Online BSN-DNP and MSN-DNP Programs Available in Maryland

As the highest practice-focused degree in the field, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is gaining ground on the MSN as the preferred path for BSN-prepared RNs inspired to become APRNs or leaders in roles outside of direct patient care, as well as existing APRNs and MSN-prepared RNs with leadership roles in mind, both in and out of the clinical environment.

This is particularly true in Maryland where, since 2015, nurse practitioners have been able to practice with full autonomy—no physician collaborative agreements or attestation needed. As a result, Maryland’s citizens have access to safe and cost-effective care, despite a growing physician shortage, particularly in rural areas. The DNP provides Maryland’s advanced practice nurses with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed as independent healthcare providers in an increasingly complex healthcare environment.

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Maryland’s colleges and universities have responded positively to the growing demand for the DNP by providing outstanding programs, including online options, for both BSN- and MSN-prepared RNs and APRNs. As of 2020, Maryland was home to six schools offering the DNP.

Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Maryland

BSN-to-DNP program offer nurses with a BSN the opportunity to obtain a doctorate-level education. Nurses educated with an MSN can enroll at the post-MSN level thanks to programs specifically designed for MSN-educated nurses:

  • BSN-to-DNP post-bachelor’s programs typically enable nurses with a bachelor’s degree to earn their MSN before they seamlessly transition into the core DNP studies. For students in a nurse practitioner or other APRN track, this would involve earning national certification and initial APRN licensure after completing the MSN component. BSN-DNP programs usually involve at least 3 years of full-time study and consist of about 90 credits depending on their specialty.
  • MSN-to-DNP post-master’s programs provide MSN-educated nurses the option to advance their study of advanced clinical practice or pursue a systems or organizational focus in preparation for careers in executive leadership, clinical education, informatics and more. Nurses in these programs have the option to advance in their current APRN patient population focus or add an additional focus or specialty certification. These programs usually involve at least 1.5 years of full-time study and approximately 30 credits.

Maryland’s nurses are increasingly seeking out the flexibility of accredited online programs as an alternative to the state’s campus-based programs. Flexible formats that are frequently offered by both online and campus-based programs as an alternative to the traditional 1.5 – 2 year DNP program include accelerated programs (typically a year) or part-time programs (typically 2.5 years).

DNP programs consist of three main components:

  • DNP core – The core courses of DNP programs include topics such as evidence-based practice, scientific underpinnings for practice, epidemiology and transforming the healthcare organization.
  • Specialty courses in the student’s chosen focus – Upon completing core courses, students take courses specific to their specialty track.
  • DNP Project – The DNP Project represents the finale of a DNP program and provides students with the opportunity to synthesize their knowledge by performing a research project on an aspect of advanced nursing. The end result of this research is usually a manuscript designed for publication in a peer-reviewed journal or sometimes a presentation at a conference. DNP Projects prepared in Maryland have included:
    • Blunt Cerebrovascular Injuries at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and the University of Maryland Medical Center: A Systems Analysis at a Tertiary Care Center
    • The Predictive Value of Second Trimester Blood Pressures on the Development of Preeclampsia
    • Measures of Pain and Acceptance of Ductal Lavage in Women from Families at High Genetic Risk of Breast Cancer
    • Predictors of the First-year Nursing Student at Risk of Early Departure

The state of Maryland placed an emphasis on increasing the number of clinical sites available to its DNP students.   In the 2011 report entitled Preparing Maryland’s Workforce for Health Reform: Health Care 2020, the Governor’s Workforce Investment board stressed the need to increase community-based clinical training by encouraging partnerships between nursing schools and health organizations. In fact, the state is seeking $15 million so that clinics managed by nurses can provide clinical training for nurse practitioner students.

BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP Program Available in Maryland

The following DNP programs have been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Both CCNE and ACEN-accredited programs are generally available online to advanced nursing students in Maryland.

 

Coppin State University

Helene Fuld School of Nursing

Baltimore

Accreditation: CCNE

MSN-DNP (campus/hybrid/online)

  • Direct Care
  • Indirect Care

 

Johns Hopkins University

School of Nursing

Baltimore

Accreditation: CCNE

Post-BSN-DNP

  • Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (hybrid/online)
  • Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (hybrid/online)
  • Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (hybrid/online)
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (hybrid/online)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (hybrid/online)
  • Pediatric Dual Primary/Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (hybrid/online)
  • Nurse Anesthesiology (campus)

MSN-DNP (hybrid/online)

  • Executive

 

Salisbury University

School of Nursing

Salisbury

Accreditation: CCNE

Post-Bachelor’s-DNP (online)

  • Family Nurse Practitioner

Post-Master’s-DNP (online)

  • Leadership
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

 

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Daniel K. Inoye Graduate School of Nursing

Bethesda

Accreditation: CCNE and COA

Post-Bachelor’s-DNP (campus)

  • Family Nurse Practitioner and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Anesthesia
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

 

University of Maryland

School of Nursing

College Park

Accreditation: CCNE

Post-BSN-DNP (hybrid

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner / Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Anesthesia
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-Family

Post-Master’s-DNP (hybrid)

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner / Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Anesthesia
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-Family

Other DNP programs in the state may be regionally accredited or hold specialty accreditation through the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs or the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education.

Opportunities Available to DNP-Prepared Nurses in Maryland

Maryland’s DNP-trained graduates develop new strategies to meet the needs of patients with complex health problems. In an era of healthcare reform, these DNP-educated nurses can also lead organizations and agencies, helping them revise procedures and policies to meet the demands of this reform.

The following job listings highlight just some of the opportunities available to today’s DNP nurses in Maryland:

Nurse Content Development & Continuing Education Director, American Nurses Association, Silver Spring, MD

  • Doctorate degree in nursing or education, or equivalent experience
  • At least five years of recent work experience in nursing content development for consumer and institutional customers with a pattern of increasing responsibility, and at least five years of experience as a supervisor of staff

Director of Nursing, Inpatient Surgery and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

  • Master’s degree in nursing, doctorate highly preferred
  • Seven years of progressively responsible senior nursing leadership experience with at least five years in an acute care setting

Associate Chief Nursing Officer Oncology, John Hopkins Health System, Baltimore, MD

  • Master’s degree in nursing, doctorate highly preferred
  • Seven years of progressively responsible senior nursing leadership experience with at least five years in oncology nursing

Certified Nurse-Midwife, Saint Agnes Healthcare, Catonsville, MD

  • Nurse midwife credential from the American Midwifery Certification Board
  • RN credential form the Maryland Board of Nursing
  • Master’s or doctorate in nursing or midwifery or DNP required

Advanced Practice Initiatives Director, American Nurses Association, Silver Spring, MD

  • Master’s degree, DNP preferred
  • Must be ANCC board certified as a NP
  • Minimum of seven years as a board-certified nurse practitioner

 

Examples of DNP nursing positions were taken from a survey of job listings in January 2020 and are shown for illustrative purposes only. These examples do not represent job offers or positions that are currently available.

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