List of the Best Nursing Schools in Maryland

Maryland's best nursing schoolsNursing Career Path and Educational Options: The hands-on nature of nursing education inhibits complete online nursing programs in Maryland. The nursing schools in Maryland may offer some of their general education courses online (i.e. Online Associates Degree in Nursing), but much of the clinical and nursing-specific coursework will be done on campus. Otherwise, the exact educational requirements depend on your past experience and the desired nursing certification.

Nurses work in a field that should fill them with an immense amount of pride. Through their efforts, people suffering from sickness, injury, and disease have the best chance at recovering from their maladies and experience compassionate, thoughtful care from talented professional. Throughout the course of their career, a nurse will save thousands of lives through their efforts to support healthcare for everyone.

Both the prerequisite certification and serving as a nurse are challenging ventures that require focus and effort. Those who are seeking a job that pushes them to be the best will have endless opportunities to better themselves and gain experience. The amount of training and skill necessary to be a skilled nurse is matched by the level of financial compensation that a nurse can expect to receive throughout their career.

Licensed Practical Nurse

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is tasked with providing bedside care for patients, assistance to senior nursing staff and physicians, and a clean environment that is conducive to proper health care. Their regular tasks include jobs like changing patient bedding, replacing supplies, collecting samples, recording test results, and communicating with the other members of the patient’s support staff.

Learning how to become a licensed practical nurse requires the completion of a practical nursing certificate program that awards a certificate or through the coursework taken as part of an associate’s degree in an accredited nursing program. Once the preliminary education is completed, the student must successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) before being licensed to practice.

Registered Nurse

Registered Nurses (RN) are capable of providing all of the same care that LPNs administer with additional responsibilities included and here you can learn more about registered nurses job description. An RN will direct the care and treatment of patients, guiding the actions of other nurses in conjunction with the oversight of a licensed physician. Like LPNs, RNs can find employment at health care facilities, doctors’ offices, in-home care services, nursing homes, military installations, schools, or companies that maintain on-site health care for their employees. The responsibilities of an RN may include diagnosing a patient, handling patient in-flow and triage, administering medical care, operating medical equipment, instructing and educating patients on after-visit care, and establishing a care plan for the patient.

Educational options for RNs are much more expansive than those for LPNs and includes several tracks for those who have already earned certifications and experience in related medical positions. The end goal of all the different options is to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree granted by an approved nursing education program. Those who have experience in nursing care as a LPN, serving in the military, or as a paramedic will typically often have access to bridge programs or course credit equivalents to account for their background and gain advanced placement in many RN schools.

Regardless of which path that is taken for the educational foundation, a prospective RN will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The prerequisites to take the examination vary by state and are established by the Board of Nursing. You can find the prerequisites and more for the Maryland exams on the Maryland Board of Nursing website.

Employment Outlook and Salary

Both LPN and RN positions have excellent expectations for worker compensation and employment availability per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because healthcare frequently requires around-the-clock attention, most hospitals and other facilities operate schedules with two shifts split into 12 hour time periods.

Job growth for RNs is predicted to climb at a growth rate of around 16% from now until 2024, much higher than the 7% change that is predicted for all job categories. There were 2,751,000 RN jobs in 2014, meaning an additional 439,300 jobs will be created within a decade. The median pay for all RNs was $32 per hour or $67,000 a year. The top 10% of earners brought home over $100,000 in annual salary.

719,900 LPN positions were in existence in 2014 with a projected growth rate of 16%. The median salary was $43,170 a year. LPNs in nursing facilities, government agencies, and home healthcare services made slightly more than those who work at hospitals and physician offices. The top 10% of earners brought home $59,500 annually or more.

Take Steps Towards Your Career in Nursing

None of the 3 million men and women who serve every day in the nursing community made it where they are without perseverance, hard work, and following the path in front of them. If you want to have a career where your skills make a real difference in the lives of those around you while securing a successful livelihood for you and your family, then you owe it to yourself to consider enrolling in one of these great nursing programs.

20 Best Nursing Schools in Maryland

1. Carroll Community College

Carroll CC offers an ASRN, LPN to RN, a dual track ATB for those seeking a BSN transfer, and a Practical Nursing certificate. The ATB program is a partnership with Frostburg State University, Excelsior College, and Stevenson University that allows students to simultaneously take courses towards their BSN for swifter graduation. It’s high NCLEX pass rating makes it among the top nursing schools in MD.

Carroll demonstrates its commitment to student success by offering a wide range of resources. This includes group and individual coaching, a student food pantry, onsite fitness center, and child development center on campus for children aged 2-5. In addition, nursing students enjoy a state-of-the-art classroom facility completed in 2004.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 91.94%; (PN) 100%
  • Programs approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • ADN: 2 years.
  • LPN to RN & LPN Certificate: 3 terms.
  • Admission into the program utilizes a point system, with a minimum of eleven points required. Points are awarded for receiving for achieving high marks in prerequisite courses, for Carroll County residency, and for RN applicants who have or will have completed all prerequisites by various deadlines through the year. In the event of a point tie, GPA determines rank. Points are deducted for repeated BIOL classes within the last 5 years and all D or F grades in any clinical nursing course.

