Maryland RN to BSN Programs
The RN to BSN programs offered by many schools may seem counter intuitive to working RNs. Why, if you have already passed the NCLEX-RN with an education that lasted less time than a BSN program would you pursue another two years of education to do the same job. The answer is fairly simple and should garner a great deal of consideration. First, a BSN on a resume will increase the interest level of an employer a great deal. Next, you can expect a higher income over the course of your career. Finally, earning a BSN will put you even closer to earning higher level degrees if you have the intention of eventually moving into a nurse practitioner or physician assistant career.
While it is rarely difficult to find an employer as a RN, a BSN will give you a better chance of finding the employer you want the most. The national average number of registered nurses per 100,000 people is 874 and Maryland is just short of that number with 851 RNs per 100,000. Expect to earn an average income of around $71,000 a year. Your income will vary based on experience and the BSN will increase that number over time, if not immediately.
Maryland has a number of large employers for RNs including the University-Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Care First Inc. in Owings Mills, and John Hopkins University in Laurel. Each of these employers falls in the top 20 largest employers in the state across all industries and should be good starting points for your career. If you are already a RN, it may be worth starting a career with them as you pursue your education as they may offer tuition assistance. If you have not yet earned your registered nursing license, consider looking at entry level positions within their ranks.
If relocation is a consideration, keep a few cities in mind. Cumberland and Salisbury have the highest number of RNs working relative to the population of the city. On the other hand, Bethesda and Hagerstown have the lowest numbers of RNs relative to population. For the best chances at a higher salary, look at Bethesda and Baltimore as they rank at the top of the salary charts for RNs.
Covering the financial aspect of your education will not be easy. The investment is worth it, without a doubt, but the extra money you will earn over the course of your career won’t help you right now. As mentioned already, your employer may help cover some of the costs of your education. In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will over a wide range of loan repayment programs, scholarships, loans and grants. The HRSA is dedicated to improving the quality of health care to everyone in the nation and they will invest in your future to help that happen. Finally, as you start to explore your educational institution options, look at their financial aid department. Many colleges offer unique grants, scholarships or loans to their students and this should be a consideration as you get ready to enroll.
University of Maryland School of Nursing is a great choice for nursing students in the state. With 626 students in a baccalaureate program, you will have a personal education. With smaller classes than you may expect, you will have more one on one time with your faculty members. The school was 11th in receipt of funding from the National Institutes of Health attracting more than $4M in grants for 2012. You will have access to two Interprofessional Organized Research Centers: Biology and Behavior Across the Life Span and Health Outcomes Research. You will also find 24 clinical simulation laboratories, named a Center of Excellence in Simulation by Laerdal Medical. In short, the school has gone above and beyond what is required to ensure that students gain the most complete and current education possible.
Founded in 1889, the UM School of Nursing has a long and respected history. With $529.1M in grants and contracts awarded in fiscal year 2012, and $912,285 research dollars per core faculty, you will be in the midst of the most current and cutting edge research available. Health care for under deserved is valued at more than $5M per year from the nursing group. The school is ranked 11th for Nursing in the U.S. News and World Report with five specialty nursing rankings in the top 10. With countless accolades and a wide range of legal and medical programs ranking highly in the nation, you can earn a complete interdisciplinary education in the heart of Baltimore.