15 Best Online RN to BSN Programs in Massachusetts 2019

Nursing in New England is a career path with enormous benefits, especially in Massachusetts. One of the nation’s wealthiest states also has one of the best healthcare systems in the nation, with affordable health insurance for all citizens and some of the most cutting-edge, well-supported hospitals and clinics in the world. From the state’s major cities (especially Boston, one of the USA’s foremost metropolises) to the quaint rural villages and farms, nursing colleges in MA are working to provide some of the best-trained, most capable nurses in the US.

For working professionals in nursing in Massachusetts, the potential for advancement and career success is incredibly high. Boston, in fact, is one of the highest-paying cities for nurses, and Massachusetts is one of the highest-paying states. With all of that potential in mind, choosing an online program to make the leap to a BSN isn’t a risk – it’s an investment.

Methodology: Ranking the Best RN to BSN Online Nursing in Massachusetts

To rank the top RN to BSN Massachusetts has to offer, TopRNtoBSN sought out fully online, hybrid, and low-residency programs in the Bay State. From the initial pool, editors selected only regionally accredited programs known for quality and job market reputation. These were then ranked according to their scores in three areas:

  • Cost (from current IPEDS data)
  • Reputation (from Niche student reviews)
  • Graduate Employment (from College Scorecard statistics)

By bringing together these factors, TopRN narrowed down the programs that are most likely to show students real results – not just a solid education, but strong job market success and career advancement, along with the convenience and affordability of online learning.

1. University of Massachusetts Amherst

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s RN to BSN online program, from the College of Nursing, is designed for Registered Nurses who want to earn the Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. The RN to BSN online program is one of the most comprehensive nursing colleges in MA. UMass Amherst’s RN to BSN degree program has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges(NEASC). Online tuition costs are the same for resident and non-resident students. The RN to BSN can be completed in a year for full-time students and two years at a part-time pace.

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst was established in 1863 by a land grant and holds the distinction of the flagship school of the University of Massachusetts system. US News & World Report ranks UMass Amherst one of the top public research universities in the nation, and one of the best for nursing in Massachusetts. It’s the best RN to BSN Massachusetts has to offer.

Format: Online
Program Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

2. University of Massachusetts Lowell

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell’s RN to BSN online degree program has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) alongside the Solomont School of Nursing, and is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (BORN). The RN to BSN Massachusetts program can be completed on-campus, online or a hybrid of the two. UMass Lowell’s flexible course delivery methods allow busy nursing professionals an opportunity to build their credentials for career advancement.

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell is a research university that was established in 1894. UMass Lowell is the second largest public university in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The University of Massachusetts at Lowell maintains an acceptance rate around 60%. The school’s online programs had a student enrollment of more than 28,000 students and is widely ranked one of the best in the nation. For nursing in Massachusetts, UMass Lowell is one of the best choice for working professionals, and one of the best nursing colleges in MA.

Format: Online
Program Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

3. Westfield State University

Westfield State University’s RN to BSN online degree offers a hybrid (blend of an online and on-campus) course delivery method for Registered Nurses wanting to earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing. The RN to BSN online degree program can be completed in a year for full-time students or two years for part-time students. Westfield State University’s RN to BSN program has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for one of the top nursing colleges in MA. US News & World Report ranks Westfield State as offering one of the Best Online Degree Programs in the country, and one of the top for nursing in Massachusetts.

Noted educational reformer Horace Mann founded Westfield State University in 1838. It was the first coeducational college in the country that had no barriers regarding gender, race, or economic circumstances. Westfield State University holds the distinction as a Military Friendly School by Advanced Military Magazine. Westfield State University seeks to nurture curious intellects to think critically and civically in the sort of RN to BSN Massachusetts needs most.

Format: Online – 12,15, or 24 month
Program Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

4. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth’s RN to BSN online program is intended for licensed Registered Nurses who wish to build upon their current education and experience nursing in Massachusetts. The online RN to BSN Massachusetts program requires degree candidates to complete 31 online credit hours to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Program applicants must present an unencumbered nursing license for the state in which they reside. UMass D has long ranked among the top 50 online BSN programs in the country, and one of the finest nursing colleges in MA.

