10 Best Nursing Schools in Maryland – 2024 Rankings

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

Under a state Medicaid waiver, Maryland hospitals have been mandated to move patients to other facilities such as skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory care centers and these patients’ own homes. This has led to an increased demand for services, which has led to a nursing shortage in these areas. Hospitals in the Old Line State have been hard hit by the nursing crunch, too. By 2025, Maryland is going to need an additional 10,000 nurses. Aging Baby Boomers and the impending retirement of a sizable portion of Maryland’s current nursing workforce have both contributed to this looming crisis. Graduates of accredited nursing schools in Maryland should see a high demand for their skills.



(After closely assessing all nursing schools approved by the Maryland State Board of Nursing, based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the best accredited nursing schools in Maryland offering BSN programs.)

1. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

About School of Nursing @ Johns Hopkins University: The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing was founded in 1889, making it one of the oldest nursing colleges in Maryland and the nation. Florence Nightingale helped plan its original curriculum. It’s consistently ranked among the top echelons of American nursing degree programs by “Nursing Magazine” and “U.S. News & World Report.” The excellence of the clinical education it provides for students is paralleled by the high quality of its nursing research: In 2018, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing received more than $12 million in grants, and Hopkins Nursing was one of the highest recipients of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. It is also the only nursing school in the U.S. to offer a concurrent Doctor of Nursing Practice/PhD dual degree program. The nursing school partners with schools in Australia, Brazil, China, Italy, Haiti and other countries through its Center for Global Initiatives.

Annie M. Pinkard Hall, which has housed the Hopkins nursing school since 1997, is in the midst of a $45-million expansion, which will add 25,000 square feet to the building. Nursing students learn clinical assessment and bedside skills at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Clinical Simulation Center where they can perfect best practices without the risk of harming patients. Clinical rotations take place at Johns Hopkins Hospital and other critical care hospitals and ambulatory care clinics throughout the Greater Baltimore area.

Financial Aid: A small number of merit-based scholarships are earmarked for Johns Hopkins nursing students. Johns Hopkins nursing students are encouraged to apply for other institutional awards as well. Students may also qualify for state and federal aid depending upon the information they submit to Student Financial Services in their Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) form.

2. University of Maryland, Baltimore

About School of Nursing @ University of Maryland: When the University of Maryland’s School of Nursing was founded in 1889, its goal was to trains nurses to meet the demand for care at Maryland University Hospital. One hundred and thirty years later, the school is known for educating nursing professionals who can rise to the challenges of 21st century nursing. Prepare yourself for a rigorous academic curriculum supplemented by numerous opportunities to participate in ground-breaking nursing research: In 2017, the school received nearly $5 million in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health and nearly $4 million in grant funding from the Maryland Higher Education Commission. The University of Maryland’s School of Nursing is also affiliated with several health policy initiatives such as the Maryland Action Coalition and Students United for Policy, Education and Research, so you’ll have the opportunity to develop your health advocacy skills.

The school shares the University of Maryland Medical Center University Campus on Baltimore’s west side with the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Law and Social Work. The nursing building houses 20 simulation and learning labs where students can master clinical decision-making skills in a protected environment so that they can build competency and confidence without jeopardizing patient safety. Once they are comfortable in a clinical environment, students go on to perform clinical rotations at acute care hospitals, ambulatory clinics and community health agencies throughout Baltimore.

Financial Aid: The University of Maryland offers more than 30 institutional and endowed scholarships specifically for undergraduate and graduate nursing students. You may also be eligible for state and federal financial aid once you submit a FAFSA form to the UMB Office of Student Financial Assistance & Education.

3. Salisbury University, Salisbury

About School of Nursing @ Salisbury University: Salisbury University’s undergraduate nursing students have the highest pass rate for the registered nurse licensing exam of any educational institution in Maryland. This nursing school in MD offers a solid grounding in the academic coursework that will prepare you to excel in your career. You’ll have numerous opportunities to participate in local community health initiatives, too.

The nursing school is part of the College of Health and Human Services, which also houses the School of Social Work as well as programs that train students for careers in respiratory therapy, medical laboratory science and other ancillary health care roles. Additionally, the school partners with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in the innovative Eastern Shore Collaborative for Interprofessional Education. Nursing students hone their basic bedside skills at the Richard A. Henson Medical Simulation Center, a state-of-the-art learning facility that’s equipped with virtual hospital suites and high-fidelity patient manikins. After these skills have become second nature, nursing majors pursue clinical rotations at hospitals, clinics, schools and community health agencies throughout Maryland’s coastal region.

