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Best Nursing Schools in Massachusetts in 2018 (On-Campus & Online)

Best Nursing Schools in Massachusetts in 2018 (On-Campus & Online)

Attending nursing school in Massachusetts offers the chance to get the education you need to launch your career in the healthcare field. Nursing positions offer high salaries, advancement opportunities and job stability. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook rate for nurses during the next 10 years is 15 percent—an accelerated growth rate when compared to all other occupations. As a large percentage of nurses start to enter retirement age, the need for nurses will only continue to expand.

Nursing school course requirements vary due to degree type you are pursuing. Options available through Massachusetts nursing schools may include any or all of the following programs:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ASN or ADN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Doctor of Nurse Practice (DNP)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

Over the years, many healthcare agencies have called for nurses to pursue advanced degrees. A vast number of employers, including major hospitals and surgical centers, are giving preference to hiring nurses with a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). To further emphasize the importance of a nurse’s higher education, the Institute of Health has proposed an increase of BSN nurses working in the field from 50 percent to 80 percent by the year 2020. The Institute also recommended the goal of doubling the number of doctorate holders in the field of nursing.

Nursing Degree Program Requirements

Registered nurses at a minimum need to receive an ASN (also commonly referred to as an ADN) from an accredited nursing school and must pass the NCLEX exam. An ASN program is usually completed within a two to three year timeframe from an accredited junior college. Conversely, BSN graduates must earn a four-year degree from an accredited college or university. A minimum of 120 credits is typically required for BSN degree conferment.

Registered nurses with valid state licensing can choose RN to BSN tracks at a number of Massachusetts’s nursing schools. RNs can earn their BSNs at an accelerated rate with previous ASN credits transferred into the program. Since BSN degrees are becoming the new norm during the job hiring process, it is important to choose nursing schools that offer that option.

The Top Nursing Schools in Massachusetts in 2018

1. Worcester State University

Along with seven other Massachusetts state colleges, Worcester State University was granted university status in 2010 and reorganized into two schools: a humanities and social sciences school; and an education and health sciences school. The college’s nursing department has undergraduate and graduate degrees with five tracks available. Worcester State University is home to a state-of-the-art simulation lab as well as host to Sigma Theta Tau, an honor society for nursing students.

  • Tuition: $9,532
  • Programs Offered: BSN; LPN-BSN; RN-BSN; MSN
  • Admission Rate: 32%
  • Graduation Rate: 92%

2. Westfield State University

The suburban campus of Westfield State University is spread out across a total of 256 acres. The public college has a strong vision of offering higher education to a diverse population. The nursing program available from Westfield State University includes unique opportunities like humanitarian trips to different countries like Guatamala. The nursing school does not offer graduate-level degrees at this time.

  • Tuition: $9,715
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN
  • Admission Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 65%

3. Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg State University is a public college that started as a school for women in 1894 before becoming coed in 1911. The college is made up of a large student body with more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The college has recently placed a lot of emphasis on offering more distance learning options and has developed accredited online degree programs. The college’s nursing school is dedicated to giving all students personalized guidance in order to earn their advanced degrees within shorter timeframes.

  • Tuition: $10,155
  • Programs Offered: BSN; LPN-BSN; RN-BSN; MSN
  • Admission Rate: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

4. Framingham State University

Founded in 1839 as a post-secondary school, Framingham State University offered its first education degree program in 1922 and transformed into a teacher’s college. During the 1960s, the college started to offer more liberal arts programs and was renamed the State College of Framingham. In 2010, the college along with seven other state schools gained state university status. The nursing program has an RN to BSN pathway as well as graduate programs with concentrations in education and leadership.

  • Tuition: $9,920
  • Programs Offered: RN-BSN; MSN
  • Admission Rate: 68%
  • Graduation Rate: 54%

5. Salem State University

Salem State University is a four-year public university located in Salem, Massachusetts. The college was first founded in 1854 as a two-year university but has grown to become an institution offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in 40 different disciplines. The college’s nursing school does offer minor programs and concentrations with focuses on nursing leadership and nursing education. The school’s accelerated BSN program is an intense 15-month full-time program that meets year-round.

