BSN-to-MSN, DNP

Simmons University is a private, non-profit, university in Boston, Massachusetts. Its nursing programs rank among the best in Massachusetts.

The school offers four on-campus nursing programs and four online nursing programs. The on-campus programs include a traditional BSN, a direct entry MSN program, a BSN-to-MSN program, and a unique accelerated BSN and MSN five-year program.

The BSN, and MSN programs prepare students to become registered nurses in an accelerated BSN program and quickly ushers them into an accelerated MSN program. This is best for those who already have an idea of the nursing aspect they want to specialize in.

The online nursing programs include three MSN programs and a DNP program.

The 8:1 student-faculty ratio at Simmons promises you a personalized learning program structured to bring out the best in you.

Click here to visit the school website.

3. Northeastern University

Location Boston, Massachusetts
Tuition$29,550 per term
NCLEX Pass Rate91%
ProgramsBSN, ABSN, MSN, DNP, PhD

The Northeastern University Bouve College School of Nursing produces some of the best nursing graduates in Massachusetts.

The school structures its programs to meet the modern demand for nursing practices and prepares its students to be well-equipped to meet the demands. Nursing at Northeastern University will equip you to meet the modern technological, emotional and professional demands of the field.

Northeastern University has an acceptance rate of 20%, which makes it one of the most competitive nursing schools in MA.

Click here to visit the school website.

4. University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Location Amherst, Massachusetts
Tuition$16,439 (in-state) and $36,964 (out-of-state)
NCLEX Pass Rate87%
ProgramsBSN, ABSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD

The University of Massachusetts Elaine Marieb College of Nursing at Amherst is one of the best nursing schools in the state. It prepares its students to meet the various demands of nurses in healthcare settings.

Using state-of-the-art facilities, the school ensures its students have the practical skills needed in the healthcare sector. The research centers are filled with industry-expert researchers who are always eager to give the students the right guidance.

The school has an acceptance rate of 65% and requires an SAT score range of 1200-1390.

Click here to visit the school website.  

5. Elms College

Location Chicopee, Massachusetts
Tuition$1,613 per credit
NCLEX Pass Rate97%
ProgramsBSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, DNP

The Elms College School of Nursing offers excellent programs to its students to prepare them for real-life demands in different healthcare settings.

The students go through clinical rotations where they acquire basic nursing practices and move to acquire real-life experience in healthcare settings across western Massachusetts.

The college has a small student-to-faculty ratio, which makes it easier for students to learn.

Elms College has an acceptance rate of 70%.

Click here to visit the school website.

6. Regis College

Location Weston, Massachusetts
Tuition$1,210 per credit
NCLEX Pass Rate85%
ProgramsBSN, MSN, RN-to-BSN, DNP

The Richard and Sheila Young School of Nursing at Regis College ranks as one of the best nursing schools in MA. It has been recognized by the National League of Nursing (NLN) as a center of excellence for nursing education.

This school offers several excellent nursing programs, from an associate’s to a doctorate degree in nursing practice. Regis offers several bridge programs to help you advance your nursing career with ease. There’s also the online BSN to DNP program, which no other school offers in the state.

Students at Regis gain hands-on experience in the school’s state-of-the-art simulation labs and move on to hospitals and other healthcare settings for real-life clinical experiences.

With an acceptance rate of 84%, Regis is fairly easy to get into.

Click here to visit the school website.

7. University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Location Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Tuition$14,408 (in-state) and $30,153 (out-of-state)
NCLEX Pass Rate94%
ProgramsBSN, ABSN, MSN, DNP, PhD, Post-Masters Certificates

The University of Massachusetts College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Dartmouth offers some of the best nursing programs in MA.

The programs are structured to give you the best nursing education and prepare you for the real world. The BSN program, for instance, sees you go through hands-on training in the simulation labs in your first year. In the second and third years, you’ll receive placements in different clinics, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.

In the final year, you’ll be assigned a registered nurse who allows you to make clinical decisions and care for real patients. However, the RN will be there to guide you throughout the program.

The graduate programs are structured to meet your different needs as a registered nurse.

Click here to visit the school website.

8. Salem State University

Location Salem, Massachusetts
Tuition$11,978.80(in-state) and $18,961.20(out-of-state)
NCLEX Pass Rate89.67%
ProgramsBSN, ABSN, LPN-to-BSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

Salem State University’s Maguire Meservey College of Health and Human Services has nursing programs for virtually everybody.

Whether you’re a high school graduate looking to begin your nursing career or an RN looking to advance your career, Salem State School of Nursing has a program for you. Even if you have a degree in another field and wish to make a career change to nursing, the ABSN program is structured to match your needs.

Salem State University School of Nursing prides itself on producing knowledgeable and skilled nurses who are capable of meeting the challenges of today’s complex healthcare environment.

Click here to visit the school website.

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What is the Cost of Nursing School in Massachusetts?

The cost of nursing school in Massachusetts ranges between $5,000 and $200,000. It depends on the program you’re going for, the type of school you choose to attend, and the duration of the program.

An Associate’s Degree in Nursing costs between $6,000 and $40,000. The program can be completed in about two years.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing program costs between $40,000 and $200,000 and can be completed in between 2 and 4 years.

Graduate nursing programs are usually cheaper than BSN programs. This is because they are more specialized and also take less time to complete.

Which Schools Offer Online Nursing Programs in Massachusetts?

These are the top 10 schools that offer online nursing programs in Massachusetts:

  1. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  2. Northeastern University
  3. Regis College
  4. Salem State University
  5. Simmons University
  6. University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  7. University of Massachusetts, Boston
  8. University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
  9. University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  10. Fitchburg State University

Top Hospitals That Employ the Largest Number of Nurses in Massachusetts

Here are the top 8 hospitals that employ the largest number of nurses in Massachusetts:

  1. Massachusetts General Hospital
  2. UMass Memorial Medical Center
  3. Boston Children’s Hospital
  4. Western Massachusetts Hospital
  5. Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  6. Tufts Medical Center
  7. Baystate Medical Center
  8. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Conclusion on the Top Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

The state of Massachusetts, with a population of 6.9 million, is ripe with many opportunities for healthcare workers. However, to be eligible to work as a nurse in the state, you have to meet its strict licensure requirements. But attending an accredited nursing school in the state equips you with almost all you need to meet the requirements.

When choosing a nursing school, you might have considerations around tuition, location, programs it offers, accreditation, etc.

I hope this article has helped you with answers to those important questions and also helped you choose a nursing school that matches your preferences.

You might also want to read about the Top 10 Nursing Schools to Attend in the USA

Frequently Asked Questions about the Top Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

How Much Do Registered Nurses Earn in Massachusetts?

The mean annual salary for registered nurses in Massachusetts is $96,630.

What is the Best Nursing School in Massachusetts?

The best nursing school in Massachusetts is the Boston College School of Nursing. This puts into consideration the quality of programs and the efficiency of the medium of delivery.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Registered Nurse in Massachusetts?

Through the ADN or ABSN programs, you can become a registered nurse in two years in Massachusetts.
However, going through the traditional BSN program will require a minimum of four years from you.

What Does it Take to Get a Nursing License in Massachusetts?

To get a nursing license in Massachusetts, you simply have to meet the state’s requirements for nursing licensure. That means you need to have either an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited nursing college. You also have to pass the NCLEX licensure examination before going further to meet the state’s specific licensure requirements.

How Much is a Registered Nurse License in Massachusetts?

It costs $275 to apply for an RN license in Massachusetts. But to verify your license, you’d need to pay a license verification fee of $30.


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