Maryland Board of Nursing: A Comprehensive Guide

For those seeking detailed information about the Maryland Board of Nursing, you can find an extensive resource on the official page of the Maryland Board of Nursing. The Maryland Board of Nursing (MBON) plays a crucial role in ensuring the highest standards of nursing practice within the state. As a pivotal regulatory body, the MBON’s mission is to protect public health, safety, and welfare by overseeing the licensure and practice of nurses and nursing assistants. This article provides an in-depth look at the Maryland Board of Nursing, its functions, and essential information for nurses and nursing students.

Understanding the Maryland Board of Nursing

The Maryland Board of Nursing, established under the Health Occupations Article of the Maryland Code, is responsible for regulating the practice of over 300,000 licensed nurses and nursing assistants in the state. The Board’s primary duties include issuing licenses, setting practice standards, enforcing nursing laws, and ensuring compliance through disciplinary actions when necessary.

Functions of the Maryland Board of Nursing

The MBON’s primary functions can be categorized into the following areas:

  1. Licensure and Certification
  2. Education and Standards
  3. Regulation and Enforcement
  4. Public Information and Outreach

Licensure and Certification

The Maryland Board of Nursing issues licenses to Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). The licensure process includes:

  • Initial Licensure: Requirements for initial licensure include graduation from an approved nursing program, passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), and completing a background check.
  • Renewal and Continuing Education: Nurses must renew their licenses periodically and fulfill continuing education requirements to ensure they remain up-to-date with the latest practices and standards.
  • Endorsement: Nurses licensed in other states can apply for licensure in Maryland through endorsement, provided they meet the state’s requirements.

Education and Standards

The MBON sets educational standards for nursing programs within the state. These standards ensure that nursing schools provide high-quality education that prepares students for successful careers in nursing. The Board is responsible for:

  • Approval of Nursing Programs: Evaluating and approving nursing education programs to ensure they meet established criteria.
  • Curriculum Standards: Establishing and maintaining curriculum standards that nursing programs must follow.
  • Continuing Education: Setting guidelines for continuing education that nurses must complete to maintain licensure.

Regulation and Enforcement

To protect public safety, the Maryland Board of Nursing enforces nursing laws and regulations. This includes:

  • Investigations and Discipline: Investigating complaints against nurses and taking disciplinary action when necessary. Disciplinary actions can range from fines and probation to suspension or revocation of a license.
  • Compliance Audits: Conducting audits to ensure compliance with nursing laws and standards.
  • Practice Standards: Setting and updating practice standards to reflect current best practices in nursing.

Public Information and Outreach

The MBON is committed to transparency and public engagement. The Board provides resources and information to the public, including:

  • License Verification: Offering an online tool for the public to verify the licensure status of nurses.
  • Public Records: Maintaining records of disciplinary actions and making them available to the public.
  • Educational Resources: Providing educational materials and updates on nursing laws and standards.

Applying for Nursing Licensure in Maryland

Steps to Obtain Initial Licensure

To become a licensed nurse in Maryland, applicants must follow these steps:

  1. Graduate from an Approved Nursing Program: Complete an accredited nursing program that meets the Board’s educational standards.
  2. Pass the NCLEX: Successfully pass the NCLEX exam, which tests the knowledge, skills, and abilities essential for safe and effective nursing practice.
  3. Submit an Application: Complete and submit the licensure application to the Maryland Board of Nursing.
  4. Complete a Background Check: Undergo a criminal background check as part of the application process.
  5. Pay Fees: Pay the necessary application and licensing fees.

Renewing Your Nursing License

Nurses in Maryland must renew their licenses every two years. The renewal process includes:

  • Continuing Education: Completing the required continuing education hours. For RNs and LPNs, this typically includes 30 contact hours of continuing education.
  • Renewal Application: Submitting a renewal application through the MBON’s online portal.
  • Fees: Paying the renewal fee.

Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing education is crucial for maintaining nursing competency and licensure. The Maryland Board of Nursing outlines specific requirements:

  • RNs and LPNs: 30 contact hours of continuing education every two years.
  • APRNs: Additional continuing education requirements specific to their advanced practice role.
  • CNAs: A minimum of 16 hours of continuing education every two years.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in Maryland

APRNs in Maryland include Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs), and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). APRNs must meet additional educational and certification requirements:

  • Graduate Education: Completion of a graduate-level APRN program.
  • National Certification: Certification from a national certifying body recognized by the MBON.
  • Collaborative Agreements: In some cases, APRNs must have collaborative agreements with physicians.

Maryland Nursing Programs and Schools

Choosing the right nursing program is critical for aspiring nurses. The Maryland Board of Nursing approves various nursing programs across the state, including:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Programs
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Programs
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Programs

These programs are offered by community colleges, universities, and specialized nursing schools.

Approved Nursing Schools in Maryland

Some of the top nursing schools in Maryland include:

  • University of Maryland School of Nursing
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
  • Towson University Department of Nursing
  • Salisbury University School of Nursing

These schools offer comprehensive nursing education, state-of-the-art facilities, and experienced faculty.

Nursing Workforce in Maryland

The nursing workforce in Maryland is diverse and dynamic. The state offers various career opportunities for nurses in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and community health settings. Key aspects of the nursing workforce include:

  • Demand for Nurses: Maryland has a high demand for nurses, particularly in specialties such as critical care, geriatrics, and mental health.
  • Salary and Benefits: Competitive salaries and benefits packages, with opportunities for advancement and specialization.
  • Professional Development: Numerous opportunities for professional development and continuing education.


The Maryland Board of Nursing is dedicated to ensuring that the nursing profession in Maryland upholds the highest standards of practice. Through licensure, education, regulation, and public outreach, the MBON plays a vital role in protecting public health and supporting the nursing community. For more detailed and specific information about the Maryland Board of Nursing, please visit the official Maryland Board of Nursing page. Whether you are an aspiring nurse or an experienced professional, understanding the functions and requirements of the MBON is essential for a successful career in nursing.

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