The best Maryland nursing schools offer a variety of programs for new nurses and working nurses interested in advancing their careers. Maryland is one of the original thirteen colonies and became a US state in 1788. It is just north of Washington DC and at the center of the Eastern Seaboard. The capital of Maryland is Annapolis which is known as the sailing capital of the world. About twenty-five miles south of the capital is Baltimore, the state’s largest city by population.
The landscape of Maryland is diverse and extends from the Chesapeake Bay area to the Appalachian foothills. The state has a lot to offer, from sailing to hiking to some of the best blue crabs in the country! Maryland is an excellent place to live and is strategically located near many metropolitan areas that offer universities, hospitals, and jobs for nurses. If you are interested in becoming a nurse in Maryland, we have made a list of the top nursing programs in Maryland to get you started.
HOW WE RANKED THE BEST NURSING SCHOOLS IN MARYLAND
First, Nursing School Hub editors found reputable, accredited institutions in Maryland with nursing programs. Then we ranked the Maryland Nursing programs according to various factors, including student satisfaction, post-graduation salary potential, and the cost of tuition.
1. Johns Hopkins University
The School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University offers the best nursing programs in Maryland. While the school does not offer an undergraduate option for nursing, there are numerous master’s and doctoral programs. The Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) is a pre-license entry into a nursing program. The program prepares students to sit for the NCLEX and obtain their RN license. The program is for students who have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and want to change careers. It allows them to move forward and earn an advanced degree and also enter the field of nursing. In addition to the pre-licensure MSN, the school offers two other master’s degrees in Healthcare Organizational Leadership and a combined MBA and Healthcare Organizational Leadership. Johns Hopkins also has four Post-Degree Certificates, six Doctoral Programs, and ten specializations for the DNP Advanced Practice program. Many of the programs are offered online.
Johns Hopkins is a private university that opened in 1876 in Baltimore, Maryland. It is widely received as the first research university in the country and is regarded as one of the premier institutions in the United States for research. Along with the prestige comes a hefty tuition price tag. However, there is also an abundance of financial assets available to students. Ninety percent of the pre-license master’s nursing students receive some scholarship or grant. And all students are automatically considered for scholarships, ranging from $10,00 to full tuition, at the time of admission Johns Hopkins University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Programs: MSN, MSN/MBA, PhD, DNP
2. University of Maryland
The School of Nursing at the University of Maryland offers some of the best nursing programs in Maryland. Strategically located near the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. The school has a robust array of quality nursing programs with affordable tuition a state school can provide. The University of Maryland offers a traditional BS program on campus at the Universities at Shady Grove campus and the Baltimore campus. In addition, they offer an online RN-BSN program.
At the graduate level, students can earn a Master of Science in Nursing and choose three specialties. The same specialties in Community and Public Health Nursing, Health Services Leadership and Management, and Nursing Informatics are available for the accelerated RN-MSN program. In addition, there are dual-degree options, four Post-Bachelor’s Certificates, two Post-Master’s Certificates, and six Post-Doctoral Certificates. Doctoral students can choose from a PhD: Doctor of Philosophy or a DNP: Doctor of Nursing Practice. The University of Maryland, Baltimore, has accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Programs: BSN, MSN, DNP
3. Towson University
Three different BSN tracks are available in the nursing program at Towson University. The Associate-to-Bachelor’s (ATB) nursing track is a dual enrollment plan. Students enrolled in an associate’s degree nursing program at a participating community college can simultaneously enroll in the baccalaureate degree nursing program at the Hagerstown or Towson locations. There is also a Traditional BSN option for students new to nursing and an RN-BSN.
Towson University is the second-largest university in the University of Maryland System. The school was founded in 1866 and now offers over sixty undergraduate majors, more than forty master’s programs, and four doctoral degree programs.
Programs: BSN, RN-BSN
4. Howard Community College
Another one of the best nursing programs in Maryland is available at Howard Community College. Howard offers multiple nursing degrees and diplomas with programs that cater to nursing students from many different fields. The Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) Certificate is an eleven-month program that qualifies students to sit for the NCLEX for an LPN license. Students can finish the traditional associate degree in nursing (ADN) in two years and an accelerated associate degree program in fourteen months. Both degrees enable students to sit for the NCLEX and become registered nurses (RN). In addition to these two paths, there are also three bridge pathway programs for professionals to earn an associate degree in nursing in one additional year.
