Last Updated/Verified: July 5, 2021
If you want to enter the healthcare industry, and more specifically, the nursing field, becoming an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) is the quickest way to do so. Once you complete your program, you will gain access to many opportunities across the state — especially in the coming years.
As the population ages, the demand for LPNs will increase. This need will help you secure a rewarding career that helps others.
Here’s how to get started, focusing on the next steps and best programs in Massachusetts.
LPN Schools in Massachusetts Quick Facts
- The LPN job outlook is bright with an 11% increase by 2028
- According to the Massachusetts Department of Health, 42.8% of Massachusetts LPNs primarily work in nursing homes, extended care facilities, or assisted living
- An additional 9.2% of LPNs in the state mainly work in home health, and 11.2% were hospital-based
- 5.4% of LPNs in Massachusetts focus on pediatrics
- Massachusetts is #4 in the nation for pay, with LPNs making an average of $32.43/hour
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Overview of LPN Schools in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is home to 25 LPN programs that are approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.
Although there are differences from one school to the next, all schools offer a similar curriculum that includes text-based learning, labs, and clinical studies. The majority of these programs are completed in 1-2 years, depending on whether you study part- or full-time. You will be required to take core nursing courses, in addition to lab work. The combination of hands-on training and intellectual development will help you kick-start a promising career.
Your curriculum will vary, depending on what program you attend. However, you can expect to take courses such as:
- Principles of pharmacology
- Human growth and development
- Foundations of practical nursing
- Surgical nursing
When selecting a program, you should check whether it is accredited. Schools and programs accredited by organizations such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing are held to high standards. They ensure quality education and upon completion, these certifications will look better on your resume. Programs should also be approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.
LPN Admissions Requirements
Depending on the program of interest, your admission requirements may differ. However, these requirements typically consist of the following:
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Proof that you have completed any prerequisite courses
- CPR certification
- Pass a criminal background check
- Showcase satisfactory HESI exam scores
LPN Tuition & Costs
Tuition varies widely across schools. At the bare minimum, you will need to cover your tuition, any associated fees, and supplies. If you are living away from home, additional costs will apply.
Most schools will provide a breakdown of what you can expect to pay before the start of your program, as well as during the program. For example, at NECC, you will need to get malpractice insurance each academic year, lab kits ($85), uniforms ($235), books ($1000), etc.
Financial aid is often available to those in need. For example, at MassBay, they have a financial aid officer to assist you. You can gain access to federal and state financial aid.
LPN Licensing Requirements in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, all LPNs must first attend and complete an approved LPN program. Only then can you apply for licensure. To do so, you must first pass the NCLEX-PN exam.
Checklist to Become a Massachusetts LPN
- Earn your LPN degree at an accredited board-approved school
- Be a Good Moral Character, as defined by state law
- Obtain a CPR card and pass the NCLEX-PN exam
- Apply for licensure through the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing
The NCLEX-PN exam is the last test you’ll need to pass to obtain your official licensure. You will need to schedule your exam date.
Please note that you may not schedule an exam until you have received your Authorization to Test (ATT).
Currently, Massachusetts is pending legislation to enter the Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows nurses to practice in any state without having to apply for a new nursing license. Until that happens, if you are from out-of-state, you will need to apply for a license in the state of Massachusetts through reciprocity. You will need to submit a transcript that outlines:
- The dates you entered and graduated from school in the state you are transferring from
- Proof that your education is in good standing
- A statement verifying the clinical and coursework you completed
To learn more and apply, visit Mass.gov.
The application fee is $275 and the license verification fee is $30.
LPN Salaries in Massachusetts
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average salary for LPNs is $48,820 per year. LPNs in Massachusetts earn an average of $60,400 a year ($29.04/hour), which is $11,000+ more than the national average. However, some LPNs make around $49,785, and others make over $67,000. Some of the main factors that contribute to pay are your education, skills, certifications, and the number of years in your profession.
The highest paying cities in Massachusetts are:
- Boston — $32.71/ hour
- Quincy — $33.03/hour
- Holyoke — $33.97/hour
- New Bedford — $32.56/hour
- Worcester — $30.66/hour
Job Outlook for LPNs in Massachusetts
The future for LPNs in Massachusetts is bright. There is currently a shortage of LPNs across the state and country. This shortage is worsening, causing the demand for LPNs to rise.
Not only is the population aging, but 25% of LPNs in Massachusetts are between the ages of 55 and 65. This means that a significant number of LPNs in the state will soon retire. While growth rates are anticipated between 7-11% in upcoming years, employment opportunities are projected to steadily increase by 20-25%.
