Nursing has a long history in Massachusetts, dating back to 1872, when the Massachusetts Board of Registration was founded. This board began its purpose by licensing Registered Nurses through tests, commemorating more than a century of advances in nursing care.

The Massachusetts General Laws, specifically Chapter 13, sections 13, 14, 14A, 15, and 15D, and Chapter 112, sections 74 through 81C, empower the Board of Registration in Nursing to oversee and regulate the nursing profession. Their wide-ranging responsibilities include:

  • Creating and implementing regulations to ensure public health, safety, and welfare.
  • Providing assistance through advisory decisions and opinions that affect nursing practice and education.
  • Approving nursing programs that prepare candidates for initial licensure.
  • Licensing individuals and authorizing qualified nurses for advanced practice roles.
  • Maintaining accurate licensure verification and managing fee collection as mandated by law.
  • Investigating and addressing complaints about nurses’ performance and behavior.
  • Regular audits ensure continuous competency, as does the administration of the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program.
  • Producing and disseminating essential resources, including annual updates on legislative changes impacting nursing education and practice.
  • Participating actively in the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and engaging in various educational and regulatory discussions, studies, and research.

Governor appointments to the board include 17 members, with nominees often suggested by nursing organizations within the commonwealth. The board is made up of a varied group of professionals, including 11 registered nurses, one licensed practical nurses, 1 physician, 1 pharmacist, and 2 consumer representatives who are all Massachusetts residents.

Although Massachusetts has not become a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), future legislation may change that. If passed, nurses would be required to identify an NLC states as their primary place of residence in order to qualify for a multi-state license, which would allow them to offer care across state boundaries.

Board of Nursing Massachusetts Contacts

Massachusetts State Nursing Board Email[email protected]
Massachusetts Board of Nursing Phone Number(800) 414-0168
MA Nursing Board Address250 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108
Board of Registration Nursing Massachusetts Portal

Massachusetts Board of Registration In Nursing Laws, Rules & Regulations

In Massachusetts, the Board of Registration in Nursing establishes strict requirements to guarantee that nurses—both Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)—deliver the best level of care.

Registered Nurse (RN) Responsibilities

RNs carry the full weight of ensuring quality healthcare delivery. Their duties range from health maintenance to providing comfort or facilitating a dignified demise for patients. Key responsibilities include:

  • Conducting detailed assessments regarding patient health and recording the results.
  • Analyzing medical information to make sound judgments regarding nursing care needs.
  • Developing and carrying out nursing interventions that incorporate scientific knowledge and contemporary best practices.
  • Educating families and patients to help them maintain good health.
  • Evaluate the efficacy of nursing strategies and alter plans as needed.
  • Working with other healthcare experts to provide seamless and high-quality care.
  • Campaigning for patients in the framework of ethical and legal standards.

Practical Nurse (LPN) Responsibilities

LPNs also bear significant responsibility for patient care, working within their scope of education and experience to:

  • Assess basic health conditions and document pertinent data.
  • Assist in analyzing health information to determine nursing care needs.
  • Help plan and implement nursing interventions that reflect the latest medical knowledge.
  • Support health education efforts for individuals and families.
  • Evaluate the outcomes of nursing treatments and make any required modifications.
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to maintain consistency and a high standard of service.

Non-delegable Nursing Activities

Certain duties need the specific skills and discretion of registered nurses and cannot be assigned to unlicensed workers. These include:

  • Activities needing comprehensive nursing assessment and clinical judgment.
  • Tasks with unexpected outcomes or that may necessitate quick changes to the plan of treatment.
  • Complete evaluations of a patient’s physical, psychological, and social state.
  • Creating or assessing the medical treatment plan.
  • Administering medications, except under specific legal provisions.

The Massachusetts Nursing Board’s official website contains several tools and rules, such as scope of practice specifics, decision-making architectures, and advisory decisions. This is critical for ensuring nurses at all ranks are prepared to make educated judgments about which duties may be securely and legally assigned.

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Massachusetts Nursing Board Licensure Eligibility

The procedure of becoming a licensed registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) in Massachusetts is rigorous and designed to guarantee that all nurses adhere to high professional standards.

You must have completed a nursing program certified by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing.

The Board demands an official final transcript from your training program, especially the one that resulted in your initial RN licensing. If you have several nursing degrees, please include the transcript of your first RN training diploma/degree program.

If you respond yes to questions about your criminal or disciplinary past, you must produce specific proof for the Good Moral Character examination under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, sections 74, 74A, and 76.

Please wait at least 8 weeks for the final GMC review once all needed documents are received.

  • Background Checks

As part of verifying your GMC, you must agree to background checks, including a criminal history check, a Sex Offender Registry check, and a search of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) database.

