How to Become an LPN in Massachusetts – A Simple Guide

How to Become an LPN in Massachusetts – A Simple Guide

Are you ready to launch your career as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in Massachusetts? 

Are you confused about what steps to take to get into the healthcare industry?

Well, we’ve got just the article for you!

We’ve created a foolproof, step-by-step plan on how to become an LPN in Massachusetts. 

With our in-depth guide, you’ll find everything you need to jumpstart your career and land a high-paying, in-demand nursing job.

Besides going over the steps to becoming an LPN, we’ll also answer these frequently asked questions:

  1. How much is the average salary of an LPN in Massachusetts?
  2. What are the career opportunities for LPNs in Massachusetts?
  3. How long will my Massachusetts LPN license be valid?
  4. Can I get a Massachusetts license if I’m already an LPN in another state?
  5. Is Massachusetts part of the NLC? 

So, if you’re ready, let’s begin!

How to Become an LPN in Massachusetts in 6 Steps

Since most LPN programs only last a year, becoming licensed as a practical nurse is an excellent way to start your profession. After completing the program, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses). Then you can get licensed and start looking for jobs.

Here are the 6 steps laid out:

  1. Figure out your goals and motivations
  2. Enroll in a state-approved practical nursing program
  3. Apply for your LPN license and register for the NCLEX-PN
  4. Acquire your ATT (Authorization To Test)  
  5. Take and pass the NCLEX-PN
  6. Confirm your license number

Step #1: Figure Out Your Goals and Motivations

Before making any big life decisions, you need to reflect on your goals and motivations so you can be 100% sure it’s the right choice. 

Look into yourself and ask: is becoming an LPN what I really want?

Hopefully, it is! 

Besides being highly in-demand and boasting great salaries in Massachusetts, being a licensed practical nurse is one of the most fulfilling careers out there. 

It can get difficult, but there’s nothing nobler than dedicating your life to nurturing and caring for people in need.

If you’re still on the fence about whether becoming an LPN is what you really want, consider reading up on other types of nurses. We’ve already written an easy-to-understand article on How to Become a Nurse!

Step #2: Enroll in a State-Approved Program

You must enroll in and finish a practical nursing program recognized by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing in order to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. 

These practical nursing programs confer you a certificate or diploma and take at least one year to complete, with some programs extending for up to 18 months.

Currently, there are 25 programs that are endorsed by the state. 

We recommend choosing a program that has a high passing rate on the NCLEX-PN, as they are usually more in-depth and better equip you for the exam.

Tuition costs vary between different courses, from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. 

If the program you want to take is outside of your financial capabilities, you can try contacting the financial aid office of the school you want to attend. They can direct you on how to apply for loans, scholarships, tuition assistance, and other ways of funding your education!

Step #3: Apply for Your LPN License and Register for the NCLEX-PN

Once you’ve completed your program, you must then apply for an LPN license with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. The application is online and may be accessed here.

To be eligible for a license, you need to:

  • Have completed a state-approved certificate or diploma in practical nursing 
  • Be of good moral character, criteria of which are established by the Board
  • Get a passing score on the NCLEX-PN
  • Pay all required fees

To complete your application, you must register with PearsonVue to take the NCLEX-PN. You can find more information on NCLEX registration on the PearsonVue website.

At the same time, submit your Application to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. 

You will also need to fulfill the following:

  • Prepare a 2×2 passport color photo that was taken within the past year to be submitted alongside your application.
  • Request that your Certificate of Graduation and Official Final Transcript be directly sent to the Board and signed by the program administrator. 

Once all of these steps are completed, you can proceed to pay the Exam Application Fee of $230 via credit card.

Step #4: Acquire Your Authorization to Test

After you complete your application, all your documents will be reviewed. If there are any problems, you’ll receive an email. 

Once approved, you’ll get an Authorization to Test (ATT) for the NCLEX-PN from PearsonVue via email.

Step #5: Take and Pass the NCLEX-PN

After receiving your ATT, you will need to take the NCLEX-PN within 60 days of its issuing. 

Make sure to study hard! And take note: if you can’t take the exam within 60 days, your ATT will become void.

After the exam and if you passed, you would get a License Letter via email from the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing. 

If, unfortunately, you don’t pass, you’ll get a performance report alongside instructions for NCLEX re-examination.

Step #6: Confirm Your License Number

Finally, the last step! All you need to do now is confirm that your license number is on the Massachusetts Health Care Safety & Quality: License Verification Website.

Once it’s confirmed, congratulations! You are now officially a Licensed Practical Nurse in Massachusetts!

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming an LPN in Massachusetts

Phew! We’ve covered a lot of ground!

We’ve seen the 6 steps to becoming an LPN in Massachusetts. 

But, you may still have some questions, which we hope to address in this section. 

How much is the average salary of an LPN in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts is one of the top 5 highest paying states for LPNs! 

LPNs earn $61,820 on average, which is about 20% more than the national average in the United States.

But you can earn up to $76,000 annually with a full-time job, depending where you work and how much experience you have. 

You can see this table on the BLS website.



Employment per thousnad jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage






















What are the career opportunities for LPNs in Massachusetts?

Currently, the job growth rate of LPNs in Massachusetts sits at around 2.3% in the 2020s, with around 1,000 job openings every year.

Most LPNs work in nursing care facilities, home healthcare services, offices of physicians, general hospitals, and retirement communities or assisted living facilities. 

But you can always explore the less conventional routes. 

The good news is, healthcare services are needed almost anywhere! 

When will my Massachusetts practical nurse license expire?

Every two years, on your birthday, your license expires. 

It can be renewed 90 days before the date of expiration through mail or the DPH Online Licensing Portal. 

What do I need to renew my LPN license? 

You will need to complete 15 hours of CE every 2 years and pay a renewal fee of $120.

At least 1 of the 15 hours should be on Sexual or Domestic Violence. 

However, for those who are renewing for the first time, they don’t need to complete the 15 hours of CE. They are only required to complete a one-time course on the diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients with cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

Can I get a Massachusetts license if I’m already an LPN in another state?


If you are an LPN from another state but would like to work in Massachusetts or make Massachusetts your primary state of residence, then you can apply for an LPN license by reciprocity. 

You can read more about how to apply by reciprocity here

Is Massachusetts part of the NLC? 

No, not yet.

However, they are pending legislation to become an NLC state. 

So it’s best to stay updated whether the NLC has taken effect or not. 


Becoming an LPN will be tough work. You’ll work long hours and study really hard; maybe it won’t even work out on the first try. 

But as long as you’re committed and steadfast, this journey will be a great opportunity to find fulfillment in your career.

We hope this article was helpful! If you want to know more or have any questions, you can drop them in the comments section.

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