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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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
|Area||Hourly Median Wage||Annual Median Wage|
|Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick Metropolitan Division||$36.34||$75,580|
|St. Mary's County Maryland nonmetropolitan area||$33.76||$70,220|
|Upper Eastern Shore nonmetropolitan area||$31.09||$64,660|
|Garrett County Maryland nonmetropolitan area||$27.15||$56,470|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Maryland vs. National Numbers
|Year||Annual salary(25th percentile)||Annual salary(median)||Annual salary(75th percentile)||Annual salary(25th percentile)||Annual salary(median)||Annual salary(75th percentile)|
|Certified Nurse Midwife||$93,880||$107,090||$117,140||$0||$82,580||$96,970||$114,090|
- Annual Salary (25th percentile)
- Annual Salary (median)
- Annual Salary (75th percentile)
|Certified Nurse Midwife||160||5,110|
|Certified Nurse Midwife||140||7,700|
|Certified Nurse Midwife||0||290|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central
Maryland RN Resources
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.
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.
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.
The Maryland Board of Nursing issues initial licenses to nurses, facilitates renewals and provides refresher courses.
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.
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.