Becoming an LPN in Massachusetts

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are in high demand in Massachusetts, due in part to the nationwide nursing shortage. Those in the state interested in entering the nursing workforce should take a closer look at this rewarding career, which is slated to grow by 12% through the year 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). LPNs in Massachusetts earn an average hourly wage of $26.53, or an annual salary of approximately $55,000. With a relatively short duration, LPN programs in the state make it easy to enter the healthcare field much faster than with traditional 4-year nursing programs.

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2018 Best LPN Programs in Massachusetts

Are you looking to become a licensed practical nurse in Massachusetts? The school you choose is important when it comes to getting your license. Approved programs in Massachusetts are offered at community colleges, technical centers, and private career schools - we list 18 schools across the state. After careful review of NCLEX-PN exam first-time pass rates over the past several years, we have ranked the top 5 programs. For more information on our LPN program rankings, see our Methodology page.

To see all the top ranked LPN programs in Massachusetts click here.

Details on Massachusetts LPN Schools & Classes

There are quite a variety of schools in Massachusetts that offer approved LPN programs, from community colleges to technical/vocational schools. Most programs can be completed in 1-2 years of study, depending on full-time or part-time attendance. Students enrolled in an LPN program will gain the intellectual development and hands-on training needed to excel in the role.

The curriculum of a typical LPN program requires students to take core nursing courses as well as labs. Some common nursing course titles may include:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Essentials of Nutrition
  • Foundations of Practical Nursing
  • Human Growth & Development
  • Principles of Pharmacology
  • Medical Surgical Nursing

Accreditation

In order to ensure that you are choosing a respectable LPN program, you should check for proper accreditations. Schools and programs accredited by national organizations such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing are held to high standards and carry more weight on job resumes. You may also find schools accredited by regional organizations as well. Lastly, you will want to check with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing to make sure that your program of choice is board-approved.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to your school and LPN program of choice, you’ll need to make sure you meet or exceed all requirements. While these may vary based on school, they generally consist of the following:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Completion of any prerequisite courses
  • Satisfactory HESI exam scores
  • Proof of CPR certification
  • Must pass a criminal background test

Tuition and Costs

Each LPN program will have slightly different costs due to factors like location, type of school, and more. All students will be responsible for covering the costs of tuition, fees, and course materials such as textbooks and supplies. As an example, the total cost for the LPN program at Blue Hills Regional Technical School in Canton is estimated at $12,300 for in-district residents, $13,800 for out-of-district residents, and $14,800 for out-of-state residents. This does not include additional expenses for things like uniforms and parking. Financial assistance and payment plans are typically available for students who qualify.

Massachusetts LPN Licensing Requirements

Massachusetts requires individuals interested in becoming an LPN in the state to first attend an approved practical nursing program. Then he or she was register, sit for, and pass the required testing—the NCLEX-PN exam.

To apply for licensure the applicant must submit:

  • The licensure by exam application.
  • A declaration of the primary state of residence.
  • Pass a criminal background check.

NCLEX Exam Information

As previously stated, the NCLEX-PN exam is the final test that prospective LPNs must pass in order to gain official licensure. The test covers a wide variety of nursing topics broken up into different sections. For further information on the NCLEX-PN, check out our guide here.  Additionally, students are encouraged to take the NCLEX-PN practice test to get an idea of how the real exam will go.

LPN Reciprocity and eNLC

Massachusetts is currently pending legislature in order to enter into the new (as of January 2018) Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). The eNLC allows nurses to practice in any state within the compact without having to apply for a new nursing license.

Until then, those from out of state who wish to apply for a license in the state of Massachusetts must do so by reciprocity. The applicant must submit a completed Determination of Eligibility for Practical Nurse Reciprocity, and by submitting an official transcript from the attended state-approved nursing program in their state of origin. The transcript must include:

  • Dates the student entered and withdrew (or graduated) from the school.
  • Proof that the student was in good standing.
  • Calculation of theory and clinical clock hours that were successfully completed.
  • Statement verifying that coursework and clinical practice was in medical, surgical, pediatric, obstetrical, mental health, and nursing concepts.

