Are you interested in pursuing a career in nursing and looking for top-notch nursing schools in Maryland? Look no further than this comprehensive guide, which will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about your education.
Why Choose a Nursing Career?
Nursing is among the fastest-growing professions and offers many opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives. As a nurse, you’ll be able to work with patients of all ages and backgrounds, providing direct care, support, consultation, or education. You’ll also have the chance to collaborate with other healthcare professionals and contribute to improving health outcomes locally and globally.
Moreover, nurses enjoy job security, competitive salaries, flexible schedules, and diverse career paths. There are various types of registered nurses (RN) such as critical care nurses, operating room nurses, oncology nurses to name a few) as well as specialized advanced-practice registered nurses (APRNs) such as nurse practitioners (NP), clinical nurse specialists (CNS), certified nurse-midwives (CNM), and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA).
Maryland’s Healthcare Landscape
Maryland is home to over six million people and has one of the highest concentrations of healthcare professionals per capita in the US. The state boasts world-class hospitals such as Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore that ranks #3 nationally according to U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals ranking 2021-22.
In addition to its academic medical centers and community hospitals, Maryland has a rich network of primary care clinics, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, public health agencies serving rural areas or underserved populations ,and more. This diversity makes it an ideal place for nursing students to gain hands-on clinical experience across different settings.
According to the Maryland Board of Nursing some recent data shows that there were around 126K licensed RNs practicing in the state as of 2020. RNs make up the largest segment of healthcare professionals in Maryland, followed by licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).
How to Become a Nurse in Maryland
Before diving into the top nursing schools in Maryland, let’s review the general process of becoming a nurse in the state.
To become an RN or LPN in Maryland, you must graduate from an accredited nursing program that meets the educational requirements of the Board of Nursing. This typically involves earning a diploma or associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) from a college or university.
Some BSN programs may offer accelerated options for students who hold a prior bachelor’s degree in another field. Pursuing a BSN is becoming increasingly popular as it prepares students with more leadership skills and knowledge that are necessary for entry-level RN positions but also more career opportunities down the line such as management roles, education, research etc.
To become an APRN, you’ll need to obtain additional education such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and meet other requirements such as national certification exams and state licensure.
All nurses working in Maryland must be licensed by the State Board of Nursing. The licensing process typically involves passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or Practical/Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Other requirements may apply depending on your level of education and specialty.
Maintaining your license will require ongoing continuing education credits along with other renewal fees and background checks that vary based on the type of licensure.
In addition to licensure, many nurses choose to pursue national certifications offered by professional organizations such as American Nurses Credentialing Center, Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation, and Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. While certification is not required by law, it can enhance your expertise and marketability in your chosen specialty.
Top Nursing Schools in Maryland
Now that we’ve covered the basics of nursing education and licensure in Maryland let’s dive into the top nursing schools available in the state.
University of Maryland School of Nursing
The University of Maryland School of Nursing, located in Baltimore, offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for nursing students seeking to advance themselves professionally. The school is ranked #10 among Best Graduate Schools for Nurse Practitioner according to U.S. News & World Report 2021-22 rankings.
Undergraduate programs at UMDSON include traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, and second-degree BSN tracks that enable students to complete their degrees more quickly if they already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.
Graduate programs at UMDSON include various APRN specializations such as Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP or Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Family NP or CNS , Psychiatric Mental Health NP or CNS , and many more as well as other concentrations such as public health nursing, nurse anesthesia etc.
UMDSON also offers several online program options for distance learning students who want to balance their education with work or family obligations while maintaining quality education.
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) located in Baltimore ranks #2 nationally according to U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools ranking for 2021-22. JHSON has an outstanding reputation across research and advanced practice areas.
Undergraduate programs at JHSON include BSN traditional entry-level program along with RN-to-BSN bridge option. BSN entry-level graduates are very sought after locally but also nationally: approximately 90% secure employment within six months following graduation with an average salary of $64k.
Graduate programs at JHSON include various programs such as MSN, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs both in several specialties such as Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP or Emergency NP and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), which are very popular. The school also offers PhD in nursing which is aimed for those students who would like to pursue a career in teaching, research or policy making.