Tuition & Fees

  • RN: $5,132.80 in-county, $7,436.80 out-of-county.
  • Practical Nursing Certificate: $3,849.60 in-county, $5,577.60 out-of-county.
  • LPN to RN: $3,368.40 in-county, $4,880.40 out-of-county.

2. College of Southern Maryland

Offering three primary nursing programs, the College of Southern Maryland has been preparing future nurses for 32 years. First-year students can attend classes at La Plata, Leonardtown, or Prince Frederick. All of their nursing programs are competitive entry, so prospective students know they will be surrounded by dedicated classmates, reflected by the school’s consistently high NCLEX pass rating (an average of 88% over the last five years).

The FACTS monthly payment plan helps students at CSM take early control of their financial future. This split payment option requires no credit check, since there is no loan involved, and allows students to split the cost of tuition and fees over a period of four months during the fall and spring semesters. Summer terms split payments into two months.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 90.11% (PN) 100%
  • Programs fully accredited by the Maryland Board of Nursing and ACEN.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • RN: 70 credits.
  • LPN to ADN Bridge: 35 credits.
  • Practical Nursing Certificate: 42 credits.
  • All programs require an ACT score of 20 or higher or an SAT of 950 or higher for Critical Reading and Math taken within the last 5 years.
  • Admission to all programs is competitive and grants first consideration to students in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties and cumulative GPA.

Tuition & Fees

  • RN: $10,322 in-county; $17,822.70 out-of-county.
  • LPN to RN Bridge: $5,166 in-county; $8,911.35 out-of-county.
  • Practical Nursing Certificate: $6,199.20 in-county; $10,693.62 out-of-county.
  • For the purposes of tuition, residents of Calvert, Charles, or St. Mary’s county are considered in-county, all other Maryland residents are out-of-county. Total costs include tuition per credit hour and a combined fee which is calculated at 23% of total tuition.

3. Anne Arundel Community College

With over half a century of service to the local community, Anne Arundel has developed a stellar reputation for production exceptional nursing graduates. They offer prospective students state-of-the-art facilities that prepare them well both for the rigors of the NCLEX and their future careers. Their dedication to providing the best facilities, instructors, and programs has resulted in exceeding national and state pass rate averages year after year.

Anne Arundel offers a diverse campus, with over a third of the students representing a minority ethnicity. Students come from all age groups as well, including a large contingent of high school students taking college courses. The flexibility of available evening and weekend classes means there are plenty of older adults in the student population as well.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 88.80% (PN) 100%
  • Programs approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • RN:70 credits and 3 years.
  • LPN or Veteran to RN advanced placement: 2 years. Allows prospective qualified students to bypass the first year of the nursing program for accelerated graduation, otherwise known as accelerated nursing programs.
  • Practical Nursing Certificate:  41 credits and 1 year – with evening and weekend coursework for flexibility.
  • Prospective students residing in Anne Arundel County at least three months prior are granted priority.

Tuition & Fees

  • RN: $9,240 in-county; $16,240 out-of-county
  • Practical Nursing Certificate: $4,428 in-county $5,412 out-of-county
  • Nursing programs at Anne Arundel are eligible for the Health Manpower Shortage Tuition Reduction Program, allowing some Maryland residents to receive in-county tuition rates even if they are from other parts of Maryland.
  • Tuition rates cover the cost of the entire program and include athletic, educational services, and student activity fees.
  • Other fees, including exam, clinical/lab, and graduation fees may apply.

4. Hagerstown Community College

Hagerstown provides a range of learning opportunities for prospective nurses. With offerings that range from a certificate to an accelerated nursing A.S. that can transfer to a BSN at a higher institution, they have a program to suit. For those already serving as paramedics or LPNs, they offer bridge programs that provide credit for existing on-the-job experience that can accelerate progress through the Nursing A.S.

Hagerstown shows a commitment to students by providing a range of resources to help ensure the success. These include an on-site child learning center, TRiO student support services, student activities, as well as job and internship opportunities. TRiO is a special program for first-generation, income-eligible students with disabilities which provides additional support like tutoring, cultural events, and special programs designed to help its members achieve success professionally, academically, and financially.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 87.50%; (PN) 100%
  • Fully accredited by the Maryland Board of Nursing and ACEN.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • Practical Nursing Certificate: 42 credits over 7 quarters.
  • Paramedic to RN & LPN to RN:
  • RN: 70 credits minimum. 2 or 3 years, depending on credit load.
  • LPN’s final acceptance into the bridge program requires passing written, skills lab, and dosage calculation exams.

Tuition & Fees

  • Practical Nursing Certificate: $7,860 in-county; $11,820 out-of-county.
  • RN (all programs, paramedic, LPN bridge, and accelerated): $11,790 in-county; $17,730 out-of-county.

