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Accelerated BSN Programs in Maryland (MD) – Online & Campus

Researching accelerated BSN programs in Maryland? Here’s your guide to top schools, expected timelines, and the benefits and challenges you may face as an ABSN student.

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A scenic view of a historic Maryland town at sunset, featuring a prominent domed building in the center. Surrounding it are various brick and shingle-roofed buildings. The sky is painted in shades of pink and purple, dotted with clouds. Trees and rooftops complete the picturesque setting.

Nurses play an indispensable role in the healthcare system, and luckily for you, there are many paths to this meaningful career. Earning your BSN can have considerable financial impact — data shows that even at entry level, BSN-prepared nurses can begin making about $4,000 per year more than nurses who don’t have a bachelor’s degree.

So if you’re researching top online and on-campus nursing schools in Maryland because you’re considering a change of career or because you have experience as an RN that you hope to use as a foundation for your BSN, the accelerated BSN (ABSN) programs that Maryland offers are a good place to start.

Below, we’ll dive into the features of several quality Maryland-based accelerated BSN programs, including potential courses you’ll take, available course formats, and some common application requirements. We’ll then lay out a general timeline for how to approach, complete, and continue your nursing education after your program. We’ll finish by discussing several pros and cons to help you feel more confident as you consider taking the leap.

Keep reading to get started — your future as a graduate of a Maryland accelerated BSN program awaits.

Inside Accelerated Online & Hybrid BSN Programs in Maryland (MD)

Among the top BSN programs in Maryland, you’ll find several accelerated options, and below we’re shining a spotlight on two such programs that include online components. They will help you gain a general idea of what to expect in a Maryland ABSN program, including information about course format, clinical placements, common classes, and admission requirements.

Marymount University

Marymount University logo featuring a blue fleur-de-lis symbol on the left, with "MARYMOUNT" written in bold blue uppercase letters and "UNIVERSITY" in smaller black uppercase letters beneath it on a white background.

For students who live close to the Maryland/Virginia border, Marymount University offers a phenomenal 16-month hybrid ABSN program that utilizes online course content in conjunction with hands-on labs and clinical placements — and is open to students from out of state. The ABSN team offers clinical placement support within Virginia, helping students focus on their studies rather than finding clinical preceptors. Students will need to participate in one on-campus residency during the program. The residency is an immersive experience and will engage ABSN students in hands-on learning experiences, skills training, and practice (think health assessment, medication administration, and wound care).

The ABSN curriculum must be followed on a full-time basis. To apply, students must complete an online interview and submit all college transcripts (minimum GPA of 2.8), one letter of recommendation, and a writing sample. Students must also complete any necessary prerequisite courses that weren’t taken in their non-nursing bachelor’s degree.

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Notre Dame of Maryland University offers an accelerated BSN program that helps students transform their non-nursing degree into a BSN in just 15 months. The curriculum features online or in-person coursework (depending on the student’s preference), hands-on labs, and clinical rotations. It’s accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and will help students prepare to sit for the nursing licensure exam (NCLEX-RN).

Dedicated admissions counselors work solely with prospective accelerated nursing students to assist with navigating enrollment. Students can choose from three different start dates every year. The 56 required nursing credits cover topics including (but not limited to) holistic health assessment, nursing informatics, pathopharmacology, nursing research, and nursing leadership.

NDMU has created a robust network of practice partners, offering students the chance to experience various nursing roles while in the program. Clinical experiences occur in diverse settings, including medical-surgical nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics, psychiatric/mental health nursing, and community health.

Inside Traditional Accelerated Maryland BSN Programs

The ABSN programs below are offered in a traditional format with in-person classes, clinicals, and labs. These spotlights will also help you gain a general understanding of what to expect while studying in an on-campus ABSN program in Maryland.

Coppin State University

One of the traditional, accelerated BSN programs Maryland offers is on the Coppin State University campus. It can be completed in 16 months. Students in the Helene Fuld School of Nursing will learn to demonstrate proficiency in information management and patient care technology; apply leadership skills; and apply the nursing process to deliver and manage nursing care for culturally diverse individuals, families and groups. Vulnerable and underserved populations are a focal audience of nursing programs at Coppin State, which are grounded in holistic care.

To be considered for admission, applicants must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA and provide transcripts, and they must supply a personal essay, resume, and three letters of recommendation using the Nursing Recommendation Form — among other requirements.

The BSN’s 120 total credit hours are split among general education requirements, course prerequisites — including Human Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Nutrition, Pathophysiology, and Developmental Psychology — and major coursework.

Salisbury University

Another on-campus and accelerated BSN program in Maryland can be found at Salisbury University. Eligible students include those who have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, including diploma or associate degree-prepared registered nurses with a baccalaureate degree in non-nursing majors. Students are first accepted into the 16-month cohort, which completes courses over three traditional semesters (Fall-Spring-Fall). Once accepted, students can ask to be considered for a fast-track, 12-month cohort, which finishes its courses in two regular semesters and one summer semester (Fall-Spring-Summer). Enrollment requires all students to be CPR-certified.

Throughout the program, clinical courses will be paired with related theory courses; the clinical component allows students to apply theory to actual patient care. Clinical sites are typically within 30 minutes of the university campus, though some can be up to an hour away. Students will need to provide their own transportation.

