Best programs in Boston for a second degree? ABSN or BSN?

by CarolinaGirl33 CarolinaGirl33 (New) New

In your opinion, what are the best nursing programs in the Boston area? There is no official ranking that I know of, but which schools have the best quality program and highest reputation? I would also prefer in-person courses over programs that are largely online. Do employers in the area prefer degrees from one institution over another?

Also, would you recommend an ABSN or a BSN for someone who already has a BS? Would employers look down to an ABSN? Do you feel like you received a decent education with enough clinical experience through an accelerated program?





35 Posts

Lots of great questions! Boston is an amazing place to study to become a nurse :) I've lived here practically my whole life and there are some really wonderful programs around the Greater Boston Area including: Boston College, UMASS Boston, Simmons College, MGHIHP, and Northeastern University. Many universities and colleges have connections to the various hospitals around the city. The hospital where I work doesn't prefer one nursing school over another in terms of hiring. If anything, being a PCA or CNA at a certain hospital betters your chances of gaining employment at that same hospital. You're already there, have made networking connections, and know the hospital. Also, farther outside the city, there is Salem State University, UMASS Lowell, and Endicott College.

You may find this website helpful, which breaks down nursing schools in MA by geographic location within the state:

Nursing Programs

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to send a personal message. I swear I've looked into every and any pathway to earning my RN license, especially here in Boston, MA. I think there will always be a debate between a traditional BSN versus an accelerated BSN. I opted to do a traditional program and there are only a couple other students with a previous bachelor's degree in my nursing classes. I didn't think this would be a big deal, as long as I was earning my BSN Degree I thought I'd be a happy camper. As an older student, I find I sometimes don't have as much in common with my peers and my professors don't treat me with the level of respect that I received during graduate school. This could very well just be my experience at this particular school. I'm hopeful there are lots of students with a prior B.S. who loved attending their traditional BSN Programs.

Honestly, I would do what you feel would work best for you and matters to you in your own unique situation for attending nursing school. After earning my master's degree, I knew I needed a moderately-paced BSN program to not feel *burnt out.* An ABSN just seemed too fast-paced for me as I wanted to continue working at my hospital job. I also wanted to attend an university that would accept the majority of my pre-req classes. I didn't particularly want to retake Organic Chem, A&P II, Stats, et cetera all over again. Each school has different admissions requirements, which is terrific. As a prospective student, you can see, which schools may and may not be the best fit for you. Massachusetts is a fantastic place to learn to become a nurse. I think what you bring to the school as a student is more important than the *reputation of the school.* All the qualities that make you a great person, great student, and great future RN will be the thing that matters throughout your career.

In looking back, I wish I had more strongly considered doing a direct entry MSN program. I didn't for financial reasons, but I think I would've enjoyed the experience more.


windsurfer8, BSN, RN

Specializes in Prior military RN/current ICU RN.. Has 15 years experience. 1,287 Posts

Curry College also has a great program.

the A just means the amount of time it takes. You take the EXACT same classes a traditional BSN student takes. You earn a BSN. Why would anyone "look down" on someone who takes 21 hours a semester and earns an 3.8GPA taking the exact same classes and earns a BSN?



6 Posts

Carolinagirl33, I am wondering if you ever got more feedback or advice about your post? I am currently in a similar position- wanting to apply for a BSN but I already have a BS. I have heard things about the ABSN programs not being as reputable. I also am hoping to know overall thoughts on reputation, costs, etc for different schools in the Boston area? Would love to hear how you made your decision!