5. Community College of Baltimore County

Unique amidst Maryland’s Nursing programs, CCBC offers a hybrid online RN program with the lectures provided online via independent learning modules and the laboratory and clinical sessions happening at the Catonsville campus. They offer evening and weekend classes (at the Essex campus) for students who cannot access daytime classes for exceptional educational flexibility. Their other programs include an ATB Nursing degree, a 12-month LPN certificate program (offered only at Dundalk), and LPN and Paramedic to RN bridge programs, which are available at both Catonsville and Essex.

The ATB degree is offered in partnership with Frostburg State University, Notre Dame of MD, Stevenson University, and Towson University. Students enrolled in the ATB program may save both time and money by taking coursework that will apply towards an eventual BSN at one of the participating schools. After they’ve received their A.S., they should be able to complete their BSN within two or three terms and jump right into their chosen career path.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 86.05% (PN) 100%
  • Programs accredited by Maryland Board of Nursing.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • Once admission is accepted, students must pay a non-refundable $200 seat fee to secure their position that will be applied to their account several weeks after classes begin.
  • Practical Nursing Certificate: 12 months, 46 credits. Selective admission based on rank for prerequisite GPA and TEAS score.
  • LPN Bridge: 12 weeks. 70 credits. Credit hours can be significantly reduced after admission to the bridge program and successful completion of a 7 credit course which waives the first year of the nursing program.  If selective admission is required based on student applications, rank determination is based on recent graduation from an LPN program in the MD State Articulation Agreement, the number of general education courses with the highest GPA, TEAS scores, additional coursework, and Acute Care Work experience.
  • Paramedic Bridge: 12 weeks. 70 credits. Credit hours can be significantly reduced after admission to the bridge program and successful completion of a 7 credit course which waives the first year of the nursing program 3 professional evaluations are required in addition to typical minimum requirements.
  • RN/RN Hybrid Online: 2 years. 70 minimum credits.

Tuition & Fees

  • Practical Nursing Certificate: $6,624 in-county, $11,868 out-of-county.
  • RN: $10,080 in-county, $18,060 out-of-county
  • Tuition is based on credits/billable hours and includes technology fees, activity fees, and general service fees.
  • Additional expenses include lab, graduation, capital, registration, and other fees and are subject to change.

6. Howard Community College

Howard offers both a traditional and accelerated AARN transfer degree, Paramedic, Military, or LPN to RN pathways, and an LPN certificate program. Both traditional and accelerated AARN programs prepare a student for transfer or a career in nursing. The other option is direct entry into the field. The accelerated program only offers daytime classes and begins in the Summer term.

In addition to their unique career bridge opportunities, they offer nursing students an exciting facility to learn in that includes simulation labs featuring computerized mannequins for hands-on learning and a number of community sites for clinical work. They also offer students a vibrant performing arts center, athletic facilities, a wellness center, on-campus daycare, and many other enrichment opportunities.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 83.14%; (PN) 100%
  • Programs fully accredited by ACEN.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • RN:  70 credits, 2 years.
  • Accelerated RN: 70 credits, 14 months.
  • Practical Nursing Certificate: 46 credits, 11 months.
  • LPN, Military, or Paramedic to RN: 60 credits.
  • Last year’s qualified waitlist applicants have priority for admission, as will Howard County residents, followed by in-state, out-of-state, and international students in that order. Two lotteries are held when applications exceed available seats. A drug and criminal background screening are required prior to enrollment.
  • Military corpsmen may get credit for NURS-122 or 123, NURS-134, and NURS-135 with the successful completion of NURS-108 and will be granted advanced standing.
  • Paramedics qualified for the bridge program may get credit for the above courses with the completion of NURS-106.
  • Graduates of a statewide validated LPN-ADN articulation gain credit for the above courses after completion of NURS-103.

Tuition & Fees

  • RN:  $10,787.7 in-county; $16,597.7 out-of-county.
  • Accelerated & Military/Paramedic/LPN to RN Bridge: $8,141.10 in county; $13,121.10 out-of-county.
  • Practical Nursing Certificate: $7,089.06 in-county; $10,907.06 out-of-county.
  • Students enrolled in the Health Personnel Shortage Incentive Grant programs are eligible for the in-county rates. Active duty students pay in-state rates and Maryland National Guard students are eligible for tuition discounts. Seniors (over 60) and disabled students (as defined by Social Security or Railroad Retirement Acts) have tuition waived, but must still pay additional college and course fees.

7. Wor-Wic Community College

Wor-Wic offers both a certificate program for Practical Nursing and an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing with an available bridge program to provide credit to working LPN’s looking to continue their education.  In 2011, their nursing department was granted a new learning facility, the Allied Health Building, which offers students access to top-notch, modern equipment to hone skills on. Commitment to providing exceptional education has shown in their excellent NCLEX pass rate.

