Massachusetts LPN Programs - Information & Rankings

If you live in Massachusetts and you're looking for a great career, consider becoming a licensed practical nurse. Nurses are currently in high demand all over the state, with growth in the job market projected to continue well into the 2020s. It takes less time to complete most LPN programs in Massachusetts as compared to what is required to become a registered nurse. With less than two years of courses, you could earn your certificate, diploma or associate degree as an LPN. The average salary within the state is more than $53,000 per year, which is about $8,000 a year more than the national average according to information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are currently 25 practical nursing programs that are approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. We have ranked the 12 best schools to make it easier for you to select the courses that will be most appropriate to your needs.


Program Length in MA

The length of time you will spend in educational classes will vary depending on where you go, but the average length of time to gain a certificate or a diploma as a licensed practical nurse typically ranges from a year to a year and a half. An associate degree typically takes about two years to complete.

Type Length
Certificate / Diploma 12 to 18 Months
Associate Degree 2 Years
(Source: In-House Research)


Program Cost in MA

Depending on where you go to get your courses done to be an LPN, you could pay anywhere from just a couple thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. However, a certificate or diploma program is much less costly than an associate degree program that could take much longer to complete.

Type Cost
Certificate / Diploma $2,880 - $45,790
Associate Degree $8,830 - $65,750
(Source: In-House Research)


Why NCLEX-PN Pass Rate is an Important Factor While Selecting an LPN Program in this State?

Passing the NCLEX-PN is a requirement to obtain your license before you can start working as an LPN in the state of MA, therefore it is such an important focus for practical nursing programs in MA. While close to 84% of graduating students pass this examination on the first try across the nation, that percentage is higher for graduates from Massachusetts programs at nearly 88%. Choosing a school with a high passing rate on the NCLEX-PN will ensure that you are better equipped to pass this exam.

NCLEX-PN Pass Rates
Year Massachusetts National
Taken % Passed Taken % Passed
2013 915 90.05% 58,575 84.63%
2014 896 88.62% 55,491 82.16%
2015 930 84.84% 50,979 81.88%
2016 890 85.62% 47,345 83.70%
2017 888 87.84% 46,948 83.85%


The 12 Best LPN Programs out of 25 MBN Approved Programs in Massachusetts for 2020


1) Quinsigamond Community College, Worcester

Located in the vibrant city of Worcester, Quinsigamond Community College is known to maintain exceptional standards with its career-centric academic programs, faculty commitment and community outreach. The college meets the diverse needs of its students and supports their dreams to establish a career in nursing.

The 40-week LPN program in Massachusetts offered at QCC comes with two flexible options; full-time (day) and part-time (evening). Coursework is spread over 3 semesters and an intersession, which includes theoretical studies, lab work and clinical experiences at various sites within the Worcester County area. This course requires you to commit weekdays and occasionally weekends, for clinical experiences. Upon completion of the coursework you will assume responsibilities of an entry level nurse in home and community health agencies, extended care facilities, clinics and hospitals.

2) Northern Essex Community College, Lawrence

The Northern Essex Community College located in the heart of Lawrence is just minutes away from two major interstate routes in Massachusetts. The faculty is known to train nursing students to become active learners and contributors in the society and leaders in the community.

This practical nursing certificate course begins in the fall and is conducted over three semesters involving class-work, lab practicals and either day or evening clinical experiences. The coursework must be taken in a sequence as specified by the college. Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to take the licensure exam and work in a variety of clinical settings such as long-term facilities, outpatient clinics, home health care, and rehab centers. For those interested in becoming an RN, this program lays a perfect foundation for the advanced nursing course and even lets you transfer credits towards an Associate in Nursing.

3) Greenfield Community College, Northampton

Greenfield Community College offers the LPN program in Northampton at the Smith Vocational High School. Dedicated to serve its diverse student population, Greenfield maintains a small 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, enabling learning in a close-knit environment.

The 10-month certificate program for practical nursing is a full-time course which begins in September and ends in June. To complete 43 program credits in liberal arts and nursing courses you are expected to put in about 25-35 hours each week for laboratory classes and clinical experience, and a few hours for theoretical study per week. Classes are scheduled 2-3 days a week at the Smith Vocational campus and clinical experiences are held 1-2 days every week at medical facilities in Hampshire and Hampden. To graduate you need to maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and “C” all throughout.

4) Massachusetts Bay Community College, Framingham

Located in the city of Framingham, Massachusetts Bay Community College, also known as MassBay, is renowned for being at the forefront of academic excellence. The faculty’s emphasis on student success results in its nursing students being prepared to serve the community and promote regional health development.

The 40-week program in practical nursing is delivered over 2 semesters and a summer session. It begins in fall and continues until June the following year. In order to graduate you will complete a 43-credit coursework that includes courses in medical terminology, nursing fundamentals, issues and trends in practical nursing, pharmacology, medical-surgical nursing and nursing care of the family unit. After you graduate, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN examination. You can then go on to work as a practical nurse or can also opt to broaden your career prospects by pursuing LPN to RN training.