  • Passing the NCLEX

To obtain a nursing license in the United States, you must first pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), a standardized exam required of all nurses.

  • Social Security Number

A legitimate Social Security number (SSN) is required to process your application. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue will utilize your SSN to determine if you are in conformity with state tax and child support rules.

It should be noted that Massachusetts does not recognize ‘graduate nurse’ status, issues temporary licenses, or participates in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).

Applicants trained not in Massachusetts or the United States ought to comply with the requirements established for foreign educated nurses and students of US Nursing Programs outside of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Board of Nursing Examination Requirements

Navigating the Massachusetts State Board of Nursing’s test requirements might be simple if you have all of your paperwork in order. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to send to make your application run smoothly:

  • Certificate of Graduation (CoG): The certificate must be approved by your program’s administration and validates your graduation.
  • Original Transcript: Your official record should clearly show your graduation date and degree granted.

Additional Requirements for International Graduates:

  • If you finished a nursing program beyond the United States, the District of Columbia, the United States Territories, or Canada, you must verify your education with the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). This includes earning a CGFNS certificate and participating in a CGFNS qualifications review or another evaluation as specified by the Board.
  • Applicants who received their studies in a non-English speaking institution must additionally pass an English Proficiency Test to fulfill the minimal requirements.

If any initial papers, such as the Certificate of Graduation, need to be revised, the Board will only accept modifications that are supported by proof supporting the necessity for the alterations.

After graduation, the candidate must make two applications, one to the company that administers the NCLEX-RN and one to the company that the Massachusetts Board contracts with to handle applications. The application price is $230, while NCLEX admission costs $200. If you fail the NCLEX-RN, you must wait 45 days before attempting to repeat it.

Massachusetts Board of Nursing Licensing Process

The Massachusetts Board of Nursing has lately upgraded to a more efficient eLicensing system to improve the application and renewal procedures for nursing practitioners. To use this system and handle your licensing tasks, first create an account. Begin by logging into the Massachusetts Board of Nursing portal, which will allow you to manage your professional credentials online.

Please be informed that from April 1, 2024, new restrictions will apply to nursing graduates and students reaching the completion of their school programs. According to the new regulation, all such persons must get a complete license from the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing before being legally permitted to practice.

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How to Get Massachusetts Board of Nursing License

To apply for an RN or LPN license, go to the Health Professions Licensing Portal and establish an account or log in using an existing one. The board has created the Health Professions Licensing System User Guide for people who are using the portal for the first time.

To apply for a license, take the following steps: 

Step 1: If you already have a license connected with your account, click the “View Other Types” button on the “Other License, Certification, and Registration Types” page. When you log in and do not have a license connected with the account you are using, you will be sent to this screen.

Step 2: Choose the “View More” tab beneath the applicable license board.

Step 3: Hit the “Start Application” button on the relevant license form.

Massachusetts Board of Nursing

Step 4: Continue completing the application, filling out the appropriate fields and submitting the necessary papers as instructed on each page.

Step 5: If necessary, pay your application cost before submitting the form. At the Payment screen, select the “Pay Fee” button to go to the external payment vendor’s website.

Massachusetts Board of Nursing

Step 6: Enter the payment details, agree to the conditions of the transaction, and then click the “Submit Payment”. 

Step 7: After you have paid, you will be instantly redirected to the licensing platform. Please keep in mind that the application will not be handled unless it is submitted. 

Step 8: Click the “Go to Next Page” button. 

Massachusetts Board of Nursing

Step 9: Review the details and then click “Submit”.

To view the status of your application or license, begin by selecting the “Show Details” button found beneath the designated license type on your account dashboard. If your license is already linked to your account, its status will be displayed prominently on the license information card. For applications that are pending, incomplete, or have been reopened, you’ll find detailed status updates nested within the same license card. This streamlined process allows for easy monitoring and management of your licensing progress directly from your dashboard.

Massachusetts Nursing License by Reciprocity

Registered Nurses (RNs) certified outside of Massachusetts seeking licensure through reciprocity/endorsement must comprehend and follow the precise processes established by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (BORN). Here is a full guide to help you through this process:

  • Preliminary Review

Examine the Statutes, Rules, Regulations, and Policies nursing practice. Familiarize yourself with the Information and Instructions for Application for Licensure as a Registered Nurse by Reciprocity.

Prepare to submit detailed documentation if you’ve responded “Yes” to any queries concerning disciplinary or criminal history, as part of the good moral character assessment by BORN.

  • License Documentation

Keep a complete and accurate record of all nursing licenses you’ve held, including practical nursing, RN, and advanced practice RN licenses, including license numbers, statuses, and initial issuance dates.