Wor-Wic focuses on helping students achieve their dreams through their Office of Retention and Student Success. Through this, they proactively engage students who may be struggling and provide them with tools and resources to help keep them on track. For students with at least 45 credits towards an Associate’s in good standing who have had to step away from school for a year or more, the school offers financial assistance with tuition, books, and fees with their One Step Away Program grants.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 82.61% (PN) 97.22%
  • Program are approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • RN: 70 credits.
  • LPN: 41 credits.
  • Admission is granted competitively with preference given to residents of Worcester, Wicomico, and Somerset counties, followed by other Maryland residents. A nursing orientation is mandatory prior to program application. ACT scores over 18 within the last 10 years or GPA of 2.0 or higher in certain prerequisite courses may be used for entrance.

Tuition & Fees

  • RN: $8,610 in-county, $17,780 out-of-county.
  • LPN: $5,043 in-county, $10,414 out-of-county.
  • Costs describe above include tuition based on fall credit rates, technology fees, and student government association fee. Other fees and expenses may be included and all rates are subject to change.

8. University of Maryland

The University of Maryland School of Nursing offers a range of graduate programs for direct transfer as well as registered nurses continuing their education. Those seeking to jump right into practice can undertake a BSN or the award-winning Clinical Nurse Leader program (selected by US News as one of the Best Grad School Nursing programs). Existing RN’s can seek transitional programs into a BSN or MS and the MS specialties include Community/Public Health Nursing, Health Services Leadership and Management, and Nursing Informatics (another winner of the US News award for excellence). In addition, dual Master of Science options including a Nursing MS/MBA or Master’s in Public Health are available as well as doctoral programs in philosophy or Nursing Practice.

Training students for over a century, the U of M School of Nursing has been a consistent leader in the field. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program is ranked 5th in the nation while it’s Master’s program is ranked 8th by US News & World Report. The National Institutes of Health rank the school as 20th in the nation for funding. The campus boasts 24 labs that simulate real-world environments like a typical hospital setting, critical care, surgical/OR, pediatrics, homecare, maternity, neonatal, and health assessment environments.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (BSN) 92.96% (MSN) 91.43%
  • BSN, MSN, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are fully accredited by CCNE. The PhD program is reviewed through the UMB Graduate School.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • Admission requires a $75 non-refundable application fee, an essay, and letters of recommendation. For BSN candidates, two letters are required from academic sources. For RN-to-BSN candidates, one of the two must be from an academic source. For RN-to-MS applicants, one letter is required. MS applicants must submit one letter from a professional source. DNP applicants require two letters with sources who can speak to their work experience and performance while PhD applicants must submit three with similar knowledge.
  • CNL applicants must have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a science GPA of 3.0.
  • RN-to-BSN applicants must have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a science GPA of 2.75. Both full and part-time course work is available and some courses may be available as online or hybrid online for greater flexibility.
  • RN-to-MS applicants must have an overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a science GPA of 3.0. Both full and part-time course work and some online classes are available.
  • Doctor of Philosophy applicants must provide GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, curriculum vitae, verification of active licensure, and an essay describing academic goals and research interests.
  • DNP applicants must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and a bachelor or master’s degree in nursing from an ACEN or CCNE-accredited school, two letters of recommendation, an essay, current curriculum vitae, an active US registered nursing license, a verification of nursing practicum hours, and undergo an interview once all applications have been selected and reviewed.

Tuition & Fees

  • BSN: $4,164.50 full-time student in-county, $15,482.50 full-time student out-of-county, $365 part-time student in-county, $806 part-time student out-of-county.
  • MS:  $682 full-time student in-county, $1,251 full-time student out-of-county, $682 part-time student in-county, $1,251 part-time student out-of-county.
  • CNL: $633 full-time student in-county, $1,217 full-time student out-of-county, $633 part-time student in-county, $1,217 part-time student out-of-county.
  • PhD: $692 full-time student in-county, $1,251 full-time student out-of-county, $692 part-time student in-county, $1,251 part-time student out-of-county.
  • DNP: $692 full-time student in-county, $1,251 full-time student out-of-county, $692 part-time student in-county, $1,251 part-time student out-of-county.
  • Tuition rates, as shown above, are per semester and other fees can apply.

9. Cecil College

Cecil College’s Nursing department uses the Neuman Systems Model to develop holistic educational programs that focus on creating future nurses who will be strong patient advocates that foster growth, good judgment, a mind for constant improvement, and a strong ethical professional identity that values diversity and makes integrity paramount to practice. Their commitment to fostering great nursing students has gained them a strong reputation in the region for producing graduates with skill and comprehensive knowledge.

Cecil participates in the Health Manpower Shortage Program, which helps make an education in nursing more affordable to students who are out-of-county or out-of-state. Qualified students may undertake PN or RN coursework at in-county tuition rates. In addition, Cecil provides more funding to students through Foundation scholarships that range from as little as $100 to full tuition and fees.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 93.88% (PN) 90%
  • Programs are fully accredited by ACEN and have approval from the Maryland Board of Nursing.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • RN: 2 year, 70 credits.
  • LPN 1 year, 35 credits.
  • Admission requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Priority, when interest exceeds available seats, is given to Cecil County residents.

