How To Become A Nurse In Massachusetts

Massachusetts is an ideal place for any nurse who wants challenging and fast-paced work and excellent training. The state leads the nation in both higher education and cutting-edge health care technology.

There is a high demand for nurses, especially in Boston, the capital and largest medical center and city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. More than two thirds of the state’s people live in the Greater Boston area where the median salary for a staff nurse is more than $73,000 a year, with pay ranging from more than $60,000 to $87,000 annually.

While Massachusetts may be one of the smallest states in the union, it has the third highest per capita income and the most doctors per 100,000 residents. And doctors and the state’s large hospitals always need nurses.

Massachusetts a Leading National Medical Center

Two of the state’s largest health care providers are Steward Health Care System and Partners HealthCare System. Steward is a for-profit chain that operates 10 community hospitals in Massachusetts. Its hospital network employs 17,000 and serves more than a million patients a year from 150 communities.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital founded Partners HealthCare in 1994. Partners has community hospitals, a managed care organization and community health centers in addition to its two founding academic medical centers.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is a 777-bed teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and is consistently ranked by US News & World Report as one of America’s best hospitals.

Massachusetts General conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States and is the oldest and largest teaching affiliate of the prestigious Harvard Medical School, the oldest college in the country. Boston also has the Boston Medical Center which is the main teaching hospital for Boston University.

With the highest percentage of insured residents in the nation, the Bay State is focused on premier medical care, offering many employment opportunities for nurses, especially in new technological fields. The Massachusetts Medical Society publishes the well-respected New England Journal of Medicine, the world’s oldest medical journal.

Many Institutions Offer Accredited Nurse Training

The state has 27 schools offering practical nursing programs and 16 for those interested in becoming a registered nurse. The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing maintains a list of accepted accredited nursing schools whose graduates are eligible to obtain nursing licenses in the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts is not a member of the national Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) and the state nursing board does not administer the NCLEX (National Council Licensure) examinations for RNs and LPNs. The state is among several contracting with Professional Credential Services of Nashville, Tennessee, for processing the forms for initial licensure. It directs nursing candidates to that organization for test applications.

Information also is available through the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), which has been an advocate for nursing and health care since it was founded in 1903.

MNA created the state’s Nurse Practice Act, the RN license designation, developed a uniform curriculum for nursing education, and helped to pass state laws governing nursing practice, including the law allowing nurses to unionize in Massachusetts. As the nation’s third largest union of registered nurses and health professionals, the MNA represents more than 23,000 members working in 85 health care facilities, including 51 acute care hospitals.

Several accredited nursing programs in the state with a licensure examination pass rate of more than 90 percent by their nursing students are included in the list below.

Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

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New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit, co-educational technical university offering over 50 Associate in Science, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree programs. As a leader in technical career education in southern New England, New England Institute of Technology (also known as New England Tech or NEIT) is committed to providing hands-on technological programs that prepare graduates for positions of leadership in the technical, industrial, business, and allied health communities. Most of our associate degree programs can be completed in as little as 18 months, and bachelor’s degree programs in as little as three years. Last year, over 3,000 students chose New England Tech for the hands-on laboratory and classroom training that provides the necessary skills to begin their technical careers.


  • Nursing BS, Bachelor of Science
  • AS - Nursing
  • AS - Clinical Medical Assistant
Locations: Warwick

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With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.


  • RN to BSN (licensed RNs only)
Advance your career with an education from Mildred Elley. We offer a variety of degree and certificate programs for careers in the business, health, legal, computer, beauty, and travel industries.


  • Practical Nurse (LPN)-CERT
  • Clinical Medical Assistant-CERT
Locations: Pittsfield
  • Are you an RN seeking a degree while still going to work? GCU's 100% online RN-BSN program could be for you!
  • Designed for registered nurses with an associate's degree or diploma in nursing who are looking to further their education and to maximize their career potential in the health care setting.
  • Learn From Leaders – At Grand Canyon University, classes are taught by industry leaders and subject matter experts.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at Grand Canyon University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (
  • Academic Excellence – Quality academic programs provide the essential knowledge and skills needed to be effective in today's complex health care world.


  • B.S. in Nursing (Registered Nurse - R.N. to B.S.N)

Get a hands-on education at Lincoln Tech. Designed for today’s tough job market, our in-depth programs cover many fields including: Health Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Hospitality, Automotive Technology, HVAC Technology and Electrical Systems Technology. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. Programs vary by campus.


  • Medical Assistant
Locations: New Britain
  • BSN completion program for Registered Nurses is available entirely online.
  • The RN to BSN program is designed to help students advance their career, or prepare for post-graduate opportunities.
  • Courses teach modern health assessment and treatment methods, how to evaluate potential disease or injury, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).


  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
Branford Hall Career Institute offers career-focused education that gives you the job skills you need to make the leap into some of today's hottest careers.


  • Professional Medical Assistant
Locations: Springfield
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.


  • Business Administration - Healthcare Management (BS) (Online)
  • Health Care degrees include BA in Health Care Administration, BS in Health Information Management, BS in Nursing (RN to BSN), and more.
  • Coursework focuses on relevant topics in the health care field, such as administration, planning, and policy.
  • Students can specialize in areas like Human Resource Management, Health Care Informatics Systems, and Long-Term Care Management.
  • Online degree programs that can help students pursue a degree on their own schedule.


  • BA/Gerontology
  • BS/Nursing (RN to BSN)
Advance your career with American Institute - Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Our program can be completed in as little as 16 months. We offer program specializations in general or cardiac sonography, both of which include vascular ultrasound training.


  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography (General Concentration)
Locations: West Hartford

Nursing School Locations

Bristol Community College
777 Elsbree Street
Fall River, MA 02720
(508) 678-2811

Boston College
Connell School of Nursing
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 522-4928

Greenfield Community College
One College Drive
Greenfield, MA 01301
(413) 775-1000

Lawrence Memorial / Regis College
170 Governors Avenue
Medford, MA 02155
(781) 306-6600

University of Massachusetts
College of Nursing and Health Sciences
100 Morrissey Road
Boston, MA 02125-3393
(617) 287-5000

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