  • Tuition: $10,278
  • Programs Offered: BSN; LPN-BSN; RN-BSN; MSN
  • Admission Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

6. University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth

Located in North Dartmouth, UMass Dartmouth is part of the five-campus University of Massachusetts System. The college was named Southeastern Massachusetts University until 1991 when it was merged into the UMass system. The college has undergraduate and graduate nursing programs with distance learning options available for the RN to BSN degree and MSN degree.

  • Tuition: $13,571
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN; MSN; DNP; PhD
  • Admission Rate: 84%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%

7. University of Massachusetts-Boston

The University of Massachusetts-Boston, also commonly abbreviated to UMass Boston is part of the five-campus University of Massachusetts System. The Boston campus is made up of 120 oceanfront acres and has very close proximity to the downtown area of Boston. The university’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences has undergraduate, graduate and professional development courses for students. The graduate and doctorate degrees in nursing from UMass Boston have been ranked as being within the top 100 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Accelerated degree tracks are available for the BSN degree.

  • Tuition: $13,828
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN; MSN; BSN-DNPMSN-DNP; PhD
  • Admission Rate: 75%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%

8. University of Massachusetts-Amherst

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is the flagship school of the University of Massachusetts System. The university is a public research college with the designation of having land-grant status in the United States. The College of Nursing at UMass Amherst includes nationally ranked degree programs with courses designed to prepare nurses to hold positions in clinical, research and educational settings. An accelerated BSN program can help nurses earn their degrees in 17 months.

  • Tuition: $15,411
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN; MSN; DNP; PhD
  • Admission Rate: 58%
  • Graduation Rate: 77%

9. University of Massachusetts-Lowell

The University of Massachusetts-Lowell is a two-campus college that is part of the University of Massachusetts System. The main campus is located in Lowell while a small satellite campus is in Haverhill, a town about 25 miles outside of downtown Boston. With more than 200 undergraduate, graduate and doctorate degrees offered at UMass Lowell, students are given more of a variety of majors to choose from. The nursing school at UMass Lowell is located in the campus’s Health and Social Sciences Building, which houses simulation technologies and a high tech laboratory. Degree tracks include accelerated BSN and bridge degrees like RN to BSN.

  • Tuition: $14,800
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN; MSN; DNP; PhD
  • Admission Rate: 69%
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

10. Fisher College

Fisher College is a private liberal arts university located in the heart of Boston. The urban coed school has been ranked 15th as a Best Value School by U.S. News & World Report. Fisher College is affiliated with the Brockton Hospital School of Nursing. At the Brockton Hospital, nursing students can take courses on evenings and weekends toward their degrees. Fisher College’s on-campus program is designed specifically for registered nurses.

  • Tuition: $30,499
  • Programs Offered: RN-BSN
  • Admission Rate: 66%
  • Graduation Rate: 93%

11. Endicott College

Originally a two-year’s women’s college, Endicott College is now a four-year private coeducational university. The Beverly-based university sprawls across 235 acres of oceanfront property. The college offers a number of special services to students, including an exchange program with enrolled students being able to study in Spain and Mexico. The goal of the Endicott College School of Nursing is to prepare students for their professional careers in the competitive healthcare field. The nursing program has a very high post-graduation job placement rate with the school reporting 97 percent of graduates finding a position within one year.

  • Tuition: $32,154
  • Programs Offered: BSN; MSN; PhD; post-graduate certificates
  • Admission Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 75%

12. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is a private and accredited institution of higher learning located in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. The college has a large number of medical degrees available with courses available on the central campus as well as two satellite campuses in Manchester and Worcester respectively. The nursing program at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences uses clinical immersion to educate students and has partnerships with a number of Boston’s premier medical facilities.