Tuition & Fees

  • RN: $8,050 in-county, $14,350 out-of-county.
  • LPN: $4,025 in-county, $7,175 out-of-county.
  • Tuition rates above reflect tuition as well as student development fees.
  • Additional expenses include a seat fee, clinical liability insurance, record tracking, and other fees. All rates are subject to change.

10. Salisbury University

Salisbury offers exciting opportunities for nursing students at every level of their education, with lots of opportunities to get involved in research through coursework and projects with clinical course work tailored to suit the unique interests of each student under the careful supervision of skilled faculty. Students get the chance to practice their skills at the Richard A. Henson Medical Simulation Center with simulated, unpredictable events that utilize life-like patient mannequins to help nurses learn to adapt and practice skill sets in a safe environment.

Understanding the unique needs of working professionals, SU utilizes a blended format to grant the most flexibility out of their nursing programs. Courses may be delivered partially or fully online, depending on the clinical needs, offer night or weekend scheduling, or flexible attendance opportunities to ensure students can balance their continued education and current careers.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (BSN) 90.20%
  • Programs are accredited by the CCNE.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • Traditional BS: 1st BS degree seekers aiming to become RN’s. 4 year program, 2 years of general education and supporting courses, 2 years of nursing theory and clinical experience.
  • 2nd BS Nursing Degree: For those with a bachelor’s in a different field seeking a career change, credit is applied based on previous education, career, and experiences. 3 semesters of full-time study can complete this degree.
  • RN to BSN: For current resident or compact state licensed RN’s seeking to continue their education, a 2 year, part-time program is offered, with a minimum of 60 credits required.
  • MS in Nursing (Nurse Educator and Health Care Leadership specialties): RN’s without a BS can elect to undergo an RN-to-MS track to accelerate graduation.
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher for consideration, those with a GPA of 3.5 or higher are given priority. Applicants must have a GRE minimum Analytical Writing Score of 3.5/6.0, have successfully completed Statistics and Research with a minimum grade of “C”, and hold a B.S. in nursing from a nationally accredited program. They must submit a current resume or curriculum vitae, three academic or professional letters of recommendation, and an essay describing academic and professional goals and objectives that the DNP will fulfill.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition for DNP and graduate nursing programs is $9 per credit hour for residents and $807 for non-residents – the precise number of credits for each program will vary based on previous professional experience and education.
  • Undergraduates with full-time status will pay $9,364 per year in tuition and mandatory fees as residents and $17,776 per year as non-residents. Those in the Hagerstown area will pay $12,886 per year.
  • Additional expenses include technology, athletics, facilities, student activities and recreation fees, and student union operation per graduate credit hour.

11. Johns Hopkins University

Recognized as the #1 Nursing Master’s Degree program by US News & World Report, Johns Hopkins delivers a stellar program for those seeking advanced education in nursing. Johns Hopkins is a nationally recognized leader in nursing education, and by the NLN as a designated Center of Excellence in Nursing education.

Nursing students at Johns Hopkins have exciting opportunities to participate in impactful research opportunities and engage with unique learning environments. Currently, six different research fellowships are available focusing on violence, pain, psychiatric and mental health, global health, aging, and patient safety and quality. They are ranked #1 for the receipt of NIH and Federal Research Grants among nursing schools Maryland.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (BSN) 89.05%
  • Programs in nursing are accredited by CCNE.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • Accelerated BSN: 2 academic and 1 professional letter of recommendation, a written goal statement, current resume, and a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field with 17-20 credit sof prerequisite coursework with a grade of B or better in each are required for admissions consideration into the accelerated, 13-month program.
  • MSN/MPH Public Health Nursing: Applicants must have a BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0, provide GRE scores from within the last 5 years, may be required to complete an interview with a faculty member, submit letters of recommendation, and have a current nursing license from Maryland or from a compact state. In addition, they are expected to demonstrate community service and professional commitment to scholarship and nursing practice.  500 clinical hours are required for this program.
  • DNP – Advanced Practice: Applicants must have a BSN or entry-level Master’s in Nursing with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a one year of full-time RN experience. They must provide three letters of recommendation representing both academic and professional interactions, submit a resume or curriculum vitae as well as a goal statement or project proposal, complete a faculty interview to be considered.
  • DNP – Executive: Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Nursing with at least a 3.0. Those with MBS, MHA, or other non-nursing Master’s may be considered on a case by case basis. They will be expected to provide a current resume or curriculum vitae, 3 letters of recommendation, conduct a faculty interview, submit a goal statement or proposal project, and identify a mentor that can help guide them through the curriculum.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing: Applicant must be a graduate of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Nursing and provide a written statement of research goals and why Johns Hopkins is the suitable place for said goals. GPA minimum is 3.0 and they must provide GRE scores from within the last five years, submit a writing sample from a publication or graded paper, three letters of recommendation (two academic, one professional), a current resume or curriculum vitae, and conduct an interview with faculty.

