Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Maryland

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Maryland’s close proximity to Washington, D.C. is one reason why nurses’ salaries in the state are above the national average, ranking 13th in the nation. Advanced practice nurses also benefit from higher pay than their colleagues in most states. Read on to see how to join the ranks of Maryland’s 50,000+ employed RNs and advanced practice nurses. This guide will walk you through the state’s licensure process, salary information, and provide tools to help you find and compare nursing schools in Maryland.

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Methodology To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria: Accredited at the institutional level Private nonprofit or public school Minimum of 1 bachelor’s or master’s degree in subject area for 4-year schools Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools Schools were then scored on factors such as: Cost & Financial Aid Number and variety of program offerings Student-teacher ratios Graduation rates (4-year schools only) Placement and support services offered Academic/Career counseling services Employment services Loan default rates These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or "bang for your buck" of a college or degree program.

Top Nursing Schools in Maryland

4 - Year Colleges

Johns Hopkins University View School Profile Baltimore, MD 93%
Coppin State University View School Profile Baltimore, MD 18%
Washington Adventist University View School Profile Takoma Park, MD 40%
Towson University View School Profile Towson, MD 68%
Salisbury University View School Profile Salisbury, MD 66%
Morgan State University View School Profile Baltimore, MD 32%
Notre Dame of Maryland University View School Profile Baltimore, MD 58%
Bowie State University View School Profile Bowie, MD 33%
Hood College View School Profile Frederick, MD 71%
Stevenson University View School Profile Stevenson, MD 63%
Frostburg State University View School Profile Frostburg, MD 49%

2 - Year Colleges

Carroll Community College View School Profile Westminster, MD 27%
Frederick Community College View School Profile Frederick, MD 23%
Wor-Wic Community College View School Profile Salisbury, MD 15%
Hagerstown Community College View School Profile Hagerstown, MD 25%
Allegany College of Maryland View School Profile Cumberland, MD 22%
Cecil College View School Profile North East, MD 21%
Harford Community College View School Profile Bel Air, MD 22%
Howard Community College View School Profile Columbia, MD 15%
Baltimore City Community College View School Profile Baltimore, MD 4%
Prince George's Community College View School Profile Largo, MD 6%
College of Southern Maryland View School Profile La Plata, MD 13%
Chesapeake College View School Profile Wye Mills, MD 18%
Anne Arundel Community College View School Profile Arnold, MD 16%
Community College of Baltimore County View School Profile Baltimore, MD 7%
Montgomery College View School Profile Rockville, MD 14%

MD Board of Nursing Licensure Requirements

Licenses for nurses are issued through the Maryland Board of Nursing, which regulates nursing standards throughout the state. It has a mandate to carry out and uphold state laws for the nursing profession by not only issuing nursing licenses but also regulating the state’s nursing education programs.

Initial Licensure Steps

Graduates of board-approved nursing programs in Maryland or comparable programs from out of state are eligible for a Maryland RN license. They can apply online by submitting an application and paying a $100 fee. The full application process includes:

  • Application for licensure by exam
  • Criminal background check
  • Declaration of state residence
  • Applying with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX-RN. This test costs $200 each time it is taken.
  • Once all steps have been satisfactorily completed, the applicant will receive an authorization to test (ATT), allowing them to schedule the NCLEX for within 90 days
  • Once an applicant passes, he or she will receive a license from the state. Students who do not pass initially must reapply with both the state and Pearson VUE.

Nurses moving to Maryland from out of state can apply for licensure by endorsement. Those from a compact state can use NURSYS to show proof of licensure, which must be done in addition to the steps above.

Renewal for RNs in MD

The Maryland Board of Nursing requires that RNs renew their licenses biennially, based on the nurse’s birth year. Under House Bill 1318 and Senate Bill 769, a criminal history record check is required for all RNs seeking licensure renewal. All renewal applicants must also provide a Social Security Number or Federal Tax Identification Number. Applications that do not include this information will not be processed. The cost of renewal is $146, which includes a $36 Maryland Health Care Commission fee.

