Maryland Nursing License
The process of becoming a nurse in Maryland is similar to that of other states. Applicants can apply for the necessary Maryland nursing license by passing the NCLEX examination, or via endorsement if they have worked or are working as a registered nurse in another state.
They must also complete the required coursework in nursing education program approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing, or an out-of-state program that the board considers equivalent.
RN Licensing Requirements
To start the licensing process, RNs must register a passing score on the NCLEX-RN exam, then undergo and pass a criminal history record check. They must also be capable of proving that they are of good moral character by truthfully answering questions on a survey designed to verify this.
In addition, Maryland has a provision that applicants must demonstrate oral competence in the English language.
To do this, they must either graduate from a recognized professional school where English is spoken, graduate from a recognized undergraduate program where English is spoken for an enrollment period of least 3 years, or complete at least 5 years of practicing nursing in another state or a territory of the US where English is spoken.
For RNs with residency or out-of-state issues, those applying for a license under the Multistate Licensure Compact must take the NCLEX in their home state. They are allowed to hold licenses in one state at a time, and that state must be their home state. Applicants whose primary state is not Maryland will not be allowed to apply for a license in Maryland.
RN Education Requirements
Registered nurses in Maryland must have at least an associates degree in nursing from an accredited college or university that has been approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing.
There are many schools offering such programs. A partial list includes the Allegany College of Maryland, Cecil College, Chesapeake College, Baltimore City Community College and the College of Southern Maryland. A full list of programs is available at http://www.degreetree.com/resources/how-to-become-an-rn-in-maryland.
Because many RNs have difficulty securing an entry level job with just an associated degree, many choose to get experience as a CNA or LPN or go on to get their bachelors degree in nursing. A partial list of schools offering the bachelors degree includes Towson University, John Hopkins University, Coppin State University and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.
Maryland also offers the opportunity to get an associates degree in nursing online via the college network. Those pursuing this path must already be licensed LPNs or LVNs. Information on how to do this can be found at http://www.degreetree.com/school/the-college-network/lpn-to-rn-as-in-nursing-licensed-lpn-lvns-only?campusid=22&programId=110#Init.
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LPN License Requirements
While the licensing process for LPNs in Maryland is similar to that of RNs in Maryland and LPNs in other states, there are some differences that are worth noting.
In Maryland, those applying for an LPN license must be fingerprinted. The Maryland Nursing Board recommends that applicants do this at a police barracks or criminal justice office that performs electronic fingerprinting.
There are several sites available to do this, with the best being the Reisterstown Plmda. Fingerprints may take several weeks to be processed, and there is a $57.25 charge associated with the criminal history check. A postcard is stamped during the fingerprinting process as evidence that it has been completed, and it is part of being authorized to take the NCLEX exam.
A complete set of instructions for the fingerprinting process can be found at the Maryland Board of Nursing Fact Sheet.
As for the licensing exam, the fee for the NCLEX-PN is $200, payable to Pearson Vue. For those applying by endorsement, a passport photo is also required.
Before taking the NCLEX, nursing students should become certified as CNAs and fulfill the training requirements, then apply to the Maryland Board to take the exam.
LPN Education Requirements
The educational requirements for prospective LPNs start with having a high school education. Once they have secured this qualification, they should enroll in a practical nursing program that has been approved by the Maryland Board, or a similar program in another state that has been approved by the Board.
Maryland also provides opportunities for LPNs to move up to RN status via accreditation. This is a separate process from state approval.
Accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing indicates that program has been found to meet an extensive list of standards. In some instances, completing an accredited program may help open up LPN to RN options
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Maryland licensed nurse compared to the national annual salaries, all based on the latest May 2013 Occupational Employment Statistics figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Maryland and the BSN
Maryland also supports nurses try to advance their education via a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). A list of schools with BSN programs can be found at http://nursewithoutborders.org/finding-bsn-program-maryland/.
To complete this process, applicants must complete all prerequisite courses along with core nursing classes. They also must pass the NCLEX-RN exam after graduating from a BSN program.
Finally, they must stay current with ongoing licensing renewal requirements, which state that licenses must be renewed every other year.