5) North Shore Community College, Danvers

The Danvers campus of the North Shore Community College stands as a testament to sustainability and conservation of resources. The campus includes a ZeroNet Energy building and uses water-reclamation technique through a rooftop garden. This upbeat environment enhances student learning as reflected in their high NCLEX-PN passing and job placement rates.

To become an LPN in Massachusetts, NSCC offers a certificate course in practical nursing that is 10 months long. Admissions begin in fall with about 40 students being admitted each year. You will be studying for two semesters (16 weeks each), one winter intercession (2 weeks) and a summer session (6 weeks) making it a 40-week course. You will be expected to commit weekdays for attending theory lectures and evenings as well for certain clinical training experiences. Upon successful completion of the program, you can assume entry- level nursing responsibilities at various healthcare settings.

6) Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School, Taunton

Since its inception in September 1972, the Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School has been serving the community and attracting students from the nearby towns of Berkley, Bridgewater, Dighton, Middleboro, Raynham, Rehoboth and the City of Taunton. Here, nursing students are prepared to be employment ready and contribute to the social and economic development of the region.

The LPN course offered by the college prepares you to take the NCLEX-PN examination upon graduation. You can choose either the full-time or part-time option based on your flexibility. The full-time day course is held from September to June, for which you are required to commit 5 days a week. The evening program is a part-time course that is conducted over a period of two years, starting September every year. On completion of the curriculum you will develop critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills that help in providing holistic patient care. Furthermore, you will enhance communication and leadership skills and efficiently be able to function as a member of an interdisciplinary healthcare team.

7) Mount Wachusett Community College, Gardner

The sprawling 269-acre main campus of Mount Wachusett Community College offers a multitude of engaging learning opportunities for its diverse student body. The nursing faculty here will help you navigate your career towards success with their exceptional insights and life experiences.

For breaking through into the nursing profession, this LPN course in Massachusetts offered by MWCC beginning in January, can be considered. You will learn the basic concepts of nursing, psychology and anatomy over 3 semesters – spring, summer and fall in a closely-knit environment. The faculty trains you to acquire professional acumen and competence to provide care to patients in a variety of clinical settings. Upon graduation, you will be required to successfully clear the NCLEX-PN examination to become a licensed practitioner in the nursing field. If eligible you can also transfer credits from this course towards a higher degree in nursing.

8) Greater Lowell Technical High School, Tyngsboro

The Greater Lowell Technical High School operates out of the Tyngsboro campus, located close to the metropolitan city of Boston. The ambience of the campus is complemented by diverse cultural backgrounds of students and the impressive nursing faculty, who are in the pursuit of shaping students’ career and helping them reach their full potential within the class and community.

The college’s practical nursing certificate course is offered in two flexible options – day and evening/weekend classes:

• The day course spans 40 weeks, starting in August every year and ending in June the following year. You will be attending classes for 5 days a week from 8.00 am to 2.35 pm.

• If you choose the evening/weekend course, you will be required to put in 4 days every week from 4.00 pm to 10.00 pm, and every other weekend from 8.00 am to 2.30 pm.

You will study along with 40 other students, completing 1,097 hours of didactic sessions and 540 hours of clinical instructions. The curriculum includes courses in anatomy, physiology, mental health concepts, growth and development, nursing fundamentals, medical-surgical, geriatrics, pediatrics, pharmacology and trends in nursing.

9) Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, Billerica

Commitment to community progress and student success gives the Shawsheen Valley Technical High School an edge in imparting employment ready education. Student population hailing from 5 nearby towns is quite diverse. The nursing faculty is known to collaborate with industry leaders in order to deliver an engaging learning experience.

This 40-week course with an intensive curriculum entails completing 568 clock hours in theory and 542 in clinical training. You will gain proficiency in applying nursing theories to care for patients in various settings such as Tewksbury Hospital, Emerson Hospital, New England Rehabilitation Hospital and New England Pediatrics Care, Life Care Center of Merrimack Valley, Woodbriar, Bear Hill Nursing Home and Wingate of Andover. As a trained practical nurse, you will be able to provide holistic patient-care in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, physician’s office and healthcare facilities.

10) Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg

The Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, also known as Monty Tech, is conveniently located near the metro cities of Boston and Worcester, accessible by the scenic route 2. Monty Tech serves students and communities from rural, suburban and urban backgrounds of 18 cities, making it the second largest vocational technical school in the state.