Tuition & Fees

  • Accelerated BSN: $76,784 including tuition and mandatory fees.
  • MSN/MPH Public Health Nursing: $62,309 for full-time tuition and mandatory fees.
  • DNP – Advanced Practice: Total expenses based on a 3-year program are estimated at $45,496 including tuition and mandatory fees.
  • DNP – Executive: Total expenses based on a 3-year program are estimated at $37,806 including tuition and mandatory fees.

12. Frederick Community College

With affordable tuition and flexible scheduling opportunities, Frederick CC offers an attractive alternative to many four-year institutions in Maryland. With over half a decade of experience providing higher education, the campus has evolved from a mere 77 students to its current diverse and bustling population of 16,000.

Located in the second largest city in Maryland, just an hour’s drive northwest of DC, students will have access to many off-campus attractions and opportunities. The city itself boasts 50 blocks of historic buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries as well as Civil War sites, museums, many parks, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 88.89% (PN) 88.89%
  • Programs are accredited by ACEN.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • Admission for all nursing programs is competitive, with priority given to prospective students residing in Frederick County. The school utilizes a point-based system to determine competitive rank that takes into consideration non-clinical courses completed, math aptitude scores, cumulative GPA, residency, and grades in prerequisite science courses.
  • The RN program typically takes 3-4 years for full-time students and requires 70 credits.
  • The LPN program is currently suspended pending review.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition rates at Frederick are currently $10,088.40 in-county students and $19,888.40 for out-of-county students including the consolidated service fee and student activity fee.

13. Towson University

Located in a vibrant neighborhood within the city of Baltimore, ranked by USA Today as one of the 10 best major cities for college students, Towson offers access to tons of opportunities for learning, employment, culture, and exploration. The school itself offers prospective students faculty recognized in their respective fields, stellar internship opportunities, and contacts around the world to help alumni jumpstart their careers – all of which have helped launch Towson to the top rankings as a public regional university by US News & World Report.

Towson strives to create a high-quality education that remains accessible to students from all backgrounds, as noted by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and Forbes, who acknowledge it amidst the top 100 values in public institutions and amidst ‘America’s Top Colleges’. As part of that commitment, they offer a Tiger Installment Plan to help distribute payments throughout the semester to give more flexibility to payment scheduling.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (BSN) 88.67%
  • Programs have been approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing and accredited by the CCNE.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • BSN admission requires a minimum of 42 undergrad units completed, including 3 laboratory science prerequisites and ENGL 102 with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The program requires a minimum of 120 total units to graduate and typically takes four years to complete.
  • RN to BSN admission allows the transfer of up to 90 credits of coursework to apply towards the BSN. A minimum of 30 credits must be completed at Towson.
  • Associate to Bachelor’s (ATB) Nursing Dual Enrollment admission is a partnership with the Community College of Baltimore County, Hagerstown Community College, Harford Community College, and Cecil College and allows an accelerated program that allows the completion of both degrees in an average of 2.5 years of full time, year round enrollment.
  • Master’s in Nursing offers two concentrations – Nursing Education and Clinician-Administrator Transition. The program also offers a cohort program to help establish a professional network that improves results. Admission requires a BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher, current curriculum vitae or resume, and a one-page statement discussing reasons for seeking entrance into the program. The program takes 36 total credit units.

Tuition & Fees

  • Fall Term, full-time, in-state, undergraduate rate: $4,704 per unit.
  • Fall Term, in-state, graduate rate: $503 per unit.
  • Spring Term, full-time, in-state, undergraduate rate: $4,591 per unit.
  • Spring Term, in-state, graduate rate: $490 per unit.
  • Summer and ‘minimester’ rates may vary and are always subject to rate changes.
  • Rates include tuition, auxiliary service fee, athletics fee, student government fee, and the tech fee per credit unit.

14. Harford Community College

Harford CC is an excellent choice for prospective nursing students seeking a transfer degree to an advanced institution. Harford has standing agreements for RN to BSN transfers with Frostburg State, Notre Dame, Stevenson University, Towson University, and the University of Maryland School of Nursing and a complete transfer agreement with Stevenson University that has an available tuition discount.

The Nursing Skills Lab & Simulation Center offers students a safe environment for hands-on practice that simulates real world challenges. This environment helps bridge learning from books and lectures to functional practice.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 88.32%
  • Programs in nursing are approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing and accredited by ACEN.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • RN: The program takes 4 semesters to complete once admitted, traditional students will be in the program 2 years while accelerated students can complete it in as little as 15 months with year-round status. Current LPN’s may be able to achieve advanced standing with approval.
  • Admission for nursing programs is highly competitive and based on a point system that distributes based on completed prerequisites with program-vital courses gaining greater points for higher grades, TEAS score results, GPA, and total nursing program credits completed.

