How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Maryland

What is a Nurse Administrator?

Nurse Administrators are leaders within their communities from both a care and business perspective. Their skills run the gamut from interpersonal to clinical, and they’re often counted on to bring a sense of connection and business acumen to their place of work.

A Nurse Administrator supervises nurses and certain healthcare team members in everything from hospital departments to physician’s offices to long-term care facilities and more. They’re often responsible for hiring and reviewing nurses as well as overseeing work schedules, budgets and continued training. Nurse Administrators may also write and enforce policy while ensuring everything runs smoothly for patients and staff alike.

How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Maryland

In order to be a Nurse Administrator, you’ll want to start by becoming an RN. This typically requires a four-year baccalaureate degree or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, but some programs are a bit more flexible if you’re working on a longer timeline. Once you’ve earned your BSN and become a nurse, you’ll then want to give yourself at least one to two years to practice as an RN before pursuing a graduate degree in nursing administration. Graduate degrees aren’t required to become a Nurse Administrator, but you’re often a more competitive candidate the more education and leadership experience you have under your belt.

Graduate degrees will also help prepare you to take national exams like the Nursing Executive certification (NE-BC), which is administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). While you could still attain a position as a Nurse Administrator if you’re a seasoned leader and RN, working toward these additional certifications could give you an edge on the market. The projected growth rate for the Nurse Administrator profession is 32%, which means there will be ample opportunities for jobs now and in the future. Leadership is a complex and evolving field in the medical world and stepping up to fill those higher-level roles requires a particular set of skills. If you’re in a place where you want to work full-time while going to school, you’ll want to check out some of the online and hybrid programs below. Choosing the right fit will set you up for success and allow you to make the most of your continuing education.

Best Nursing Leadership and Administration Programs in Maryland

1. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is a private research university located in Baltimore, one of the state’s major cities. JHU has over 36 graduate degree programs, and its nursing program is ranked among the top in the country, making it a highly competitive and appealing school.

JHU offers an MSN in Healthcare Organizational Leadership that prepares students to lead in a variety of settings from education to administration. The program can be done online but also offers opportunities for in-person learning. Students pursuing their MSN can expect to take coursework on theories and practices in contemporary healthcare, biostatistics, ethics, finance, research, economics and more. All who enroll in the program will also be asked to complete three clinical experiences, totaling 504 hours, that are competency-based. JHU also offers the option to get an MBA alongside the MSN for those who are looking to broaden their academic experience.

To be accepted into the program, prospective students will need to hold a BSN or an MSN from an accredited university with at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. You’ll also need to submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a CV, a goal statement and proof of current RN licensure. Additionally, if students are asked to move forward in the admissions process, they will need to complete an interview.

2. University of Maryland

The University of Maryland (UMB) is a public university also located in Baltimore with some of the longest-standing professional schools of law, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, social work and nursing. UMB enrolls over 7,200 students and has 86 baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs, making it a robust option with many degrees to choose from.

UMB offers an MSN in Health Services Leadership and Management that can be completed entirely online. Some of the highlights of the program include individualized placements, opportunities for mentorship and a practicum that directly hones in on your career goals. Students can finish the program in two years, but if they want to pursue an MBA as well, they can take up to seven by studying part-time. The coursework included in the MSN alone consists of 38 credits and 150 practicum hours. Students can expect to take classes in health finance, organizational theory, technology solutions, health systems, biostatistics and more.

In order to get into the program, you’ll need to submit an online application along with a $75 fee. Students will also need to send in one professional recommendation, an essay answering the specific prompts on the application, a CV, a copy of your current RN license, transcripts and their residency classification.

3. Salisbury University

Salisbury University (SU) is a public university located in Salisbury that has 15 master’s programs and boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. In recent years, SU has invested $350 million into new facilities, and 95% of graduates have indicated that they’re satisfied when it comes to their preparation for employment.

SU offers an MSN in Health Care Leadership that includes two practicums (one in leadership and one in management) totaling 252 hours. The coursework consists of classes in epidemiology, research, informatics, applied statistics and more. As a graduate of the program, it’s also possible that you could be eligible to take the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Certified in Executive Nursing Practicum exam. That certification can help give you a boost when it comes to diving into the job market.

To be admitted to the program, prospective students will first need to be accepted into SU’s graduate school. Then, you’ll need to submit official transcripts showing evidence of a BSN from an accredited program and a 3.0 GPA. Students will also need to send in a copy of their current RN license, a CV, a one- to two-page academic statement, two letters of recommendation, residency information if you want to apply for in-state tuition and complete an interview with the Graduate Program Committee. If accepted, students will need to meet all of the School of Nursing health requirements and provide proof of CPR certification.

4. Stevenson University

Stevenson University (SU) is a private university located in Baltimore County that also offers over 30 online degrees and certificate programs. Created with working students in mind, SU’s programs are built with flexible schedules to encourage work-life balance. A highlight of SU is the Stevenson Career Connections system, which is available 24/7 so that students can network with various employers through job postings.

Students can pursue an MSN with a concentration in Nursing Leadership/Management that can be completed in 36 credit hours entirely online. The coursework for this program includes classes on nursing informatics, research methods, global healthcare perspectives and project management. Students will also be asked to take courses in finance, organizational behavior and quality management, as well as a leadership/management capstone.

In order to be accepted into the program, you must first complete an online application. Then, you’ll need to demonstrate that you hold a BSN from an accredited institution and provide proof of a current RN license. Finally, you’ll send in official transcripts showing at least a 3.0 GPA along with a personal statement, one professional letter of recommendation and a CV.

5. Notre Dame of Maryland University

Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) is a private Catholic university located in Baltimore that enrolls around 1,377 graduate students. While NDMU does include men, it is also home to Maryland’s only womens’ college and sits on 60 acres of wooded campus north of the city.

NDMU offers an MSN in Leadership in Nursing Administration and boasts small class sizes and cohorts that make for a personalized and supportive learning environment. A highlight of the program is that it offers study abroad options in places like Ireland, Haiti, China, South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda and Australia, which can help broaden students’ global perspective regarding managerial positions in the nursing field. Students can expect to take courses in theoretical foundations, contemporary leadership, health policy, economics and more. The program also includes service learning and a practicum to round out students’ learning experiences and boost their ability to advocate for change.

To be admitted into the program, students will need to submit an application to the graduate school. Additionally, you’ll need to send in your official transcripts demonstrating that you have a BSN with at least a 3.0 GPA, a copy of your RN license from Maryland or a compact state and an essay following the prompts listed in the admissions requirements. If you’re selected to move forward in the process, you’ll also be asked to complete an interview with the nursing faculty.