Nursing Schools in Boston: Accredited Online & Campus Programs

Nursing is a dominant industry in Boston, with thousands of new jobs for RNs being added each year. If you’re ready to join this important field (or advance your career if you’re already in nursing) keep reading to find accredited on-campus and online nursing programs in Boston that can help you get the training you need.

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Last Updated: 09/22/2021
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If you’re passionate about health and wellness and you want to contribute to your community in a meaningful way, pursuing a nursing career is a great option. Nursing schools in Boston both prepare new nurses to enter the field and train experienced nurses for advancement—whether they want to specialize, go into research, or become nurse educators and teach the next generation of nursing professionals. Keep reading to find the Boston nursing program that’s right for you, and find out more about how the field is expected to grow in the years to come.

Best Nursing Schools in Boston for 2021

There are many quality nursing schools in and around Boston. However, not every school will be the right choice for you. To help you narrow your options, check out this short list of the best traditional and online nursing schools in Boston based on what matters most to students—curriculum, cost, and access to services that aid their success. Continue reading to get in-depth information on some of the best featured below.

University of Massachusetts Boston

The University of Massachusetts Boston College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers bachelor’s programs for those who have previous nursing experience as well as those who do not. The traditional bachelor of science in nursing program is a rigorous four-year degree that introduces students to evidence-based nursing principles, patient-centered care, disease prevention, and strategies for using informatics in delivering care. This coursework plus a strong clinical education gives students the practical knowledge and skills to be successful.

In addition, the school offers a one-year RN to BS bridge program. Through this nursing program in Boston, RNs become more knowledgeable nursing practitioners as they learn more about nursing research, healthcare law and ethics, and community health nursing. This program does not require clinical rotations, however students must complete a service-learning project.

For those who want to earn a graduate degree, the University of Massachusetts Boston offers master of science (MS), doctor of nursing practice (DNP), and doctor of philosophy (PhD) programs.

Northeastern University

Those who enroll in Northeastern University’s BSN program get the benefit of professors from some of the most prestigious healthcare facilities in the region, such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Tufts Medical Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital. To be admitted into this nursing program in Boston, applicants are expected to have at least a 3.0 average in prerequisite classes such as chemistry, English, psychology, and anatomy and physiology. Once accepted, students are required to take classes covering healthcare assessments, public health nursing, developmental psychology, and nursing care for women and families.

The school also offers an accelerated bachelor’s degree program for students who want to pursue nursing after earning a bachelor’s in another field. This 16-month program, which is made up of 67 credit hours, includes classes on community nursing, advanced assessments and interventions, fundamental nursing skills, and pathophysiology. To graduate, students are required to complete clinical rotations that familiarize them with the realities of pediatric, adult, obstetric, mental health, and critical care nursing.

Boston College

The Connell School of Nursing at Boston College has a bachelor’s degree program designed to develop skilled nurses who care about working with integrity and promoting social justice when treating various segments of the patient population. When students complete this nursing program in Boston, they are prepared to use healthcare informatics effectively; understand health policy and how it influences the way services are delivered; collaborate with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals to provide the best care; and make clinical decisions based on strong assessment skills. Thanks to this rigorous nursing program in Boston, the school has a first-time NCLEX pass rate of 96.5%.

In addition, Boston College offers master’s, DNP, and PhD degrees. Students in the DNP program can earn an advanced practice nursing certificate in family health, adult-gerontology primary care, nurse anesthesia, and women’s health.

Types of Nursing Programs Available in or Near Boston

Do you want to enroll in a program that trains you quickly? Are you already a nurse and want to move into a leadership position? Whether you’re a novice or an expert, the varied programs at nursing schools in Boston will help you reach your career goals. Learn more about the types of degrees that nursing schools in Boston offer.

Pre-Licensure Nursing Programs in Boston

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

Nursing associate degrees are two-year programs that train students to get entry-level positions after graduation. These programs cover fundamental nursing theories and practice through a combination of classwork and hands-on clinical education.

Examples of Boston Nursing Schools with This Program

Massachusetts Bay Community College
Bay State College

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (Traditional BSN)

Traditional BSN programs, like associate degree programs, are for those who have no previous nursing experience. However, unlike ADN programs, nursing schools in Boston that offer BSN degrees require that students not only focus on nursing coursework but also general education classes to develop additional skills—like writing, verbal communication, and math abilities—to help them throughout their careers.