Salisbury University School of Nursing
Salisbury University’s School of Nursing located on the Eastern Shore has a well-deserved reputation for producing high-quality nurses with expertise in clinical, leadership, and community-based service roles. It offers both entry-level BSN programs and RN-to-BSN completion program that can be taken either part-time or full-time.
The school’s undergraduate curriculum places a strong emphasis on evidence-based practice, interprofessional teamwork, cultural competence, and rural health disparities. Students have access to state-of-the-art simulation labs and a wide range of clinical partners across Maryland’s eastern shore region."
Additionally, there are several other notable nursing schools in Maryland worth exploring:
- Coppin State University School of Nursing
- Towson University Department of Nursing
- Morgan State University Nursing Program
- Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Nursing.
Maryland is an excellent place to study nursing due to its prominent healthcare systems, range of clinical experiences available to students at various stages, competitive salaries for nurses ,and overall solid job outlooks. Students have ample options when selecting from the best nursing schools in Maryland depending on their geography or specialty preference. With the right training, certification exams and licensure all within reach it’s just up to you now to take that first step towards your future career as a nurse in Maryland!
What are the requirements for admission to nursing schools in Maryland?
Admission requirements for nursing schools in Maryland vary by institution. Generally, you will need to have a high school diploma or GED certificate, submit transcripts, pass entrance tests such as the SAT or ACT, and meet certain GPA requirements. Some schools may also require prerequisite coursework in science and math.
How long does it take to complete a nursing program in Maryland?
The length of nursing programs in Maryland can vary from one to four years, depending on the type of degree and program. Associate degree programs typically take two years, while bachelor’s degree programs take four years to complete. Master’s degree programs can range from 1-3 years depending on your prior education and experience.
Are there any online nursing programs available in Maryland?
Yes, there are several online nursing programs offered by colleges and universities throughout Maryland. These online programs offer flexibility for students who have work or family obligations that make traditional classroom attendance difficult. It is important to note that clinical experiences are still required and some courses may have on-campus requirements as well.
How much does it cost to attend a nursing school in Maryland?
The cost of attending a nursing school in Maryland varies by institution and program level. Public community colleges often offer the most affordable options with costs around $10,000-$15,000 per year while private universities can cost upwards of $30,000 per year. Students should also factor in costs such as textbooks and other supplies as well as fees associated with clinical sites or licensing exams.
What kind of certification/licensing do I need to become a nurse practitioner in Maryland?
To become a nurse practitioner (NP) in Maryland, you need a minimum of a master’s degree with an NP specialty track from an accredited school of nursing recognized by the Maryland Board of Nursing. You must also obtain national certification through a recognized certifying agency such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the National Certification Corporation (NCC).
What is the job outlook for nurses in Maryland?
The job outlook for nurses in Maryland is very strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Additionally, many healthcare facilities offer sign-on bonuses and other incentives to attract new hires due to high demand.
Are there any nursing schools in Maryland that offer scholarships or financial aid?
Yes, many nursing schools in Maryland offer scholarships and financial aid opportunities for students based on academic merit, financial need or other factors. It’s important to research these options early and apply before deadlines as they may be limited. Some schools also offer loan forgiveness programs for graduates who work in underserved areas or specialties.
Can I specialize in a particular area of nursing while studying in Maryland?
Yes, many nursing programs in Maryland offer specialties such as pediatrics, gerontology, critical care and more. These specialty courses provide additional training and knowledge beyond what is covered in general coursework, allowing you to become an expert in a particular area of nursing practice after graduation.
How does one renew their nursing license in Maryland?
To renew your nursing license in Maryland, you must complete continuing education requirements set by the state board of nursing. Continuing education varies by license type but generally requires completion of a certain number of hours within each two-year renewal period. Failure to meet these requirements can result in loss of licensure so it’s important to stay up-to-date on continuing education opportunities.
Can international students study at nursing schools in Maryland?
Yes, international students may be eligible to study at nursing schools in Maryland provided they meet the school’s admission requirements and obtain the necessary visas. It’s important to research any additional requirements for international students such as language or standardized test proficiency.