Best Online RN to BSN Nursing Schools in Maryland

A Complete Job Description of a Nurse Anesthetist

For those registered nurses who are working in Maryland and thinking about completing their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, there has never been a better time! The job growth rates within the healthcare field are high. Some states are even predicting 15% or more numbers of nurses employed by 2025. Of the nearly 55 thousand registered nurses in Maryland, the BLS states that the average make $74,710 per year ($35 hourly). While this is a high average for nurses in general, the earners at the upper end of this range are BSN degree holders.

With a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, competent professionals are eligible to lucrative advancements in their field. Management opportunities are also available to those nurses who qualify. Soon it may become necessary to obtain a BSN to keep doing what you love. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Recognition program requires that by the year 2020, hospitals must be staffed by 80% BSN-holding nurses.

RN To BSN In Maryland: The Online Option

No working nurse thinks they have enough time to go back to school, so if that is you, we understand! This is why our editors at TopRNtoBSN have put together the 7 Best Online Maryland RN to BSN Programs ranking. These best value programs offer coursework that is fully online, except for Towson and Stevenson Universities. These both require minimal on campus coursework. Luckily, this can double as an opportunity to network and gain support from other students who are in the same boat as you. Online RN to BSN programs are specifically engineered to fit the hectic schedule of a working nurse, and are often more affordable than on-campus programs. These top 7 are ranked evenly by 3 qualifications:

  • Reputation (the institution’s U.S. News & World Report overall score)
  • Cost (per online credit)
  • Success Outcomes (from College Scorecard)

All of these nursing schools or programs featured are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), an autonomous nursing education accrediting agency most trusted with ensuring nursing programs meet rigorous standards. So grab a crab cake and keep reading because you are about to find a Maryland Online RNtoBSN program that is perfect for you.


1. Notre Dame of Maryland University

Notre Dame of Maryland University was established in 1895, and has always been welcoming to students of all faith traditions, while being rooted in Catholic traditions. They are a liberal arts school with an emphasis on community service. Their campus is located on 58 acres covered in trees in Baltimore’s North Charles Street Corridor, which gives students easy access to social and cultural activities. There are three colleges including the Women’s College, which offers a four-year undergraduate program; The College of Adult Undergraduate Studies, which offers 7 majors and 5 minors, and are built around flexible schedule that can accommodate working adults; and the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, which offers 13 master’s, and 3 doctoral, and 7 full online programs.

Notre Dame of Maryland University offers a fully online RN to Bachelors of Science in Nursing Program. The focus is on giving students the  necessary tools and credential to move to the next stage in their career. Graduates of this program have gone on to work in critical care, occupational health, labor and delivery, nurse management, and surgical nursing, among other disciplines. The majority of students complete the degree in 15-18 months time. Applicants must be current and unencumbered nurses, who are practicing nursing in their home state. The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, as well as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Format: Online
Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

2. Stevenson University

Stevenson University is a private institution that was established in 1947. The campus is located in a suburban center of the Greenspring Valley area of Baltimore, Maryland. There are three campus locations, two of which are in Owings Mills, Maryland. Originally, Stevenson opened as a two-year college called Villa Julie College by the Roman Catholic Women’s Religious Order. In 1984 Bachelor’s degree programs were added to the school, and it eventually became a four-year university. Stevenson is known for their online University that prides itself on creating a supportive community, where each student is granted personal attention and guidance.

Stevenson University offers a comprehensive RN to Bachelors of Science in Nursing Program, giving registered nurses the tools to further their opportunities in the fields of nursing. This program is entirely online, and therefore, offers students the flexibility to continue working in the field. The coursework is divided into 8 week sessions, with several start dates that can be accessed throughout the year. Critical thinking, evidence based decision-making, scholarly inquiry, and communications are topics that are stressed in the coursework, and the classes build on the field experience students have to pull from. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Format: Online
Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

3. Towson University

Towson University was founded in 1886 and is a part of the University System of Maryland. With its roots as a normal school, or teachers college, Towson began conferring degrees to graduates in other fields than teaching in 1946 but kept the name Maryland State Teachers College until 1960 when it became Towson College. In 1976 they added graduate degrees and arts and sciences degrees and became Towson University. Today, at 20,000 students enrolled, Towson is one of the largest public universities in Maryland and still produces the most teachers of any university in the state. They offer 64 undergraduate majors, 37 master’s degree programs and 4 doctoral programs.