To learn more about Massachusetts nurse licensure by reciprocity, visit https://www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-a-nursing-license-by-reciprocity

LPN Salary in Massachusetts By Area

The table below lists career information organized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for licensed practical nurses in Massachusetts. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Boston, Cambridge, Newton5,800$26.51$55,130
Worcester1,900$25.97$54,020
Springfield1,670$23.63$49,140
Lawrence, Methuen Town, Salem1,150$27.34$56,860
Lowell, Billerica, Chelmsford970$25.99$54,060
Peabody, Salem, Beverly640$28.43$59,130
Barnstable Town630$28.58$59,440
Brockton, Bridgewater, Easton470$26.54$55,200
Framingham460$25.44$52,910
Taunton, Middleborough, Norton460$26.52$55,170
New Bedford380$25.28$52,590
Pittsfield370$23.77$49,440
Lynn, Saugus, Marblehead310$28.08$58,400
Leominster, Gardner260$25.06$52,120
Haverhill, Newburyport, Amesbury Town250$25.98$54,030

For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Massachusetts LPN to RN/BSN programs page.

Top Ranked Massachusetts LPN Programs

1

Northern Essex Community College

100 Elliott St, Haverhill, MA 01830 - (978) 556-3000 - Visit Homepage

North Essex Community College’s excellent, board-approved practical nursing program prepares students to take the national certification exam and find employment as an entry-level LPN. Enrolled students will learn about anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and more, and participate in laboratory practice and clinical experiences.

Overall Score: 96.45 - Request Info on Northern Essex Community College
2

Blue Hills Regional Technical School

800 Randolph St, Canton, MA 02021 - (781) 828-5800 - Visit Homepage

Blue Hills Regional Technical School is located in Canton, Massachusetts. Blue Hills Regional pursues academic excellence through knowledge, technical training, and character development through a curriculum that emphasizes cutting-edge technology and challenging coursework, enabling students to become competent in their chosen fields.

Overall Score: 94.10 - Request Info on Blue Hills Regional Technical School
3

Greenfield Community College

1 College Dr, Greenfield, MA 01301 - (413) 775-1801 - Visit Homepage

Students enrolled in Greenfield Community College’s LPN program can enjoy a rewarding, meaningful career in as little as ten months. The curriculum blends liberal arts and clinical nursing courses, as well as 25-35 hours per week of laboratory science classes and clinical practice.

Overall Score: 93.84 - Request Info on Greenfield Community College
4

Massachusetts Bay Community College

50 Oakland Street, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481 - (781) 239-3000 - Visit Homepage

MassBay Community College’s Wellesley Hills campus offers a board-approved, ACEN-accredited practical nursing program. Students learn both theory and practice as part of the program, with clinical experiences taking place at area health care facilities to emphasize best nursing practices as they relate to direct patient care.

Overall Score: 92.63 - Request Info on Massachusetts Bay Community College
5

Bay Path Vocational Technical High School

57 Old Muggett Hill Rd, Charlton, MA 01507 - (508) 248-5971 - Visit Homepage

Bay Path Vocational Technical High School, located in Charlton, Massachusetts, offers a curriculum designed to offer students a rigorous academic and vocational education, producing world-class workers and responsible citizens. Bay Path Vocational Technical High School provides quality educational experiences in teamwork, leadership, and character development, reinforcing confidence, positive work attitudes, and communication skills.

Overall Score: 91.10

Continued List of All Programs in Massachusetts

RankedProgramScoreDetails
#6 Assabet Valley Regional Technical School
215 Fitchburg St, Marlborough, MA 01752
(508) 485-9430 Visit Homepage
90.89Request Information
#7 North Shore Community College
1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 762-4000 Visit Homepage
90.29Request Information
#8 Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical School
65 Pleasant St, Upton, MA 01568
(508) 529-7758 Visit Homepage
90.20Request Information
#9 Quinsigamond Community College
670 W Boylston St, Worcester, MA 01606
(508) 853-2300 Visit Homepage
90.12Request Information
#10 Mount Wachusett Community College
444 Green St, Gardner, MA 01440
(978) 632-6600 Visit Homepage
89.92Request Information
#11 Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School
251 Stonehaven Rd, Fall River, MA 02723
(508) 678-2891 Visit Homepage
86.89Request Information
#12 Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
1050 Westminster St, Fitchburg, MA 01420
(978) 345-9200 Visit Homepage
86.18Request Information
#13 Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 538-7000 Visit Homepage
82.81Request Information
#14 Berkshire Community College
1350 West St, Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 499-4660 Visit Homepage
82.06Request Information
#15 Charles H. McCann Technical School
70 Hodges Cross Road, North Adams, MA 01247
(413) 663-5383 Visit Homepage
77.35Request Information
#16 Roxbury Community College
1234 Columbus Ave, Roxbury Crossing, MA 02120
(617) 427-0060 Visit Homepage
76.70Request Information
#17 Bunker Hill Community College
250 New Rutherford Avenue, Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 228-2000 Visit Homepage
75.90Request Information
#18 Quincy College
1250 Hancock St, Quincy, MA 02169
(617) 984-1700 Visit Homepage
66.17Request Information

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