Nurse practitioners (NPs) complete vital jobs in the healthcare industry, managing more responsibilities than registered nurses (RNs). The NP profession originally appeared in the 1960s when these professionals began providing healthcare to children in Colorado's rural areas. Now NPs work in several specializations, including family, geriatric, and neonatal care.
Since NPs diagnose patients and prescribe medication, they must complete more schooling than RNs. In Maryland, nurses can earn NP licensure with either a master's or doctoral degree. They also must earn national certification.
Aspiring NPs who want to study and work in Maryland can use this guide to explore opportunities in the Old Line State. This page details nurse practitioner programs in Maryland, NP licensure requirements, and resources for NPs in the state.
You can read this page for a breakdown of NP specializations and sub-specializations. This resource explains how to pursue certain NP specializations.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in Maryland
Maryland requires NPs to hold at least a master of science in nursing (MSN), although individuals can pursue a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) as well. Before entering graduate school, candidates need a bachelor's degree in nursing. Traditionally, a bachelor's in nursing lasts four years, a master's lasts two years, and a DNP lasts 3-4 years. Learners could spend up to a decade pursuing nurse practitioner programs in Maryland.
Students can explore BSN-to-DNP programs and complete their schooling in six years. Other degree-seekers might choose part-time study, which could extend the education process.
In Maryland, students can find concentrations in adult-gerontology acute care, family practice, neonatal care, and pediatric care, among others.
Graduate-level online NP programs in Maryland usually require students to choose a specialization. In Maryland, students can find concentrations in adult-gerontology acute care, family practice, neonatal care, and pediatric care, among others. Some online NP programs in Maryland allow students to complete their coursework through web-based learning and clinical hours on location. Others follow a hybrid format, requiring learners to study online and on campus. DNP programs include at least 1,000 clinical hours.
To apply for an MSN, prospective students usually need an RN license and a bachelor's degree with a satisfactory GPA (often a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale). Some DNP programs require applicants to hold a master's degree, but others accept students with only a bachelor's degree. These applicants also need a high GPA and RN license.
This page offers general guidelines about online NP programs in MD. If a particular program interests you, be sure to research specific requirements.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Maryland
Maryland Nurse Practitioner Career Information
Compared to nurses in neighboring states -- and the rest of the country -- Maryland NPs make impressive salaries. The mean annual wage for nurses in Maryland is about $115,060, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). On the national scale, NPs make a mean salary of about $110,030, BLS data shows. In addition, Baltimore ranks as the country's sixth most popular metropolitan area for NPs, with about 2,340 nurses working in the area.
The family NP is the top NP specialty. In fact, nearly half (46.8%) of NPs specialized as family NPs, according to Maryland's Board of Nursing. Browse the tables below for more data on NPs.
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Maryland and Nearby States
In order to earn NP licensure in Maryland, candidates first need an RN license. An RN can either complete an associate or bachelor's degree. Those hoping to earn advanced practice licensure should choose a bachelor's degree, which can later help them with graduate school admission. RNs also must pass the NCLEX-RN, a national standardized exam for nurses.
In order to earn NP licensure in Maryland, candidates first need an RN license.
After obtaining RN licensure, aspiring NPs enroll in graduate school. They need at least an MSN, but candidates can opt for a DNP as well. In addition, candidates must pass an exam to earn national certification in the specific area of their practice. This certification must come from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) or another organization recognized by Maryland. For NPs, possible national certifications include Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP), or Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP).
In Maryland, professionals renew their NP and RN license at the same time. Individuals must renew their licenses annually or every two years, depending on when they were born. NPs also must work for at least 1,000 hours of active practice during a five-year period.
Other Requirements for Maryland Nurse Practitioners
In addition to keeping active practice, NPs in Maryland must complete their requirements for national certification renewal. This depends on which certification they hold. Professionals with FNP, A-GNP, or ENP certification from the AANPCB can either renew their certification through continuing education (CE) credits or examination.
For the first option, NPs need 100 contact hours of advanced CE credits in addition to 1,000 hours of professional practice every five years. At least 25 of those CE credits should cover pharmacology. The second option requires NPs to retake the certification exam.
One responsibility that sets NPs apart from RNs is the ability to prescribe medication. In response to the opioid crisis, Maryland imposed a law requiring drug providers to register with the Maryland Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. As a part of the law, drug prescribers, such as NPs must take extra precautions when determining medication doses.
Finally, NPs can choose to gain additional certification in a specialty area. Some options include the Advanced Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner, and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner credentials.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
Each state sets its own legal requirements for nursing licensure. However, the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) -- an agreement between several states -- streamlines the licensure process for nurses moving across state lines. Maryland is part of the NLC, which means that nurses coming from out of state to Maryland can avoid repeating the full licensure application process. Still, professionals should apply for licensure by endorsement. This means they must submit their nursing license from their original state. Maryland's board also checks past educational transcripts and requires out-of-state nurses to pass a background check.
Prescriptive authority also varies by state. NPs can visit this website to learn how their state's laws compare to Maryland.
Resources for Maryland Nurse Practitioners
Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland NPAM aims to support, connect, and advocate for NPs in the state. Members can attend district meetings to learn about clinical updates and network with other professionals. They also receive access to members-only resources, forums, and social media channels.
Maryland Board of Nursing This state board sets and enforces regulations related to nursing in Maryland. Aspiring nurses can visit the site for information about obtaining a license, while others can learn about license renewal, CE requirements, and complaints and discipline.
Maryland Nurses Association MNA provides membership to all nurses, not just NPs. The group hosts events, such as conventions and educational summits. Members may search for jobs and take advantage of CE opportunities. Students can also apply for scholarships worth up to $1,000.
Maryland Action Coalition This coalition focuses on legislative issues regarding healthcare in the state. In addition, the group provides toolkits and webinars to help nurses with their jobs.