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Maryland Nursing Schools and Programs

| NurseJournal Staff

Schools, Licensing Requirements, and Resources

Whether you want to become a nurse or plan on continuing your nursing education, online nursing programs in Maryland provide a flexible alternative to on-campus coursework. Online students complete courses at their convenience, allowing them to fulfill work and family commitments.

Online nursing programs in Maryland lead to four main nursing types: certified nursing assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), and nurse practitioner (NP). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Maryland pays RNs higher than the U.S. average. Projections show an increased need for nurses in Maryland over the next decade.

Read on to explore online nursing programs in Maryland, including Maryland nursing licensure requirements.

Why Attend Online Nursing Programs in Maryland?

Nurses who plan to work in Maryland should complete a Maryland nursing program. Most in-state programs satisfy the requirements for a Maryland nursing license. Online nursing schools in Maryland offer the same quality education as on-campus programs, with added flexibility.

Students in Maryland generally pay a lower in-state tuition than the national average. Aspiring nurses can explore online and in-state programs to earn a Maryland nursing license.

Featured Online Programs

How to Become a Nurse in Maryland

Gaining a nursing license in the U.S. typically includes the same requirements from state to state. However, some details differ, such as the types of nursing, licensing costs, and procedures. The list below includes the basic path that nurses follow.

  • 1. Choose the Path That's Right for You

    Prospective nurses in Maryland need a high school diploma and an LPN license. RN status requires a two-year associate degree in nursing (ADN). However, many healthcare facilities prefer to hire RNs with a four-year degree. Several accelerated nursing programs in Maryland help students earn credentials quickly, including an RN-to-BSN option. APRN designations generally require a master's degree in nursing (MSN) and additional certifications. APRN roles in Maryland include NP, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, and nurse psychotherapist. Those interested in eventually teaching nursing should earn a master's or doctorate.
  • 2. Earn Your Nursing Degree

    Nursing schools in Maryland offer both traditional and online nursing programs. While some students prefer in-person instruction, online nursing programs provide more flexibility. Degree prerequisites vary by university, so you should investigate your program's exact requirements. Students completing any clinical programs must acquire CNA status before beginning. Some programs require internships or clinical hours. The length of a nursing program varies based on your educational level and your enrollment status.
  • 3. Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License

    Those seeking nursing licensure must complete the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). The NCLEX-RN costs $200. Additional fees may apply. Examinees can take up to six hours to complete the exam, which includes a brief tutorial and two optional break periods. An online nursing degree prepares students for the NCLEX-RN, but learners should still dedicate significant time to studying and taking practice tests. Although the demand for nurses remains high, many nursing positions require additional experience after earning the NCLEX-RN.

Online Nursing Degree Programs in Maryland

All four nursing types in Maryland require at least some amount of education. Nurses with advanced education can increase their potential earnings. Completing a nursing program is a necessary first step to becoming a nurse.

What Courses Are Part of an Online Nursing Degree Program in Maryland?

Online nursing programs in Maryland that meet the state's licensure requirements offer similar courses, though specific courses vary. See below for some common courses in Maryland nursing degree programs.


This introductory course examines the basics of pharmacology and how the human body reacts to different drugs and medications. This course serves as an introduction to prescriptive authority as well.


Another introductory course, nurses study the way atoms bond and the difference between acids and bases. Some nursing programs require advanced chemistry as well.

Healthcare Delivery Systems

Students cover the basics of healthcare delivery systems, particularly those used in Maryland. Subtopics include payment and reimbursement, staffing, and information management.

How Do Online Nursing Degree Programs Work?

Online nursing programs in Maryland follow a hybrid format. Learners take courses online and fulfill clinical experience in person. However, students with previous nursing experience complete some online programs entirely online. Other degree-seekers must commute to a healthcare facility to earn clinical experience.

Online nursing programs vary in length and depend on the outcome. CNAs, for example, complete a state-approved program that takes roughly six weeks to complete. NPs must earn a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), earn professional experience, and complete a 2-3 year master of science in nursing (MSN).

Maryland schools hold online students to the same standards as on-campus students, so expect strict admission requirements and competition when applying to higher-level programs. Maryland offers a variety of nursing programs at every level, so students can explore several options.

