Top Massachusetts RN-to-MSN Programs + Online Requirements

by Courtney Smith-Kimble

Learn how ADN to MSN programs in Massachusetts can help RNs increase their earning potential and career opportunities. Also, learn what to expect from admission requirements.

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

The demand for nurses with advanced degrees and credentials continues to increase. Bridge programs make career advancement easy for RNs seeking to transition from an ADN to an MSN in Massachusetts. An MSN can increase graduates' professional opportunities and earning potential.

For instance, the state's Boston, Cambridge, and Nashua areas rank second in the nation for the most nurse practitioner (NP) job openings. Massachusetts NPs earn $123,690 on average, while the national average is $111,840. ADN-to-MSN programs offer an efficient way for ADN-holders to earn their degree in 2.5-3 years and enter a thriving job market.

An MSN curriculum focuses on advanced nursing concepts, and programs may offer concentrations like family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, geriatric nurse practitioner, and nursing leadership. An increasing number of nursing programs in MA offer online courses to accommodate working candidates. However, students must complete field experiences in person.

Read about our ranking methodology

Top RN-to-MSN Programs in Massachusetts

Rank School Location
1 Boston College Chestnut Hill, Brighton and Newton Center, MA
2 Curry College Milton, MA
3 Elms College Chicopee, MA
4 Emmanuel College Boston, MA
5 Fitchburg State University Fitchburg, MA
6 MCPHS University Boston, Worcester and Manchester, MA
7 Framingham State University Framingham, MA

Featured Online Programs

Applying to a Massachusetts RN-to-MSN Program

ADN-to-MSN admission requirements vary considerably between colleges and universities. Common requirements include an associate degree from an accredited school and an unencumbered state RN license. Students should anticipate a 2.0 GPA requirement at minimum for traditional programs and at least a 3.0 GPA requirement for accelerated options. GPA requirements for accelerated programs are intended to ensure student success in the program.

Some programs may also expect candidates to complete prerequisite nursing courses and achieve a minimum grade in specific courses, such as human anatomy, microbiology, and chemistry. Other common requirements include 1-2 years of experience as a licensed RN, letters of recommendation, a resume, and an admissions statement. Schools may also ask applicants to participate in an interview.

Explore the Best Massachusetts RN-to-MSN Programs and Schools

Boston College View School Profile Chestnut Hill, Brighton and Newton Center, MA

Boston College hosts the Conell School of Nursing, where students can become nurse leaders and advanced practice nurses. Students are taught that it is important for a nurse leader to be able to have the wisdom to step back when required and to make clinical decisions when these are needed. They must also be able to apply these to a variety of health care settings. Additionally, they must be patient advocates and have the ability to exert true clinical judgment. Graduates must have shown a true commitment to ensuring their profession develops in such a way that they can have the greatest positive impact.

  • Campus: Chestnut Hill, Brighton and Newton Center, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: ANCCCA
  • Tuition: $1,200 per credit
  • Minimum time commitment: 72 credits
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: BSN, GPA of B or more, statistics course, RN
  • Programs: MSN Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Forensic Nursing, Palliative Care
  • School Site:  Tuition and Financial Aid
Curry College View School Profile Milton, MA

At Curry College, MSN graduates can become valuable health care employees because they will have the abilities that are needed to make a positive difference in the quality of health care. Additionally, they will be able to lower costs while increasing patient satisfaction. This is taught under the Clinical Nurse Leader curriculum. Some of the core elements of the curriculum include outcomes measurement, risk assessment, patient safety and improving quality.

  • Campus: Milton, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: AACN
  • Tuition: $972 per credit
  • Minimum time commitment: 37 credits
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: BSN, GPA of 3.0, statistics course, interview, resume, one letter of recommendation, personal statement, RN license
  • Programs: MSN Clinical Nurse Leader
  • School Site:  Tuition and Financial Aid
Elms College View School Profile Chicopee, MA

Elms College’s School or Nursing wants to make sure that graduates become the best nurse educators and scholars in the country. This mission is delivered by offering a learning community that is supportive and that challenges the students to make sure they are able to adapt to change without forgetting their own ethics. The MSN is one of the most esteemed degree programs in the state, mainly because their focus is strongly on the welfare of individual students.

