MSN Programs in Massachusetts
Just like with any other discipline, getting an advanced degree in nursing opens the door to increased career opportunities and higher-paying job positions. Throughout the nation, there are plenty of chances to zero in on a specialty within the nursing industry. For example, getting an MSN in Massachusetts allows RNs to become nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, clinical nurse leaders, clinical educators, nurse midwives, and nurse managers. Throughout the state, there is a great deal of MSN programs to consider in cities such as Boston, Framingham, Worchester, and Salem.
Schools with MSN Programs in Massachusetts
- The William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College offers an MSN program for nurses interested in becoming a nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), or nurse anesthetist (CRNA). The CCNE accredited curriculum is designed to accommodate RNs with or without a bachelor’s degree, as well as non-nurses with a bachelor’s degree in another field.
- The MSN program at Fitchburg State College is accredited by the CCNE, and offers online instruction for aspiring Forensic Nurses. Some of the core nursing courses that a student may encounter include Nursing Theory, Advanced Clinical Concepts, Contexts and Roles for Advanced Practice, and Nursing with Diverse Populations. Two examples of required courses for the program are Forensic Nursing: Caring for Victims, and Forensic Nursing: Caring for Perpetrators. Graduates of the College’s program may go on to become Death Investigators, Legal Nurse Consultants, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), and Risk Management Specialists.
- Framingham State College is home to an MSN program that caters to nurses with an interest in teaching others or becoming a leader within the industry. The CCNE accredited curriculum uses a hybrid/blended learning approach, which combines online with traditional on-campus classroom instruction. Two on-campus courses are taken per semester – one night per week from 5 to 9 p.m.
- Northeastern University offers a chance for nurses in Boston to earn his or her CCNE-accredited MSN degree in Nurse Anesthesia or Nursing Administration, as well as provides a Direct Entry Nursing program. The Nurse Anesthesia program at Northeastern offers many different ways for a student to earn their degree, including the traditional approach, an accelerated MS for certified CRNAs approach, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study approach. The school is also part of the US Army Graduate Program in Nurse Anesthesia. The nurse anesthesia program, which takes 32 months of full-time study to complete, is comprised of four parts: core nursing courses, core clinical courses, nurse anesthesia specialty didactic courses, and nurse anesthesia specialty clinical courses.
- The Nursing Administration and Management program at Northeastern takes 43 hours to complete, and offers part- and full-time students concentration options for Nurse Managers, Nurse Clinician/Managers, and those pursuing an MS/MBA joint degree. Experienced RNs may also pursue a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies. The MS/MBA track includes 70 hours in both Nursing and Business theory. The Certificate for Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) is a 30-hour program.
- Salem State University provides a Master of Science in Nursing program for registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree that especially caters to students with an interest in assuming leadership positions after graduation. The school also offers a Direct Entry MSN program for people with a BA in an unrelated field. The 15-month accelerated full-time curriculum allows students to sit for the RN licensing exam. A student in the University’s MSN program must complete 39 to 45 credits (as it pertains to his or her specialization). Nurses may choose to pursue a degree that concentrates on nursing education, nursing administration, or adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner.
- The University of Massachusetts has several different MSN programs scattered throughout the state that are either accredited by the CCNE or the NLNAC. Nurses may consider pursuing their advanced degree studies at the following campus locations:
- Amherst – Offers an online Clinical Nurse Leader track.
- Boston – Available concentrations include Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, and Acute/Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist.
- Dartmouth – Offers graduate studies with a focus in either Nursing Management or Nursing Education.
- Lowell – Concentrations in Family Heath, Adult Gerontological, and Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health are available.
- Worcester State College is home to an MSN program with two specialty tracks that uses a blended learning format of face-to-face interaction and online classes. Consisting of both coursework and a practicum, nurses may pursue the Community and Public Health Nursing Specialty Track, which also builds skills in evidence-based practice, program evaluation, informatics, health economics, health care policy, environmental health, and epidemiology. Students are also required to complete a final project. The College also offers an MSN program with aNurse Educator Specialty Track that touches upon a nurse’s role as it pertains to higher education, vocational education, staff education, and patient education.
- Students at Worchester may pursue their advanced degree in one of three ways: traditional entry (for nurses with a BSN), the Bridge Program (for registered nurses with a non-nursing BA or BS degree), and the RN-to-MS Fast Track (for RNs with an associate degree or diploma who wish to jump right into the MS in Nursing degree program).
- In Worchester, nurses may also attend the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, which offers both an on-campus and online curriculum. The Family Nurse Practitioner Track is offered for campus instruction at the Manchester and Worchester campus locations for part-time study. The 24-month program starts in the summertime. For online studies, the College offers concentrations in Family Nurse Practitioner (requires a minimum of 630 unpaid clinical hours in addition to a nurse’s work hours) or Teaching and Learning (with two required residencies in addition to orientation and a 90-hour practicum).
Massachusetts MSN Checklist
- Obtain a Registered Nurse (RN) license issued by the MA Board of Registration in Nursing.
- Earn an MSN degree from an accredited college or university.
- Fulfill requirements regarding supervised clinical experience, when applicable.
- Apply for licensure with the Massachusetts Board of Nursing (~ $180 fee).
- Hold a current certification from a Board-recognized national professional organization; meet all certification requirements mandated by that organization.
- Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Massachusetts.
- File for a state controlled substances registration and a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration registration in order to prescribe medication, when applicable.
In addition to qualifying for job positions that expect a nurse to take on more responsibilities, a Master of Science in Nursing also opens the door to an increased number of higher-paying opportunities across the nation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Massachusetts offers some of the highest median salaries for the following MSN-degree related careers: medical and health service managers ($110,160), nursing instructors and teachers ($76,070), and nurse midwives ($107,710), who are also some of the highest-paid in the nation.
The BLS also identifies Massachusetts as one of the top five highest-paying states in the U.S. for nurse practitioners – generally paying their professionals a median salary of $102,340 regarding the occupation.
Just as there are plenty of on-campus opportunities to earn an MSN in Massachusetts, nurses who prefer the convenience and flexibility of an online education may also browse some of the following school programs for more information: