Licensed Practical Nursing Programs in Massachusetts

Oct 20, 2021

Massachusetts Schools with LPN Programs

Practical nursing programs prepare students for work caring for sick or injured patients under the direction of registered nurses and/or doctors. In Massachusetts, these types of programs are found in many community colleges throughout the state. LPN programs teach students the basics of this profession through classroom studies and clinical experiences and typically result in a certificate. An LPN certificate can be earned in two years or less, depending on full- or part-time status. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses, or NCLEX-PN, to earn licensure.

  • At Massachusetts Bay Community College, students can pursue a certificate in practical nursing through the college's health sciences division. The college's main campus is located about 15 miles west of downtown Boston.
  • Holyoke Community College offers a state board-approved practical nursing certificate program. The college is found in the southwestern part of the state, about 7 miles north of downtown Springfield.

Comparison of Schools

As an LPN program candidate, you should examine all facts about each school offering these studies. Below are helpful statistics and figures regarding student population, retention and graduation rates, tuition and financial aid availability.

Massachusetts Bay Community College Holyoke Community College
School Type 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2019)* 4,048 4,849
Campus Setting Large suburb Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2019-2020)* $5,232 (in-state)
$10,176 (out-of-state)
$5,114 (in-state)
$10,058 (out-of-state)
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2018-2019)* 64% 79%
Acceptance Rate* N/A (open admissions policy) N/A (open admissions policy)
Retention Rate (2018-2019)* 56% 59%
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (For Students Beginning Studies in 2016)* 20% (24% transfer-out rate) 22% (17% transfer-out rate)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Massachusetts Bay Community College

Founded in 1961, Massachusetts Bay Community College serves mainly the Boston area, but it has also drawn students from elsewhere in the United States. It also has a campus in Framingham. In addition to the certificate for practical nursing, the health sciences department offers associate's and certificate programs in other medical-related fields.

Practical Nursing Certificate

The college offers a day option for its practical nursing certificate program. It spans a 40-week period. The program amounts to 43 credit hours of study and include coursework in practical nursing, tends in nursing, surgical nursing, pharmacology and more. The program is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing, which oversees nursing licensing in the state.

Holyoke Community College

Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA, started in 1946 as a small junior college. Today, the accredited institution serves much of Western Massachusetts and also has satellite locations throughout the Pioneer Valley. In addition to the practical nursing certificate program, the college associate's degrees and certificates in a number of health care fields.

Practical Nursing Certificate

This program consists of a 44-credit hour curriculum that includes general classes in anatomy, psychology, human development and health promotion as well as covers the many aspects of practical nursing, including clinical work. It is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing, and prepares students for the NCLEX-PN exam necessary for a practical nurse license. College officials say 80% of their certificate graduates pass the national exam on the first try.

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