  • Tuition: $32,600
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN; MSN; RN-MSN; DNP; post-graduate certificate
  • Admission Rate: 86%
  • Graduation Rate: 71%

13. Bay Path University

Bay Path University is a modest-sized private college that offers women-only undergraduate degrees and coed graduate degrees. The college is located in the suburban area of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Bay Path University is considered a trailblazer in the field of higher education with a ranking of 11 on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Most Innovative Schools. The nursing school at Bay Path University has both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field. A major benefit for nursing students is the college’s RN to BSN degree is available 100 percent online.

  • Tuition: $33,557
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN; MSN; DNP
  • Admission Rate: 63%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

14. American International College

With a Mason Square location, the American International College was first founded as a way to provide French Protestant immigrants with the chance to get a higher education. Today, the college has a vast number of academic programs including nursing degrees that are part of the School of Health Sciences. The BSN and MSN tracks prepare students to provide exceptional patient care in a variety of healthcare settings. A bridge program is available for registered nurses looking to earn their BSN.

  • Tuition: $34,470
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN; MSN
  • Admission Rate: 72%
  • Graduation Rate: 41%

15. Laboure College

As a private college specializing in healthcare sciences, Laboure College includes associate and bachelor’s medical degree programs. A number of degrees from Laboure College can be earned either online or at the college’s Milton campus. The nursing department has labs with the latest simulation technologies and cutting-edge medical equipment. Impressively, the college has reported a 100 percent graduation rate for students.

  • Tuition: $36,103
  • Programs Offered: ASN; RN-BSN
  • Admission Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 100%

16. College of Our Lady of the Elms

The College of Our Lady of the Elms, located in Chicopee, is frequently abbreviated to Elms College and is one of the nation’s top Catholic liberal arts universities. The college has national ranking on lists compiled by publications such as Money Magazine and U.S. News & World Report. The nursing program at Elms College has been a part of the university for more than 40 years. Nursing students will have access to simulation laboratories and have placement in local clinics.

  • Tuition: $34,578
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN; MSN; RN-MSN; DNP
  • Admission Rate: 79%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

17. Emmanuel College

Emmanuel College is a private university founded as the first women’s Roman Catholic college in Massachusetts. The college would not become coed until 2001. The nursing programs at Emmanuel College are geared to those who are looking for flexible scheduling. The college offers an online RN to BSN degree as well as traditional degree programs with classes scheduled in the evenings and weekends.

  • Tuition: $38,444
  • Programs Offered: RN-BSN; MSN; post-graduate certificates
  • Admission Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%

18. Anna Maria College

Anna Maria College is a private college with a central location in Paxton, Massachusetts. The curriculum follows the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church with more than 50 academic programs available. The college has a very small student body with just over 1,000 full-time undergraduate students. Anna Maria College is one of the few Massachusetts four-year colleges to offer a 100 percent online BSN degree. Currently, the college does not have graduate and doctorate programs for nurses.

  • Tuition: $37,130
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN
  • Admission Rate: 79%
  • Graduation Rate: 41%

19. Curry College

Anna Baright, one of the greatest orators of the 19th century, founded Curry College in 1879 as the School of Elocation and Expression. After Baright married scholar Samuel Silas Curry, the college was later renamed for the professor. Today, the private college is an inclusive institution and has partnered with the Program for the Advancement of Learning to help college-ready students with learning disabilities. The college’s nursing school was borne out of Boston Children’s Hospital ending their degree programs and deciding to share their resources with Curry College. The college offers a number of pathways for degree seekers to finish their nursing programs at accelerated rates.

