University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Nursing (UMSON) | 87% NCLEX Pass Rates

The School of Nursing at the University of Maryland, Baltimore offers an educational experience for those interested in delivering exceptional direct patient care. You will always have the support of the amazing faculty and leaders of the university. These leaders are experts within the field of nursing and help guide you through your studies.

  • 5.0 Avg
    Avg Rating: 5.0
  • 87%
    NCLEX Pass Rates
  • On Campus
  • Public
  • Accreditation ccne Accredited coa Accredited
  • Programs RN-to-MSN, RN-to-BSN, PhD, Entry-Level BSN, MSN-to-DNP, CNL, BSN-to-PhD, BSN-to-DNP, BSN, DNP, MSN, Post-grad Certificate, MSN to PhD, NP, CRNA, Other
  • Location Baltimore, MD
  • Telephone 1-410-706-3100
  • Website URL Visit Website

The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) has a rich 125 year history, established in 1889. It has a 61-acre campus located in downtown Baltimore.  Students have access to twenty-four clinical simulation laboratories.  Forty percent of entry-level Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Clinical Nurse Leader graduates are employed at the University of Maryland Medical Center.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

The traditional BSN option - This degree option is for those starting the program as a freshman. These students do not hold any bachelor degree.

The RN-to-BSN option is for licensed RNs who currently hold a diploma or associate's degree in nursing and would like to continue their education. The classroom, online, or combined options are amiable for nurses to decide which format works best for them.

Traditional BSN Admission requirements (not all inclusive)

  • Official transcripts from all schools attended
  • Applicable Advanced Placement (AP) or CLEP score reports
  • Entrance Exam Requirement
  • Personal resumé
  • Personal essay
  • Two academic letters of recommendation from recent instructors
  • Overall GPA of 3.0
  • Science GPA of 3.0 (chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Microbiology)


This program option is designed for nurses who hold an RN license and a nursing diploma or associate's degree and would like to continue to a BSN. The program requires a minimum of 59 undergraduate credits in the social and behavioral sciences, the natural and physical sciences, and the arts and humanities. Credits are awarded to those who hold an RN license.

The program is offered in full-time (two semesters) and part-time options at three different locations - Baltimore, the Universities at Shady Grove, and the Laurel College Center. There are blended options available for online learning and classroom as well as exclusive online coursework.

Before applying to the BSN program, you must have (not all inclusive):

  • Official transcripts from all schools attended
  • Applicable Advanced Placement (AP) or CLEP score reports
  • Personal resumé
  • Copy of State of Maryland or compact state licensure
  • Prerequisite Course List
  • Essay
  • Two academic letters of recommendation from recent instructors


Master of Science (MSN)

MS Specialty Programs

  • Community/Public Health Nursing
  • Health Services Leadership and Management
  • Nursing Informatics
  • RN-to-MS
  • Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)

RN to MS

The RN-to-MS option combines the curriculum needed in a BSN program and substitutes the master's core courses for BSN core courses.

This option is designed for:

  • RNs who hold a baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing
  • RNs without baccalaureate degrees but desire leadership/specialty programs at the Master’s Level

Full-time and part-time options are available.

  • Complete the RN-to-MS fully online
  • Take all your courses at UMSON
  • Take some courses at the Universities at Shady Grove

Completion of the RN-MS program must be done within six years.

Clinical Nurse Leader

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role prepares nurses to become leaders within the clinical health settings as well as the community. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) created the CNL role in collaboration with nurse leaders in academic and health care settings. 

After completion of the MSN program, the student will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX examination for licensure as a registered nurse. The graduate is also eligible to sit for the CNL Certification Examination offered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission on Nurse Certification.

Dual-Degree Options

Nursing and Business Administration (MS/MBA) Nursing

Public Health (MS/MPH)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The UMSON PhD program was the 16th doctoral nursing program in the nation, initiated in 1979. Students gain an individualized academic experience because they are matched with a faculty member who is able to give them the greatest opportunity to succeed.

PhD entry options

  • Post-BSN to PhD (without a master’s)
  • Post-BSN with a Master's to PhD
  • Post-Master's to PhD

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is the highest degree a nurse can achieve. The program is based on evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership. Graduates are prepared to provide clinical, organization, economic, and leadership skills that have direct impact on health care outcomes.

The Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) specialties from the Master of Science have been transitioned into the DNP program as of fall 2014.

Effective with the entering class of fall 2014, the following UMSON specialties no longer accept MS applicants and accept only to the DNP program:

  • 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

The current master’s specialties in Community/Public Health Nursing, Health Services Leadership and Management, Nursing Informatics, and Clinical Nurse Leader remain at the MS level.

Nurse Anesthesia

This Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) specialty is a program designed for students desiring to deliver anesthesia to diverse populations within diverse settings.

This is a full-time 36 month program. The program is offered in a multidisciplinary framework, with the majority of the didactic instruction completed during the first year. Some courses are web-based. Classes begin in June of each year.

