Massachusetts Nurse Practitioner Programs and Careers
As a working nurse, you may be ready to take the next step in your career. If your favorite part of nursing is patient care, it’s time to look into nurse practitioner programs in Maryland. You’re in the right place to learn more about degree requirements, clinical hour expectations and licensing in Maryland. If you want to start the school search, look for options in our list of featured schools or check out the quick search box above.
The time you spend working as a registered nurse helps you work as part of a team, make quick decisions, communicate effectively with all types of people, and appropriately use your clinical judgment skills. All of these skills can be beneficial in advanced nursing careers. If your favorite part of nursing is patient care, you may thrive as a nurse practitioner.
How Can I Become a Nurse Practitioner in Massachusetts?
In terms of nurse practitioner programs, MA allows students to qualify for licensure via a Master’s degree or a doctorate. Each option has its own specific requirements.
Nurse Practitioner Master’s Degree Requirements in MA
- Credit hours required: 40 credits
- Average cost: $1,000 to $2,000 per credit hour
- Clinical hours required: 500 or more clinical hours
- Timeframe: Two years
Education Requirements for NP Doctoral Degrees in MA
- Credit hours required: 80 credits
- Clinical hours required: 1,000 or more clinical hours
- Timeframe: Four to five years
What Types of Nurse Practitioner Programs Are Available in Massachusetts?
Whether you decide to earn a Master’s degree or doctoral degree, you must choose a population to work with. If you enjoy working with patients of all ages and medical needs, a family nurse practitioner program could give you the diversity you need. If you’re looking for a more specialized career path, consider focusing on gerontology, acute care, or adult healthcare.
The courses found below are commonly required in Massachusetts schools.
Nurse Practitioner Degree Course Options
- Knowledge for Nursing Practice
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nurses
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Mental and Psychosocial Health of the Urban Family
- Advanced Health Promotion
- Primary Care of the Adult
- Primary Care of the Childbearing Family
Although you likely have plenty of clinical experience from working as a registered nurse, you must learn how to function in a nurse practitioner role. That is why Massachusetts schools have such extensive clinical work requirements. You may spend some time working with different populations, but the majority of your clinical hours should be spent with your target patient population.
Paying for Nurse Practitioner School in Massachusetts
- BestNursingDegree Back to School Scholarship: With application cycles that run year-round, this scholarship helps aspiring nurses fund their education with $2,500 scholarships.
- HRSA Nurse Corps Scholarship: This federal program aims to provide rural areas with the healthcare providers they need while supporting nursing students. If you’re selected for this award, you must work in a Health Professional Shortage Area for two years after graduation.
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program: Student loans can be costly. This program pays off up to $50,000 of loans in exchange for two years at an NHSC-approved site.
- Massachusetts Primary Care Office Loan Repayment Program: This is an option to consider if you plan on staying in Massachusetts after graduation. The program repays up to $50,000 of loans for a two-year contract in a healthcare shortage area.
Licensure for NPs in Massachusetts
Throughout your education, maintain your registered nursing license through the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. After you graduate, you can pursue national certification, which is required for nurse practitioner licensure. Once you have your license, note that Massachusetts has restricted practice rights for nurse practitioners (AANP, 2016). This means that you need a cooperative agreement with a physician to work with patients.
Nurse Practitioner Careers in Massachusetts
As demand for healthcare professionals grows across the country, you may find that this is a great time to start working as a nurse practitioner. In Massachusetts, demand for nurse practitioners is expected to swell 8% between 2014 and 2024 (O*Net, 2016). Currently, nurse practitioners report an average income of $112,860 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
Due to the restricted practice rights in Massachusetts, few nurse practitioners open their own clinics in this state. However, other conventional employment routes are still open to you. You may work in an urgent care or emergency care setting providing acute care, or you can choose to work at a clinic and see the same patients on a regular basis. As you gain experience and work your way up, be ready to work nights, weekends, and holidays as needed.
If you’re ready to learn more about getting a nurse practitioner degree, this is the first step.
Selected Nurse Practitioner Schools in Massachusetts
NP programs for Massachusetts nurses include online programs (such as the one offered by Georgetown University) and in-state programs such as:
- University of Massachusetts – Medical School. UMass Med School offers a variety of different paths to a master’s degree which prepare grads to practice as nurse practitioners. A Graduate Entry Pathway is for students who have a baccalaureate in a field other than nursing; the Pre-master’s pathway is for nurses who have a bachelor’s degree in something other than nursing. The school also offers some interesting dual-focus programs, including the opportunity to add a geriatric specialization to the adult primary care or acute/critical care NP programs.
- Boston College. Like UMass, Boston College offers a multitude of pathways for nurses and non-nurses alike to pursue NP education. NP students can choose to specialize in adult gerontological health, family nursing, pediatrics, palliative care, pediatric palliative care, psych/mental health nursing or women’s health.
- MGH Institute of Health Professions. MGH recently began offering Doctoral-level NP programs for BSN-prepared nurses who wish to become nurse practitioners. Students can specialize in acute care, adult primary care, family care, pediatrics and adult psych/mental health. Dual specialization programs – adult/gerontology and adult/women’s health – are also available.