Nursing is a popular career field across the U.S., and it’s no different in the state of Maryland. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were nearly 54,000 registered nurses (RNs) working in Maryland in 2017, as well as more than 10,000 licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and close to 4,400 nurse practitioners (NPs).

Despite its already robust supply, nursing demand in Maryland is on the rise. As many as 86,000 RNs are expected to be needed in hospitals, residential care facilities, schools and similar settings by 2030. Read on to learn more about how to become a nurse in Maryland, including nursing certification and licensure requirements, state-specific professional organizations for working nurses and the best nursing schools in Maryland.

Best Nursing Schools in Maryland

According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), there are 29 nursing schools in the state of Maryland. Across these institutions, a range of nursing programs are available, from undergraduate certificate and associate degree programs all the way up to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) — the highest credential available in the field. We’ve split our rankings into two lists, one for undergraduate programs and one for graduate-level study, to help students at both levels better find a nursing school that meets their needs.

Scroll to the bottom of this page for more detail on our methodology, and read on to learn about the best nursing schools in Maryland.

Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$6,846
Undergraduate graduation rate
69%
Undergraduate retention rate
84%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
85%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$6,560
Undergraduate graduation rate
71%
Undergraduate retention rate
85%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
80%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$50,410
Undergraduate graduation rate
92%
Undergraduate retention rate
96%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
66%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$4,758
Undergraduate graduation rate
35%
Undergraduate retention rate
65%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
76%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$6,216
Undergraduate graduation rate
29%
Undergraduate retention rate
69%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
53%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$33,785
Undergraduate graduation rate
50%
Undergraduate retention rate
68%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
98%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$5,161
Undergraduate graduation rate
32%
Undergraduate retention rate
70%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
89%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$5,321
Undergraduate graduation rate
37%
Undergraduate retention rate
75%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
91%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$4,380
Undergraduate graduation rate
17%
Undergraduate retention rate
61%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
92%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$6,340
Undergraduate graduation rate
47%
Undergraduate retention rate
77%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
89%
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$6,822
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$6,858
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$7,074
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$7,092
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$7,182
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$5,670
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$8,040
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$50,410
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
2
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$11,016
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$11,250
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0

Nursing Accreditation in Maryland

In most states, there are several different accrediting agencies for nursing schools depending upon the size and scope of the college. Attending an accredited college is particularly important because the Maryland Board of Nursing may not recognize a student’s education as valid if they complete a degree program at an unaccredited institution.

In Maryland, most programs are accredited by the following organizations:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation

Maryland Nursing Licensure

All 50 states require nurses to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN) or practical nurses (NCLEX-PN) in order to officially begin their careers. Nurse practitioners (NPs) must have a current RN license and hold approved national certifications as generalists as well as in their specialty.

Maryland is part of the multi-state Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows RNs and LPNs who receive licensure in any of the 25 member states to practice in any other. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) — which includes NPs, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists — are not part of the NLC and must be licensed in each individual state in which they practice.

Nurses in Maryland can learn more about state licensure requirements through the Maryland Board of Nursing. All nursing applicants must have a Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number to process their application through the state board.

Maryland Nursing organizations

There are many different professional organizations for Maryland nurses. These organizations offer a wealth of occupational resources, such as continuing education, professional networking, job opportunities and advancement of professional standards. Some also hold national conferences and offer an array of members-only benefits.

Here are a few of the organizations available to nurses in Maryland:

  • Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland:

    This group, which represents NPs in Maryland, is divided into nine geographical regions. Members can pose practice questions to leaders, receive updates and insight on key legislation that impacts their practice, attend industry-specific conferences and exhibitions and access a variety of career resources.

  • Maryland Academy of Advanced Practice Clinicians:

    This group is dedicated to creating an educational forum for the state’s advanced practice clinicians (APCs), as well as working to initiate or support legislation that affects APCs in Maryland. Professional development benefits include mentoring for new graduates, discounts at conferences and networking opportunities for APC students.

  • Maryland Nurses Association:

    This nonprofit organization is among the oldest in the state. Founded in 1903, the MNA strives to promote professional excellence among Maryland nurses. The organization also offers educational development opportunities and programs for career growth. Membership perks include an annual conference and a subscription to The Maryland Nurse magazine.

