Massachusetts is one of the oldest states in the Union. Everywhere you turn are buildings from the 1600s, stories of generations contained therein. Massachusetts is truly a living museum. Visit Boston for the incredible nightlife, or Cape Cod to rest on the beach and put the cares of the world behind you. There is something for everyone!
If you are a registered nurse (or are thinking of becoming one) read on to find the information you need, from licensing info, continuing education requirements, job & salary outlook, top hospitals, and nursing associations. Let us help you find your dream job!
In this article, we will cover:
- Licensing information
- Steps for renewing a Massachusetts nursing license
- Continuing education requirements
- Job & salary outlook for nurses in Massachusetts
- Top hospitals in Massachusetts
- Nursing organizations & associations in Massachusetts
- Basic steps for licensing and certification
- Contact information
Below are the fees for becoming a nurse in Massachusetts whether you are a first-time nurse or are moving to Massachusetts from another state. For more information visit the Massachusetts licensing page.
Licensing fees by examination (first-time nurses):
- NCLEX fee: $200
- Application fee: $230
Licensing fees by endorsement (already have RN licensure):
- Application fee: $275 (RN/LPN); $150 (APRN)
- License verification fee: $30
License renewal fees:
- Application fee: $120 (RN/LPN); $180 (APRN)
*Fees are subject to change.
**Most states require a background check, but prices are not always listed.
Steps for renewing a Massachusetts nursing license
- Verify the status of your license
Visit the Verification page in order to confirm your license.
- Complete your Massachusetts nursing continuing education requirements before your license expires
You can complete your nursing CEUs online, on your schedule, and 100% free with Incredible Health.
- Go to the Massachusetts Board of Nursing site to enter your renewal application
Visit the Massachusetts Board of Nursing Renewal Information page for specifics.
Continuing education requirements
RN/LPN: 15 contact hours every 2 years
APRN: 15 contact hours every 2 years; maintain board certification
Incredible Health offers ANCC-accredited continuing education courses for nurses in all 50 states, 100% free and online. The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing accepts courses that are ANCC accredited.
Earn your CEUs free
Our easy online CE courses are ANCC-accredited and 100% free for nurses.
Job & salary outlook for nurses in Massachusetts
Due to the shortage of nurses, these healthcare professionals are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the profession will grow by about 9% between 2020-2030. The mean annual wage is $96,250.
We can also help you check out salary estimates to help determine if Massachusetts is the right state for you.
[ MORE: Average nurse salary in Massachusetts ]
Top hospitals in Massachusetts
If you’re not already picking up the phone to call movers, maybe this list of the best hospitals in Massachusetts will sway you in the right direction. Here are the top hospitals according to U.S. News and World Report:
- Massachusetts General Hospital – Boston, MA: This hospital is part of the Magnet Recognition Program®, and has been chosen for numerous other prestigious awards. In 2021, Mass General is also ranked #3 on the World’s Best Hospitals list by Newsweek. Some specialties include:
- Diabetes & Endocrinology (#2 in the nation)
- Ear, Nose & Throat (#2 in the nation)
- Psychiatry (#3 in the nation)
- Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#7 in the nation)
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Boston, MA: This hospital has also been awarded Magnet Recognition Program®. “An international leader in virtually every area of medicine, the Brigham has led numerous medical and scientific breakthroughs that have improved lives around the world.” Some specialties include:
- Cancer (#4 in the nation)
- Gynecology (#4 in the nation)
- Rheumatology (#5 in the nation)
- Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#10 in the nation)
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – Boston, MA: Beth Israel “believes in medicine that puts people first. We are passionate about providing extraordinary care with the best therapies and the latest technologies, finding new cures and teaching and inspiring the caregivers of tomorrow.” Some specialties include:
- Cancer (#31 in the nation)
- Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#40 in the nation)
- Diabetes & Endocrinology (#41 in the nation)
*Magnet status – Awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is considered the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care. Hospitals must meet certain criteria and apply to be designated.
Top nursing jobs in Massachusetts on Incredible Health
Framingham, MA | $64,000 to $145,000 /year
Worcester, MA | $64,000 to $145,000 /year
Plymouth, MA | $64,000 to $145,000 /year
Winchester, MA | $75,000 to $150,000 /year
Woburn, MA | $75,000 to $150,000 /year
Nursing organizations & associations in Massachusetts
Once you become a registered nurse (or even if you’re in the process), joining a nursing organization or association will give you access to networking, job opportunities, and a wealth of information shared between fellow nurses. Here are a few of the organizations and associations for nurses in Massachusetts:
Massachusetts Nurses Association: The MNA “has the tools, the resources and the support nurses need to be the best they can be and to ensure that the patients they care for receive the care they deserve.”
Massachusetts Coalition of Nurse Practitioners: The MCNP “promotes high standards of advanced nursing practice, nursing education, and involvement in the legislative process.”
Massachusetts School Nurse Organization, Inc.: The mission of this organization is to “promote and advance quality school health services throughout the Commonwealth and promote the rights, interests and professional growth of our members.”
Check out the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.
Basic steps for licensing and certification
Step 1: Education
Attend an accredited nursing school to earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, while you can expect to spend roughly four years to earn a BSN. If you already have an ADN, there is an ADN to BSN bridge program that allows you to earn a BSN in 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN bridge which takes three semesters of nursing courses to be completed in one year. These programs will save you time and money. The more education you have, the better your chances of landing your dream job.
Step 2: Licensing
When you are six weeks away from graduation, you can apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. There are 75 to 265 questions on the NCLEX-RN with a five-hour time limit for completion. If you do not pass the NCLEX-RN on your first attempt, you must wait 45 days before you can try again.
The NCLEX includes questions on the following topics to test nursing candidates’ knowledge:
1. Safe and effective care environment
2. Health promotion and maintenance
3. Psychosocial integrity
4. Physiological integrity
Step 3: Experience
This step in the process is to gain hands-on experience. This will provide you with invaluable opportunities to work with patients making you attractive to future employers.
Step 4: Certification
The final step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. Requirements for earning a certification vary so it is important to check with the governing body for information. Incredible Health offers free courses in order to obtain or renew certification requirements. Create a free account to access professional development mandates and get instant certificates.
Expert advice from nurses like you
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing
Phone: (800) 414-0168 or (617) 973-0900
Fax: (617) 973-0984
Email: [email protected]
239 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02114
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