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Massachusetts Nurse Practitioner Certification

The Massachusetts Board of Regulation in Nursing regulates the certification of Massachusetts NPs. In Massachusetts, NPs are considered APRNs. The four types of APRNs are: NP, nurse–midwife, psychiatric nurse mental health clinical specialist, and nurse anesthetist.

APRNs must demonstrate advanced medical skills, including the evaluation of patients, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests and labs, and establishing and carrying out treatment routines. In Massachusetts, NPs are responsible for their own practice but must be under the supervision of a physician in order to prescribe medications, including controlled substances.

To become a Massachusetts NP, you must first possess a current active, unencumbered RN license that makes you eligible to practice in Massachusetts. Then, you must complete formal advanced nursing education and obtain your master’s degree in a nursing program for NPs. You must earn your master’s degree from an accredited school that is recognized by the Massachusetts Board of Regulation in Nursing, such as Boston College, Simmons College, or Regis College.

You may choose to earn your master’s degree from an online distance learning school, such as Drexel University, University of Cincinnati, Philadelphia University, Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, Liberty University, South University, or Graceland University. Attending an online school offers you the flexibility to continue working as you earn your degree. Accredited online programs are comparable to those at campus-based colleges and universities.


Your degree must be in a category designated by the Massachusetts Board of Regulation in Nursing. The Board authorizes APRN practice by category, not by specialization within the category. Thus, the ages, characteristics, and medical conditions of the population served as well as the activities performed determine the category in which an nurse practitioner practices. After you have earned your master’s degree, you are eligible to be certified as an NP in your category. You must be certified by a national professional certifying organization recognized by the Massachusetts Board of Regulation in Nursing, which includes: the AANP, ANCC, NCC, PNCB, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), and AMCB.

Finally, you must submit your certification and documentation of fulfilled requirements to the Board in order to be approved to practice as an APRN. Based on the category you selected and trained in, you will be granted approval to serve as either a NP, nurse–midwife, psychiatric nurse mental health clinical specialist, or nurse anesthetist. After you receive written approval by the Board, you will need to apply to the Department of Public Health and the DEA in order to be eligible to prescribe medications and treatments.

To maintain your NP license, you must present documented competency required for patients you have served. This demonstrated competency includes completing 15 additional hours of continuing education every 2 years in order to keep your certification as well as your on-the-job training.

Massachusetts NPs earn excellent salaries, averaging in excess of $90,000 per year. Salary rates vary based on location, facility, category of work, and experience.

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Last Updated: 05/19/2014