The LPN-RN Pathway is an opportunity for advanced standing in the Associate of arts degree for LPNs. The Military-RN Pathway and the Paramedic-RN Pathway both provide an opportunity for military corpsmen, medics, and paramedics to earn advanced standing for previous service and education. Eligible students can take a transition class and then begin the second year of the ADN program. The Howard Community College nursing programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Programs: PN (LPN), LPN-RN
5. Montgomery College
The Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program at Montgomery College is one of the best two-year nursing programs in Maryland. The primary ASN nursing curriculum is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. In addition, Montgomery maintains nursing articulation and transfer agreements with many schools that help students quickly move on to earn a BSN at a four-year institution. In particular, Montgomery College (MC) and the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) have entered into the MC and UMSON Dual Admission Program. The agreement is referred to by the schools as a three-plus one program. It offers students admission to the Montgomery College ADN program and the University of Maryland BSN program at the same time. For qualifying students, the dual enrollment partnership will save them time and money while earning two degrees.
Montgomery College is a public institution with three main campuses in Takoma Park, Rockville, and Germantown. In addition, classes are offered at various other locations throughout the area. Since 1950, Montgomery College has maintained accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). In addition, the nursing degree program is approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing (MBON) and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Programs: ASN (RN), Dual Enrollment BSN
6. Salisbury University
The School of Nursing at Salisbury University offers three tracks to one of Maryland’s best BSN nursing programs. Salisbury, nursing students can choose from a traditional or first BSN track, a Second Degree BSN track, and an RN- BSN track for registered nurses. In addition, the university has study abroad opportunities for nurses in Ecuador or South Africa.
Salisbury offers two Master’s Degree options. Students can choose from an MSN-Nurse Educator or an MSN-Health Care Leadership. At the doctoral level, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is available that began in 2012. Salisbury University opened in 1925 and is a member of the University System of Maryland. The public institution is on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in Salisbury. The school’s nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Programs: BSN, RN-BSN, MSN
7. Anne Arundel Community College
The Nursing Department at Anne Arundel Community College offers some of the best two-year nursing programs in Maryland. Anne Arundel has a Practical Nursing program for students interested in becoming an LPN and a few different paths to complete the two-year degree to become an RN. Students can earn the Associate’s in Science in Nursing as a career degree or a Transfer degree. Both programs take approximately two years to complete. However, the transfer degree substitutes classes accepted for credit by a four-year university. The classes may be considered a little more complex than the non-transfer versions. The transfer degree is not for everyone. However, students who want to continue on and earn a BSN should try to complete the college transfer ASN. It will save you time and money in the future.
Another path to earning an ASN at Anne Arundel is an advanced placement program designed for LPNs, Paramedics, and Veterans. The program partners with the American Public University System (APUS) and facilitates transferring the medical training already received and on-the-job experience into credit. Students who qualify can enter the registered nursing program at AACC in the second year. The Anne Arundel Community College nursing degrees are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing.
Programs: PN (LPN), ASN (RN), LPN-RN, Paramedic-RN, Veteran-RN
8. Frostburg State University
The Department of Nursing at Frostburg State University offers some of the best nursing programs in Maryland. Frostburg offers multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs for prospective nurses and working nurses. The school has a traditional BSN and an online RN-BSN. In addition, Frostburg has two other unique paths to a BSN. The BSN dual enrollment Associate to Bachelor’s (ATB) degree option is for students already accepted to one of nine participating community college nursing programs. The curriculum decreases the time to earn a Bachelor’s degree by allowing students to basically earn an RN-BSN degree while also working on their two-year degree. The collaborative BSN is similar but only for students in the Allegany College of Maryland’s program. Frostburg State also offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with four specializations. Students can choose from a Leadership and Management track, Education track, Family Nurse Practitioner track, or the Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track.
