Massachusetts offers many opportunities to earn a nursing degree or certificate. Boston College’s William F. Connell School of Nursing, for instance, provides students with the ability to earn a BSN, an MSN or PhD along with joint degrees such as the MS/MA in pastoral studies. Northeastern University, also located in Boston, offers graduate and undergraduate programs as well, with focuses in over ten specialties. The University of Massachusetts, with campuses in Lowell and Worcester, provides degrees up to and including a PhD. Prospective students can find educational opportunities in numerous state, regional and community colleges throughout Massachusetts.

Statewide, the average salaries for LPN, RN and specialty nurses range between $16,000 and $87,000 annually, depending upon degree earned, years in the field, expertise and size of the health facility. Overall, the Bay State’s 25 largest hospitals generated $9.57 billion in revenue from patient services in fiscal 2004, up from $8.9 billion in fiscal 2003, based on unaudited figures submitted annually to the state Division of Health Care Finance and Policy. Some of the largest individual gains came from hospitals aggressively rebuilding or expanding their services, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and UMass Memorial Medical Center. Beth Israel, the fifth-largest Bay State hospital, generated a 20 percent revenue gain. Boston Medical Center, which places third in Maryland, also saw revenue gains. Massachusetts General Hospital is the state’s largest hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital is the area’s second-largest hospital. Both Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s are part of the Partners HealthCare system, which also includes North Shore Medical Center in Salem and Lynn, and Newton-Wellesley Hospital. To offset these revenue gains, it must be recognized that Maryland hospitals are considered some of the most expensive health care centers in the world.

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