Nursing Schools in Massachusetts
Students looking for nursing programs in MA can choose from more than fifty schools in the state. The nursing programs are offered in community colleges, major universities, private liberal art colleges, and institutes that are specifically dedicated to nursing and healthcare education. There are plenty of scholarships as well and the requirements for the scholarships vary from having residence in specific towns to selecting a specialty.
Types of Nursing Programs
There are two types of professional education programs in nursing, the entry level pathway and the advanced level pathway.
Entry Level Pathways
Entry level pathways are intended for high school graduates and transfer students. These are the traditional baccalaureate programs. RN to BS and RN to MSN programs enable registered nurses to acquire additional education, who have already acquired a diploma or an associate degree program. LPN to BSN program is designed for Licensed Practical Nurses to improve their career prospects. Accelerated Baccalaureate programs and direct Entry level Master's programs provide an opportunity for a college graduate to have a transition and acquire the nursing career.
Advanced Level Pathways
The advanced level pathways offer the Master's degrees, Post Master's Certificates, Joint Degree programs, and the doctoral degrees. These advanced degrees enable nurses to acquire a variety of roles in healthcare. These roles include clinical nurse specialists, practitioners, researchers, and educators. The doctoral programs in nursing enable students to go for intellectual inquiry and conduct independent research. The purpose of a research focused doctoral degree is to facilitate students to conduct useful and high level research. The doctoral program prepares the students to have careers in business, government, industry, and the academia.
Nursing Outlook and Salary in Massachusetts
The salary of nurses in Massachusetts is only second to that in California. Massachusetts also has unions for nurses which partly allow nurses to earn a relatively higher salary than the other states. Although, the shortage of nurses is not too much in the state, still the nurses and the faculty are in high demand. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean hourly salary of nurses in May 2011 was around $ 41, and the mean annual wage was $ 86,000. The following are some of the top employers of nurses in Massachusetts:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Charlton Memorial Hospital
UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus
Baystate Medical Center
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Nursing Programs in MA - Considerations
There are a multitude of factors that come into play when deciding for the right nursing school, and the decision cannot be just be based on a single factor. You can consider the following factors to select the right nursing school in MA:
Location of the school offering your preferred nursing program
Option of acquiring online education
Accreditation of the nursing school
Specialty courses offered by the nursing school
NCLEX pass rate of the school
Cost of the school, availability of financial aid and scholarships.