4 Best RN-to-MSN Programs in Maryland – 2024

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Is enrolling in one of the RN-to-MSN programs in Maryland the right move for you? With an MSN, all kinds of employment opportunities will open up to you in clinical care, nursing administration, and nursing education that you can’t qualify for with an associate degree. RN-to-MSN programs in the Old Line State are often not much longer than BSN programs, and quite a few are offered as distance-learning options, which means you’ll be able to integrate them into your existing life and work responsibilities. You’ll make more money, too: Graduates of Maryland RN-to-MSN programs typically earn $115,990 a year. Reviewing this list of the 4 best RN-to-MSN programs in Maryland for 2024 is a great way to learn about your options.


(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 4 Best RN-to-MSN Programs in Maryland (Online & Campus).)

1. University of Maryland - Baltimore

Specialties Offered: Community/Public Health Nursing, Health Services Leadership & Management, and Nursing Informatics

Program Details: University of Maryland offers one of the best RN-to-MSN programs in Maryland. The reason why the school stands out is because of the excellent leadership skills and evidence-based knowledge its graduates demonstrate. The RN to MSN program combines rigorous didactic courses with diverse clinical experiences to provide a well-rounded master's level education.

Here, based on your interests, you can choose either community health nursing, leadership & management, or nursing informatics specialization. Regardless of the specialization you choose, the program takes two years to complete. The RN to MSN coursework builds on your RN experience and education and requires you to complete 69 to 71 credits.

The program comprises core MSN courses and courses related to your chosen nursing specialty. The public health concentration addresses the root cause of most healthcare issues, whereas the leadership & management track prepares you to become a leader either in healthcare management or healthcare education. On the other hand, if you choose the nursing informatics specialization, you will learn to use information technology to improve health outcomes.

The RN to MSN coursework, regardless of the specialization, first starts with the BSN core courses, followed by the MSN core and the specialization-specific courses. The BSN and MSN core courses mainly cover topics such as nursing research, health informatics, public health nursing, health promotion, health systems & health policy, and biostatistics for evidence-based practice.

Admission Requirements: University of Maryland RN-to-MSN program requires applicants to have a BSN with a GPA of at least 2.75. This RN-to-MSN program in Maryland also requires you to have a valid and unrestricted RN license in the United States. To complete your application, you must be prepared to submit one recommendation, an essay, a resume, your official transcripts, and a copy of your valid RN license.

Must-Know Highlights For Potential University of Maryland RN-to-MSN Students

• University of Maryland's master in Nursing degree is ranked among the best in the nation as per the U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the school also ranks among the best schools for veterans, offering military students support and financial benefits.
• University of Maryland is one of the top recipients of funding from the NIH.
• University of Maryland RN-to-MSN students practice skills at some of the prominent clinical sites across the state. The 400-plus clinical partners provide students with diverse clinical experiences in a variety of healthcare settings.
• University of Maryland RN-to-MSN students who opt for the leadership specialization complete nine credit electives focusing either on education or the business aspect of healthcare leadership. By allowing you to choose your preferred area of leadership, the program helps you in reaching your career aspirations.

2. Stevenson University - Owings Mills

Specialties Offered: Nursing Education, Nursing Leadership/Management, and Population-Based Care Coordination

Program Details: If you are keen on enrolling in one of the best RN-to-MSN programs in Maryland that also offers an affordable tuition cost, then Stevenson University’s RN to MSN will be an excellent choice. The school not only offers high-quality graduate nursing education but also offers a competitive tuition cost along with several financial aid options.

Stevenson’s program is meant for adult learners who require the flexibility of online coursework. The career-focused curriculum is designed to include comprehensive didactic coursework and clinical experiences that can be completed within your home community. Here, you can choose to complete your RN to MSN education, either in nursing education, nursing leadership/management, or population-based care coordination.

The RN to MSN program regardless of your chosen area of focus, requires you to complete undergraduate bridge courses after which you enter into the graduate portion of the program.

If you choose the Nursing Education specialization, you require completing 36 credits, including the MSN core and concentration-specific courses. The nursing education concentration-specific curriculum teaches topics such as advanced pathophysiology & pharmacology, advanced health assessment, and curriculum design, teaching & learning.

Nursing Leadership/Management, also comprising 36 credits, includes courses in organizational behavior in health care, healthcare finance, planning for evidence-based practice, and quality management.

If you choose the Population-Based Care specialization, you’ll learn about managerial epidemiology, conflict resolution, population-based care, and professional & legal issues in population-based care.

All the RN-to-MSN program graduates earn an MSN and the eligibility to take the national certification exam within their chosen field of specialization.