  • Maryland Association of Nursing Students:

    The primary goal of the MANS is to help aspiring nurses successfully transition from being student nurses to working professionals. Membership is open to all Maryland nursing students and includes access to scholarships, reduced rates on books and access to lower-cost insurance.

Maryland-Specific Continuing Education

Most states require RNs and LPNs to complete some type of continuing education (CE) every few years. However, Maryland is an exception: the state does not require RNs or LPNs to complete regular CE credits or contact hours for license renewal.

The CE requirements for APRNs tend to vary based on their practice specialty. Those who specialize in electrology, for instance, must attend 20 clock hours of continuing education every two years in order to keep their licenses current. No other state-specific CE requirements are listed as of January 2019, but always double-check the Maryland Board of Nursing site to ensure that you’re following the most up-to-date regulations.

Hospitals in Maryland

Hospitals aren’t just a major source of employment for RNs and LPNs — they also present excellent opportunities to earn experience in various nursing specialties, such as pediatric, public health, neonatal, cardiovascular and emergency nursing. Although advanced nurses typically complete graduate-level nursing education before practicing these specialties officially, it’s possible for an RN with an associate or bachelor’s degree to gain clinical experience in a specialty area through a hospital.

Here’s some detail on few of the largest hospitals in Maryland:

  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore) This hospital opened in 1889 and has been widely recognized as one of the finest hospitals in the country. Johns Hopkins Medicine — the umbrella group that operates the hospital — handles more than 360,000 emergency room visits and 115,000 patient admissions each year.
  • University of Maryland Medical Center (Baltimore) Founded in 1823, UMMC is one of America’s oldest academic medical centers. The hospital provides comprehensive care for West Baltimore and tertiary care for Maryland and the surrounding area. In fiscal year 2017, UMMC handled more than 28,700 admissions and close to 323,000 outpatient visits.
  • Sinai Hospital of Baltimore (Baltimore) Sinai was founded in 1866 as the Hebrew Hospital and Asylum and retains its Jewish heritage to this day. The hospital has over 500 beds, including around 35 bassinets for newborns. The hospital provides clinical training to more than 400 medical students each year.
Sources & Methodology

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we ranked 6,758 United States institutions with two different methodologies, in order to create two different lists: our undergraduate list and our graduate list. Final data for the 2016-17 school year was used for these rankings. (Schools that did not provide data for all 11 criteria were disqualified from the ranking.)

The 11 criteria for the undergraduate school ranking were as follows:

  1. Number of associate-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of associate-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of associate-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Average amount of federal grant aid awarded to full-time first-time undergraduates
  8. Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
  9. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  10. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  11. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

The graduate school ranking scored schools based on 9 criteria, different from the undergraduate list. These 9 criteria were as follows:

  1. Number of master’s-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of master’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of master’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  8. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  9. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools’ tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

Sources

  1. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed January 2018, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  2. Maryland Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed September 2018, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_md.htm#29-0000
  3. Hospitals by State, Maryland, American Hospital Directory, Accessed September 2018, https://www.ahd.com/
  4. Nursing Demand by State, Nurse.org, Accessed September 2018, https://nurse.org/articles/nursing-demand-by-state/
  5. Accreditation, Alleghany College of Maryland, Accessed September 2018, https://www.allegany.edu/x1268.xml
  6. Nurse Licensure Compact, What Nurse Employers Need to Know, Accessed September 2018, https://www.ncsbn.org/NLCA_Employers_Fact_Sheet.pdf
  7. Fast Facts: John Hopkins Medicine, Accessed September 2018, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/about/downloads/JHM-Fast-Facts.pdf
  8. Facts, University of Maryland Medical Center, Accessed September 2018, https://www.umms.org/ummc/-/media/files/ummc/about-us/ummc-fact-sheet.pdf?la=en&upd=20180220171844&hash=7CE18CB0599073D2F4FBC9C73D1F5D98C17FD7BB
  9. About Sinai, Sinai Hospital, Accessed September 2018, http://www.lifebridgehealth.org/Sinai/AboutSinai.aspx
  10. Certification, Advanced Practice Registered Nursing, Maryland State Board of Nursing, Accessed December 2018, http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/comarhtml/10/10.27.07.02.htm
  11. Electrology Practice Committee, Maryland State Board of Nursing, Accessed December 2018, https://mbon.maryland.gov/Pages/electrology-ceu.aspx

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