Financial Aid: Salisbury University has eight scholarships that are expressly reserved for nursing students. Nursing students may also qualify for the university’s other institutional scholarships or for state and federal financial aid as determined by the information they submit on their FAFSA forms.

4. Towson University, Towson

About Department of Nursing @ Towson University: “U.S. News & World Report” dubs Towson University one of the best regional colleges in the north and one of the most accommodating to the needs of veterans. At Towson, nursing students learn to care both for the health of the individual patients and for the well-being of larger communities. If you want to learn how to influence the individuals you care for in ways that will help them make healthier lifestyle choices, check out the nursing programs that Towson offers.

The Nursing Department is part of the university’s College of Health Professions, which also offers degrees in occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and kinesiology. The 4,600-square foot Towson Simulation Center has five virtual hospital rooms and a collection of computerized manikins so that nursing students can practice the clinical scenarios they will probably encounter once they become professionals working with live patients. The university’s clinical rotation site partners include the University of Maryland Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and other top hospitals and health care nonprofits throughout Baltimore and the western part of Maryland.

Financial Aid: Towson University nursing majors are eligible to apply for a number of endowed scholarships administered by the Department of Nursing. Nursing students are also encouraged to apply for other institutional Towson scholarships as well as for external nursing scholarships. Submitting a FAFSA form may also qualify nursing majors for state and federal grants and loans.

5. Stevenson University, Baltimore

About Sandra R. Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions: The degree you earn at the Sandra R. Berman School of Nursing and Health Sciences will prepare you equally well for a career in a hospital, a community health care clinic or a nursing research laboratory. At Stevenson, not only will you learn how to provide and coordinate health care, you’ll also be taught how to improve health outcomes on a larger scale. The university was founded in 1947 by a Roman Catholic order of nuns; though it shed its religious affiliation in 1967, its nursing school still remains committed to values like altruism and respect for human dignity.

Nursing school classrooms and the Nursing Resource Center occupy space in the Kevin J. Manning Academic Center. The Resource Center features 10 beds equipped with head wall systems that include oxygen delivery devices and suction apparatus; these units provide a safe space for students to learn patient care basics. Clinical rotations are scheduled at some of Baltimore’s finest teaching hospitals, ambulatory care clinics and community health agencies.

Financial Aid: Although Stevenson University doesn’t offer any institutional scholarships specifically for nursing students, nursing majors are encouraged to apply for awards administered through the Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant Program, the ROTC Nurse Corps and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Nursing Scholarship Program. Students may also qualify for other types of federal and state financial aid depending on the information they submit in their FAFSA forms.

6. Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore

About School of Nursing @ NDMU: Although Notre Dame of Maryland University admits men into its graduate studies, its undergraduate programs, including its nursing school, are all female. Notre Dame is also a Catholic university though it welcomes students of all faiths, and its nursing programs place a special emphasis on working to improve the health and wellness of the Baltimore metropolitan area's most vulnerable and underserved residents.

An 8,300-square-foot simulation lab dubbed the Center for Caring with Technology helps prepare nursing students for clinical practice by offering learning spaces that are set up to resemble medical/surgical, obstetrical, newborn and pediatric hospital units. Students learn nursing fundamentals here by practicing on computerized manikins. As their skill levels improve, students are assigned clinical rotations at some of the finest hospitals and community health settings in Baltimore.

Financial Aid: Nursing students are evaluated for institutional scholarship support as part of the NDMU admissions process. The university also offers a lot of resources to nursing students who are looking for sources of outside aid. Students may also qualify for state or federal aid if the information they submit on their FAFSA forms indicates need.

7. Coppin State University, Baltimore

About Helene Fuld School of Nursing @ CSU: Want to put your nursing education to work sooner rather than later? The Helene Fuld School of Nursing manages the Coppin State University Community Health Center, which provides high-quality, low-cost care to the university’s students and staff and to individuals who live in the Baltimore neighborhood surrounding the university. As a nursing student at this school, you’ll have the opportunity to work at this clinic and to participate in many other community service and outreach programs. Although Coppin State University is a historically African-American institution of higher learning, it provides students of all races with a high-quality education that’s specifically designed to foster career success.