The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth was founded in 1895. According to the Global Reporting Initiative, UMass Dartmouth is the first institute of higher learning in the world with an A+ sustainability report. The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth’s graduate nursing programs is ranked among the best in the country, according to US News & World Report. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) fully accredits the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth’s nursing programs.

Format: Online
Program Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

5. MCPHS University

The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University’s RN to BSN online degree program brings all of the excellence of the Laboure’ College of Nursing entirely online. Laboure College is proud to offer students the lowest priced accredited online program for nursing in Massachusetts. Laboure’ College’s RN to BSN online program is offered by one of the most affordable nursing colleges in MA. Their rolling start-date calendar adds convenience and flexibility. The RN to BSN program allows up to 90 transfer credits. The seven-week coursework allows degree candidate to finish their degree in about 16 months.

Fourteen pharmacists from Boston established the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University in 1823. It is the largest and second oldest pharmacy college in the country. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accredits the baccalaureate nursing programs, including one of the finest RN to BSN Massachusetts options.

Format: Online
Program Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

6. Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg State University’s RN to BSN online program can be completed entirely online in as little as a year. FSU’s undergraduate nursing program prepares graduates with a solid fundamental background in the ethical, professional and legal standards of the nursing profession. BSN graduates are prepped to apply more refined analytical skills and stronger clinical reasoning abilities to advance closer to their career goals. To complete the RN to BSN degree, candidates must complete 32 credit hours to graduate.

Fitchburg State University was established in 1894 as a normal school by the Massachusetts state legislature, but today it is known as one of the better nursing colleges in MA. A nursing major is one of the most competitive majors offered by FSU. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits the nursing programs offered by Fitchburg State University. Students attending Fitchburg State University study in a small college environment and can participate as a resource for the overall needs for nursing in Massachusetts.

Format: Online – 12 months
Program Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

7. Northeastern University

Northeastern University’s RN to BSN online program offers licensed Registered Nurses the chance to earn a baccalaureate degree in as little as three semesters for full-time students and six semesters for part-time students. The RN to BSN degree program can be completed online through Northeastern University’s new, innovative distance learning format. Degree candidates seeking to earn a BSN degree must also complete a clinical competency internship. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits the RN to BSN coursework offered by Northeastern University.

Northeastern University is a private university that was established in 1898. Northeastern University operates with one main campus in the Fenway area of Boston and three branch campuses in South End, Back Bay, and Roxbury. Northeastern University supports a cooperative educational model that integrates professional experience with traditional classroom studies, for everything from business to nursing in Massachusetts. The Bouve’ College of Health Sciences is widely seen as one of the best nursing colleges in MA.

Format: Online
Program Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

8. Salem State University

The College of Health and Human Services offers Salem State University’s RN to BSN online degree program for licensed Registered Nurses who hold a diploma or Associate’s degree when applying for admission. Students entering the program must hold an unencumbered, valid Massachusetts RN license. Part-time degree candidates can complete their all online degree in as few as two years, getting them practicing nursing in Massachusetts quickly.

Salem State University was established in 1854 as Salem Normal School. The 115-acre campus is fifteen miles north of downtown Boston. The school has five interrelated campuses and a maritime facility in Salem Harbor. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education(CCNE) accredits the RN to BSN coursework offered by Salem State University, making Salem State one of the most trusted nursing colleges in MA.

Format: Online
Program Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

9. University of Massachusetts Boston

The University of Massachusetts at Boston’s RN to BSN online degree is a flexible 5-semester program designed by the College of Nursing and Health Sciences in conjunction with College of Advancing and Professional Studies. While all coursework is online, students are encouraged to attend an orientation on UMass Boston’s campus. The program requires a service learning experience in the student’s home area, rather than a clinical internship. UMass RN to BSN degree program is fully accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for nursing in Massachusetts.

The University of Massachusetts at Boston was originally established as Boston State College in 1852. The school officially joined the University of Massachusetts in 1964. UMass Boston holds the distinction of being the only public institute of higher learning in Boston. The University of Massachusetts at Boston is home to ten colleges and a student body that exceeds 16,000. UMass Boston has been ranked one of the best values in Massachusetts, and one of the top nursing colleges in MA.