Top LPN Schools in Massachusetts
100 Elliott St, Haverhill, MA 01830
The Practical Nursing Certificate at NECC combines clinical experience, lab practice, and classroom study — all of which prepare you for an entry-level job. Approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing, you will take courses that include physiology, anatomy, pharmacology, etc. A minimum of 47 credits is required to graduate.
19 Flagg Dr., Framingham, MA 0170
This program is 40 weeks in length, completed over 2 semesters. To graduate, you must complete 43 credits, taking courses such as nursing fundamentals, medical terminology, and trends in practical nursing. The Practical Nursing Program has been approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing and once you graduate, you will be eligible to write the NCLEX-PN exam. This college offers financial aid to those who qualify.
1 College Dr., Greenfield, MA 01301
You can complete this program in as little as ten months, following the completion of 43 credits. Enjoy a small 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, providing a close-knit, hands-on learning experience. This leads to a 100% success rate for some classes when writing the NCLEX-PN exam. You can expect to attend 25-35 hours per week of lab science classes and clinical practice and must maintain a grade of at least a “C” in every course. Costs are calculated per credit, in addition to fees related to specific programs. For the LPN program, the annual fee is $1,800, plus credit-based tuition ($38 per credit for qualifying New England residents and $281 per credit for out-of-state students).
670 W Boylston St, Worcester, MA 01606
This 40-week program is completed at QCC at the Healthcare and Workforce Development Center and requires you to travel to various clinic sites within the Worcester County area. This program will educate you to work in various settings, including hospitals and other healthcare facilities. This college also charges a per-credit fee. A wide variety of federal, state, and institutional assistance programs are available to those in need.
207 Hart St, Taunton, MA 02780
First founded in September 1972, this technical school offers a part- and full-time LPN program. The full-time program runs for 40 weeks, with classes offered Monday through Friday from 8 am to 2:30 pm. The part-time program runs for 80 weeks, with classes beginning at 4 pm. Tuition is based on whether you participate full-time or part-time, with rates ranging from $7,000 to $9,5000, depending on whether you are in-district or are out-of-district. Additional fees apply, including lab fees. Although this school does not offer federal financial aid programs, payment plans are available. Once accepted, a $1000 deposit is due.
444 Green St, Gardner, MA 01440
To get your practical nursing certificate at MWCC, you will need to take seven courses, for a total of 46 credits. Courses include an introduction to psychology, essentials of anatomy and physiology, college writing, maternal child nursing, etc. Once these courses are complete, you will need to take your exam. This college is proud to report that 96% of LPN graduates pass the NCLEX-PN on their first try. The cost to attend is $222 per credit.
1 Ferncroft Rd., Danvers, MA 01923
The Practical Nursing program at North Shore is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. Program requirements include more than a dozen courses, ranging from life continuum nursing to contemporary trends and issues in practical nursing. Financial support is available, including semester payment plans, veterans’ benefits, and scholarships.
250 Foundry St, South Easton, MA 02375
Two LPN programs are available at STI, including a full-time day program and a part-time evening program. At STI, the current pass rate for the NCLEX-PN is 96% and the job placement rate is 100%. This program runs for a total of 40 weeks, with set classroom times and varying clinical times. Tuition is $10,000 for those in-state and $13,000 for out-of-state students. Books are an additional $1250.
100 Cook St, Billerica, MA 01821
Shawsheen has over 20 years of experience regarding its LPN program. The first and third terms are 16 weeks and the second term is 8 weeks. Sample courses include mental health concepts, microbiology, geriatric nursing, and pediatrics. You can expect a combination of theory work, lab work, and clinical practice. Starting in August and ending in June, this program is offered in a weekend and evening format.
1050 Westminster St, Fitchburg, MA 01420
You can complete this program in as little as 10 months, attending classes during the evening hours. The practical nursing program at Monty Tech is accredited by a number of organizations and boards, including the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. To graduate, you will need to complete a minimum of 1210 hours, across 41 weeks. You will need to take an entrance exam as well.
Need further guidance? Check out the following resources to become an LPN in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing protects the health, safety, and welfare of citizens through the regulations that govern nursing practice and education. The Board is located at 239 Causeway St 5th floor – Suite 500, Boston, MA 02114.
Massachusetts Nurses Association was first founded in 1903 and created the Nurse Practice Act. Located at 340 Turnpike St, Canton, MA 02021, the MNA continues to be the largest union and professional association of registered nurses, LPNs, and health professionals in the state and the third-largest in the nation.