Examples of Boston Nursing Schools with This Program

University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston College

Accelerated BSN Programs

Accelerated BSN programs are for those who want to begin a second career as a nurse. Since they are designed for people who have earned a bachelor’s degree in another discipline, students can complete this program in two years because it focuses on nursing education and does not require additional general education classes.

Examples of Boston Nursing Schools with This Program

University of Massachusetts Boston
MGH Institute of Health Professions

Direct-Entry MSN Programs (Master of Science in Nursing)

Professionals who are interested in becoming advanced practice nurses or leaders in the field can enroll in direct-entry MSN programs without previous nursing experience. Students learn nursing theory and practice and have the option of studying a specialization during these three-year programs.

Examples of Boston Nursing Schools with This Program

Northeastern University
Simmons University

Nursing Bridge Programs in Boston for Current Nurses

LPN to RN and LPN to BSN Programs

Licensed vocational nurses build on the knowledge from their previous nursing education, as well as their work experience, by enrolling in a bridge program at a nursing school in Boston. Students complete these degrees in two to four years.

Examples of Boston Nursing Schools with This Program

Bay State College
Labouré College of Healthcare

RN to BSN Programs

This bridge program allows registered nurses to earn bachelor’s degrees in about one year. Nurses in this program learn advanced nursing concepts but are not required to complete clinicals.

Examples of Boston Nursing Schools with This Program

University of Massachusetts Boston
Labouré College of Healthcare

RN to MSN Programs

Registered nurses can jump to a master’s degree by enrolling in these intensive bridge programs available at nursing schools in Boston. Through a combination of undergraduate- and graduate-level work, students learn enhanced nursing concepts and a specialization.

Examples of Boston Nursing Schools with This Program

Boston College
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Advanced Nursing Programs in Boston

Traditional MSN Programs (Master of Science in Nursing)

This degree program helps nurses become experts in specific subsections of the field or learn leadership skills to obtain managerial positions. Generally these degrees can be completed in about two years.

Examples of Boston Nursing Schools with This Program

Boston College
Simmons University

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PhD Doctoral Programs

Nurses who want to become educators or researchers can earn a PhD in nursing, while professionals who want to gain expertise in an advanced nursing practice area can earn a DNP degree from a Boston nursing school.

Examples of Boston Nursing Schools with This Program

Northeastern University
Boston College

Post-Graduate Nursing Certificates

After earning a graduate degree, nurses may enroll in certificate programs to have a credential for a specialization. In some cases, students may be able to earn a certificate while they’re enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program at a nursing school in Boston.

Examples of Boston Nursing Schools with This Program

Northeastern University
University of Massachusetts Boston

Inside Look at Online Nursing Programs in Boston

Online nursing schools in Boston give students flexibility if they want to continue working as they earn their degree. These programs provide options to fit students’ lifestyles, such as offering classes entirely online or attending classes during evenings and weekends. In addition to classwork, students in online nursing programs in Boston are generally required to participate in clinicals, providing the hands-on training necessary to handle daily nursing responsibilities and meet licensing requirements for the state.

Best Online Nursing Programs in Boston

Curry College

Curry College has an RN to BS online nursing program in Boston that is offered in a hybrid or entirely online format. Both options offer eight-week classes, however the hybrid format requires that students attend weekly classroom meetings. No matter which format you choose, the curriculum is designed to help nurses sharpen their critical thinking skills, gain a deeper understanding of healthcare policy and law, provide advanced nursing services, and advocate on behalf of patients. Students take specific classes in pharmacology, health assessment, population health, and mental health nursing.

Endicott College

Endicott College offers an RN to BSN program that is provided in a hybrid format in which students take online and face-to-face evening courses. Thanks to the school’s state-of-the-art medical technologies, this online nursing program in Boston has faculty members with diverse nursing specialties. Students choose from internships and clinicals offered by 70 partner facilities in the Boston area. The school boasts a 96% NCLEX pass rate.