Tuition & Fees

  • RN: Total estimated cost of the program, including necessary prerequisites, is $9-10,000 including all tuition and mandatory fees. Total overall cost of the program is estimated at $14,094 including testing, books, supplies, and other expenses.

15. Allegany College

Allegany College helps prepare its nursing students for a career immediately. After the first semester of study, students will be eligible for certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant or Geriatric Nursing Assistant to they can begin to accumulate real-world experience in healthcare. After the first year, they may take a 5-week summer course that will make them eligible to take the NCLEXPN and become an LPN, all while taking flexible courses towards their Associate’s in Nursing.

To further ensure all prospective nurses have the opportunity to attend, they offer a range of learning options including night, weekend, and online coursework. They also participate in the Health Manpower Shortage Program which grants them eligibility to offer in-county tuition rates to out-of-county students.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 77.50% (PN) 88.00%
  • Programs are approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • LPN: The first year of the RN grants eligibility to become a licensed LPN with NCLEX testing, coursework is identical.
  • LPN to RN Online Program: This requires 2 years of full-time work experience as an LPN for eligibility and has different ranking protocols than the standard nursing program – interested applicants should contact the nursing office for details.
  • RN:  70 credit hours over four semesters or 2 years, 60 for students intending to transfer to a 4-year program.
  • Admission is competitive utilizes a point system to rank applicants that awards higher points for better grades in prerequisite coursework and higher entrance exam scores.

Tuition & Fees

  • RN: $7,980 for in-county, $14,980 for out-of-county.
  • Additional expenses include technology and student fees, which are $7 per each semester hour for a total of $490 in addition to total tuition during the 2-year program.

16. Prince George’s Community College

Prince George’s offers comprehensive nursing programs for students who wish to become LPN’s, RN’s, or continue through to achieve a BSN. Through their articulation agreement with Stevenson University, direct transfer students can complete their BSN quickly by taking classes that apply towards the BSN while still attending Prince George’s. Existing paramedics and LPN’s wishing to advance their careers may utilize existing job experience and training to gain advanced placement within the nursing programs.

With a holistic, balanced approach to nursing education, Prince George’s prepares its students to enter the healthcare field with a mind to compassionate, inclusive care. Their philosophy is to balance the art and science of nursing and create lifelong adult learners who can adapt to the ongoing changes in medicine so they can always provide the best possible care to patients.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 65.70% (PN) 85.71%
  • Programs are approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing and accredited by ACEN.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • Admission is competitive and ranks students according to TEAS testing scores and cumulative GPA. Prospective nursing program students must petition for consideration into any nursing program and may do so only after all prerequisite criteria have been met and student is enrolled in and actively attending NUR1000 or NUR1010.  Bridge students for the LPN and Paramedic to RN programs do not petition, instead they meet with the department chair to discuss eligibility. Prerequisites for all programs are typical for Maryland nursing schools and programs.
  • Those students seeking a BSN can choose to complete many of the prerequisite courses, barring upper-level nursing courses, at Prince George’s to accelerate completion of the BSN through an articulation agreement with Stevenson University.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition at Prince George’s is $150 per credit including mandatory fees for in-county residents and $218 for out-of-county residents.

17. Notre Dame of Maryland University – St. Mary’s

Notre Dame’s nursing program produces quality graduates that overwhelmingly stay within Maryland’s hospitals and health care facilities, and they’ve gained a solid reputation for being skillful and compassionate. With state-of-the-art simulation labs opened in 2013, graduate students prepare for unpredictable situations in a safe and responsive environment featuring two health assessment labs, two medical-surgical labs, an obstetrical/newborn/pediatric lab featuring a home health component, and two patient exam rooms that allow them to practice the knowledge and skills the programs grant them.

The relatively small size of the nursing program at Notre Dame means that each student gains individual attention and greater access to mentoring and personal development opportunities. The facility, however, remains large enough to provide exceptional opportunities both on campus and in the nearby community and in opportunities around the world.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (BSN) 83.33%
  • Programs are accredited by CCNE.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • RN to BSN: Offered both full-time and part-time, this program can be completed in as short as 16 months (or 12 months, for those who hold an existing bachelor’s degree), meeting once a week for eight hours. Part-time students will complete the program in 2 ½ years, meeting once a week for four hours.
  • BSN: A four-year program designed for non-nurses completed at the Women’s College. The first two years of the program are science and general education courses, with the nursing component of the program happening in the final two years after application and acceptance into the School of Nursing.
  • MSN: Students seeking entrance into the MSN program must have a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0 and provide an essay assessing personal characteristics that demonstrate their potential success in the program and how they will achieve their goals within the program. The full program requires 38 credits and can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. MSN students will select a concentration in Leadership in Nursing Education or Leadership in Nursing Administration.

Tuition & Fees

  • Full-time tuition and mandatory fees per year at Notre Dame is $33,670.

