There is a wide variety of challenges in the healthcare industry that come from the fact that nurses are being called to provide complex healthcare to service a large amount of patients. The patients are experiencing acute illnesses. An Associate’s Degree in Nursing is a nice head start. However, nurses who pursue their bachelor’s degree will be opened up to new career opportunities. They will also be able to provide better care to their patients. There are RN and BSN programs across the state that allow nurses to achieve an advanced education. A bachelor’s degree in nursing in the state of Maryland builds on knowledge gained in the nursing industry such as leadership and management of healthcare systems.

In our Maryland RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Maryland RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of Maryland, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Maryland RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs1512
Average NCLEX Passing Rate86.57%77.35%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range70.03% to 94.88%54.20% to 92.73%
Average Net Price$7,345.53$16,989.45
Average Net Price Range$3,990.00 to $13,363.00$9,667.00 to $25,394.00
Average Student Loan$6,106.15$21,461.09
Average Student Loan Range$4,500.00 to $9,500.00$12,250.00 to $30,000.00
See Additional DetailADN Rankings for Maryland StateBSN Rankings for Maryland State

Best Ranked RN Programs in Maryland

Best Ranked RN Programs in MarylandTo help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Maryland and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 15 ADN degree programs and 10 BSN degree programs in Maryland. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Maryland to provide our state rankings. View our methodology

MD Rank
US Rank
Offered As:
97.51 ADNAnne Arundel Community College153 Arnold

Anne Arundel Community College is located in Arnold, Maryland.  The school of nursing offers an RN program, an an LPN to RN Advanced Placement option, which allows LPNs to enter the program at a later time, and a Veterans to RN Advanced Placement option, which also allows the veteran to enter the program at a later time.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
97.00 ADNHagerstown Community College267 Hagerstown

Hagerstown Community College is located in Hagerstown, Maryland.  They offer an ASN program, an LPN to RN transition program and a paramedic to RN transition program.  They also offer an ATB (associate-to-bachelor’s) program inn conjunction with Frostburg University ad Towson University.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
95.89 ADNCecil Community College3113 North East

Cecil College is located in North East, Maryland.  They offer a RN program and an LPN program.  On their website, Cecil College publishes certain statistics that they have collected, and they are proud to boast that over the past 5 years, their graduates have an overall 92.93% job placement rate.  They also have a 98.6% student satisfaction rate with their nursing programs.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.96 ADNHarford Community College4284 Bel AirPublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.72 ADNAllegany College5293 CumberlandPublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.49 ADNFrederick Community College6302 Frederick

Frederick Community College is located in Frederick, Maryland.  They offer an ADN program.  Unique to their program is that they offer a day program and an evening/weekend program, which allows students to pick a program that best fits their needs.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.59 ADNCommunity College of Baltimore County-Catonsville/Essex7337 Baltimore

Community College of Baltimore County is located in Baltimore, Maryland.  They offer an ADN, LPN to ADN and an RN (ATB) Option.  The ATB Option allows the student to be enrolled in the ADN program while beginning coursework for their BSN – this option is available at Frostburg University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Stevenson University and Towson University.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
89.94 ADNMontgomery College8365 RockvillePublicCampusSee School Details
87.75 ADNChesapeake College9446 Wye MillsPublicCampusACENSee School Details
87.00 ADNCarroll Community College10475 Westminster

Carroll Community College is located in Westminster, Maryland.  They offer an ADN program and an LPN to RN program.  Carroll Community College has over 12,000 credit and non-credit students.

PublicCampusSee School Details
86.70 ADNHoward Community College11486 ColumbiaPublicCampusACENSee School Details
84.15 ADNCollege of Southern Maryland12550 La PlataPublicCampusACENSee School Details
82.28 ADNWor-Wic Community College13595 SalisburyPublicCampusSee School Details
80.78 ADNBaltimore City Community College14616 BaltimorePublicCampusACENSee School Details
78.32 ADNPrince Georges Community College15645 LargoPublicCampusACENSee School Details
95.34 BSNSalisbury University1127 Salisbury

Salisbury University is located in Salisbury, Maryland.  They offer a traditional BSN program.  They also offer a 2nd degree BS in nursing and an RN to BSN program.  They are proud to have clinical experiences with an eight to one, student to preceptor ratio.  Classroom teachers also supervise corresponding clinicals, so concepts are reinforced.