Licensing for MD Advanced Practice Nurses

There are four types of advanced practice nurses in Maryland: certified nurse midwives (CNMs), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) and nurse practitioners (NPs or CRNPs). Advanced practice nurses with active Maryland RN licenses can upgrade their licenses to become NPs by:

  • Paying a $50 fee
  • Providing proof of completion of advanced nursing education
  • Providing proof of national certification in the designated specialty area
  • Providing proof of state residency

For more information on advanced practice nursing licensure requirements, including details on approved advanced nursing education programs, go to the Maryland Board of Nursing.

Nursing Numbers in MD

According to a December 2014 report from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Maryland is one of just 16 states projected to have a nursing shortfall in 2025. Though the state will need 72,000 RNs by that time, the administration predicts the supply will actually shrink from the current pool of 60,600 qualified nurses in Maryland. Due to high need and good salary prospects, Maryland is therefore a good place to pursue nursing as a career. Take a look at the state’s nursing salary and employment outlook:

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Maryland

AreaHourly Median WageAnnual Median Wage
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick Metropolitan Division$36.34$75,580
Baltimore-Towson$34.52$71,800
St. Mary's County Maryland nonmetropolitan area$33.76$70,220
Hagerstown-Martinsburg MD-WV$33.02$68,670
Upper Eastern Shore nonmetropolitan area$31.09$64,660
Cumberland MD-WV$29.49$61,340
Garrett County Maryland nonmetropolitan area$27.15$56,470

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Maryland vs. National Numbers

YearAnnual salary(25th percentile)Annual salary(median)Annual salary(75th percentile)Annual salary(25th percentile)Annual salary(median)Annual salary(75th percentile)
Registered Nurse$60,220$71,350$84,590$0$54,620$66,640$81,080
Certified Nurse Midwife$93,880$107,090$117,140$0$82,580$96,970$114,090
Nurse Anesthetist$119,110$159,840$0$0$132,380$153,780$181,860
Nurse Practitioner$82,790$97,100$111,950$0$82,720$95,350$113,470
  • Annual Salary (25th percentile)
  • Annual Salary (median)
  • Annual Salary (75th percentile)
TypeMarylandNational
Registered Nurse47,7902,687,310
Certified Nurse Midwife1605,110
Nurse Anesthetist37036,590
Nurse Practitioner2,600122,050
TypeMarylandNational
Registered Nurse54,5703,238,400
Certified Nurse Midwife1407,700
Nurse Anesthetist40043,900
Nurse Practitioner2,230147,300
TypeMarylandNational
Registered Nurse1,560105,260
Certified Nurse Midwife0290
Nurse Anesthetist101,560
Nurse Practitioner705,850

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central

Maryland RN Resources

Emergency Nurses Association - Maryland State Council

MDENA promotes excellence in emergency care, representing the state’s emergency nurses via three local chapters. MDENA is a member of the national Emergency Nurses Association.

Maryland Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Founded in 1946, the Maryland Association of Nurse Anesthetists promotes the ethical and professional standards for the estimated 370 working nurse anesthetists in the state. MANA is heavily involved in legislative advocacy for the profession and has its own political action committee.

Maryland Association of Nursing Students

The Maryland Association of Nursing Students is Maryland's chapter of the National Student Nurses’ Association. It has a presence on most of Maryland’s higher education campuses.

Maryland Board of Nursing

The Maryland Board of Nursing issues initial licenses to nurses, facilitates renewals and provides refresher courses.

Maryland Nurses Association

The Maryland Nurses Association provides members with professional publications, a career center and continuing education classes. It is a state affiliate of the American Nurses Association.

Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland

NPAM is the state’s only organization dedicated to supporting nurse practitioners. It assists members and budding NPs through government advocacy, preceptorships of students and career assistance tools.

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AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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