  • License Verification

Request direct license verifications from each state where you are or were licensed to be sent to Professional Credential Services (PCS).

Utilize the Nursys license verification system for states that participate, noting that PCS does not accept QuickConfirm License Verification results from Nursys. Retain a receipt of your Nursys verification for your application.

For states not participating in Nursys, use the Verification of Nurse Licensure form to have those states complete and return it to PCS.

  • Educational Verification

Gather information regarding the nursing degree program which led to your original RN license, such as the school address, name, and graduation date.

Ensure that the nursing school provides an official graduation transcript straight to PCS. Only the official record from the training course that led to your original RN license is necessary, and PCS cannot accept transcripts submitted by candidates.

  • Guidance for Internationally Educated Nurses

If you were educated outside of the United States, follow BORN’s particular recommendations for foreign-educated nurses to ensure you meet all of the additional criteria.

By attentively following these requirements and ensuring that all documentation is complete and precise, you will assure a smooth licensure procedure and a fast start to your nursing profession in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Nursing License Cost

  • Licensure by Exam Application: $230
  • Repeat RN Licensure Exam (within one year of initial exam application): $80
  • Repeat RN Licensure Exam (over one year since initial exam application): $230
  • RN Endorsement Application: $275
  • License Verification: $30
  • Foreign Education Credential Evaluation Applicants: $50
  • Massachusetts RN License Renewal: $120
  • RN Renewal with APRN: $180
  • Late Renewal Fee: $57
  • Certified Statement of Registration: $15
  • Returned Check Fee: $23

Processing Time for Massachusetts Nursing License

Typically, the procedure takes around 4-5 weeks from the time all essential components arrive. Massachusetts nursing licensure applications are processed in the order they are received. Processing times might vary based on each applicant’s unique scenario. Professional Credential Services (PCS) offers applicants with expected processing timelines and sends them an email when their application reaches the Final Review stage.

Nursing License Massachusetts Certification

Massachusetts recognizes a variety of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) roles, including Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), Certified Nurse Practitioners (CNPs), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs), and Psychiatric Nurse Mental Health Clinical Specialists (PNMHCS). To practice, these professions must fulfill the Board of Registration in Nursing’s specified standards.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

For initial authorization:

  • Hold a valid Massachusetts RN license.
  • Demonstrate good moral character as per state law.
  • Meet the educational requirements by graduating from a recognized graduate school tailored for CRNA training and completing core curriculum in advanced evaluation, pathophysiology, and pharmacotherapeutics.
  • Maintain a valid CRNA certification from a recognized certifying agency.
  • Fulfill state-specified fee requirements and submit a signed attestation for participation in MassHealth.
  • If prescribing, complete required training as mandated by state law.

For renewal:

  • Maintain valid RN licensure and good moral character.
  • Hold current CRNA certification and meet the fee and training requirements as before.

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP)

Similar requirements apply to CNMs and CNPs, focusing on appropriate graduate education, certification, and professional conduct standards. Both roles also require MassHealth participation and adherence to specific training for prescriptive practice.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

For initial and reciprocal authorization:

  • Hold a valid RN license and exhibit good moral character.
  • Graduate from a program geared towards CNS roles, which must be accredited by a recognized body.
  • Successfully complete advanced coursework essential for CNS practice.
  • Maintain current CNS certification and comply with financial obligations set forth by the state.

Renewal processes mirror the initial requirements but emphasize ongoing certification and professional development to ensure competency.

Psychiatric Nurse Mental Health Clinical Specialist (PNMHCS)

Requirements for PNMHCS follow a similar framework, emphasizing specific educational paths, clinical training, and certification in mental health practices.

For APRNs moving to Massachusetts from other jurisdictions, the board mandates verification of education, licensure, and certification that aligns with Massachusetts standards. Reciprocal authorization demands evidence of good standing in previous states and adherence to Massachusetts’ specific professional and ethical standards.

The board holds the authority to revoke, suspend, or discipline the authorization of APRNs if they fail to meet regulatory requirements or if they violate professional standards as determined through formal adjudicatory hearings. This regulatory vigilance ensures that all practicing APRNs in Massachusetts adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct and patient care.

Board of Nursing In Massachusetts License Renewal

In even-numbered years, RN licenses and APRN credentials expire at 11:59 p.m. on the license holder’s birthday; in odd-numbered years, LPN licenses expire at the same time. If a license is issued after three months from the license holder’s date of birth, it is valid until the following renewal period. Licenses issued other than of this three-month period must be updated by the next expiration date.

Renewal can be initiated 90 days before the license’s expiration date. Once the online renewal form is completed, processing occurs immediately. The Board has transitioned to electronic management of licenses and no longer issues paper licenses unless specifically requested.