Admission Requirements: To qualify for Stevenson University’s RN-to-MSN program, you must have an ADN with a minimum GPA of 3.0. This RN-to-MSN program in Maryland also requires registered nurses to have an active and unencumbered RN license. Additionally, you must be prepared to submit your official transcripts, a personal statement, and a resume.

Must-Know Highlights For Potential Stevenson University RN-to-MSN Students

• Stevenson University RN-to-MSN students who work at partner healthcare organizations may be eligible for employer discounts.
• Stevenson University RN-to-MSN program offers six start dates to allow busy registered nurses to start their training when it is convenient for them.
• Stevenson University RN-to-MSN students not only complete 100% of their coursework online but also take courses that are offered in the eight-week format. The eight-week format helps you fast-track your way to earning a master's in nursing, making this RN-to-MSN program in Maryland one of the shortest in the state.

3. Salisbury University - Salisbury

Specialties Offered: Nurse Educator and Health Care Leadership

Program Details: Whether you are aspiring to become a nurse educator or want to take on leadership roles in healthcare, Salisbury University’s RN to MSN pathway will be an excellent starting point. Among the well-known RN-to-MSN programs in Maryland, Salisbury University can seamlessly help you gain graduate-level education while saving time and some tuition dollars.

Salisbury’s RN to MSN program allows you to choose either nursing education or healthcare leadership as your area of focus. The program builds on your ADN education and allows you to complete the BSN bridge and MSN courses much sooner than if you take the BSN and MSN courses separately. This seamless pathway provides you the benefit of taking 12 credits lesser.

The RN to MSN program starts with BSN bridge courses. The bridge courses teach you about health assessment, research methods, and community health nursing. After which you complete core MSN courses in epidemiology, quantitative research, qualitative research, and applied statistics. Thereafter, the Nurse Educator-specific courses emphasize curriculum development and instructional strategies. On the other hand, the Health Care Leadership specialization covers topics such as healthcare systems, healthcare informatics, healthcare management, and healthcare leadership. Toward the end of this RN-to-MSN program in Maryland, you must complete either a thesis, an internship, or a capstone.

Admission Requirements: Salisbury University RN-to-MSN applicants must have an accredited BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, an active and unencumbered RN license is required. To fulfill the application requirements, you must submit your personal statement, an essay, a resume, and proof of your RN licensure.

Must-Know Highlights For Potential Salisbury University RN-to-MSN Students

• Salisbury University RN-to-MSN students are mentored by distinguished faculty members who are practitioners in their respective fields of teaching. Also, faculty members actively engage in research projects in various areas of advanced practice nursing.
• Salisbury University RN-to-MSN students are provided with clinical training at some of the state’s prominent hospitals and healthcare facilities. This is because the school maintains a large network of clinical affiliations throughout the state.
• Salisbury University RN-to-MSN students have the option of taking a study abroad trip where they gain real-world clinical experience in another country.

4. Washington Adventist University - Takoma Park

Specialties Offered: Nursing Education and Business Leadership

Program Details: Washington Adventist University prepares you for the next step in your nursing career. By offering one of the most well-known RN-to-MSN programs in Maryland, the program grooms you to lead change in the healthcare field. With two specializations in nursing education and business leadership, the school produces leaders in two in-demand fields of nursing leadership.

The RN to MSN program, designed for registered nurses, includes undergraduate bridge courses, core courses, and specialty-specific courses. The program requires the completion of 45 credits, regardless of what specialization you choose. The core courses which are common to both tracks, cover topics such as health assessment, pathophysiology, pharmacology, evidence-based practice, organizational leadership, health policy, and population-based health.

For students opting for the nursing education track, the coursework includes classes in curriculum development, and teaching strategies & technologies. Besides, the business leadership track covers topics such as quality, safety & risk management, healthcare management economics, healthcare information systems management, and healthcare leadership & change.

Admission Requirements: Washington Adventist University’s RN to MSN program is open to registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing. The program also requires applicants to have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Other admission requirements include the submission of a professional resume, official transcripts, and a copy of your active RN license. In addition, the program also requires applicants to have some work experience as a registered nurse.

Must-Know Highlights For Potential Washington Adventist University RN-to-MSN Students

• Washington Adventist University RN-to-MSN students study in a Christian environment, imbibing values of compassion, service, and lifelong learning.
• Washington Adventist University RN-to-MSN students may be eligible for a paid externship at one of the school’s clinical partners, including the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Adventist Healthcare, and Maryland Capital Region Health, to name a few.
• Washington Adventist University RN-to-MSN students are provided clinical opportunities at a variety of affiliate sites throughout the state and also in the nation’s capital.


RN to MSN Programs in Other States