Massachusetts has excellent, accessible options for upskilling CNAs to Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) through the State’s Vocational Technical Schools and Community Colleges. MSCA has confirmed these schools still have space available for the upcoming fall semester.
A group of the State’s Vocational Technical High Schools have teamed up to form a consortium working together to build capacity in their popular adult education LPN training programs. The consortium came together to apply for a grant through the MA Workforce Skills Cabinet to build infrastructure and increase student capacity in their LPN programs.
The Consortium received $100,000 in grant funding which will be used to improve simulation labs, update curriculum to ensure credits are transferrable to RN programs, and to add additional seats to expand LPN program capacity. MSCA is proud to serve as an anchor partner in this consortium and we strongly encourage our members to consider these programs to upskill incumbent CNAs to LPNs.
In addition, eight of the State’s community colleges have LPN programs that also bridge to their Associate Degree RN programs. Like the vocational technical schools, each community college has its own admission process. For example, North Shore Community College in Danvers is hosting mandatory information sessions for individuals considering their LPN program, the next information session is April 3, 2023.
Since these schools are accepting applications for classes starting in the fall of 2023, we urge members to contact your local vocational technical school and community college to learn more about their application process, entrance requirements, and fee structure. There is an increasing number of facilities embracing the “grow your own” workforce development model, providing tuition assistance and paid time off for incumbent CNAs to attend courses in exchange for a commitment to join the licensed nurse team at the employer facility upon graduation.
While it’s important to check the entrance requirements at each school, students are required to have a high school diploma or GED/HiSET and pass an academic entrance exam known as the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) or the National League for Nursing’s PAX (Pre Admission Exam) in addition to meeting criminal background checks, immunization and health status requirements.
Check with each school to learn more about their financial aid programs. We urge CNAs who are considering enrolling this fall to go ahead and complete the FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) to determine qualification for financial aid including but not limited to Pell Grants which may cover up to $7,300 of the tuition for eligible students.