Towson University offers a RN to Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing Program that is oriented towards giving students the skills and credential to further their educational and career paths. This program builds on students previous learning and offers nursing courses that are designed to improve their professional nursing practice. Towson follows the Maryland RN to BSN Articulation Model, which allows new students to transfer up to 90 credits of prior coursework to Towson. At least 30 credits must be completed at Towson, including several prerequisites. Applicants must hold an associate’s degree in nursing and be licensed as a registered nurse in Maryland.

Format: Hybrid
Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

4. Salisbury University

Salisbury University is a member of the University System of Maryland and offers 58 graduate and undergraduate programs. SU was founded in 1925 and is currently located on the historic Eastern Shore. They serve nearly 9,000 students annually and with many recent renovations to the main buildings on campus, have made space for higher enrollment and campus adjustments as a result. The stated core values of Salisbury University are excellence, student centeredness, learning, community, civic engagement, and diversity. In addition to these principal values, the University embraces a long-honored tradition of honesty and mutual regard that is and should be a defining characteristic of higher education.

The RN to BSN program at Salisbury University is specifically for RN students with an active, unencumbered Maryland or compact RN license, and who are interested in pursuing a BS as a nursing major. A total of 120 credits must be completed to earn a BS degree. Upon admission to the nursing major at Salisbury University, students may transfer up to 60 academic transfer credits from their Associate Degree Program. At least 30 of the student’s overall credits must be upper division courses taken at SU to graduate. Students will be awarded 30 additional credits after completion of all required coursework at Salisbury University.

Format: Hybrid
Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

5. Frostburg State University

Frostburg State University was established in 1902, and was called the State Normal School No. 2, and initially served 57 students. In 1988 they became a member of the University of Maryland System, which was made up of 12 of the state’s 14 public institutions. In 1960 they became a four-year institution. Currently they are located in the breathtaking Appalachian Highlands in Western Maryland on 260 acres of land in Frostburg, which is known as a historic main street community. The region is known for its historic sites and outdoor adventuring. Nearby recreational areas include Deep Creek Lake State Park, Rocky Gap, and New Germany.

Frostburg State University offers an online RN to Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing program that values technological engagement, as well as collaboration with professionals in the field for a well-rounded learning experience. Students are given hands-on assignments that can be applied to the workplace, rather than being taught to memorize for test taking. Critical thinking and collaborative strategies are employed throughout the learning process, as are the basic foundations of nursing research. Students will be well versed in providing competent evidence-based patient care that includes preventive health for families and communities. The program is designed to foster community involvement and connect students to contemporary innovations in nursing.

Format: Online
Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

6. University of Maryland University College

The University of Maryland University College is also known as UMUC. It is a public non-profit in the town of Adelphi, Prince George’s County, Maryland. Established in 1947, they were originally called the College of Special and Continuation Studies. The focus of continuing studies has remained even with the change in name. They are known as one of the largest providers of distance education in the world, and currently serve 90,000 students throughout the globe. One thing that makes this school unique is their 100 percent acceptance rate, as no applicants are turned away. Their programming is vast, and includes over 100 in-person and online programs in a variety of topics.

The University of Maryland University College offers a fully online nursing program for registered nurses to achieve their Bachelors of Science in Nursing Degree. The program builds on the foundation of critical thinking and clinical reasoning as a means to select appropriate healthcare regimens for families, individuals, and communities. The curriculum was designed by leaders in the field of nursing. It is geared towards students who are intending to embark on a variety of career paths, which may include the public health sphere or continuing on to graduate studies. Applicants must have first completed their associates degree in nursing, or diploma from a registered nursing program.