To be admitted, applicants must have an associate degree from an accredited college or university, a minimum grade point average of 2.5, and an unrestricted nursing license. Also, students submit an essay outlining their career goals.

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

The School of Nursing at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers several online nursing programs in Boston, including an RN to MSN bridge program that allows nurses to gain expertise as family nurse practitioners. To enroll, prospective students need an associate degree from a state-approved nursing school, a minimum 2.7 grade point average, and an active nursing license. When they apply, students submit official transcripts, a personal statement, and a current resume.

Once admitted, students take classes in advanced pharmacology, nursing informatics, health assessments, and primary nursing care. In addition to this program, the school also offers other master’s programs and advanced graduate certificates.

FAQs About Online Nursing Programs in Boston

Can I earn my nursing degree in Boston completely online?

You can, depending on the online nursing program in Boston that you choose. Some schools allow you to take all of your classes online, however you may be required to travel to campus for labs and capstone courses. In other cases programs are offered in a hybrid format, with some classes online and others on campus. Also, you may be expected to participate in clinicals no matter which format your program is.

Will my online Boston nursing degree be considered less valuable by employers?

No. Traditional and online nursing programs in Boston offer the same curriculum, as long as the school you attend has been approved by the state and is accredited, employers will not view your degree as less valuable.

Are online nursing programs in Boston more affordable than campus programs?

Online nursing programs in Boston are sometimes more affordable than campus programs. This depends on the school you enroll in, since sometimes students are charged by the credit rather than a lump sum per semester or year. However, even if the tuition itself is not less than a traditional program, students in online schools still save money because they’re not travelling to campus daily.

Financial Aid Opportunities for Nursing Students in Boston

If you’re looking for avenues to help you fund your education, you’ll find numerous options at your disposal. In addition to federal loans, scholarships, and grants, you may receive financial aid directly from your nursing school. Also, students who enroll in nursing schools in Boston may qualify for scholarships through the American Legion Department of Massachusetts or the Massachusetts Nurses Foundation.

More information about financial aid can be found on our nursing scholarship guide and main financial aid guide.

How to Become an RN in Boston: Licensing Requirements

After completing your degree at a nursing school in Boston, your next step is to get your license. Some of the steps that you’ll need to take include passing the NCLEX examination and participating in a background check. For more details about Massachusetts licensing requirements, log on to the guide to nursing schools in Massachusetts.

Job Outlook for RNs in Boston

According to Projections Central, by 2028 jobs for RNs in Massachusetts will increase 8.2%. That means 5,720 new positions added to the profession annually during that time. While that’s a healthy growth rate, on a national level RN jobs will increase 12.1%.

In Boston, the life sciences industry is expected to grow 9% annually, according to Boston.gov. This growth includes employers that hire nurses, such as hospitals, laboratories, and pharmaceutical companies. The healthcare industry is already the largest employer both in Boston and in Massachusetts.

How Much You Could Make as an RN in Boston

Registered nurses in Boston make healthy salaries, out-earning the average of professionals around the state. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in the Boston metropolitan area, RNs earn an annual income of $99,410, compared to $96,250 elsewhere around the state. Similarly, the median hourly wage of Boston nurses is $44.77, while the state’s median is $43.41. Both state and city income levels exceed the national averages, which are $80,010 annually and $36.22 per hour.

Earnings for Registered Nurses in Boston

Median Hourly Wage Mean Hourly Wage Annual Mean Wage
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH $44.77 $47.79 $99,410
Massachusetts $43.41 $46.27 $96,250
United States $36.22 $38.47 $80,010

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020

Additional Boston Nursing Resources

Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing

This site provides details on how nurses obtain a license, as well as the standards for renewal. You’ll also find information on nursing education programs and state rules related to the nursing profession.

Massachusetts Nurses Association

Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association offers members discounts on professional products, continuing education, and career support.

Massachusetts Student Nurses Association

This organization, which is the state chapter of the National Student Nurses’ Association, supports the needs of students on the graduate and undergraduate levels through career services, educational resources, and networking events.

New England Regional Black Nurses Association

The NERBNA is dedicated to increasing the number of African-American nurses in the region. The organization offers leadership development services and education to address the needs of minority communities.

Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses

This group represents the unique needs of public health nurses in the state. Members have access to a job board and events.