Registered Nurse Certification in How to Become an RN in Maryland: Nursing License Application and Renewal Guide

Nursing is a challenging, yet rewarding field of work. Those interested in helping others would find it the perfect career choice. Given the current shortage of healthcare workers, the time to enter the field has never been more critical. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for registered nurses is growing much faster than average.

Those interested in becoming a nurse in Maryland must complete many requirements similar to other states. Students here must attend one of many accredited nursing schools across the country, pass their boards, and then receive certification in order to practice. As of 2018, registered nurses in Maryland earned an average salary of $75,250 per year.

Maryland is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows nurses to practice in any of the 25 participating states.

Maryland Board of Nursing

The Maryland Board of Nursing regulates the following licensure: Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse, and Certified Nursing Assistant.

The following certifications may also be obtained:

Questions and concerns may be directed towards the following point of contact:

Maryland Board of Nursing
4140 Patterson Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21215-2254
(888) 202-9861

Registered Nurse Education Requirements

Before receiving nursing certification, aspirants must receive a degree from an accredited school or program. There are a variety of degrees that can prepare students for a career in nursing, including bachelor’s, associate’s, and diploma programs — each of which varies in terms of time, cost, and preparation for career advancement. Achieving a higher degree generally opens up more opportunities and provides a higher salary.

Although aspiring nurses may choose from accredited schools across the country, attending one of Maryland’s nursing schools may be more affordable for in-state residents.

RN Licensure by Examination

Besides receiving an accredited degree, applicants must also pass their boards, take a background test, and occasionally complete a few other requirements. For those looking to obtain nursing licensure in Maryland, the following information should be closely adhered to.

Fingerprinting and Background Checks

All nursing certification boards require applicants to submit information regarding past criminal history. The Maryland Board of Nursing also mandates fingerprinting and a Criminal History Records Check (CHRC) for all initial and renewal applicants. Fingerprinting and a CHRC is not required for nurses practicing in Maryland on their compact licenses.

Approved Exams

After successful completion of an accredited program, students must take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses. The exam is organized by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and uses computerized adaptive testing (CAT). In order to better prepare for this exam, prospective nurses may wish to utilize free online practice test questions.

Applying to Take a Certification Exam

Nursing candidates must apply and register for the NCLEX online. Applications must be sent to the respective Nursing Regulatory Body. Each exam requires a $200 registration fee.

Further inquiries can be made to the following point of contact:

National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.
Examinations Department
111 E. Wacker, Suite 2900
Chicago, IL 60601-4277

Testing Vendors and Proctors

The exam is conducted by the testing vendor Pearson VUE. Payment can be made online by credit, debit, or prepaid card (VISA, MasterCard or American Express only). Interested applicants looking to make third-party payments through nursing schools, agencies, or employers must submit an inquiry to Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate Services.

Applying for Licensure

All initial licensure and certification applications may be received from and sent to the Maryland Board of Nursing.

RN Licensure by Endorsement (Out-of-State Applicants)

Applicants who already hold a license in another state may apply for nursing licensure by endorsement in Maryland. Besides fulfilling the previously mentioned requirements, you must also submit verification of the license(s) you hold in each state. Endorsement candidates apply directly through the state Board of Nursing website linked above.

If your original state of licensure is a participating member of NURSYS, verification forms must be requested from them.  

RN License Renewal

The Maryland Board of Nursing handles all license and certification renewals online. Renewals typically take 5-10 days to be processed. Additional time is to be expected for renewals that require a background check. Renewal applicants may log in to their accounts through the aforementioned link.

Continuing Education Requirements

LPNs and RNs are not required to complete continuing education courses at this time. Forensic nurse examiners, however, must complete 16 hours of forensic science or nursing courses every two years. All continuing education providers accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) are accepted by the Maryland Board of Nursing.

Maryland Nursing License Verification

The Maryland Board of Nursing offers a license verification system to look up any and all professional nursing licensure in the state.

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