Format: Online
Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

7. University of Maryland

The University of Maryland, also known as UMD is a public research based university that was founded in 1856. Originally it was named Maryland Agricultural College. In 1912 a fire roared through the campus and destroyed much of the dormitories as well as most of the academic and administrative buildings. Even thousands of student records were lost to the flames. Luckily there were no injuries or fatalities in the fire. The campus is located in the city of College Park, in Prince George’s County. It is only four miles from the border of Washington DC. As a result of their proximity to DC, they have many research opportunities that partner with the Federal Government.

The University of Maryland School of Nursing offers an RN to Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing Program that enables students to achieve their coursework online. The program provides the flexibility required for students to continue working in the field and not interrupt their current life commitments. Critical thinking skills, leadership, and communications are stressed throughout the curriculum. Students can study on a full-time or part-time basis, depending on their personal needs. The faculty is, in most cases, leaders in the field of nursing. They are able to provide a breadth of personal experience. Graduates must complete 59 undergraduate credits, which include social and behavioral sciences.

Format: Online
Accreditation: CCNE
Cost: $$$$$

How Do I Become a Nurse in Maryland?

The Maryland Board of Nursing issues a Maryland nursing license. The Maryland Board of Nursing is a member of the NLC — the national Nurse Licensure Compact that encompasses 31 states. The state of Maryland requires nursing professionals wanting to obtain a Maryland nursing license to submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check before they can take the national nursing licensing exam.

To obtain permission to sit for the national nursing exam, the NCLEX, an RN license candidate must have graduated from one of the many nursing schools in Maryland that have been approved by Maryland’s Board of Nursing (BON). Some approved Maryland nursing schools offer hybrid programs in addition to the more traditional programs. Some nursing students can opt for accelerated nursing programs in Maryland.

When graduating from one of the approved nursing schools in Maryland, nursing graduates have been appropriately prepared to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination(NCLEX). And, once a student graduates from one of the approved Maryland nursing schools and passes the NCLEX, they have met the qualifications to receive a Maryland Nursing License.

Once a nursing professional receives their Maryland Nursing License, they are responsible for making sure their Maryland Board of nursing renewal is completed in accordance with Maryland’s requirements. The Maryland Board of Nursing license renewal instructions are available on the BON’s website.

How is the Job Market for Nurses in Maryland?

Based on its nearby location, the marketplace for jobs for nurses in Maryland includes the Washington DC metropolitan area. Therefore, the salaries for nursing jobs in Maryland resemble the nursing salaries for nursing positions in the nearby capitol region.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that the number of nursing jobs in Maryland will grow to need approximately 86,000 nurses by the year 2030. The anticipated growth within the nursing field includes LPN, NP, and RN jobs in Maryland. The expected increase in jobs for nurses in Maryland is attributed to several factors:

  • The rising emphasis on preventative care
  • An aging baby-boomer population
  • Chronic obesity and diabetes, among others

Additionally, the predicted growth for RN jobs in Maryland aligns with the federal government’s estimates through the year 2026. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing profession is expected to grow at a rate of 15% — a growth rate that is considered much faster than the job growth of all combined jobs in the country. In fact, by 2026, the nursing profession is expected to generate more than 438,000 jobs during this time.

How Much Does a Nurse Make in Maryland?

Nursing salaries in Maryland depend upon the nursing position/specialty, one’s experience, and the nurse’s level of education. A Maryland nursing salary will differ among the following nursing jobs:

  • LPN Salary in Maryland
  • Maryland Nurse Salary
  • New Grad RN Salary in MD
  • Nurse Practitioner Salary in MD

According to Payscale, the average Maryland nursing salary for Registered Nurses is $69,600. An RN in Maryland has the option of choosing among many specialties:

  • Addiction
  • Cardiovascular
  • Critical Care
  • Rehabilitation

This stated, average Maryland nurse salary is comparable to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) nationwide RN median pay of $70,000 (2017). However, the nearby District of Columbia’s mean yearly salary is among the top in the nation at $90,110.

As a Nurse Practitioner position requires more advanced education, a Nurse Practitioner salary in Maryland is typically higher than the state’s average nursing salaries. Conversely, an LPN salary in MD, which requires less education, will likely be below the national average. However, an LPN salary in Maryland (or an RN salary) is typically higher for nursing professionals who are employed by the government.

Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris