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Nursing Schools in Boston, MA with Degree Program Descriptions

Research nursing degrees in Boston, which currently has more than 10 colleges and universities offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, admission info, and program requirements for three Boston schools within 20 minutes of downtown and decide which program is right for you.

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  • Clinical Nursing
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Direct-Entry Midwifery - LM, CPM
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Neonatal Nursing
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing for Adults and Seniors
  • Nursing Science
  • Occupational Health Nursing
  • Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Public Health Nurse or Community Nurse
  • Registered Nurse

Boston Nursing Schools

The Boston area has several schools for people interested in becoming nurses, including three within 20 minutes of downtown. Following the discussion of nursing programs at these three area schools is a table comparing school tuition and other factors. At the end of the article there is a paragraph describing other area nursing school options.

  • Northeastern University is a 4-year private not-for-profit school with the largest student body at nearly 30,000. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing with several specialty nursing programs available.
  • Students interested in a public school may be interested in the University of Massachusetts - Boston. This 4-year college also awards undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing, as well as post-master's certificates.
  • Boston College, another private not-for-profit school is the most expensive school on the list. This school is home to a top-ranked graduate school of nursing that offers both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.

School Comparison

Tuition can vary greatly between public and private schools. The following table compares school tuition and characteristics for the schools discussed in this article.

Northeastern University University of Massachusetts - Boston Boston College
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2014) 19,798* 16,756* 14,317*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Small city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $45,530* $12,682 in-state;
$29,920 out-of-state*
$49,324*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a 4-year, private school offering undergraduate, graduate, and PhD programs in nursing. Northeastern is affiliated with more than 100 clinical institutions and offers many hand-on learning experiences for aspiring nurses.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The undergraduate nursing program includes general education courses, as well as classes in pathophysiology, nutrition, and nursing care. Nursing courses begin in the sophomore year, while clinical practicums take place once students build confidence through coursework and co-op nursing practices. Current RNs may complete their BSN entirely online in 2 years.

Master of Science in Nursing

Northeastern offers a number of Master of Science programs for nursing students. They can pursue a BSN/MS combined degree, which includes specialties such as adult acute care nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, nursing administrator, and pediatric nurse practitioner. Additional MS options include direct entry nursing (on-campus or online), nurse anesthesia, and nursing administration/leadership. The school also offers a joint MSN-MBA degree program which includes business and organizational training, in addition to nursing studies, for those interested in nurse management.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP is a practice-based program for those who intend to continue working at the highest level of nursing. RNs are required to complete a master's degree program in nursing or a related field before entry into this program. The DNP program takes a minimum of 4 semesters of full-time study. Part-time options are also available. A scholarly capstone project is required and will be completed over 2 semesters.

PhD in Nursing

The PhD program is designed for RNs who have completed a bachelor's or master's degree program in nursing. Full-time students complete their studies in about 3 years, or 4 years if entering with only a bachelor's degree. Part-time options are also available. The PhD program is research-based, and students study under the supervision of nursing faculty who are trained in research methods and have a broad range of interests. A dissertation is required.

University of Massachusetts - Boston

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences is the fastest-growing college of the University of Massachusetts - Boston. The school offers state-of-the-art facilities and an outreach center to promote community health.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This degree program requires 123 credits for graduation. A typical full-time student completes the program in 4 years; however, an accelerated BNS program is also available. In addition to general education and clinical practice, students complete core courses in areas such as adult health nursing, mental health nursing, and women's health. An online BSN program is available for students who are already licensed as RNs. This program offers flexible hours so that students may continue working.

Master of Science in Nursing

This program is intended for current RNs who have a BSN. The 48-credit program prepares students for national certification exams and advanced practice nursing licensure. Clinical internships may lead to potential future employment. Students may choose a specialization in family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontological nurse practitioner, or acute/critical care clinical nurse specialist. The MSN can be completed in 4-7 semesters. All students are required to complete a capstone project, such as a paper or service-learning project. Graduate courses include primary care of adults, advanced health assessment, human diversity in healthcare, and evidence-based teaching practices.

MSN to DNP

Individuals who have already earned an MSN may work towards their DNP online. The DNP program prepares nurses to work in advanced roles in various healthcare settings. It takes 3-4 years to graduate if attending part-time, and some campus visits may be required. DNP students may choose from graduate coursework such as health economics, health informatics, and health policy.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The PhD program trains students for leadership in the nursing community, providing specializations in population health or health policy. The program requires 60 credits beyond a master's degree and offers BS-PhD and MS-PhD program tracks. It is a research-based degree program, and students are expected to focus on an area of interest in nursing. A dissertation is required in the third year of study.

Boston College

Boston College is home to the William F. Connell School of Nursing, which awards accredited BSN and MSN degrees, as well as a DNP. The school is home to state-of-the-art a clinical learning center and nursing simulation lab.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The BSN program at this school is available in a traditional, full-time format and takes 4 years to complete. Students learn through a combination of classroom lectures and clinical experiences, and they may complete a study abroad experience during their junior year. Undergraduate courses cover pharmacology, nursing practices, community nursing, health assessment, and public health.

Master of Science in Nursing

The MSN program at Boston College is available with 7 specialty areas: women's health nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, community health, family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthesia, psychology and mental health nurse practitioner, and pediatrics nurse practitioner. The programs have multiple pathways and requirements, depending on the student's previous education. The traditional program is for current RNs who hold a BSN and requires 45 credits; students without a BSN have to complete additional core nursing courses.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

This research-intensive program requires students to choose a core area of research and complete a dissertation. The 3-year program includes multiple research practicums as well as courses in research methods, statistics and nursing epistemology. Fellowships are available to qualified students, and students are mentored by leading scientists in the field.

Other School Options

Nursing degree programs are also available at several other schools in the area, including Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Bay State College, Bunker Hills Community College, and Simmons College.

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