Nursing Licensure in Maryland

The Maryland Board of Nursing (MBON) approves online nursing programs in Maryland for each nursing type. Applicants submit their applications and pay related fees through MBON. CNAs only complete one CNA program, though some positions, such as a geriatric assistant or medicine aide, require additional education.

As part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), Maryland recognizes RN licenses from other member states. Additionally, other member states recognize RNs who earn their initial RN license in Maryland. This facilitates the process of obtaining an RN license in a neighboring state.

NPs hold full practice authority in Maryland, and as a result, all NPs obtain prescriptive authority. NPs must also obtain national certification related to their field of expertise.

State Requirements by Nursing Type

While Maryland outlines different requirements for each nursing type, licensure generally depends on education, clinical experience, and proof of competency through exams. Some licenses also require additional education for renewal.

Certified Nurse Assistant CNAs must complete a board-approved program to obtain certification. Applicants pay an initial $20 fee and a $40 renewal fee every other year. Board-approved CNA programs take 4-8 weeks to complete. Maryland offers additional certifications to some CNAs. For example, current CNAs become certified medication technicians (MTs) after they complete an approved program. Beyond programs required for certification, Maryland does not require any exams or continuing education (CE) for initial certification or renewal. Out-of-state CNAs in good standing in their home state can transfer their certification to Maryland.

Maryland Licensure Requirements

[sonic-checklist icon="check" color="primary"]
  • Education: CNA education program
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Fulfilled in program
  • Exams: None
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: None
Licensed Practical Nurse New LPNs apply for licensure by exam. To be eligible, aspiring LPNs must complete a state-approved LPN program or ADN. Any approved program satisfies the clinical experience requirements set by Maryland and prerequisites for the NCLEX-PN. Applicants must then earn a passing grade on the NCLEX-PN, submit test scores and proof of program completion, and pay a $100 application fee. Like all other nursing types, LPNs renew their licenses every two years. For renewal, LPNs must either complete 1,000 hours of professional LPN experience over the past five years or complete 30 CE credits. Some college courses satisfy CE requirements. LPNs pay a $110 renewal fee.

Maryland Licensure Requirements

[sonic-checklist icon="check" color="primary"]
  • Education: State-approved LPN program or ADN
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Fulfilled in program
  • Exams: NCLEX-PN
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: 30 credit hours, or 1,000 hours of work experience every five years
Registered Nurse RNs have similar licensure requirements as LPNs, though some requirements are stricter. For example, an RN must complete a two-year associate degree or four-year BSN. If state-approved, both types of programs satisfy the prerequisites for clinical experience and NCLEX-RN eligibility. Applicants must earn a passing score on the NCLEX and pay a $100 application fee. Nurses renew their RN license by the 28th day of their birth month every two years. Nurses pay a $136 renewal fee. RNs and LPNs have the same renewal requirements, either 1,000 professional hours or 30 CE credits. Maryland advises nurses to maintain CE records for six years in case of an audit.

Maryland Licensure Requirements

[sonic-checklist icon="check" color="primary"]
  • Education: ADN or BSN
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Fulfilled in program
  • Exams: NCLEX-RN
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: 30 hours if RN does not complete 1,000 hours of work experience in the previous five years
Nurse Practitioner Maryland NPs earn an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license. APRN licensure requires nurses to complete a BSN and a state-approved graduate program. Students select a specialization during their graduate program. This specialization determines what type of certification the NP needs and what medication the nurse prescribes. After completing the graduate program, nurses then obtain national certification. NPs must also maintain RN licensure in Maryland and pay a $50 application fee. All NPs earn prescriptive authority. NP licensure is dependent on maintaining national certification and RN licensure in Maryland. While Maryland imposes no strict renewal requirements for NPs, an NP must complete CE for their national certification and potentially their RN license. NPs also pay a $146 APRN renewal fee and submit their renewal application with their RN renewal application.