Frostburg State was founded in 1898 and today has over forty-five undergraduate programs. Degree programs are available online and in-person at the campuses in Frostburg, Hagerstown, Anne Arundel County, Garrett County, and Cecil County. The nursing programs at Frostburg State University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Programs: BSN, RN-BSN, MSN
9. Frederick Community College
Frederick Community College offers an array of the best nursing programs in Maryland for LPNs and RNs.The Practical Nursing (PN) certificate takes approximately one year to complete. Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN licensure exam and become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). Frederick’s traditional two-year Associate of Science (AS) in Nursing Degree offers two options in person. Students can choose when they attend classes with the Day Option or the Evening & Weekend Option. Frederick also offers a Transition-to-RN Program for LPNs, military corpsmen, and paramedics. This program provides approximately one year of advanced standing in the ASN program to qualified students with prior education, medical experience, and military experience.
In addition to the certificate and associate degrees, FCC participates in three dual-degree partnerships. Students accepted to one of three local universities can complete the Associate-to-Bachelor’s (ATB) program. While completing the ASN at Frederick Community College, students can begin the RN-BSN program at Frostburg State University, Towson University, or the University of Maryland School of Nursing.
Programs: PN Certificate (LPN), ASN (RN)
10. Chesapeake College
Another one of the best nursing programs in Maryland is offered at Chesapeake College. The school offers an Associate of Science degree in Nursing that teaches nursing basics to students interested in becoming licensed Registered Nurses (RNs). Additionally, Chesapeake College has partnered with American Public University System (APUS) to create an Accelerated Pathway for Special Populations. The program lets qualified LPNs, Paramedics, and Veterans enter the second year of the Associate of Science degree in Nursing at Chesapeake College.
Founded in 1965, Chesapeake College is Maryland’s first regional community college. The college offers more than 70 degree and career programs. The associate degree in nursing program at the Wye Mills campus is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Programs: ASN (RN), LPN-RN, Paramedic-RN, Veteran-RN
HOW DO I CHOOSE A NURSING SCHOOL IN MARYLAND?
The best nursing school in Maryland is one that meets your needs. If you want to become a nurse as fast as possible, the best nursing school in Maryland may be one with no waiting list. An LPN-RN program in Maryland is also an excellent choice for one of the best-accelerated nursing programs in Maryland. For students concerned with affordability, the best nursing program in Maryland may be a community college nursing program.
How long does it take to become a nurse in Maryland? Prospective nurses can become an LPN in about one year in Maryland. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) can become registered nurses with one additional year of education. And, registered nurses can become licensed after two years of education.
HOW IS THE JOB MARKET FOR NURSES IN MARYLAND?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.) May 2020 nursing report indicates Maryland employs around 20 nurses for every 1,000 workers. This rate is below the national average. The top four employment places reported
Job opportunities are abundant for Maryland nurses in most employment sectors. Registered Nurses are anticipated to create the second most number of jobs in the state. It is expected that some employers will have difficulty attracting and keeping enough nurses.
HOW MUCH DO NURSES MAKE IN MARYLAND?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses in Maryland earned an annual mean wage of $81,590 in 2020. For all of the US, the mean annual wage for nurses in 2020 was $80,010. Therefore, salaries for nurses in Maryland are above the national pay average for nurses. Below is the May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Maryland nurses.
Maryland Registered Nurses (RN)
- total registered nurses employed in Maryland: 51,480
- the annual mean wage for Registered Nurses in Maryland: $81,590
- total Nurse-Midwives employed in Maryland: 220
- the annual mean wage for Nurse-Midwives in Maryland: $107,670
Maryland Nurse Practitioners
- total Nurse Practitioners employed in Maryland: 3,320
- the annual mean wage for Nurse Practitioners in Maryland: $115,240
Maryland Nurse Anesthetists
- total Nurse Anesthetists employed in Maryland: 460
- the annual mean wage for Nurse Anesthetists in Maryland: $182,780
What is an LPN salary in Maryland? The average salary for an LPN in the Baltimore, Maryland area is around $55,000 per year.
How much do BSN nurses make in Maryland? BSN Nurses in Maryland may have an advantage over RNs with a two-year degree. Many employers prefer a BSN degree over just an associate’s degree. Therefore, Maryland nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) are likely to earn a higher salary than nurses with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).
The highest-paid nurse in Maryland and just about every other state are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA). These nurses are highly skilled nurses who work closely with medical staff during procedures that require anesthesia.