The Helene Fuld nursing school operates under the auspices of Coppin’s College of Health Professions, so nursing students share learning experiences with students pursuing careers in health education and health information management. The Simulation and Learning Resource Centers on the fourth floor of the Health and Human Services Building offers a 26-bed virtual hospital environment where nursing students sharpen their clinical skills using high-fidelity manikins. Students participate in clinical rotations at hospitals, clinics, schools and community health agencies throughout all parts of metropolitan Baltimore.

Financial Aid: Three institutional scholarships at Coppin State University are specifically earmarked for nursing students. The university also encourages nursing majors to apply for institutional scholarships that are awarded on the basis of merit, academic achievement and other qualifying factors. Coppin is a Title IV participant, so nursing students may be eligible for state and federal funding on the basis of information they submit in their FAFSA forms.

8. Bowie State University, Bowie

About Department of Nursing @ Bowie State University: Whether you’re attracted to nursing because you’re a natural born caretaker, a passionate advocate on behalf of underserved populations or a researcher committed to advancing evidence-based science, Bowie State University’s nursing program has something to offer you. Bowie is another university offering nursing programs in Maryland that got its start as a black college. “The Economist” recognizes Bowie as the number one value among Maryland’s four-year institutions of higher learning while “The Wall Street Journal” and “Times Higher Education” rate it as one of the best.

Coursework is supplemented by experiential learning at the university simulation labs where students learn the essentials of bedside care before embarking upon clinical rotations at a variety of health care facilities in Prince George County and the Chesapeake Bay area. Bowie also provides students who need help with their nursing studies extra support through its innovative Nursing Student Success Center, which offers academic tutoring and NCLEX prep.

Financial Aid: Though Bowie does not endow scholarships specifically for nursing students, it maintains a database of external scholarship awards and encourages nursing majors to apply for them. Nursing students may also be eligible for state and federal grants and loans on the basis of the information they submit with their FAFSA forms.

9. Morgan State University, Baltimore

About Nursing Program @ Morgan State University: Morgan State University is yet another of Maryland’s historically black colleges, but these days, it admits students of all races. The state has designated Morgan State a public urban research university though it’s unaffiliated with Maryland’s university system. If you view nursing as a dynamic, ever-evolving discipline that’s grounded in dedication to service, then you’ll definitely want to take a second look at the nursing degrees in MD that Morgan State offers.

The university is in the process of expanding its simulation labs so that nursing students will have the opportunity to acquire assessment know-how and learn basic skills like starting IVs and doing blood draws in a safe environment before they begin working in clinical settings. Clinical rotations take place at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, Veterans Affairs Administration-Baltimore, University of Maryland Medical Center and other medical facilities in the metropolitan Baltimore region.

Financial Aid: Morgan State University awards a limited number of scholarships on the basis of need and academic merit; none of these are specifically designated for nursing majors. The university maintains an extensive list of external scholarships, and nursing majors are urged to apply for these if they satisfy the qualifying criteria. Students are also encouraged to submit FAFSA forms, which may make them eligible for needs-based state and federal financial aid.

10. Washington Adventist University, Takoma Park

About Edyth T. James Department of Nursing: Washington Adventist University is a Seventh-Day Adventist institution of higher learning; and while the Edyth T. James Department of Nursing is open to students of all faiths, Seventh-Day Adventist teachings, particularly with regards to health and wellness, are a vital part of the education that aspiring nurses will receive here. When the nursing school began in 1909, it was a three-year hospital training program called the Washington Sanitarium Training School for Missionary Nurses. Mission trips abroad are still an important part of the university’s curriculum. In 1926, Washington Adventist became the first university in Maryland to offer a nursing baccalaureate degree. Today, the university is in the process of transforming itself into a health-science focused institution, and the success of its nursing students plays an important role in that evolution.

Nursing students learn fundamental bedside skills in simulation labs by practicing on manikins that have been programmed to respond to stimuli in ways that mimic human responses. Clinical learning experiences take place at Washington Adventist Hospital, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, National Naval Medical Center, The MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Dimensions Health System, County Departments of Health, Adventist Home Health and various skilled nursing facilities in Tacoma Park and the District of Columbia.

Financial Aid: Washington Adventist University offers a few full-year scholarships to nursing students in its accelerated evening degree program. The university also makes a number of other awards available to entering and transfer students. The university participates in the Title IV program, so students who submit a FAFSA may be eligible for state and federal funds.


Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.

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