The practice of nursing in the Commonwealth requires a current, valid license issued by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (Board). The state law permitting nursing practice by graduate nurses (ie: nursing practice from the date of graduation from a Board approved nursing education program until the issuance of a nursing license following the publication of the results of the first licensing exam after graduation) was repealed in Spring 1994. As a result, it is illegal to practice nursing in Massachusetts as a "graduate nurse". Only nurses who hold current, valid licenses issued by the Board can be employed to provide nursing care in the Commonwealth.
The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is administered on a daily basis. Examination results are mailed to NCLEX candidates within 7 to 10 business days following the exam date. Licenses are mailed to NCLEX candidates who pass NCLEX within 21 business days of the exam date. Once licensed, each licensed nurse is legally accountable and responsible for the care he or she delivers. Employers can verify the status of a nursing license by calling the Board office or by visiting the Board's website.
This information is provided by the Division of Health Professions Licensure within the Department of Public Health.