Overview of Massachusetts Nursing Needs
Known as The Cradle of Liberty, Massachusetts has played a variety of significant roles in American history. In 1636, the oldest American university, Harvard, was founded–establishing Massachusetts as one of the great benefactors of higher education. Once a major player in the Industrial Revolution, today’s Massachusetts makes groundbreaking strides in fields such as financial services, biotechnology and healthcare.
With more than 50 nursing programs to choose from, students seeking a first-rate education need look no further. With schools such as Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Boston College and Regis College a Licensed Practical Nurse may further education to become an RN, and then continue on to earn a Baccalaureate and on to a Master’s degree in any number of specialized fields. And with hospitals such as Brigham, UMass, and Charlton Memorial, nursing students can get the clinical training required to help better their chances of swift job placement.
After graduation, major cities such as Boston and Springfield may offer promising employment opportunities. With an hourly mean wage of $41.74, there is no doubt that many grads will be vying for the same RN jobs, but there are few better places than Massachusetts to continue to advance your education and career.
Job Outlook for MA Nurses
Boston and other major cities in Massachusetts have not been hit as hard as others with the national nursing shortage. In fact, Boston-Cambridge-Quincy ranks 4th in the nation for having the most employed nurses. One of the major draws is that at an annual mean salary of $94,600 the region pays its RNs better than anywhere else in the country (second only to California).
Nationally speaking, the US Department of Labor predicts the field of nursing to rise 26% by the year 2020. However that does not mean clear sailing for any and all nursing graduates. In 2007, the Institute of Medicine issued a report listing a series of changes that could help strengthen the US healthcare system. One recommendation was that, by 2020, 80% of RNs should hold Baccalaureate degrees or higher. Massachusetts has not specifically complied with such a suggestion but the state of California is aiming for that percentage, which may portend a national trend.
Now, more than ever, it seems that nurses with advanced education, specialized training, and extensive clinical experience will be placed in jobs more quickly.
Average Nursing Salaries in Massachusetts
|Data from BLS 2011||10th Percentile||25th Percentile||50th Percentile|
|Licensed Practical Nurses||$40,210||$44,350||$50,870|
|Home Health Aides||$20,560||$23,520||$26,680|
Licensing in Massachusetts for Nurses
The state of Massachusetts is currently not affiliated with the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) so in order to practice locally nurses need a valid Massachusetts license. To become licensed, LPNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) and RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Additional certifications are required for other healthcare roles such as Nursing Aides and advanced level nurses such as Nurse Practitioners and Nursing Midwifes.
Massachusetts’ Health and Human Services website can walk you through the process.
Nursing Programs in MA
Whether you a just starting out or are mid-career looking to move forward, Massachusetts provides ample opportunity to pursue an education in nursing. With 50 schools to choose from, prospective students should have no trouble finding a college that suits, both academically and intrinsically. In order to get the best education possible check the NCLEX pass rates, student to faculty ratio, hospital affiliations and opportunities for specialized training. Time may be an issue as well, so if looking to move into healthcare from another career then a college offering an accelerated nursing program may be a better fit than a traditional 4 year Baccalaureate. Whatever your education needs, Massachusetts could be a great place to study and work.
Choose from these nursing programs:
- LPN to RN
- Associate Degree in Nursing
- RN to Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing
- Masters in Nursing
- Doctor of Nursing Practice and PhD in Nursing
- APRN Nurse Practitioner
- Accelerated Baccalaureate in Science
- Direct Entry Master of Science