Best Nursing Schools in Massachusetts

Updated on January 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • The MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston College Connell School of Nursing, and Northeastern University School of Nursing are among the top nursing schools in Massachusetts.
  • These schools offer various nursing programs, including accelerated BSN, direct entry MSN, and online RN to BSN programs.
  • UMass Amherst College of Nursing, UMass Boston College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and Simmons University also provide excellent nursing education.
  • Financial aid options, such as scholarships and loan repayment programs, are available for nursing students.

Massachusetts is home to some of the top nursing schools in the country. With a mix of public and private institutions, nursing students can find high-quality programs across the state. When researching schools, be sure to consider factors like NCLEX pass rates, clinical opportunities, tuition costs, and more.

MGH Institute of Health Professions

Location: Boston, MA

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 75%

Tuition: $50,500

Avg Salary: $80,000


The MGH Institute of Health Professions is consistently ranked one of the top nursing schools in Massachusetts and the nation. Its Accelerated BSN program allows students to earn a BSN degree in just 15 months. With small class sizes and extensive clinical hours at Mass General Hospital, students receive personalized attention and graduate ready for nursing practice.

Boston College Connell School of Nursing

Location: Chestnut Hill, MA

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 29%

Avg SAT: 1370

Tuition: $55,950

Avg Salary: $75,000


The Connell School of Nursing at Boston College provides students with clinical rotations across top Boston hospitals. Its direct entry nursing program admits students with a bachelor’s degree in another field, allowing them to earn an MSN in three years. With challenging academics and accessible professors, BC produces compassionate nurse leaders.

Northeastern University School of Nursing

Location: Boston, MA

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 18%

Avg SAT: 1440

Tuition: $54,520

Avg Salary: $70,000


Northeastern University’s School of Nursing emphasizes interprofessional education and health systems. Students complete six co-op experiences in Boston health centers like Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Northeastern also offers an accelerated direct entry nursing program and an online RN to BSN program.

University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing

Location: Amherst, MA

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 63%

Avg SAT: 1325

Tuition: $16,389 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $65,000


The UMass Amherst College of Nursing excels in providing primary care education grounded in social justice. Undergraduates complete clinical rotations across the Pioneer Valley, learning to care for diverse communities. Graduate students take on nursing leadership roles and receive education in nurse practitioner specialties.

University of Massachusetts Boston College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Location: Boston, MA

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $15,406 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $70,000


The UMass Boston nursing program highlights urban community health issues. Students engage in clinical work across Boston’s neighborhoods, developing skills to eliminate health disparities. UMass Boston also has extensive partnerships globally, allowing nursing students to complete rotations internationally.

Simmons University – Direct Entry Nursing

Location: Boston, MA

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 82%

Tuition: $44,184

Avg Salary: $65,000


Simmons University offers a direct entry nursing program where students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field earn an MSN in just three years. With small classes of 25 nursing students, Simmons faculty provide individualized support. Students also benefit from clinical placements at top Boston medical centers.

Regis College

Location: Weston, MA

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $43,350

Avg Salary: $68,000


Regis’ Nursing program options include a traditional BSN, an accelerated BSN, an online RN to BSN, and Direct Entry MSN programs. Undergraduates complete over 1,000 clinical training hours in medical centers and community health organizations across Greater Boston. Graduate nursing students receive education in specialties like education, management, public health, and primary care.

Endicott College

Location: Beverly, MA

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 74%

Avg SAT: 1100

Tuition: $34,110

Avg Salary: $62,000


Endicott College’s small class sizes, practicum partnerships, and nursing simulation labs help students thrive. Undergraduates pursue a traditional four-year BSN with clinical work across North Shore medical centers. Endicott also offers RN to MSN and Master’s in Nursing Education programs to expand students’ careers.

MCPHS (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences)

Location: Worcester, MA

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 62%

Tuition: $40,490

Avg Salary: $65,000


Dedicated exclusively to healthcare education, MCPHS University has excellent faculty and clinical resources. Prelicensure BSN students complete five terms of coursework and clinical nursing experience through hospital and community partnerships across Central Massachusetts.

University of Massachusetts Lowell Solomont School of Nursing

Location: Lowell, MA

Rating: 6.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 75%

Tuition: $16,097 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $60,000


UMass Lowell’s Solomont School of Nursing emphasizes evidence-based patient care and leadership skill development. Undergraduate students blend hands-on clinical work with cutting-edge simulation experiences at the state-of-the-art Francis & Bedford Nursing Education Center. Graduate nursing students collaborate on research with science and engineering faculty.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I attend an undergraduate or graduate program for nursing?

Most aspiring nurses complete an undergraduate BSN program before practicing or advancing their studies in an MSN program. BSN programs admit undergraduate students and take 4 years to complete, granting the degree required to take the NCLEX nursing exam. Accelerated options allow those with bachelor’s degrees in other fields earn a BSN faster. MSN programs build specialized nursing skills.

Which Massachusetts nursing school is the hardest to get into?

The Boston College and Northeastern University nursing programs are the most selective, each admitting fewer than 30% of applicants. Students must demonstrate academic excellence through high GPAs, test scores, essays, interviews and more for admission. Nursing programs at public schools like UMass Amherst and UMass Boston typically accept over 60% of applicants.

Can I work while completing an accelerated BSN program in Massachusetts?

Accelerate BSN programs move quickly, condensing a four-year curriculum into about 15 months. These intensive programs make working difficult, so most students focus on their coursework and clinical placements full time without outside work obligations. However, some ambitious students do manage to work limited part time hours.

What kinds of financial aid are available for nursing school?

Since nursing remains a critical occupation across all healthcare settings, many financial aid options exist. Government awards like scholarships, loans, and loan repayment programs can provide funding or debt relief. Hospitals also grant nursing school scholarships and tuition reimbursement opportunities in exchange for employment commitments post-graduation.

Which nursing schools offer online RN to BSN programs in Massachusetts?

Many nursing schools now provide online RN to BSN programs which allow registered nurses with AND degrees to continue working while taking courses part time. Schools like Northeastern University, Regis College, UMass Boston, UMass Amherst, UMass Lowell and others offer these flexible programs.

Should I live on campus for my nursing program?

Living on campus allows total immersion into nursing student life. However, given condensed programs and rigorous schedules, some students prefer to arrange their own private housing. This allows independence in managing their schedules, finances, transportation and other individual needs. Both options have their advantages.

Does Massachusetts require an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree?

The state of Massachusetts requires registered nurses to earn at minimum an Associates Degree in Nursing to qualify for RN licensure by passing the NCLEX-RN exam. However, many employers show preference for candidates with Bachelors of Science in Nursing degrees.

What types of clinical experience do Massachusetts nursing students receive?

Nursing students complete clinical rotations and/or practicums across various healthcare settings like hospitals, clinics, specialized care units, community health organizations, assisted living facilities and more. These experiences provide direct hands-on patient care across diverse populations and systems.

What nursing specialty programs are offered in Massachusetts?

Many nursing graduate programs provide education in specialized roles like Nurse Practitioner (NP), Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Nurse Midwife (CNM), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) and more. These programs lead to certification testing for licensure in Massachusetts.

What is the average cost of attendance for an accelerated BSN program in Massachusetts?

Accelerated BSN programs cost between $40,000-$60,000 including tuition, fees, room, board, books, uniforms, equipment, transportation and more. Private schools like Simmons, Regis and MGH Institute of Health Professions fall at the higher end while public schools like UMass offer lower in-state tuition rates.

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Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.

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