In Maryland, there are several levels of degree programs available for aspiring as well as existing registered nurses (RNs). Entry-level programs are offered at the associate and bachelor's degree levels, while advanced practice studies for nurses with at least a bachelor's degree are available at the master's and doctoral levels. Accelerated RN bachelor's degree programs are also available to students with a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field. Specific tracks for RN training may also be available to licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or paramedics.
Programs typically combine labs and clinical experiences with lectures covering such topics as pharmacology, health assessments, medication administration and nurse leadership. Some programs admit students on a selective basis and may require applicants to meet minimum GPA requirements to be considered. Additionally, interested students typically need to have completed certain prerequisite coursework.
Anne Arundel Community College
Anne Arundel Community College, located in Arnold, has state-of-the-art laboratory facilities that allow aspiring RNs to gain hands-on nursing skills while working in simulated nursing situations. The school's 70-credit associate's degree program prepares students for taking the NCLEX-RN exam and RN licensure. Coursework generally includes taking physical assessments, nursing foundations, nursing care for women and newborns, nursing care for adults and nursing management. Up to 60 of the credits earned while in the program can be transferred toward a 4-year degree at a state college or university.
Baltimore City Community College
Admission to the nursing program at Baltimore City Community College, in Baltimore, is selective. Prospective students must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or better while completing all prerequisite courses, including math, reading and writing. Admission to the nursing program is given to students with the highest admission ranking, based on overall GPA and GPA in science courses. The curriculum is designed to teach students about providing safe and effective nursing care, while supporting the well-being of patients and their families. The school offers Campus RN, a searchable database on RN jobs to help connect its graduates with job, scholarship and externship opportunities.
Harford Community College
Bel Air-based Harford Community College offers a 4-semester, traditional associate's degree program in nursing as well as a 15-month accelerated degree program. Before being admitted into the nursing program, students must take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). Other admission requirements include completing prerequisite courses such as English, psychology and anatomy while maintaining a GPA of 2.5 or better. Students must also maintain CPR certification while they are enrolled in the program and submit annual health records as required by the school. Typical core courses include nursing leadership, nursing fundamentals and medical-surgical nursing.
Howard Community College
The associate's degree program at Howard Community College in Columbia prepares students to take the licensure exam and begin working as an RN, or transfer to a bachelor's degree program at another Maryland college or university. The curriculum combines classroom lectures with clinical assignments and activities in the school's simulated lab. In addition to general education courses such as math, chemistry, art and sociology, students can expect to take core courses such as nursing trends, nursing principles, medical-surgical nursing and family nursing.
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University, located in Baltimore, has a highly rated nursing school with a history that dates back to 1889, which was when the training program was founded by Lavinia Dock, Adelaide Nutting and Isabel Hampton Robb. The nursing school offers a master's degree program and a doctoral program. The curriculum includes classroom lectures and hands-on experience at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a highly ranked facility, and various clinics located near the school's campus.
Morgan State University
Baltimore-based Morgan State University offers a bachelor's degree program and a master's degree program. The bachelor's degree curriculum prepares students for licensure and entry into the workforce as an RN. It is based on the following 5 main parts of nursing education: Core competencies, professional values, role development, core knowledge and liberal arts education. Students must complete 60 credits or more in nursing prerequisite courses such as English, history, humanities, math and science with a GPA of 3.0 or better to be eligible for admission to the nursing program. Students can expect to take classes in nursing fundamentals, administering medications, taking health assessments, pharmacology and nursing management.
Prince Georges Community College
Prince Georges Community College, located in Largo, offers two options for aspiring RNs: A traditional associate's degree program and a program for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to pursue additional education to become RNs. The curriculum combines general education requirements in math, English and science, with core classes in nursing practice foundations, professional issues, reproductive health and physiological integrity. Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN. They are also able to go on to earn a bachelor's degree from Stevenson University, which has an articulation agreement with the school.
Salisbury University is located in Salisbury, about 30 miles from beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. The school's nursing department offers a traditional bachelor's degree program, a program for students with a degree in a different field and a program for RNs with a diploma or associate's degree. The traditional bachelor's degree program is competitive, admitting only about 65 students annually. Applicants are selected based on their overall GPA; students with a GPA lower than 2.75 won't be considered for admission. Students can expect to take classes in health care ethics, nursing care, psychiatric nursing, nursing leadership, an internship and clinicals. The school also offers a master's degree program with concentrations for clinical nurse educators or health care leaders in addition to a doctor of nursing practice program.
The Community College of Baltimore County
The Community College of Baltimore County, located in Baltimore, offers several degree program options for aspiring RNs, including a traditional degree program with day, evening and online classes; an LPN to RN program; and a paramedic to RN program. Before enrolling in the nursing program, students must complete prerequisite courses with a GPA of 2.0 or better, and a GPA of at least 2.5 in math and science courses. In addition to general education courses such as communications, composition, math and science, students also complete 36 credits in core classes, including nursing fundamentals, nursing concepts, and mental health nursing.
Towson-based Towson University's Department of Nursing offers a bachelor's degree program, an RN degree completion option and a master's degree program. To be eligible to enroll in the nursing program, students must complete at least 42 undergraduate units, including 3 or more laboratory science classes and English, while maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or better. After being accepted to the program, students complete core nursing courses, such as professional nursing, pharmacology, taking health assessments and clinicals. Students typically complete clinical requirements at facilities such as Baltimore County Health Department, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Genesis Health Care, Easter Seals Adult Day Services and Girls, Inc. of Washington County, among others.
To be eligible for licensure as a registered nurse (RN) in the state of Maryland, individuals must complete an educational program that is approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing, pass a criminal background check and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Registered Nurse Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Anne Arundel Community College||2-year; public; large suburb||Associate of Science in Nursing|| $4,670 (in-district),*
|Baltimore City Community College||2-year; public; large city||Associate of Science in Nursing|| $3,146 (in-state),*
|Harford Community College||2-year; public; rural fringe||Associate of Sciences in Nursing|| $3,715 (in-district),*
|Howard Community College||2-year; public; small city||Associate in Arts in Nursing|| $3,936 (in-district),*
|Johns Hopkins University||4-year; private not-for-profit; large city|| Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice,
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
|Morgan State University||4-year; public; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing
| $7,900 (in-state),*
|Prince George's Community College||2-year; public; large suburb||Associate of Science in Nursing|| $3,770 (in-district),*
|Salisbury University||4-year; public; small suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice
| $9,824 (in-state),*
|The Community College of Baltimore County||2-year; public; large suburb||Associate of Science in Nursing|| $4,276 (in-district),*
|Towson University||4-year; public; small city|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing
| $9,940 (in-state),*
Source: *NCES College Navigator