Types of Programs

​Maryland has three types of post secondary education nursing programs:
  1. ​Practical Nursing
  2. Associate Degree
  3. Baccalaureate Degree
Practical Nursing

Thirteen of the 14 Practical Nursing Programs in Maryland are provided in community colleges. Students receive college credits for all coursework. Twelve of these programs are designed to be one year in length, after the completion of a year of prerequisite courses, and allow the graduates to finish the Associate Degree registered nurse program in an average of one additional year. Two of these programs are designed to be completed in a total of twelve months, and do not directly articulate to the registered nurse program. There is one high school program that is two years in length, during the junior and senior high school year of most students. The graduate of any of these programs is eligible for licensure as a LPN. The LPN is prepared to function as a direct caregiver under the supervision of other licensed health professionals primarily in structured settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and chronic care facilities. Community college graduates may transfer some or all of their academic credits to any Maryland associate degree nursing program. (See Articulation Section.) The curriculum generally includes foundational science content and nursing courses with an emphasis on the clinical practice of skills learned in the classroom setting. Supervised clinical practice takes place in hospitals and long term care facilities. Observational experiences are provided in other settings. These programs have approximately 40-46 credits.

Associate Degree

The 14 associate degree nursing programs on 15 campuses in Maryland are conducted in community colleges. These programs can be completed in three years and include course work in general education and in nursing. Graduates are eligible to take the registered nurse licensing examination. The associate degree RNs are prepared to function as care givers in a variety of settings, and to work with other professional nurses and members of the health care team in planning and implementing comprehensive health care. Graduates of these programs are eligible to transfer academic credits to a baccalaureate completion program for RNs. (See Articulation Section). Applicants must meet the entrance requirements of the community college as well as those of the nursing program. Many community college nursing programs require 5 to 6 semesters to complete the sequence of study. The curriculum includes a total of 65-70 credits with approximately half in the sciences and humanities and half in the nursing major. A typical curriculum might include:

​Credits​​​ ​
​Anatomy & Physiology ​8
​English ​3-6
​Human Growth & Development ​3
​Mathematics ​3
​Microbiology ​3
​Psychology ​3-6
​Sociology ​3
​Nursing ​35-40
Baccalaureate Degree

Eight Maryland universities and four-year colleges offer a baccalaureate degree in nursing. These programs, usually four years in length, provide a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree or a bachelor of science (BS) degree with a major in nursing. Graduates are eligible to take the registered nurse licensing examination. The graduates of these programs are prepared to provide care to individuals, families and communities in wellness and illness settings providing comprehensive health services. They are prepared to assume positions of leadership and responsibility in a variety of practice settings, and to enter graduate school for specialized study.

Applicants must meet the entrance requirements of the college or university as well as those of the nursing program. The baccalaureate degree program graduates are prepared for graduate study (masters degree) with a specialization in a variety of nursing disciplines.

The program of study usually consists of the first two years in general education courses concentrated in the humanities, social and physical sciences. The last two years build upon this broad general education base, offering courses in both nursing theory and clinical practice. Supervised clinical practice occurs in hospitals, clinics, community health agencies, and other health care delivery areas. Professional issues and beginning research techniques are also part of the curriculum. A typical curriculum might include:

Credits​​​ ​
​Liberal Arts (e.g. Englsh, Art) 14-37​
​Life Sciences (e.g. Anatomy Physiology) ​12-19
​Physical Sciences (e.g. Chemistry) ​8
​Social Sciences (e.g. Pschology, Sociology) ​9-16
​Electives ​5-21
​Nursing ​44-57
Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program (for RNs only)

These programs are open to all registered nurses who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. (See section on Articulation for more specific information.) These programs are approximately two years in length and are provided at the senior college or university setting or online through the college or university. The graduates of these programs are prepared for the same role as the graduates of a baccalaureate program (described above) and for specialized study in graduate school.​

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