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There are many pathways available for prospective nursing students. The nursing profession has four distinct roles: certified nursing assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), and advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

CNAs fill the most junior role in nursing. They are certified with a brief course lasting eight to ten weeks, culminating with a state-administered examination. The CNA role thus offers the least expensive entry into the nursing profession. The Boston metro area’s 17,500 CNAs earn a median annual salary of almost $30,000. Nursing assistants typically work under the close supervision of registered and licensed practical nurses.

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LPNs are a level more senior than CNAs. They are qualified to practice after 12 to 18 months of study and successful completion of the NCLEX-PN national licensure examination. Boston-area LPNs earn between $45,000 and $60,000 annually. These nurses are in high demand with major local employers like Tenet Health and Genesis Healthcare.

RNs and APRNs fill more senior nursing roles; they therefore require longer periods of study. RNs in Massachusetts must complete a two-year associate’s degree, three-year hospital diploma, or four-year bachelor’s degree program. APRNs must also pursue graduate-level study in their chosen area of specialization. University of Massachusetts Boston offers well-regarded programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degree levels.

To help Boston’s aspiring nurses, we have compiled below a comprehensive overview of nursing education opportunities throughout the metropolitan area.

Featured Schools

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Boston metro area nursing schools by NCLEX score

Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue | Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467
  • Direct Entry MSN: 98.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 92.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
  • MSN: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nurse Anesthesia
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Simmons University
300 The Fenway | Boston, Massachusetts 02115
  • Direct Entry MSN: 98.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 92.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificates
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Blue Hills Regional Technical School
800 Randolph Street | Canton, Massachusetts 02021
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 96.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Regis College
235 Wellesley Street | Weston, Massachusetts 02493
  • Direct Entry MSN: 95.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 80.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Master's Certificates
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue | Boston, Massachusetts 02115
  • Direct Entry MSN: 95.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 92.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN: 85.7% NCLEX pass rate (2016 through 2018)
  • Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study: Nurse Anesthesia
  • DNP: US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificates
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Northern Essex Community College
100 Elliott Street | Haverhill, Massachusetts 01830
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 95.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 83.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Greater Lowell Technical High School
250 Pawtucket Boulevard | Tyngsborough, Massachusetts 01879
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 94.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
North Shore Community College
One Ferncroft Road | Danvers, Massachusetts 01923
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 94.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Assabet Valley Regional Technical School
215 Fitchburg Street | Marlborough, Massachusetts 01752
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 93.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
MGH Institute of Health Professions
36 First Avenue | Boston, Massachusetts 02129
  • Direct Entry MSN: 90.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 86.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Emergency Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Emergency Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Shawsheen Valley Technical High School
100 Cook Street | Billerica, Massachusetts 01821
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 89.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Brockton Hospital School of Nursing
680 Centre Street | Brockton, Massachusetts 02302
  • Diploma in Nursing: 89.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Lawrence Memorial / Regis College
170 Governors Avenue | Medford, Massachusetts 02155
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 88.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
MassBay Community College
50 Oakland Street | Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts 02481
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 88.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 88.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical School
147 Pond Street | Franklin, Massachusetts 02038
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 88.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Endicott College
376 Hale Street | Beverly, Massachusetts 01915
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 86.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • Fifth Year Master of Science in Nursing
  • MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN: Global Health Nursing
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • MSN: Nursing Educator
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Administrator
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Educator
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Curry College
1071 Blue Hill Avenue | Milton, Massachusetts 02186
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 85.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of Massachusetts Lowell
One University Avenue | Lowell, Massachusetts 01854
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 85.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Education
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Middlesex Community College
591 Springs Road | Bedford, Massachusetts 01730
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 85.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Massasoit Community College
One Massasoit Boulevard | Brockton, Massachusetts 02302
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 85.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard | Boston, Massachusetts 02125
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 83.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate DNP
  • Post-Baccalaureate PhD
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Bunker Hill Community College
250 New Rutherford Avenue | Boston, Massachusetts 02129
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 82.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Salem State University
352 Lafayette Street | Salem, Massachusetts 01970