  • Tuition: $38,936
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN; MSN
  • Admission Rate: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

20. Becker College

Becker College is composed of two central Massachusetts campuses—one in Leicester and one in Worcester. The private college can trace its roots back to the late 18th century as the Leicester campus was founded as a way to provide education to children with financial need. The Worcester campus was founded in 1887 as Becker Business College. In 1974, the Leicester campus merged with the Worcester campus to expand degree options. The college’s nursing school was launched in the 1980s with the mission to fulfill the need for highly skilled nurses in the healthcare field. Both the ASN and BSN programs return high passing rates for first-time NCLEX test takers.

  • Tuition: $38,250
  • Programs Offered: ASN; RN-BSN; BSN
  • Admission Rate: 69%
  • Graduation Rate: 38%

21. Simmons College

Simmons College was founded in 1899 and has a long history of providing exceptional educational opportunities for women. The private college offers undergraduate degrees for women and graduate degrees to both men and women. The college’s nursing school is centrally located in the Longwood Medical Area of Boston. The nursing school obtains varied degree tracks for new undergraduate students and current professionals who are already registered nurses. A number of the graduate degree programs do offer an option for online completion.

  • Tuition: $39,600
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN; MSN; RN-MSN; DNP
  • Admission Rate: 32%
  • Graduation Rate: 92%

22. Regis College

Founded as a women’s college in 1927, the Regis College has grown as one of the northeast’s top Roman Catholic coeducational private universities. The suburban campus is located in Weston, Massachusetts, only a 15-minute commute to Boston. The college’s Richard and Sheila Young School of Nursing has national recognition as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. Nursing degrees from Regis College can be completed at an accelerated rate, traditional pace or done completely online.

  • Tuition: $39,820
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN; MSN; RN-MSN; DNP; post-graduate certificate
  • Admission Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 46%

23. Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a private research college in Boston with an international Cambridge classification of having the highest level of research activity. Northeastern University aims to provide exceptional educational experiences to students and has consistently ranked in the top 50 of U.S. News & World Report’s Best National Universities lists. Nursing programs are administered under the university’s Bouve College of Health Sciences. Accelerated BSN programs are offered at both the university’s Boston campus and their satellite campus located in Charlotte, North Carolina.

  • Tuition: $49,497
  • Programs Offered: BSN; RN-BSN; MSN; DNP; PhD
  • Admission Rate: 27%
  • Graduation Rate: 87%

24. MGH Institute of Health Professions

The MGH Institute of Health Professions is a graduate college, which also offers a select number of bachelor’s degrees. The college is conveniently located in the Charleston Navy Yard Area of Boston. The nursing school at the college has different degree pathways, including a 16-month accelerated BSN. With a very high graduation rate and post-grad job placement rate, nursing students typically find professional success in the industry.

  • Tuition: $55,650
  • Programs Offered: BSN; MSN; DNP
  • Admission Rate: 31%
  • Graduation Rate: 96%

25. Boston College

The private Catholic college, Boston College is made up of a small body of students who have demonstrated academic excellence prior to admission. The college founded the Connell School of Nursing in 1947 and has educated leaders in the nursing field since its formation. The Connell School includes a number of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. The school also has 85 clinical partnerships in the Boston area for nurses to gain experience while pursuing their degrees.

  • Tuition: $55,345
  • Programs Offered: BSN; MSN; RN-MSN; DNP
  • Admission Rate: 32%
  • Graduation Rate: 92%

 

Ranking Methodology

The nursing schools in Massachusetts appearing on the list was compiled by RNtoBSNProgram.com and were ranked using the following criteria:

  • Tuition cost (annual in-state tuition and fees)
  • Graduation rate
  • Availability of BSN program

To determine how to rank each of the nursing schools in MA with a BSN program available, we researched and evaluated each school’s estimated cost of tuition per year and graduation rate, letting each value make up equal portions (50%) of each school’s score.

All nursing schools in MA appearing on this list are invited to contact us to suggest edits. Any nursing schools not appearing can also contact us to request a review of their available programs.

Our mission at RNtoBSNProgram.com is to help nursing students find the top degree programs within their states. We research and review accredited programs as a way to recommend the best opportunities for nurses to continue their education.

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