How to Become a Registered Nurse in Maryland
Nursing is a rewarding and challenging career choice. Even though there is a great demand for nurses, nursing school admittance is very competitive. Working as a nurse is physically and emotionally demanding but it is a tremendous career choice for someone with an interest in medicine, and patient care.
The field of nursing will continue to grow through the year 2018 by 23% and predicted to add 22,000 new nursing positions in that time. The growth is due to expanded healthcare options and the advancement of medical technology, equipment and medications. As the population ages and longevity increases, people will need medical care longer than before.
The Maryland Board of Nursing (MBON) requires RN nursing candidates to complete at least an Associate’s degree in an approved nursing program in order to take the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Some nursing schools in Maryland offer an accelerated program Bachelor of Science in nursing program for those who have a bachelor’s degree in another field, but wish to switch to nursing. An approved nursing program will include class work and clinical training. All approved nursing programs are designed to prepare the student to take the NCLEX-RN.
As soon as the nursing candidate completes the required educational component, they are required to take the NCLEX-RN exam. The application to test, which includes a criminal background check, fingerprint card and a 2”x2” passport type photograph taken within the 6 months prior to submitting the application, is submitted to the MBON with the required fee. The nursing candidate is then required to register with Pearson VUE, who administers the exam, and submit the required exam fee. As soon as the application to test is approved, the candidate has 90 days to schedule and take the exam. The results of the exam will be available within 10 days after completing the exam.
All nurses are required to renew their license every two years and complete a criminal background check beginning with license renewals in September 2013. Nurses must document 1,000 working hours every 5 years or take an approved nursing refresher course as a requirement to renew a license. Licenses are renewed according to birth year. Nurses born in an even year will renew their license in the even year and nurses born in an odd year will renew their license in the odd year. Licenses can be renewed online but the nurse must have a valid email address either their own or one belonging to a family member or friend. Online renewal confirmation will be sent to an email address.
The average RN salary in Maryland is $77,000 with an entry level starting salary for a recent graduate of $42,000. Nurses can maximize their salary through earning a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate nursing degree, specializing in new areas of nursing and assuming greater responsibility. Salaries in major metropolitan areas tend to be higher than anywhere else in the state. Of the three shifts available to nurses, those who work the night shift, typically 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM will earn a slightly higher salary than their counterparts who work the day or evening shift.
Nurses find employment in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted care facilities, government and educational facilities and visiting nurse and hospice organizations. Nurse perform a variety of duties depending on the facility where they work, but typically include dressing wounds and changing dressings, performing emergency procedures, establishing patient care plans, dispensing medication including injections and monitoring patients progress.
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