Massachusetts is the seventh smallest state in the U.S., but the most populous of the New England States with over six million citizens. To care for the state’s large and aging population, nurses and nurse practitioners are needed and the shortage is growing more acute. Stimulus-funded scholarships were offered to nursing students to help alleviate tuition costs and boost the number of nurses in the state. According to Mass.gov, “this loan program is designed to relieve the nursing faculty shortage – Hayes calls the shortage “severe” — by forgiving 85 percent of the loans of those recipients who teach full time for four years after they graduate.”
In addition to scholarships and tuition assistance, Massachusetts has increased the number of nursing education programs. For students interested in becoming a nurse practitioner, Massachusetts licenses the following specialties:
- Nurse Practitioner (RN/NP)
- Nurse Midwife (RN/NM)
- Nurse Anesthetist (RN/NA)
- Psychiatric Nurse Mental Health Clinical Specialist (RN/PC)
Nursing Licensure in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing is an administrative agency of state government. The Board serves to protect “the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth through the regulation of nursing practice and education.” To work as a nurse in Massachusetts, you must fulfill the following eligibility requirements:
- Hold and maintain a valid, current license issued by the MA Board of Registration in Nursing (Board)
- Verification of advanced practice education (for all nurse practitioners)
- Demonstrate continued competence to practice nursing; 15 contact hours of nursing CE are required every two years for license renewal.
It’s important to note that each state licenses advanced practice nurses differently. Your area of specialty will determine what steps are required to maintain your eligibility.
Average Nursing Salaries in Massachusetts
All salary data is as of May 2011.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average salary of RNs in Massachusetts at $86,810, roughly $10,000 above the national average. Nurse practitioners typically earn more, depending on years of experience and area of specialty. The table below compares the average mean wage of RNs in the state of Massachusetts and in several metropolitan areas within the state.
|Area||Registered Nurses||Average Salary|
|Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division||48,950||$94,600|
|Framingham, MA NECTA Division||3,030||$77,540|
|Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA||14,840||$71,830|