Maryland is facing one of its worst nursing shortages ever. To address this crisis, health officials are working hard to get more nurses to work in the state. Some schools are speeding up the process of becoming an RN through accelerated nursing programs.
If Maryland is on your top list of states you want to work in, here’s a handy guide you can use to be a successful nurse there.
Requirements: How To Become An RN In Maryland
The process of becoming a registered nurse in Maryland is similar to most states. It starts with finding the right nursing school for you, completing a nursing program, taking the exam, and obtaining your license.
Below is a quick overview of each step:
Complete An Accredited Nursing Program
In the state, you’ll find several levels of degree programs being offered to both aspiring and existing nurses. You should pick the best one based on your career goals and current status.
No matter which program you pick, the most important thing to consider is its accreditation status. This is critical to your career because it helps ensure that the level and quality of education you’ll be getting is what you’ve signed up for.
For example, if you are planning on taking an ADN program, it needs to be accredited either by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education or the Commission for Education in Nursing.
Pass The NCLEX
Once you have completed your chosen nursing program, your next step is to take and pass the NCLEX.
For this part, the first thing you need to do is apply for Licensure with the State Board of Nursing. After that, you’ll be required to register and pay for the exam with Pearson Vue which acts as its host. It runs the testing centers as well as the computerized testing facilities.
Once you’re done with that, you’ll receive your ATT or Authorization to Test. It’s typically released after they received the approval for your application to the State Board of Nursing.
For students in the United States, the registration costs $200.
After you receive your ATT, your next step is to schedule your exam. You can do it through the Pearson Vue website.
Get Your license
Before you can get your Maryland Nursing License, you’ll need to complete an application. You will also be required to submit the following:
- A criminal background check that includes your fingerprint card
- Recent passport-sized photo with your signature
- Official final transcript if it hasn’t already been sent by your nursing program
- Registration for the exam (NCLEX)
ADN Programs In Maryland
For most students aiming for RN licensure, ADN programs offer the most price-conscious option. They are also the shortest.
In Maryland, there are no less than 15 ADN programs you can choose from. Most of them require the following:
- Completed application
- Official transcripts
- SAT and ACT scores
- Background check
- Proof of vaccinations
In terms of tuition and cost, community colleges offer the most affordable options. However, if you are thinking of taking this route, keep in mind that tuition is just a part of the expense. You will also have to think about books, applicable fees, housing, food, and commuting costs.
LPN To RN Programs In Maryland
If you are already an LPN looking for an entry-level position, you may want to look at LPN to ADN programs. They are usually made up of lectures and discussions along with labs and clinical. They are typically completed in about 13 weeks.
You also have the option to take an LPN to BSN program if you want more in-depth education in nursing.
BSN Programs In Maryland
BSN programs in Maryland require a 4-year commitment. Right after graduation, students are given the chance to take the NCLEX for licensure.
You can find more than 10 universities in the state offering BSN programs. Although requirements vary from one institution to another, most of them require applicants to submit the following:
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
- Payment of application fee
- Personal essay
- Official transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
Compared with the other programs, BSN programs are more expensive. However, depending on the institution, you may receive financial aids or apply for scholarships to help ease the cost of studying.
Despite the higher cost, a lot of students still prefer taking BSN programs. That’s partly due to the increasing numbers of employers who prefer nurses with a BSN degree. Plus, it opens up more opportunities for nurses, particularly in terms of the roles they can take.
MSN Programs In Maryland
MSN programs are excellent for nurses who are aspiring to specialize in a certain field of nursing like pediatrics or gerontology.
Compared with undergraduate programs, most students find MSN programs more challenging. They make balancing professional and personal commitments hard.
In Maryland, programs offer full-time and part-time options. To qualify, you may need to submit the following:
- Professional portfolio
- Current and active RN license
- Professional recommendation letters
- Official transcripts
- Application fee
Accelerated Nursing Programs In Maryland
Maryland has a few accelerated nursing programs being offered. Each of them has its own set of requirements.
Before you can get into one, you’ll be required to complete certain courses. This can have an impact on the overall tuition cost. As for the fees, they vary from program to program.
Best Nursing Programs In Maryland
|University of Maryland University College||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
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|Notre Dame of Maryland University||✔||✔||✔||View School Profile|
|University of Maryland||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Frostburg State University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Stevenson University||✔||╳||╳||View School Profile|
|Salisbury University||✔||╳||✔||View School Profile|
|Towson University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
A Closer Look At The Best Nursing Programs In Maryland
The following schools have been ranked based on their NCLEX pass rates, post-graduation employment rates, and satisfaction of both graduates and students.