  • Campus: Chicopee, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $29,728 per year
  • Minimum time commitment: 2 years
  • Online availability: No
  • Degree requirements: Two letters of recommendation, transcripts, statistics course, resume, personal statement, RN license, interview
  • Programs: MSN Nursing and Health Services Management, Nursing Education, Dual Degree MSN/MBA
  • School Site:  Tuition and Financial Aid
Emmanuel College View School Profile Boston, MA

At Emmanuel College, MSN students undergo rigorous training programs in a variety of different formats. The programs are designed for those who are passionate about helping other people, but who feel like they could do more. The degree gives them the advanced skills and knowledge they require. There are two tracks available – nursing management and nursing education – which ensure students are able to perform evidence-based practice. The foundations are based on ethics, theory, diversity, research, health care policy and IT. Additionally, students must choose four specialty courses.

  • Campus: Boston, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $2,581 per course
  • Minimum time commitment: 36 credits
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: BSN, transcripts, GPA of 2.5 or more, two letters of recommendation, essay, resume, RN license, interview
  • Programs: MSN Nursing Education and Nursing Management
  • School Site:  Tuition and Financial Aid
Fitchburg State University View School Profile Fitchburg, MA

Registered Nurses can take part in an MSN degree program at Fitchburg State University. Graduates become advanced leaders who play a meaningful role in the health of the communities in which they work. Graduates will be at the forefront of developing the quality of health care and then later to study towards a doctorate degree.

  • Campus: Fitchburg, MA
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $304 per credit
  • Minimum time commitment: 36 semester hours
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: Transcript, BSN, GRE, CORI, essay
  • Programs: MSN Forensic Nursing
  • School Site:  Tuition and Financial Aid
MCPHS University View School Profile Boston, Worcester and Manchester, MA

At MCPHS, those who currently hold a BSN degree are welcome to study towards becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner. The program is fully online and is known to be one of the most innovative programs in the state. Only minimal campus visits are required in order to complete the program itself.

  • Campus: Boston, Worcester and Manchester, MA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $860 per credit hour
  • Minimum time commitment: Two years
  • Online availability: Yes
  • Degree requirements: BSN, RN license, one year’s work experience, TOEFL if applicable, GPA of 3.0 minimum
  • Programs: MSN Family Nurse Practitioner, Teaching and Learning
  • School Site:  Tuition and Financial Aid 
Framingham State University View School Profile Framingham, MA

MSN courses at Framingham are delivered in a hybrid format. This means that some on campus studying will be required, but much of the curriculum is delivered online. Each semester, a student must take part in two courses. This means a student only needs to be on campus once a week in the evenings. The school ensures that the same cohort stays together for the duration of the course. The MSN is designed for those who already have a lot of nursing theory and those who want to become even better in areas, such as ethics, healthcare policy, IT, cultural competency and practice expertise. As such, they can choose from two programs, for becoming a nurse leader or nurse educator.

  • Campus: Framingham, MA
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $1,270 per course
  • Minimum time commitment: Two years
  • Online availability: Partially
  • Degree requirements: RN license, BSN, QPA of 3.0 minimum, statistics course, personal interview, two letters of recommendation, personal statement
  • Programs: MSN Nursing Education, Nursing Leadership
  • School Site:  Tuition and Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have a bachelor's degree in nursing to get into an MSN bridge program? MSN bridge program requirements vary. Students should conduct independent research when considering a particular school due to the lack of standardization among programs. Some expect applicants to hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. However, students can find ADN-to-MSN programs in Massachusetts.
What does it mean for a program to be accredited? Accredited programs meet the industry standards for a quality nursing education. Accreditation ensures that graduates qualify to take national exams and pursue licensure. Primary nursing accrediting institutions include the Commission on the Collegiate Nursing Education, the Accreditation for Education in Nursing, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives Division of Accreditation.
Can I transfer credit hours from another university into a BSN or MSN bridge program? Prospective students should research all potential programs to understand each school's transfer policies. However, programs often allow students to transfer credits from accredited schools. Applicants may need to look at grade requirements on specific courses. Accelerated programs may not accept as many transfer credits as traditional programs.
How many nurse practitioners are employed in Massachusetts? Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there are 6,200 NPs currently practicing in Massachusetts.

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