18. Stevenson University

Stevenson University is a school that combines the community spirit of a small college with the resources of a university. The university was formerly known as Villa Julie College, an all-women’s institution that integrated in 1974. Students have access to varsity college sports like the popular Stevenson Mustangs football team.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (BSN) 42.86% <- Don’t worry about these, already filled in.
  • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Maryland Board of Nursing.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • BSN: Four years with two semesters averaging 16 credits per each.
  • Additional prerequisites include your SAT or ACT scores, a high school transcript, a 500-word essay response to a given question, and one or more letters of recommendation.

Tuition & Fees

  • BSN: Full-time undergraduate enrollment for a year costs $30,884 in tuition and $2,284 in fees for a total of $33,168 per year, as of 2016. Part-time enrollment is $780 per credit for those taking 11 credits or less and a fee of $75 per semester.

19. Chesapeake College

Chesapeake College is a two-year community college in Talbot County, Maryland with over 70 accredited associate degree programs. The school was founded in 1965 as Maryland’s first local institute of higher learning, and its learning programs have continued its commitment to improving the community since its inception. The nursing program at Chesapeake College originated when the Macqueen Gibbs Willis School of Nursing transferred its educational program from The Memorial Hospital in Easton to the Chesapeake College facilities in 1998.

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: (BSN) 42.86%
  • Accredited by the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • BSN: Two-year course.
  • Additional prerequisites include SAT or ACT scores, a high school transcript, a 500-word essay in response to a given question, and one or more letters of recommendation.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition is charged per credit hour at a rate of $120 for county residents, $188 for in-state residents, and $265 for out-of-state students.
  •  Fees: There is a consolidated fee of $35 per credit hour taken, a registration fee of $10, and a capital improvement fee of $30 for out-of-county students ($15 for in-county residents).
  • High school juniors and seniors who are residents of Talbot county are eligible for a dual enrollment program with a tuition of $90 per credit hour, a consolidated fee of $35 per credit hour, and registration and capital improvement fees that total $25.

20. Montgomery College

Montgomery College, while technically a community college, has the student body and facilities of a much larger organization. The school has three campuses: the largest in Rockville, another in Takoma Park/Silver Spring, and a final one in Germantown. The Rockville campus alone sees over 15,000 students per semester. The nursing school is a member of the Maryland Clinical Simulation Resource Consortium (MCSRC), an initiative to increase the amount of simulations used in medical education.

  •  NCLEX Pass Rate: (RN) 74.85%
  •  Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the Maryland Board of Nursing.

Duration & Prerequisites

  • ASN: Two-year course.
  • ASN Bridge Programs (LPN to ASN, Military Medic/Corpsman to ASN): Requires an eight credit acceleration program and one full year of classes.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition is charged per credit hour and varies based on residency. In-county residents pay $122 per credit hour, out-of-county residents pay $249.
  • Additional fees include a faculty, technology, and transportation fee of $17 total per credit hour.

Additional Information

Required for all admissions:

  • A satisfactory TEAS assessment.
  • Prerequisite classes (check with the school for specific course entries). All schools, unless otherwise noted, have a minimum GPA of 2.5 for program courses, and an overall GPA of 2.0. Classes must be passed with a ‘C’ or better. These courses typically include biology, general mathematics, and English 101 but may include other courses.
  • Once accepted, students are required to complete a health profile which includes a physical examination and all vaccines must be up-to-date.
  • Drug screening and criminal background checks will also be performed after tentative acceptance into a nursing program in Maryland.
  • The acquisition of a current CPR certification from the American Heart Association Health Care Provider or another approved agency.
  • Proof of health insurance covered, required to be maintained for the duration of clinical study.
  • As required by clinical agencies, completion of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements and training modules.
  • For all bridge programs (LPN/Military/Paramedic to RN), students will be required to provide proof of employment showing 6 months (unless otherwise noted) of full-time employment or the equivalent number of hours over the previous 5 years. Paramedics must have a current Maryland State certificate, an NREMT certification, and have graduated from programs accredited by either CCAHEP or the Maryland EMS Board. Other requirements, such as skills assessments and letters of recommendation, may be required.
  • High school or GED completion and transcripts.

Sources & Attribution

  • All costs are given for the duration of the program and include credit-based fees and are subject to change each term. Additional expenses may include uniforms, supplies, HESI, NCLEX, and other exam fees, criminal background checks, books, and other fees.
  • Tuition rates increase for out-of-state and international students.
  • NCLEX pass rates are based on the 2014-2015 reporting as provided by the Maryland Board of Nursing.

In order to provide the best educational options, we’ve sorted our top 20 Maryland nursing programs in order of NCLEX passing rates followed by tuition in ascending order NCLEX pass rates are determined by the Maryland Board of Nursing for RN and PN programs from 2015. Information about the schools is drawn from the school’s websites with tuition rates accurate as of May of 2016. Statistics related to job outlook and incomes in the state of Maryland was drawn from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. We invite any listed schools to review their entry and submit any necessary edits.