During the second and third years of the program, students will be attending their clinical rotations within the hospitals across the region including the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Saint Agnes Hospital, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, the VA Medical Centers in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and others for specialty rotations.

After graduation, students are eligible to sit for the national certification examination (NCE) offered by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. 

Anesthesia Program ~ Fast Facts

The pass rate for the composite NCE from the last five years has been 98.8 percent, with a 90 percent pass rate for first-time test-takers.

In 2015, the first-time pass rate was 78 percent, with an 87 percent pass rate for second-time test-takers.

The attrition rate for the past three years is 3.8 percent, which is approximately one student per class.

The employment rate for the graduating class of 2015 was 95 percent within 6 months of graduation.

FAQ for the DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program

"Do I need a master's degree to apply for the DNP Nurse Anesthesia specialty?"

Due to the program being part of the BSN to DNP program, students do not have to have a MSN to be eligible for the program.

"What type of work experience is required to be eligible to apply?"

At least one year of continuous full-time acute care nursing experience is required at the time of application. Those who have experience in large, busy cardio-thoracic units or ICU units are preferred.

"Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required?"

No, GRE is not required.

"Do you require CCRN certification for application or admission?"

We do not require CCRN certification for admission, though it is highly recommended.

Certificates - Post Master's Options

  • Environmental Health
  • Global Health
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Teaching in Nursing and Health Professions
  • Post-Doctoral Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

U.S. News & World Report (2019)

UMSON’s overall Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is ranked at No. 8 with the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner/Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist specialty ascending to No. 3.

Its Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – Family, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Anesthesia round out its top-10 DNP specialty rankings.

The Nurse Anesthesia specialty rankings were released in the 2017 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools” and will be in effect until 2021.

In addition, two master’s specialties — the Clinical Nurse Leader option and Nursing Administration, which represents UMSON’s Health Services Leadership and Management specialty — join Nursing Informatics in the top five.

National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health also rank the University of Maryland 13th nationally in receipt of funding for nursing schools. 


The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has accredited the baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.

The University of Maryland School Of Nursling’s Nurse Anesthesia specialty is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).

The PhD program is reviewed separately through the UMB Graduate School.

Latest Reviews (Max 10)

  1. Anonymous
    Aug 15, '17, 10:38 pm by
    Overall: 5.0 Avg Rating
    Recommend: 5 stars
    Experience: 5 stars
    Staff: 5 stars
    Academics: 5 stars
    Costs: 5 stars
    Support: 5 stars

    Program: BSN
    Classes: On Campus
    Graduation: 2016
    Focus: Medical-Surgical

    My Experience

    I attended UMSON at the Shady Grove campus while the new curriculum was still young, so there were some bumps here and there. However, I had a very positive experience overall. What I admired about the school was the emphasis on leadership and the nursing role in the community. UMSON definitely aims to produce nursing leaders, and I anticipate seeing my fellow classmates and alumni as nursing leaders in the coming years. The orientation for the program was very welcoming, and I enjoyed the Universities at Shady Grove environment. Most of the classes were held at Building III, which is the newer of the three buildings on the campus. Aside from the occasional technological difficulties with the overhead projector, the classrooms were very state-of-the-art and comfortable. (Which is important, because classes were usually over an hour long!) Classes usually ran between 40-50+ students. (Please, don't be afraid to sit in the front of the classroom! This is a great opportunity to get to know your professors and future work references!) We were given the opportunity to use our clinical skills in a clinical simulation lab, which helped to build my clinical experience and confidence. I was also grateful for the my experience with Standardized Patients, which helped me with my clinical communication skills. Sometimes the workload seemed a bit much, however I felt as though the program was designed to indirectly hone our time management skills. Just a theory of mine. Anyway, the classes and exams are definitely challenging but they 100% prepare you for the NCLEX exam. I guarantee it. This is a very highly-ranked and exceptional school. Definitely one of the best- if not THE best in the state of Maryland.

    About The Staff

    The staff at UMSON's Shady Grove campus were all extremely kind and resourceful. This also includes the nursing manager, clinical simulation lab assistant, as well as the office secretary! The professors are all highly educated, are great role models, and strive to see their students succeed when they start working in "the real world."

    Things To Know

    I am so grateful for my experience at UMSON.

  2. Anonymous
    Apr 30, '17, 10:11 am by
    Overall: 5.0 Avg Rating
    Recommend: 5 stars
    Experience: 5 stars
    Staff: 5 stars
    Academics: 5 stars
    Costs: 5 stars
    Support: 5 stars

    Program: BSN
    Classes: On Campus
    Focus: Military

    My Experience

    A supportive environment. Curriculum was advanced for that time, yet students were exposed to down to earth emphasis on basic skills needed to start out as novice nurses. Collaboration with the supporting program sponsor was excellent and allowed for clear communication of expectations.

    About The Staff

    Staff showed concern for students that went far beyond the student being just "another face in the crowd".

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