5 Best Massachusetts Nurse Practitioner Programs + Requirements

Massachusetts has one of the largest nurse practitioner (NP) workforces in the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 4,370 NPs were employed in the state in 2012. Their average annual salary stood at $102,340, which is one of the highest in the country. It is believed that this is due to the fact that Massachusetts was the very first state in our country to implement universal healthcare coverage. This means that there are many employment opportunities for adult health NPs and Family NPs (FNPs) in particular.

To work as an NP in Massachusetts, you must enter into a collaborative agreement with a physician. This will allow you to diagnose and treat patients. Additionally, the agreement will allow you to prescribe medication.

There are many ways to become an NP in Massachusetts, with a range of programs on offer. This means that there should be a program out there that fits your specific needs and requirements. Please read on for what we believe are the 5 best Massachusetts NP programs.

1. Boston College

At Boston College, students can choose a number of concentrations to become a nurse practitioner. Each of these have different requirements. However, all focus on issues in advanced practice nursing, ethics, health assessment, research methods and pharmacology. All students must also choose two specialty theory courses and two nursing specialty practice courses. Practice requirements can be completed in various different settings in the Boston area.

  • Campus: Chestnut Hill, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $1,154 per credit hour
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Programs: MSN adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, pediatric primary care nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, women’s health nurse practitioner
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

2. MCPHS University

The MCPHS University offers an FNP degree program with a range of different concentration options. The degree is offered both online and on campus and students must complete 630 hours of clinical work. The school also offers a post-master’s track for those who already hold a master’s degree. Those who choose to study online must take part in 3 different residencies.

  • Campus: Worcester and Manchester, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $850 per credit hour for online program; $1,020 per credit hour for on-campus program
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: BSN or MSN, transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation, resume, RN license, AHA BLS card, TOEFL
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner (various tracks), post master’s certificate
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid 

3. MGH Institute of Health Professions

The MGH Institute offers a range of different master’s programs for nurse practitioners, including for those who do not currently hold a nursing degree. They have various concentration programs to suit any need. All courses included standard advanced nursing education. The final part of the degree follows the specialization the student chooses. To graduate, students must finish a scholarly study project.

  • Campus: Boston, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $1,092 per credit hour
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Online availability: Yes – fully and hybrid, depending on track
  • Degree requirements: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Programs: DNP, MSN NP in various concentrations
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid
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4. Northeastern University

Northeastern University offers a range of different NP tracks at master’s level and at doctorate level. All degrees have a number of core courses that students take together. Furthermore, to graduate, they must take part in 630 practical hours. Those who already hold a master’s degree can take part in advanced graduate studies to become NPs as well.

  • Campus: Boston, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $1,210 per credit hour
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen concentration
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: Varies depending on concentration
  • Programs: DNP, MSN NP in various concentrations, certificates of advanced graduate studies
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

5. Regis College

Regis College offers various concentrations for nurse practitioners, as well as a DNP program. During the first two years, all master’s degree students will share core courses before moving on to their specialty areas. They also offer an RN to MSN program for those students who do not have a bachelor’s degree yet. These students do have to take the NCLEX-RN during their degree program. The final year of the program can be completed part-time for all students.

  • Campus: Weston, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Tuition: $17,190 per semester
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: Varies on chosen track
  • Programs: MS in Nurse Practitioner in various concentrations, DNP
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Massachusetts

In order to become a nurse practitioner in Massachusetts, you need to follow these steps:

1. Obtain your necessary graduate education through an accrediting body that is nationally recognized. This has to be a post-RN program. The program must have lasted for a minimum of one year. Additionally, it must be focused on preparing you to become a nurse practitioner. Additionally, if you want to gain prescriptive authority, the curriculum must include identifying patients at high risk of substance abuse, effective pain management and/or counseling patients in terms of the consequences (addictive properties, side effects, storage and more) of taking medication.

2. Become nationally certified through one of the nationally recognized certification bodies. The expanded roles for nurse practitioners in Massachusetts is the RN/NP (general nurse practitioner). Four certification bodies are recognized for this: the AANP, the ANCC, the NCC, the PNCB and the AACN.

3. Put in an application for your APRN authorization. Massachusetts has made this process very easy to complete. There is also an online verification system for those who hold an RN license in a state other than Massachusetts. You must also demonstrate that you are of good moral character. Finally, if you want to have prescriptive authority, you need to apply for this as well.

4. Renew your license in even-numbered years on your birthday. You must also ensure your Massachusetts RN license remains up-to-date. This includes having to keep your continuous professional education current. A reminder will be sent to you no more than 90 days before renewal is required. The continuous education requirements vary depending on the national certification agencies through which you are registered and you must consult them for this.