PublicCampus, HybridACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
89.52 BSNTowson University2341 Towson

Towson University is located in Towson, Maryland.  They offer a basic BSN program.  They also offer an RN Completion Program (an RN to BSN program).  Towson University also offers an ATB (associates-to-bachelor’s) program in conjunction with various community colleges, where students can attend both the community college and the university at the same time.

PublicCampusCCNESee School Details
88.26 BSNMorgan State University3369 BaltimorePublicCampusCCNESee School Details
87.80 BSNStevenson University4384 Stevenson

Stevenson University is located in Stevenson, Maryland.  They offer a BSN program.  They also offer a transfer and second degree program; this allows students with prior college credits or a prior bachelor’s degree to earn their BSN degree in two years.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
84.25 BSNNotre Dame of Maryland University5452 Baltimore

Notre Dame of Maryland University is located in Baltimore, Maryland.  They offer a four-year, traditional BSN program.  They also offer an accelerated RN to BSN program.  The RN to BSN program can be completed in 12 months for RNs who also have a prior bachelor’s degree and 16 months for RNs with an associate’s degree.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
82.00 BSNHood College6472 FrederickPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
80.91 BSNCoppin State University7483 BaltimorePublicCampusACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
74.04 BSNWashington Adventist University8517 Takoma ParkPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
66.07 BSNBowie State University9529 BowiePublicCampusACME, COASee School Details

Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Maryland

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in Maryland

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Maryland offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties: Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Maryland  RN Licensing Requirements

Maryland State Board of Nursing 4140 Patterson Avenue Baltimore, MD 21215 Phone: (410) 585-1900 Website: Fees: Initial licensing fee, RN: $100 License renewal (annual), RN: $73 Continuing Education Requirements: None

RN Licensure by Exam

Before a candidate can register and complete the NCLEX exam, he/she must obtain permission from the Board to test. Background checks are required for candidates who completed one during lower levels of education. Candidates should register for the NCLEX exam through the Pearson VUE website. There is a $200 fee to register for the exam. Exams are constantly scheduled but it is important for candidates to schedule their exam in the time frame noted in the Authorization to Test. If a candidate fails to pass the NCLEX, he/she will need to wait 45 days before attempting it again.

RN Licensure by Endorsement

Programs completed out-of-state will be accepted as long as they are equivalent. Not all programs are equivalent and may need a mentor. Additionally, RNs who are licensed in one of the other 50 states will be able to gain licensure by endorsement. There is an application fee of $100 and an additional fee of $40 in order for the candidate to obtain a temporary license. Fingerprinting is required for candidates to be granted a temporary license.

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

There are additional requirements for nurses who were trained in a foreign country. First of all the candidate must apply to the Maryland Board. The candidate should also apply for a CES Professional Report and complete an oral proficiency exam before registering to take the NCLEX. There are several exams that will be accepted in order to prove English proficiency such as: TOEFL, IELTS, and ILA. The proficiency exam may be waived if the program was completed for three years or longer in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, or Canada (with the exception of Quebec). There is a $100 fee attached to the application.

RN Salaries in Maryland

Employers in Maryland highly value nurses who have obtained a BSN because it shows initiation. A BSN degree will help nurses to advance their knowledge and show dedication to the career. Opportunities that are available to nurses who have obtained a BSN may include:
  • Occupational nursing
  • Medical oncology
  • Nursing administration
  • Corporate nursing
  • Wound and ostomy
  • Psychiatric
Maryland is one of many states that is proposing legislation in favor of increasing the number of RNs that have obtained a BSN or higher. The RNs in Maryland are able to revel in the fact that they have a higher median salary than the median average. The median salary for RNs in the state of Maryland is $71,000.

Maryland Registered Nursing Salaries

While there are more registered nurses in Baltimore by a large margin, it is not the highest paying area. The Bethesda metropolitan area has both the highest hourly mean wage and annual median wage.
Area nameEmploymentHourly median wageAnnual median wage
Baltimore-Towson, MD29,740$34.52$71,800
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division8,040$36.34$75,580
Cumberland, MD-WV970$29.49$61,340
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV2,040$33.02$68,670
Salisbury, MD1,250(8)-(8)-
Upper Eastern Shore nonmetropolitan area1,420$31.09$64,660
Garrett County, Maryland nonmetropolitan area180$27.15$56,470
St. Mary's County, Maryland nonmetropolitan area490$33.76$70,220
Source:, 2014 Data