Registered nurse-to-master of science in nursing (RN-to-MSN) programs offer RNs with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) the opportunity to complete both their bachelor's and master's nursing degrees in an accelerated timeline. Known as bridge programs, RN-to-MSNs leverage credits earned in ADN programs and experience gained as working RNs. Rather than spending four years completing a BSN and an MSN individually, RN-to-MSN enrollees can graduate in about three years.
Our Massachusetts RN-to-MSN guide can help you choose the best route for advancing your career.
We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best Massachusetts RN-to-MSN programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.
At a Glance: The Top Massachusetts RN-to-MSN Programs
How Do Massachusetts RN-to-MSN Programs Work?
RN-to-MSN programs in Massachusetts prepare RNs for advanced roles, including nurse practitioners (NP), clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, and nurse administrators. The upper-level curriculum is highly focused on a specialization area, such as family nurse practitioner, nurse educator, or psychiatric-mental health NP.
Students begin with bachelor's-level general education courses in arts, sciences, and humanities, along with core nursing courses not already completed during the ADN study. Enrollees move onto MSN-level coursework in their focus area, plus advanced classes in ethics, leadership, pharmacology, and research.
To accommodate RN work schedules, many programs offer evening or online courses, with in-person labs and clinical experiences. RNs can often complete their clinical rotations in their current workplaces.
Featured Online MSN Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Applying to a Massachusetts RN-to-MSN Program
While acceptance rates at the top Massachusetts RN-to-MSN programs tend to exceed 70%, applicants should start assembling and preparing quality application materials well ahead of the deadline. Most programs require a personal essay or statement, professional recommendations, and college transcripts. Give yourself enough time to write and edit your essay, request reference letters, and order transcripts.
Proof of a current and unencumbered RN license and 1-2 years of work experience; college transcripts; 2-3 letters of reference; personal statement or essay
3.0 GPA, with a range of 2.75-3.25
GRE scores; criminal background check; admission interviews
Why Is Massachusetts RN-to-MSN Program Accreditation Important?
Nursing program accreditation signifies that the training offered meets standards of academic quality and prepares graduates to practice safely. Programs undergo regular and independent reviews of their curriculums by such organizations as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
All of the schools and programs in this ranking are accredited by one of those two commissions.
Attending an unaccredited program can lead to undesirable consequences, including subpar training and academic quality, along with ineligibility for the NCLEX or other certification exams and federal student funding. In addition, other nursing schools may not accept transfer credits from unaccredited programs, and employers may prefer or require applicants to have graduated from an accredited nursing school.
Learn More About the Best Massachusetts RN-to-MSN Programs and Schools
See our methodology to learn more about how we create our rankings.
#1 The Top RN-to-MSN Programs in Massachusetts of 2023
- Weston, MA
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Regis College provides RNs the opportunity to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s in nursing through their RN to BSN to MSN Upward Mobility Program. In one seamless academic experience, students can significantly elevate their nursing career and earning potential.
Located only 15 miles west of Boston, Regis offers high-level clinical placements in well-respected, world-class healthcare facilities throughout the greater Boston area.
The MSN portion of the program gives students the choice between five nurse practitioner clinical tracks, including family, pediatric, women’s health, adult-gerontology, and psychiatric-mental health.
- Program(s): RN to BSN to MSN
- Campus: Weston, MA
- Type: Private
- Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
- Tuition: $47,770 per year, $245 per credit
- Admission Requirements: Application, resume, personal statement, 3.0 GPA, official transcripts, letters of recommendation from professors or colleagues, personal interview, non-refundable application fee.
- Minimum Time Commitment: 28-36 months
- On-Campus Requirements: No
- School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2022): 77%
- Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $96,926 (MSN)
Percent Online Enrollment
Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
New England Commission on Higher Education
Frequently Asked Questions About Massachusetts RN-to-MSN Programs
Is it worth getting an MSN degree in Massachusetts?
MSN degrees, including those obtained through an RN-to-MSN bridge program, can lead to positions in nursing leadership and advanced nursing practice. Projections Central forecasts a 55.7% increase in employment for nurse practitioners in Massachusetts during 2020-2030, which exceeds the national projection of 46%.
Can an RN go straight to an MSN?
Qualified RNs can become MSNs through RN-to-MSN bridge programs, which allow ADN-holders with 1-2 years of RN experience advanced standing to complete their BSNs and MSNs in a shorter time frame. Students typically finish in three years, as opposed to four years pursuing the degrees separately.
How long does it take to complete an RN-to-MSN program?
RN-to-MSNs take about three years to earn, on average. Many RN-to-MSN curriculums accommodate working RNs with part-time, online, or evening classes and clinical opportunities at their existing worksites or in their home communities. Timelines can vary with enrollment status, chosen specialty area, and program pacing.
How much do you earn with an MSN degree?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Massachusetts NPs earn the fifth-highest salaries among U.S. states at $129,540. Nurse midwife salaries rank fourth at $129,360. Earnings for Massachusetts medical and health services managers, which include nurse administrators, place third in the U.S. at $140,270.