1. University of Maryland University College
University of Maryland University College is a popular choice for nurses who are already working but aspiring to earn a BSN degree. Its RN to BSN program is one of the best in the state.
It’s accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This helps ensure that the program you’re getting yourself into can prepare you to work in diverse and challenging settings.
Found in the heart of Baltimore, it focuses on the integration of empathy, leadership, and medicine in order to create positive changes in the patients’ healthcare outcomes.
You can find more about its online RN to BSN program here.
2. Coppin State University
Coppin State University is over 100 years old. Despite that, it doesn’t fall short when it comes to honing professional nurses through their excellent BSN and accelerated degree program.
Its traditional BSN program hones the use of clinical reasoning strategies and therapeutic nursing interventions. It prepares its graduate to work in emerging generalist roles or pursue post-graduate programs.
3. Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University is considered the first research university in the country. This is why it’s deemed the gold standard when it comes to science and research.
Unfortunately, it offers no traditional programs. However, they do offer an excellent graduate program for nurses. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in MSN or DNP, this is an option you should seriously consider.
4. Morgan State University
Morgan State University is a popular choice when it comes to graduate nursing programs. It puts emphasis on preparing its graduates to take on the roles of nurse leaders or nurse educators.
To qualify, you’ll need to be a practicing RN for at least 2 years. You will also need to submit three professional letters of recommendation, earned BSN degree from an approved institution, and a minimum average score of 550 for the TOEFL if your native language isn’t English.
5. Notre Dame of Maryland University
Notre Dame of Maryland University – School of Nursing is considered as one of the top educators of licensed and registered nurses in the region. With more than 95% of graduates working in the nation’s top healthcare facilities and hospitals, the school has educated, trained, and prepared around 2,000 nurses, nurse educators, and nurse administrators in just 3 decades.
Apart from honing the students’ skills and knowledge, the school also focuses on creating professional nurses who are also compassionate. They are able to do that through hands-on experience and by encouraging an intimate classroom environment.
6. University of Maryland
University of Maryland is quite popular in Maryland’s university system. Its BSN program focuses on preparing its students to work in a broad spectrum of settings.
Before you can get into the program, you’ll need to complete your first two years at another accredited university or college. This ensures that you’re able to fulfill the necessary requirements before your application.
The program lasts for two years and you’ll be given the option to complete it with full or part-time commitment. It’s fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
7. Frostburg State University
Frostburg State University is a good choice in terms of affordability and quality.
By entering the program, you’ll be required to complete it at both ACM and FSU campuses. It involves both traditional classroom and online lessons, clinical rotations, and exposure to simulation laboratories.
One of the highlights is the nursing mentorship program. Through it, students are paired with a mentor whom they can shadow and learn from.
It also allows team building and tutoring from a nursing faculty member throughout the time you’re earning your degree.
8. Stevenson University
Stevenson’s BSN program is approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing. It’s also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or CCNE.
To enter the program, you’ll need to complete the application form, bring your official transcripts from all the schools and universities you’ve attended, write the application essay, and send your resume. You may need to submit additional requirements if you are a non-U.S. citizen.
9. Salisbury University
Salisbury University has a high graduation rate. Plus, it also takes pride in its strong on-campus community.
Its traditional BSN program has a two-step admission process. First, you need to be formally admitted to the university. Once you’re able to do that, you’ll need to undergo a separate admission process to get into its nursing program.
Take note that getting admitted to the university doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be accepted into its nursing program. The strict processes explain why they’re only able to take a small number of students each year.
To know if you qualify, you can check out the details here.
10. Towson University
Towson University – Department of Nursing has a well-designed curriculum that can hone student nurses to be responsible and accountable for the care of their clients as well as their families.
Apart from its Nursing and RN-to-BSN programs, the school offers Associate-to-Bachelor’s (ATB) Nursing Dual Enrollment which is an initiative in collaboration with the Maryland Community Colleges.
It enables students to enroll in a baccalaureate degree nursing program at the school and an associate degree nursing program at another participating community college. Currently, its partners include the Cecil College, Hagerstown Community College, Community College of Baltimore, Harford Community College, and Carroll Community College.