Format: Online
Program Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

10. Emmanuel College

Emmanuel College’s RN to BSN online program can be completed entirely online by students who already hold a valid, unencumbered Registered Nurse license for nursing in Massachusetts. Degree candidates have the flexibility to design the coursework to fit with the scheduling requirements. The RN to BSN seven-week accelerated courses permits students to complete their BSN degree in as little as 16 months. Students have an opportunity to complete their practicum hours in some of the most esteemed medical facilities in Boston and in Italy through the school’s proprietary program.

Emmanuel College is a private Roman Catholic liberal arts school that was established in 1919. It was the first Catholic school for women in New England but is currently coeducational. The school was honored to have John F. Kennedy as a member of the school’s advisory board for nearly twenty years. One of the best nursing colleges in MA, Emmanuel College has received accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Format: Online – 16 months
Program Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

11. Bay Path University

The American Women’s College offers Bay Path University’s RN to BSN online degree program, available entirely online to in-state and out-of-state degree candidates. BPU’s RN to BSN is offered exclusively to women who hold an unencumbered Registered Nurse license in the state/commonwealth where they reside. The degree’s coursework is prepared by experts in nursing education and some of the largest nursing employers in the region, which helps students refine their professionalism and leadership abilities that results in improved healthcare. RN to BSN degree candidates finish their studies with the help of trusted advisors and dedicated faculty members. The RN to BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Bay Path University was established in 1897, and The American Women’s College division has supported adult women students in pursuit of undergraduate degrees since 1999. The American Women’s College has been recognized with awards from the Lumina and Gates Foundations, the Online Learning Consortium, the Department of Education’s Reimagine Higher Education Challenge and various higher education publications, for its quality online curriculum, its wraparound support services and advising practices, and its use of data to increase completion and graduation rates. All students complete Bay Path’s signature Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders (WELL) program, and nursing students’ complete customized WELL courses that align with nursing accreditation frameworks. For nursing in Massachusetts, Bay Path is a pace-setter, with one of the best RN to BSN programs in Massachusetts.

Format: Online
Program Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

12. American International College

The American International College’s RN to BSN online degree program can be completed exclusively online. The RN to BSN program requires 30 credits to graduate and is designed to be completed in only 15 months. Coursework advances the student’s skills regarding leadership, informatics and advocacy work for vulnerable parts of the population, among others. Students graduating from the RN to BSN program are prepared to attain professional achievements and personal satisfaction nursing in Massachusetts.

The American International College is a private institute of higher learning that was established in 1885. The school’s urban campus is home to three colleges: the School of Health Sciences, the School of Business, Arts and Sciences, and the School of Education. AIC is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), setting AIC among the top nursing colleges in MA.

Format: Online – 15 month
Program Accreditation: N/A
Cost: $$$$$

13. Anna Maria College

Anna Maria College’s RN to BSN online degree is an innovative program from the School of Professional Studies that can be completed exclusively online. Anna Maria College’s RN to BSN program has been designed for those who already hold a valid, unencumbered Registered Nursing license in the state in which they reside. The program’s curriculum refines the student’s current knowledge and experience by adhering to the concepts of the Massachusetts Core Competencies. Graduates finish the coursework ready to serve the nursing community’s needs for compassion and safety in all medical environments.

Anna Maria College is a Catholic liberal arts school that was established in 1946. AMC’s 190-acre campus is situated near Worcester, MA. Anna Maria College’s RN to BSN program is designed to engage students in practical real-world professional skills. Graduates often continue their nursing education by transitioning to a graduate nursing degree program in some of the strongest nursing colleges in MA. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) fully accredits Anna Maria College for nursing in Massachusetts education.

Format: Online
Program Accreditation: ACEN
Cost: $$$$$

14. Curry College

Curry College’s RN to BSN online degree program offers a generous transfer policy (up to 90 credits) for degree candidates entering the RN to BSN Massachusetts program. In fact, the requirement that students hold a valid Registered Nurse license provides an automatic credit of 34 credit hours. Earning a Bachelor’s in Nursing in Massachusetts broadens the depth of a student’s knowledge and experience. Curry College acts a bridge between a diploma (or Associates Degree in Nursing) and an accredited undergraduate degree.

Curry College was founded in 1879 on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. Curry College has received accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (a NEASC), giving it status among the nursing colleges in MA. CC’s 131-acre campus is now located seven miles from Boston, in the town of Milton, MA. Curry College’s mission is to provide academic excellence with a touch of personal attention.

