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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

Boston metro area nursing schools by NCLEX score

Simmons University
300 The Fenway | Boston, Massachusetts 02115
  • Direct Entry MSN: 99.0% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 93.6% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • 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
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue | Boston, Massachusetts 02115
  • Direct Entry MSN: 98.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • 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
Salem State University
352 Lafayette Street | Salem, Massachusetts 01970
  • Direct Entry MSN: 98.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 81.8% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Accelerated Second Degree BSN
  • LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Blue Hills Regional Technical School
800 Randolph Street | Canton, Massachusetts 02021
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 98.4% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue | Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467
  • Direct Entry MSN: 98.4% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 93.9% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • 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
Regis College
235 Wellesley Street | Weston, Massachusetts 02493
  • Direct Entry MSN: 97.8% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 84.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • 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
North Shore Community College
One Ferncroft Road | Danvers, Massachusetts 01923
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 96.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 92.0% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Assabet Valley Regional Technical School
215 Fitchburg Street | Marlborough, Massachusetts 01752
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 95.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical School
100 Cook Street | Billerica, Massachusetts 01821
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 95.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Lawrence Memorial / Regis College
170 Governors Avenue | Medford, Massachusetts 02155
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 95.1% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Northern Essex Community College
100 Elliott Street | Haverhill, Massachusetts 01830
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 94.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 89.1% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical School
147 Pond Street | Franklin, Massachusetts 02038
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 92.9% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Greater Lowell Technical School
250 Pawtucket Boulevard | Tyngsboro, Massachusetts 01879
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 92.8% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Brockton Hospital School of Nursing
680 Centre Street | Brockton, Massachusetts 02302
  • Diploma in Nursing: 92.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Curry College
1071 Blue Hill Avenue | Milton, Massachusetts 02186
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 91.9% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • 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: 91.4% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • 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
Quincy College
1250 Hancock Street | Quincy, Massachusetts 02169
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 91.3% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 90.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
MGH Institute of Health Professions
36 First Avenue | Boston, Massachusetts 02129
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Direct Entry MSN: 89.0% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • 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
Roxbury Community College
1234 Columbus Avenue | Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts 02120
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 89.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 82.8% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Endicott College
376 Hale Street | Beverly, Massachusetts 01915
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 88.8% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • 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
Massasoit Community College
One Massasoit Boulevard | Brockton, Massachusetts 02302
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 86.6% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Massachusetts Bay Community College
50 Oakland Street | Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts 02481
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 86.4% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 84.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
MCPHS University
179 Longwood Avenue | Boston, Massachusetts 02115
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 86.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard | Boston, Massachusetts 02125
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 85.1% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • 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: 85.0% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Laboure College
2120 Dorchester Avenue | Boston, Massachusetts 02124
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 84.4% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Middlesex Community College
591 Springs Road | Bedford, Massachusetts 01730
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 83.0% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Medical Professional Institute
380-388 Pleasant Street | Malden, Massachusetts 02148
  • Certificate in Practical Nursing: 72.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2012)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
Bay State College
122 Commonwealth Avenue | Boston, Massachusetts 02116
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 53.6% NCLEX pass rate (2012 through 2012)
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Emmanuel College
400 Fenway | Boston, Massachusetts 02115
  • 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
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Simmons University Direct Entry MSN 99.0% 2008 to 2012
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 93.6% 2008 to 2012
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
Northeastern University Direct Entry MSN 98.5% 2008 to 2012
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.2% 2008 to 2012
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
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
Salem State University Direct Entry MSN 98.5% 2008 to 2012
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 81.8% 2008 to 2012
Accelerated Second Degree BSN
LPN-to-BSN Bridge Program
Master of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Blue Hills Regional Technical School Certificate in Practical Nursing 98.4% 2008 to 2012
Boston College Direct Entry MSN 98.4% 2008 to 2012
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 93.9% 2008 to 2012
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
Regis College Direct Entry MSN 97.8% 2008 to 2012
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 84.5% 2008 to 2012
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
North Shore Community College Certificate in Practical Nursing 96.2% 2008 to 2012
Associate's Degree in Nursing 92.0% 2008 to 2012
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Assabet Valley Regional Technical School Certificate in Practical Nursing 95.7% 2008 to 2012
Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical School Certificate in Practical Nursing 95.2% 2008 to 2012
Lawrence Memorial / Regis College Associate's Degree in Nursing 95.1% 2008 to 2012
Northern Essex Community College Certificate in Practical Nursing 94.7% 2008 to 2012
Associate's Degree in Nursing 89.1% 2008 to 2012
Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical School Certificate in Practical Nursing 92.9% 2008 to 2012
Greater Lowell Technical School Certificate in Practical Nursing 92.8% 2008 to 2012
Brockton Hospital School of Nursing Diploma in Nursing 92.5% 2008 to 2012
Curry College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 91.9% 2008 to 2012
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 91.4% 2008 to 2012
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
Quincy College Associate's Degree in Nursing 91.3% 2008 to 2012
Certificate in Practical Nursing 90.2% 2008 to 2012
MGH Institute of Health Professions Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.3% 2009 to 2012
Direct Entry MSN 89.0% 2008 to 2012
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
Roxbury Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 89.7% 2008 to 2012
Certificate in Practical Nursing 82.8% 2008 to 2012
Endicott College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 88.8% 2008 to 2012
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
Massasoit Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 86.6% 2008 to 2012
Massachusetts Bay Community College Certificate in Practical Nursing 86.4% 2008 to 2012
Associate's Degree in Nursing 84.7% 2008 to 2012
MCPHS University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 86.0% 2009 to 2012
Master of Science in Nursing
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
RN-to-MSN Degree Completion
University of Massachusetts Boston Bachelor of Science in Nursing 85.1% 2008 to 2012
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 85.0% 2008 to 2012
Certificate in Practical Nursing
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Laboure College Associate's Degree in Nursing 84.4% 2008 to 2012
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Middlesex Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 83.0% 2008 to 2012
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Medical Professional Institute Certificate in Practical Nursing 72.2% 2009 to 2012
Nursing Assistant Certificate
Bay State College Associate's Degree in Nursing 53.6% 2012 to 2012
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Emmanuel College 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