The LPN program offered by Monty Tech is conducted from August to June with evening classes. Over a 41-week period including four terms, the faculty delivers coursework, rigorously training you to become a caregiver in the profession of nursing. A CPR certification is required for you to be enrolled into this course. After you graduate, you can sit for the NCLEX-PN examination and enter the workforce as a licensed practitioner. You can also explore the option of further education with the LPN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Bridge Program through affiliated institutions such as Fitchburg State University and Worcester State University.

11) Southeastern Technical Institute, South Easton

Southeastern Technical Institute, located in the suburban town of Easton, was established in 1967 and ever since has been assisting nursing students to excel in their chosen field of work. The faculty is adept at creating an engaging environment for learning and professional growth.

STI offers a full-time as well as a part-time practical nursing program. The full-time option is of 40 weeks, beginning in August and ending in June the following year. Classes, lab practicals and the clinical component are carried out on weekdays. If you choose the part-time option that takes 80 weeks to complete, you will have the flexibility of attending evening classes three days a week. The curriculum entails taking courses in fundamental nursing concepts, integrated science, introduction to pharmacology, human growth, development and behavior, the outcome of which will be enhanced decision-making, leadership and effective patient communication skills.

12) Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, Fall River

Located in close proximity to Boston, Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the city of Fall River and three surrounding towns. Being a regular part of the Skills USA competitions, has earned this LPN school in MA the reputation of being one of the best vocational schools in the country. The faculty is known to encourage hidden potential of each nursing student through engaging learning experiences.

If nursing is your calling, then Diman offers a practical nursing program with three flexible options:

• The full-time course is a day program that spans 4 terms from August to June with 3 weeks of vacation. You will be required to commit weekdays for the 40-week course, with about 30 to 35 hours per week of studying and clinical experience.
• The part-time day program is conducted for a period of 80 weeks. It begins every other year (odd years) and includes 6 weeks of vacation and a summer break.
• The part-time evening program is conducted only if a minimum number of students are enrolled and begins every other year (even years).

The program is intensive in nature and the college strongly recommends limiting work commitments during your training. To graduate you must complete 1,106 clock hours in didactic and clinical training.

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How to Obtain My LPN License in Massachusetts?

You must apply to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing to obtain your licensing as a practical nurse in this state. Below are the steps you need to follow to receive your license.

• Enroll in and complete an approved LPN program in MA.
Apply to get your LPN license from the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.
Register to take your NCLEX-PN through Pearson VUE and pay for your examination.
• Obtain your authorization to test, or ATT, from Pearson VUE.
• Once you receive your ATT, schedule your examination.
• Take and pass your examination to get your license as an LPN in MA.

How Much Will I Earn?

When it comes to LPN salary in Massachusetts, this state is amongst the top five in the nation. The minimum hourly rate that you can expect when working as an LPN in this state is more than $20 per hour. With continuing experience, you can end up making over $35.00 per hour. This translates into nearly $75,000 per year if you're able to find full time work in the field, which is highly likely in most cases.

Type Salary Range Average Salary
Hourly $20.35 - $35.95 $27.79
Monthly $3,530 - $6,230 $4,820
Annual $42,320 - $74,780 $57,800
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


LPN Earnings in this State vs National Average

Massachusetts National Difference
Number %
$57,800 $45,710 + $12,090 + 26.45%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Job Outlook for LPN Graduates in Massachusetts

The ten-year growth rate for licensed practical nurses in MA is 8.39%. While this may be a little slower than in some areas, it is still considered as an average growth rate. Massachusetts employers often choose LPNs because they have excellent qualifications, and several LPNs can work in a setting under the supervision of a single RN. This gives the employer a great value for their money while providing patients the care they need.

Employment 10 Year New Job Growth Projection (2016-2026)
2016 2026 Number %
16,800 18,210 1,410 8.39%
(Source: careeronestop)


Projected LPN Annual Job Openings in Massachusetts (2019-2023)

Year New Jobs Replacement Jobs Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
2019 137 1,420 1,557
2020 133 1,530 1,663
2021 142 1,650 1,792
2022 138 1,780 1,918
2023 148 1,920 2,068
Total Job Openings in the Next 5 Years 7,441
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


6 Best Metro Areas in Massachusetts to Work as an LPN

The best metro area to work as an LPN is the Boston-Cambridge region. Three major employers in this metropolitan area are Mass General Hospital, Mass General Hospital for Children, and CHA Cambridge Hospital. Springfield, Worcester, and Warwick are some other top metro areas to work as a practical nurse, with extended care centers, urgent care centers, and nursing homes being some of the top employers in these regions.

Rank Metro Area Current Employment Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
1 Boston-Cambridge 11,100 $28.77 $4,990 $59,850
2 Springfield 1,760 $24.92 $4,320 $51,830
3 Worcester 1,690 $27.13 $4,700 $56,430
4 Warwick 1,620 $26.42 $4,580 $54,960
5 Barnstable Town 730 $26.79 $4,640 $55,720
6 New Bedford 390 $27.03 $4,680 $56,210
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


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