To renew, people must visit the Health Professions Licensing Portal. New users must create an account, however existing users may sign in using their current credentials. First-time portal users are urged to consult the Health Professions Licensing System User Guide for assistance.

Furthermore, all licensed nurses in Massachusetts must complete 15 contact hours (CH) of continuing education (CE) for each renewal cycle, as defined in 244 CMR 5.00: Continuing Education. There are no CE requirements for the first license renewal. The Board can inspect compliance at any given time, and the nurse must keep documentation of CE accomplishment for the latest two renewal cycles (four years).

For individuals who are unclear if a CE program fits the Board’s criteria, a checklist is available to help them determine compliance. This checklist may be used to confirm that all CE activities are consistent with the Board’s guidelines. If audited or named in a complaint, nurses may need to provide evidence of CE completion for two consecutive renewal periods to the Board.

RN or LN license renewal$120
RN with APRN renewal$180
Late Renewal Fee$57
Certified Statement of Registration$15
Handling Charge for Returned Checks$23

Board of Nurses Massachusetts Complaints and Disciplinary Actions

The Massachusetts Board of Nursing is authorized by state law to investigate complaints and discipline nurses who violate the law, rules, or standards of conduct, creating a risk to public safety. The intensity of disciplinary measures is decided by what is required to remedy risky behaviors or practice shortcomings, allowing nurses to practice safely and professionally.

Disciplinary actions taken by the Board are public records and are reported to national data systems as mandated by Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 112, Section 77. These actions may impact a nurse’s license, advanced practice registrations, and renewals in Massachusetts.

During an inquiry, the material acquired by the Board is subject to the Public Records Law, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 66. If a public information request is submitted, the Board must follow this legislation, albeit certain exceptions may apply, as detailed in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 66 and Chapter 4, section 7.

Since January 1, 2006, the Board has been updating its Records of Disciplinary Actions monthly. These documents contain the nurse’s name and license number. To guarantee accuracy, particularly if names have changed, utilize the nurse’s Massachusetts nursing license number to authenticate any documented disciplinary proceedings.

Massachusetts Nursing License Lookup and Verification

Check the Massachusetts Health Professions License Verification website when looking up a Massachusetts Board of Nursing license. 

To get the most precise outcomes, include at least a nurse’s last name plus license number. Make sure that their name is spelled precisely as it stands on the license, or search up their license number directly.

Use the appropriate prefix for a license : “RN” for Registered Nurses and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (e.g., RN123456) and “LN” for Licensed Practical Nurses (e.g., LN123456).

Massachusetts Board of Nursing

The Nursys validation report may be used to validate a nurse’s licensure registered in another US state or territory. If you require written license verification for a nurse residing outside the United States, or for an entity that is not a state board of nursing, please submit an inquiry in writing to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing, along with a $15 charge.

Nursing Board of Massachusetts Useful Online Resources

FAQs about the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing

  • How to apply for a Massachusetts nursing license?
    To obtain a Massachusetts nursing license, you must submit an application via the Massachusetts Health Professions website. Begin by reviewing the state’s nursing requirements and gathering any essential papers, such as transcripts, proof of identification, and any applicable fees. If you are applying through reciprocity or endorsement, make sure you have license confirmations from the states where you have been licensed.
  • How to check Massachusetts nursing license status?
    To verify the status of a Massachusetts nursing license, go to the Massachusetts Health Professions License Verification website. To get the most accurate results, provide the nurse’s last name and license number.
  • How many times can you take the NCLEX in Massachusetts?
    In Massachusetts, you’re allowed to take the NCLEX multiple times as you like; however, there has to be a 45-day wait period between each try.
  • How do I find my Massachusetts nursing license number?
    Any legal documents from the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing will include your Massachusetts nursing license number. If you have misplaced this information, you can find it by querying your name through the Massachusetts Health Professions License Verification website.
  • How do I download my nursing license?
    In Massachusetts, you cannot obtain an electronic copy of your nursing license since the Board no longer grants paper licenses. However, you may view and check your licensing information online at the Massachusetts Health Professions licensing Verification website. For personal records, you can print the webpage displaying your license details.
  • How do I renew my Massachusetts nursing license?
    To renew your Massachusetts nursing license, go to the Health Professions Licensing Portal, sign in or establish an account, and follow the renewal procedures. You can begin the renewal procedure 90 days prior to your license expiration. Remember to finish the needed continuing education hours before renewing.
  • How to look up Massachusetts nursing licenses?
    To look up Massachusetts nursing licenses, visit the Massachusetts Health Professions License Verification website. To search, enter the nurse’s last name and license number, or simply the license number for a straight search.
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