2021 - Best LPN Programs 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 9% through the year 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 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. LPNs in Massachusetts earn approximately $28.36 per hour, which equates to an average annual salary of $58,990. This is roughly $11,940 per year more than the national average.
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
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.
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 $14,300 for in-district residents, $15,800 for out-of-district MA residents, and $16,800 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.
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Massachusetts LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
Massachusetts LPN Licensing Requirements
Massachusetts requires individuals interested in becoming an LPN in the state to first attend an approved practical nursing program and pass the required testing. 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 NLC
Massachusetts is currently pending legislature in order to enter into the Nurse Licensure Compact. The NLC 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 here.
- Total Number of State Approved LPN Schools: 18
- 2020 Average Statewide Massachusetts NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 92.1%
Massachusetts Bay Community College
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.
Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School
At Diman Regional Voc-Tech's School of Practical Nursing, special care is taken to offset the shortage of qualified healthcare personnel by training a new generation of LPNs. Students learn the technical and theoretical skills needed to find success in the medical field as entry-level practical nurses.
Holyoke Community College
Holyoke Community College offers a 40-week practical nursing program that utilizes multimedia-equipped classrooms, high-fidelity simulation labs, and skilled faculty to educate the next generation of entry-level practical nurses. Upon completion, students are well prepared for the NCLEX-PN exam and for employment in the field.
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical School
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School is located in Upton, Massachusetts. BVT believes in developing an individual's potential by building supportive relationships that deliver rigorous and relevant education. Practical nursing students benefit from state-of-the-art technology and challenging, comprehensive competency-based instruction.
Assabet Valley Regional Technical School
Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School (AV) is located in Marlborough, Massachusetts. AV's practical nursing program is offered in a full-time format that can be completed in 10 months. The curriculum prepares students to care for patients in a variety of healthcare settings, such as nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, and more.
Continued List of All Programs in Massachusetts
Northern Essex Community College
100 Elliott St, Haverhill, MA 01830
North Shore Community College
1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, MA 01923
Blue Hills Regional Technical School
800 Randolph St, Canton, MA 02021
Mount Wachusett Community College
444 Green St, Gardner, MA 01440
Quinsigamond Community College
670 W Boylston St, Worcester, MA 01606
100 West St, Pittsfield, MA 01201
Berkshire Community College
1350 West St, Pittsfield, MA 01201
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
1050 Westminster St, Fitchburg, MA 01420
Greenfield Community College
1 College Dr, Greenfield, MA 01301
Charles H. McCann Technical School
70 Hodges Cross Road, North Adams, MA 01247
Bay Path Vocational Technical High School
57 Old Muggett Hill Rd, Charlton, MA 01507
Programs Not Included In Rankings
Quincy College Plymouth
36 Cordage Park Cir, Plymouth, MA 02360
Quincy College Quincy
1250 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA 02169
Are we missing your school's program or need to make changes to the information listed? Please contact us.
Additional MA Nursing Resources
- Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing 239 Causeway Street, Second Floor Boston, MA 02114 Phone: (617) 973-0800
- Massachusetts Nurses Association 340 Turnpike Street Canton, MA 02021 Phone: (781) 821-4625
The following programs have had a withdrawal of approval from the MA Board of Registration in Nursing:
- Medical Professional Institute, Practical Nursing Program, effective August 18, 2016
- Quincy College, Practical Nursing Program, Quincy, MA, effective May 9, 2018
- Roxbury Community College, Practical Nurse Program, effective June 12, 2019
Read more at:
https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2019/07/12/Approvernandlpnprograms07102019.pdf (July 10, 2019)
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.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Boston, Cambridge, Nashua||10,720||$29.40||$61,150|