Maryland Licensure Requirements

[sonic-checklist icon="check" color="primary"]
  • Education: Board-approved graduate-level program or higher
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Fulfilled in program
  • Exams: Exams required for related national certification
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years at the same time as RN license renewal
  • Continuing Education: Any required for national certification renewal

Online Nursing Degree Programs and Licensing in Maryland FAQ

What Nursing Field Makes the Most Money? Of the four nursing types, NPs earn the most. Income also depends on the area of Maryland where NPs work.
What Is a Good Specialty for Nursing? Some specialties offer higher pay or more employment opportunities. Most NPs specialize in and work as family NPs, though other specialties could increase in demand.
Does an Online Nursing Degree Have the Same Value as an On-Campus Degree? Online and on-campus nursing degrees have the same value as long as you complete a state-approved and accredited nursing program.
Is Maryland a Good State For Nurses? Maryland employs about the average number of nurses per 1,000 workers and pays RNs higher than the national average, two factors that make Maryland ideal for nurses.
Is Maryland a Nurse Compact State? Maryland is a member of the NLC and a Nurse Compact State. An RN license earned in Maryland allows nurses to easily obtain a multi-state license in another compact state.

Maryland Nurse Salaries and Employment Trends

Maryland pays nurses higher than the national average, a positive sign for aspiring nurses. Also, trends show a growing need for nurses. According to one report, the number of healthcare graduates in Maryland over the past decade has grown slower than the demand for healthcare workers.

National projections show the lowest need for CNAs, followed by LPNs, RNs, and NPs. Projections in Maryland demonstrate a higher need for both CNAs and LPNs than RNs. However, projections still show a sizable increase in the number of RN jobs from 2016-26.

Before beginning an online nursing program in Maryland, keep in mind that no amount of education guarantees a specific job, a minimum salary, or a nursing position.

Nurse Salary and Projected Job Growth in Maryland, by Type

  Annual Mean Wage Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)
Certified Nurse Assistant $31,310 14.5%
Licensed Practical Nurse $63,650 15.4%
Registered Nurse $76,820 11.4%
Nurse Practitioner $115,060 24.4%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Projections Central

Annual Mean Nurse Wages in Nearby States

  Annual Mean Wage Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)
Certified Nurse Assistant $31,310 14.5%
Licensed Practical Nurse $63,650 15.4%
Registered Nurse $76,820 11.4%
Nurse Practitioner $115,060 24.4%

Source: BLS

Certified Nurse Assistant

CNAs in Maryland earn a higher mean wage than nearby states and the nation as a whole. Projections show a 14.5% increase in CNA positions over the next decade, higher than U.S. projections of 11.5% growth over the same period. In Maryland, becoming a CNA leads to well-paying and high-growth positions, especially for nurses who continue their education and earn more certifications.

Licensed Practical Nurse

Projections show LPNs as the second-highest growth nursing position in Maryland over the next decade. Fortunately for future LPNs, Maryland pays a much higher mean salary than most other states and more than $16,000 more annually than the national average. Career and salary outcomes for LPN students stand out considering LPNs must only complete at least one year of schooling.

Registered Nurse

According to the BLS, the average U.S. RN earns $75,510, meaning RNs in Maryland earn slightly more than the U.S. average. Some RNs who complete a BSN over an ADN could earn higher wages based on additional education. However, projections show a lower demand for RNs in Maryland than across the nation. Opportunities still exist, as jobs for Maryland RNs are projected to grow 11.4%.

Nurse Practitioner

NPs in Maryland earn far more on average than other nursing types. Also, the mean NP wage in Maryland exceeds mean wages in the U.S. and neighboring states. Projections show a 24.4% increase in NPs in Maryland over the next decade, lower than national projections of 36.1%. According to the BLS, some NPs earn much more than others, with specialties earning median wages over $167,000 per year.

Nursing Resources for Maryland

  • As the only nonprofit dedicated to all RNs in Maryland, MNA offers one of the best resources for nurses for advocacy, networking, and leadership opportunities.
  • NPAM supports all NPs in Maryland, providing a space for NPs to connect, learn new skills, find career opportunities, and receive industry updates.
  • MBON grants licenses, approves nursing programs, and creates standards for all types of nurses. Every nurse in Maryland submits applications through MBON's online portal.
  • Created for school nurses, MASHN promotes nurses by offering webinars and an educational conference. MASHN also features a job board for various nursing positions, including those outside school nursing.
  • MANS, Maryland's local constituent of the National Student Nurses Association, provides students with leadership opportunities, an annual conference, scholarship opportunities, and discounts on books and materials.

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