The Top Nursing Schools in Maryland

February 25, 2022 , Modified on June 28, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Considering nursing programs in Maryland? Learn about the best nursing schools in Maryland and how to earn your Maryland nursing license.

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NurseJournal.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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The Top Nursing Schools in Maryland
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Maryland is home to many excellent universities, including Johns Hopkins University, one of the most prestigious institutions in the world. The state also offers many smaller private and public schools.

This guide outlines the best nursing programs in Maryland for registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs), explores how to earn a Maryland nursing license, and provides information on nursing salaries.

Keep reading to learn more about becoming a nurse in Maryland, or go straight to our list of the best nursing schools in Maryland or our list of the best nurse practitioner programs in Maryland.

The Best Nursing Schools in Maryland

The right nursing program for you depends on your background, experience, and career goals. Because accreditation is vital to program quality and meeting your career goals, this guide only lists accredited programs.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing schools in Maryland, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

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How to Choose a Nursing Program in Maryland

Factors to consider when choosing a nursing program in Maryland include tuition and costs, financial aid, the curriculum, the NCLEX-RN pass rate, and the program format. If you attend an online nursing program in Maryland, find out about clinical placement in your community.

Why Become a Nurse in Maryland

While most nurses in Maryland live and work in Baltimore, nurses also find employment in rural communities and small towns with close access to big city attractions. The number of nursing jobs in Maryland is projected to grow 22.3% between 2018 and 2028, more than three times faster than the national projection of 7%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Maryland is a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) state. Attending nursing school in Maryland and receiving a Maryland license permits you to practice nursing in any other participating states.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in Maryland

Almost 32,000 RNs and more than 2,000 NPs work in the Baltimore area alone. While the BLS projects 22.3% growth in nursing jobs between 2018 and 2028, the government expects a surplus of 12,100 nurses from 2014-2030. Because Maryland is an NLC state, though, attending nursing school in Maryland is still a good investment, especially if you attend one of the top-rated programs.

Maryland is one of the more expensive states, with a cost-of-living index of 121.4, compared to the national index of 100. However, the median salary for an RN in Maryland is $79,810, compared to $75,330 nationally. For NPs, the median salary is $112,730, compared to $111,680. Learn more about RN salaries in Maryland.

Nursing salaries in Maryland are highest in the Baltimore area, the home of Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore earned its nickname "Charm City" through its many neighborhoods, including Hampden, known as one of America's quirkiest communities, and its stock of 19th- and even 18th-century housing. Smaller communities also feature a sense of history and charm.

Highest Paying Cities for Nurses in Maryland
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas Median Salary for RNs
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson $80,120
Hagerstown-Martinsburg $76,640
Salisbury $73,340
Cumberland $72,130
Source: BLS

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Maryland

All states require earning a nursing degree, passing the NCLEX-RN examination, and applying to the state board of nursing for a license. The application should include a passport-style photo. You must also pass a criminal background check and prove that you do not owe child support payments or have a tax hold.

RN Requirements

To earn your RN license in Maryland, you must graduate from an associate degree in nursing ADN or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) nursing program in Maryland or another state, pass the NCLEX-RN exam, and apply to the state board of nursing. You must also submit your fingerprints for a criminal background check and may not owe child support or outstanding taxes. The board of nursing's website has the full application forms and requirements.

APRN Requirements

To become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), you need a master of science in nursing (MSN) or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) and have either a current RN license (either Maryland or NLC) or apply for one. If you did not graduate from an approved school, you can ask your school to apply for approval.

The state board of nursing requires a declaration of residence, sealed official transcripts, and proof of your board certification or eligibility to take the examination. Your transcript must show completed coursework in advanced pharmacology, pathophysiology, and physical assessment. The state board of nursing website includes full application information and forms.

The Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Maryland

If you want more autonomy and a higher salary, consider enrolling in an APRN program in Maryland and becoming a nurse practitioner. Maryland offers NPs full practice authority, the highest level of NP professional autonomy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing in Maryland


Are nurses in demand in Maryland?

In Maryland, the number of nursing jobs is projected to grow 22.3% between 2018 and 2028. The BLS even projects a surplus of 12,100 nurses from 2014-2030. However, nurses with diplomas from the top nursing programs in Maryland will continue to be in demand.

How do I become a nurse in Maryland?

You must earn an ADN or a BSN, pass the NCLEX-RN examination, submit your fingerprints for a criminal background check, and submit an application to the state board of nursing. You may not owe child support or have outstanding taxes.

How long does it take to get a Maryland RN license?

An ADN takes two years to complete, and a BSN takes four years. While an ADN is faster and tuition is less expensive, a growing number of employers require or prefer a BSN for higher-level positions. There are excellent nursing schools in Maryland for both ADNs and BSNs.

Is the University of Maryland a good nursing school?

The University of Maryland NCLEX-RN pass rate is above the state average, an indicator that it is one of the better nursing schools in Maryland. Choosing the right program for your needs also depends on tuition, the curriculum, program structure, and the ability to get clinical placement in your community.

Find Nursing Programs in Other States

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NurseJournal.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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