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 82.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
179 Longwood Avenue | Boston, Massachusetts 02115
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 80.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Quincy College
1250 Hancock Street | Quincy, Massachusetts 02169
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 78.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 77.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Laboure College
2120 Dorchester Avenue | Boston, Massachusetts 02124
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 74.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Bay State College
122 Commonwealth Avenue | Boston, Massachusetts 02116
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 69.0% NCLEX pass rate (2012 through 2018)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Emmanuel College
400 Fenway | Boston, Massachusetts 02115
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Fisher College
118 Beacon Street | Boston, Massachusetts 02116
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Framingham State University
100 State Street | Framingham, Massachusetts 01701
  • MSN: Nursing Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Merrimack College
315 Turnpike Street | North Andover, Massachusetts 01845
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Boston College Direct Entry MSN 98.8% 2009 to 2018
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 92.8% 2009 to 2018
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Nurse Anesthesia
MSN: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Baccalaureate PhD
Post-Master's Certificate: Nurse Anesthesia
RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Simmons University Direct Entry MSN 98.5% 2009 to 2018
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 92.4% 2009 to 2018
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Doctor of Nursing Practice
LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
MSN: Nursing Administration
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Master's Certificates
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Blue Hills Regional Technical School Certificate in Practical Nursing 96.0% 2009 to 2018
Regis College Direct Entry MSN 95.9% 2009 to 2018
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 80.3% 2009 to 2018
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Baccalaureate DNP
Post-Master's Certificates
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Northeastern University Direct Entry MSN 95.4% 2009 to 2018
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 92.5% 2009 to 2018
Accelerated Second Degree BSN 85.7% 2016 to 2018
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study: Nurse Anesthesia
DNP: US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Baccalaureate DNP
Post-Baccalaureate PhD
Post-Master's Certificates
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Northern Essex Community College Certificate in Practical Nursing 95.0% 2009 to 2018
Associate's Degree in Nursing 83.3% 2009 to 2018
Greater Lowell Technical High School Certificate in Practical Nursing 94.4% 2009 to 2018
North Shore Community College Certificate in Practical Nursing 94.3% 2009 to 2018
Associate's Degree in Nursing 87.9% 2009 to 2018
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Assabet Valley Regional Technical School Certificate in Practical Nursing 93.2% 2009 to 2018
MGH Institute of Health Professions Direct Entry MSN 90.5% 2009 to 2018
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 86.0% 2009 to 2018
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Doctor of Nursing Practice
MSN: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Emergency Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Baccalaureate DNP
Post-Master's Certificate: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Post-Master's Certificate: Emergency Nurse Practitioner
Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
Post-Master's Certificate: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Post-Master's Certificate: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Post-Master's Certificate: Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Shawsheen Valley Technical High School Certificate in Practical Nursing 89.9% 2009 to 2018
Brockton Hospital School of Nursing Diploma in Nursing 89.1% 2009 to 2018
Lawrence Memorial / Regis College Associate's Degree in Nursing 88.9% 2009 to 2018
MassBay Community College Certificate in Practical Nursing 88.7% 2009 to 2018
Associate's Degree in Nursing 88.3% 2009 to 2018
Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical School Certificate in Practical Nursing 88.4% 2009 to 2018
Endicott College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 86.4% 2009 to 2018
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
Fifth Year Master of Science in Nursing
MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner
MSN: Global Health Nursing
MSN: Nursing Administration
MSN: Nursing Educator
Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Administrator
Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Educator
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Curry College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 85.9% 2009 to 2018
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
Master of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
University of Massachusetts Lowell Bachelor of Science in Nursing 85.8% 2009 to 2018
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Master's Certificate: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Education
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Middlesex Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 85.3% 2009 to 2018
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Massasoit Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 85.0% 2009 to 2018
University of Massachusetts Boston Bachelor of Science in Nursing 83.0% 2009 to 2018
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Baccalaureate DNP
Post-Baccalaureate PhD
Post-Master's Certificate: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Post-Master's Certificate: Clinical Nurse Specialist
Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Bunker Hill Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 82.1% 2009 to 2018
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Salem State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 82.0% 2009 to 2018
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
Master of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Bachelor of Science in Nursing 80.1% 2009 to 2018
Master of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
Quincy College Certificate in Practical Nursing 78.4% 2009 to 2018
Associate's Degree in Nursing 77.9% 2009 to 2018
Laboure College Associate's Degree in Nursing 74.1% 2009 to 2018
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Bay State College Associate's Degree in Nursing 69.0% 2012 to 2018
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Emmanuel College Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Master of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Fisher College RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Framingham State University MSN: Nursing Administration
Master of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Merrimack College Bachelor of Science in Nursing