Towson University

The second bachelor’s degree in nursing at Towson University is treated like a regular bachelor’s degree, meaning a full-time student will earn a degree in two years. Students will take nursing classes in the spring and the fall and can enroll in the university as a pre-nursing major if they need to complete prerequisite courses to be admitted into the nursing program. The general education credits received from their first bachelor’s degree will be evaluated and transferred to count toward requirements for their second-degree BSN.

A unique option for Towson students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree is to enroll in the entry-level Master of Science (ELMS) program, which helps students earn their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) without first getting a second bachelor’s degree.

Several nursing courses students will take include Health Assessment Across the Lifespan, Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, Nursing Research for Evidence-Based Practice, Adult Health Nursing, Child Health, and Diversity and Social Justice in Healthcare.

Timeline of an Accelerated BSN Program in Maryland

Understanding the timeline associated with an accelerated BSN program in Maryland will help you prepare for important deadlines and know what to expect once you’re accepted into a program. Below, we’ll discuss several milestones for ABSN students on the path toward becoming a BSN-prepared RN.

Six Months Before

If you’re seriously considering attending one of these or other accelerated BSN programs in Maryland, you should research programs as early as possible. You’ll need to study admission requirements, including any prerequisite courses that must be completed, so you have plenty of time to gather the documentation necessary. Six months before you begin, you must ensure your prerequisites are met, and you may consider gaining paid or volunteer healthcare experience to strengthen your application. You must also ensure you’ve submitted a complete application, which may include letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and any entrance exam test scores required by your school.

First Six Months

During the first six months of your ABSN, you’ll likely undergo an intensive foundational period designed to equip you with essential knowledge and skills for nursing practice. You’ll likely take courses about pathophysiology, pharmacology, and patient health assessments. You’ll also be introduced to clinical experiences — where you’ll put theory into practice — and labs, where you’ll practice essential nursing skills and participate in simulations.

Last Six Months

Once a nursing foundation has been laid, students will move on to attending more specialized clinical experiences and learning advanced nursing concepts, such as research. In addition, students will start preparing for the licensure exam, complete their capstone project or practicum, take final exams, and work on professional development to help them transition into the workforce. This period of time also represents an important networking opportunity, as you’ll be laying the foundation for potential employment — possibly in the same environments where you completed your clinical rotations.

Six Months After

Shortly before or right after graduation, students should prioritize studying for and taking the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Passing this test is essential for obtaining licensure to practice as a registered nurse. Students can also update their resumes and apply for nursing positions aligning with their career goals and interests. Attending networking events and job fairs could also be beneficial. You can also seek guidance from career services offered by your alma mater and continue enhancing your skills and knowledge through continuing education and specialty certifications if desired. Once you’ve received their license, you’ll also need to fulfill any additional requirements for state licensure and employment, such as background checks, drug screenings, and immunization records.

Benefits & Challenges of Accelerated BSN Programs for Non-Nurses

An important part of starting something new is considering both the positives and the negatives that you may encounter. Pursuing one of the accelerated BSN programs Maryland offers is no exception. Below, we’ll discuss several benefits of making this change and several challenges, accompanied by possible solutions.

Benefit: High Return on Investment

If you’ve already completed a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or have a significant number of credits but no degree, an ABSN allows you to transition to the nursing field for significantly less time and money than completing an entirely new bachelor’s degree. Nurses can expect to make about $41.65 per hour in Maryland ($86,632 per year, with potential to make $12,000 additional in overtime), with plenty of room for career advancement and a high likelihood of job satisfaction.

Benefit: Fast Track to Nursing Career

Rather than start all over with a new bachelor’s degree, ABSN programs allow students to apply previously earned credits to a BSN, which means you can jump into a nursing career quickly. The accelerated programs we highlighted above can typically be completed in as little as 12-16 months — meaning you can begin your nursing career in far less time than it would traditionally take to pursue an entirely new degree.

Benefit: Preparation for Advanced Degrees

Due to the accelerated pace of ABSN programs, students receive a lot of information over a short period of time. Though this can be a challenge, as we’ll discuss below, it can also be helpful — especially if you’re considering further education and a possible master’s degree in nursing. Gaining in-depth knowledge and extensive clinical rotation experience can help students maintain a strong nursing foundation, which can continue to be built upon with additional education.

Challenge: Adaptation to Nursing Culture

As with any change, adapting to nursing culture can be difficult, and completing an accelerated BSN degree shortens the adjustment timeframe before you’ll dive into the workforce. To ease this transition, you’ll want to pay close attention to the dynamics within the various healthcare teams in your clinical rotations and your academic cohorts. Seeking a mentor can also help, as they can provide valuable insights, advice, and support.

Challenge: Intensive Pace

Due to the accelerated nature of the accelerated BSN programs Maryland offers, students can feel overwhelmed at how much they must learn in a short amount of time. Without intentional planning, students can get burned out. Study skills will come in handy, including your ability to create a detailed schedule that allocates time for classes, studying, self-care, and clinical rotations. You’ll also benefit by utilizing resources such as tutoring services, study groups, and online materials. Don’t forget to ask for support from peers, faculty, and mentors when needed, and stress management techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, or yoga may also prove helpful.

Challenge: Transition & Preparation for Licensing Exams

The goal of your Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is to prepare you for a career as an RN, so the licensing exam is the final step in the process. It can feel pretty daunting to recent graduates to have to go from intense coursework to test preparation, but you can ease your transition by familiarizing yourself with the format and content of the NCLEX-RN. Developing a study schedule and becoming familiar with testing logistics and requirements as the test date gets closer may also help you prepare.