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RN Nursing Programs in Maryland, MD

How to Become an RN in Maryland

Becoming a Registered Nurse in Maryland is usually done via one of two education programs: an ADN or a BSN. The faster option is via an Associate Degree, Nursing (ADN), which takes two years after a handful of prerequisite courses—usually between five and ten entry level arts and sciences offerings like physiology and psychology—are done. The longer route to becoming an RN in Maryland is via a four to five year Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BSN), which is chosen by roughly fifty percent of nursing students in the state. Both routes offer their advantages: ADNs allow students to enter the work force sooner, while BSNs allow enough time to acquire specialized knowledge and pursue a career that is more fine-tuned to a student’s interests.

In both a BSN and an AND the first two years of study are pretty similar, with nursing courses comprising the bulk of study and lower-level psychology, sociology, physiology, statistics and biology courses rounding out a nurse’s studies. But ADN programs tend to focus more on practical knowledge and workplace skills while BSNs prepare students for further courses in nursing process from both a hands-on and a management perspective. BSN programs take it a step further with regards to nursing practice, theory, management and more; these are complemented with specific topics like pharmacology, nursing research, acute needs and electives from outside the department of nursing, giving BSN students a deeper breadth of knowledge and preparing them to better see the bigger picture.

Once studies are complete, ADN and BSN students take the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). The test is administered by Pearson Vue at a cost of $200 and the Maryland Board of Nursing must approve an application, which includes a criminal background check and requires proof of completion of nursing training, before taking the test. Upwards of eighty percent of first timers pass the test, which is the final step to licensure as a Maryland Registered Nurse.

RN Work in Maryland: Salary, Hours and Duties

Full time Registered Nurses in Maryland working in a city like Baltimore make an average of $69,000 (according to BLS.gov) per year with nurses in less populated areas making several thousand less. Hours are rarely nine to five, with weekends, nights, and other odd hours common—patient’s needs must be met around the clock. During their work week, they often face a multitude of unique situations and challenges as they work with doctors and subordinates to create and adjust patient’s plans of care. While 60 percent of Maryland RNs find employment in hospitals, there are also opportunities in nursing homes, physician’s offices, public health departments, the education system, and even private companies. Indeed, career options are diverse and not limited to direct patient care.