2018 Top 10 Best Nursing Schools in Massachusetts
When it comes to getting a quality nursing education, you’ll find that New England has some of the top schools for higher education.
Massachusetts might not be the largest state, but they have some of the oldest and most established institutions in the nation. Despite their size, Massachusetts is also a top destination for many nurses.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Massachusetts is the second-highest paying state for nurses, behind California. Nurses make an annual mean wage of $89,060 a year, well above the national average.
On top of that, Massachusetts has one of the highest demands for nurses. Nurses currently make up over 24 out of every thousand jobs in-state, also well above the national average.
To get a career as a nurse in Massachusetts, earning a nursing degree in the state is a good place to start. Most degrees fast track nurses to begin their career nearby, and many degrees also include certification to work as a nurse in Massachusetts.
Choosing the Right School
Many nurses are realizing the importance of having a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), but that doesn’t mean you should stop there. To specialize, graduate school could be a necessary step, meaning a master’s degree or Ph.D.
Depending on the school you pick, you could be finding the perfect BSN program, or perhaps a niche specialization that needs more nurses. Maybe the school you pick offers both, so you can complete all your schooling in one place.
To start your school search, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have a specific nursing career in mind?
- Do I want to stop with a BSN, or am I interested in continuing my education to an MSN or DNP? What’s the minimum amount of education I need to get the job I want?
- Do I want to commute to school, and am I willing to move to a new area? Is it best to find a program that’s entirely online?
- Which schools are affordable and can I reduce the costs of those that are out of my price range?
10 best nursing schools in Massachusetts
Depending on what nurses are looking for, different schools will present better opportunities. However, in terms of general nursing education, these are the top schools in Massachusetts. While tuition might seem expensive at some of these schools, keep in mind that many nursing students use scholarships to help pay for school.
Here are the 10 best nursing schools in Massachusetts:
Tuition: $70,588 | School Admission Rate: 31%
One of the top all-around nursing schools in the nation, Boston College has offerings for students at all levels. While they only have one bachelor’s program – a traditional BSN – they have multiple different master’s and doctoral programs. For students looking for an all-around education, this is a place to look at.
Tuition: $57,685 | School Admission Rate: 64%
One program of note at Simmons College is the undergraduate nursing BS/MS program. Students spend five years studying full time, but by the end they’ll have earned both a BSN and MSN. This is ideal for students who are looking for a fast track to a graduate degree but haven’t earned a bachelor’s degree yet.
In-state Tuition: $13,828| School Admission Rate: 69%
Along with the low-cost for in-state students, University of Massachusetts – Boston offer nursing students plenty of options at every level. Undergraduate programs include the traditional BSN program as well as an accelerated BSN program, and graduate programs include BS-to-DNP and an online MS-DNP.
In-state Tuition: $30.814 | School Admission Rate: 60%
The University of Massachusetts – Amherst is among the best all-around nursing programs in the nation. While students won’t be able to find many opportunities for specialization, they can earn an accelerated BSN, as well as one of three graduate degrees (MSN, DNP and Ph.D).
In-state Tuition: $29,922 | School Admission Rate: 60%
Preparing nurses for their future career is a point of emphasis at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell. This is reflected in the graduate degree programs they offer, which includes a master’s in family health nursing and a master’s in adult-gerontological nursing. There are also multiple fast track options at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
Tuition: $52,472 | School Admission Rate: 84%
Thanks to their close proximity to some of the top hospitals and facilities in the nation, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences gives students a unique opportunity to learn and practice in respected clinical settings. This is huge for gaining real-world experience, and useful for students looking to work in Massachusetts.
In-state Tuition: $29,279 | School Admission Rate: 76%
Innovation is a big part of the curriculum at the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth. As a result, there are multiple online options available: one for RN-BSN, and one to earn a master’s degree in either nursing education or global public health.
Tuition: $50,792 | School Admission Rate: 76%
College of Our Lady of the Elms, often referred to as Elms College, is a leader in teaching work-ready nurses. The faculty are well-connected, making it easier for graduates to land a position quickly. This is ideal for nursing students that are interested in a BSN and would like to start working soon after graduation.
Tuition: $57,458 | School Admission Rate: 84%
While there are undergraduate programs offered at Regis College, their graduate programs are what set them apart. There are over a dozen graduate degree programs offered, each that helps students go down different career paths. Some of these programs are also offered online, good for nurses that want to work while studying toward their degree.
In-state Tuition: $23,211 | School Admission Rate: 72%
Students that want to earn their BSN have plenty of different options at Salem State University. Whether you’re an RN, LPN or student with no nursing experience, there are accelerated programs available so you can earn your BSN in as little as two years.
Paying for school
In-state tuition can cut the costs for Massachusetts natives, but even those students might have to find a way to pay for college.
Unfortunately, college education isn’t cheap. But there are plenty of ways students can cut the costs of college – and sometimes even avoid paying entirely.
The best way for nursing students to cut the costs of their education is through scholarships. There are hundreds of nursing scholarships available, so the chances of finding a scholarship fit for you are high.
Here are some of the scholarships that are available to nursing students.
Just because a school is highly ranked doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for you. One school may offer an accelerated program that fits your long-term goals better, or perhaps they have online courses so you can continue to work while earning your degree.
Before committing to any school, consider the following:
- The total cost of the school over the span of the program
- How difficult it is to get into the school and the nursing program
- Any benefits or drawbacks this school has compared to others
With your research complete, the final step is to apply and begin your journey toward your new career as a nurse