Format: Online or Hybrid – up to 90 transfer credits
Program Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

15. Becker College

Becker College’s RN to BSN online degree program can be completed exclusively online. This RN to BSN online nursing in Massachusetts program has been created for students to successfully integrate the application of knowledge with cutting-edge research practices. Graduates re-enter the workforce with the developed skills of Patient-Centered Care, Leadership, Professionalism and Healthcare Technology. RegisteredNursing.org ranked Becker College the #1 nursing college in MA.

Becker College was established in 1784. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) fully accredits Becker College as one of the best nursing colleges in MA. The Princeton Review has recognized Becker College as a Best College for Undergraduate Education for six years straight. In 2018, The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) has approved Becker College’s online RN to BSN program. Becker College’s mission is to create the best educational experience for students built upon the ides of tolerance, respect, and honesty.

Format: Online
Program Accreditation: ACEN
Cost: $$$$$

Are Nursing Colleges in MA Expensive?

It isn’t uncommon to find compilations of nursing colleges in MA outlining the best ranking nursing programs, but few are focusing on which are the most affordable. There are consistent rises in educational costs for nursing schools in New England, and students are presented with fewer options for obtaining their degrees without experiencing significant expenditures. However, there are solutions including pursuing the cheapest RN to BSN online to help reduce much of these costs and associated fees.

When researching nursing colleges in New England, students will find the average tuition costs range between $8,700 and $30,492 for nursing colleges in MA. For those who would like to pursue a certificate program at nursing schools in New England, the tuition rates typically range between $3,555 and $24,050. Students working on an RN to BSN Massachusetts will experience higher tuition rates when attending nursing colleges in MA, but it’s possible to reduce those costs when enrolling in the cheapest RN to BSN online. It’s possible to find these online courses for $332 per credit hour.

Are There Many Nursing Schools in Boston?

Boston is home to some of the greatest, world-class hospitals in the United States. Plus, no city in the world has the pure concentration of elite, influential, and innovative colleges and universities than metropolitan Boston (Harvard, MIT, and Boston University are just the start of a list that includes more than 50). Many of the best nursing schools in New England are concentrated in Boston.

Therefore, it’s an optimal location for students to attend nursing schools in Boston. Many students spend their time working on clinical rotations in these hospitals, like UMass Boston nursing, for example. Here is a list of nursing schools in Boston:

Boston College: Considered one of the top-ranking nursing schools in the nation, BC offers something for students at all levels.

  • UMass at Boston: UMass Boston nursing program offerings include BS-to-DNP, online MS-DNP, and traditional BSN program. In-state students receive low-cost tuition.
  • Northeastern University: BSN and MSN graduates receive scientific knowledge and empathy to help them directly, evaluate, and plan patient care and health options.
  • MGH Institute of Health Professions: Students can pursue an accelerated BSN program, as well as a direct-entry MSN program.

Can I Find Accelerated Nursing Programs in MA?

Students who have a degree in another field and are looking to make a switch can pursue a degree in nursing using accelerated nursing programs in MA. Entering the workforce quickly throughout the state of Massachusetts is possible no matter if students are opting for accelerating their BSN or to pursue the direct-entry MSN program.

There are currently nine schools accelerated nursing programs in MA for students who want their BSN. Five schools in Massachusetts are offering accelerated MSN, entry level Masters, and direct-entry MSN programs. Under many circumstances, students can take these courses online while working simultaneously. Here is a list of accelerated nursing programs in Massachusetts:

  • MGH Institute of Health Professions: This institute is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital and offers an accelerated BSN and accelerated MSN. Online learning is limited by course, and the average program length is sixteen months for the BSN and thirty-six months for the MSN.
  • Elms College: Students will be attending a Catholic liberal arts college that offers an accelerated BSN. Online learning is limited by course, and the program length is twenty months.
  • The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth: Here, students will find the only public research university in the state. They offer an accelerated BSN program with online instruction available. The program length is 59 credit hours that takes seventeen months.
  • Salem State University: Located within the city it’s named after, this university offers an accelerated BSN with no opportunities for online courses. The program consists of 53 credit hours and takes fifteen months.