Trying to find just the right Maryland DNP? We’ve got you covered. Our practical guide & directory contains rankings of the best and most affordable DNP programs in Maryland, insights into online & hybrid MD doctorates, and notes on BSN to DNP options. Have a school in mind? Jump ahead to our detailed program listings.
Top Maryland DNP Programs
For this list of the best DNP programs in MD, we evaluated independent rankings for nursing graduate degrees, prioritizing any Maryland school with a high DNP placement in U.S. News & World Report. In the final reckoning, we also considered factors such as student reviews, job opportunities, and name recognition.
1. Johns Hopkins University
Meet the crown jewel of Maryland—JHU’s DNP program is often regarded as one of the best doctorates in the country! The School of Nursing (JHUSON) achieves outstanding rankings from U.S. News & World Report (e.g. #1 for DNP & MSN), including top 5 placements in multiple APRN specialties. It is known for areas of healthcare excellence and a huge of amount of NIH-funded nursing research. It is stuffed with experienced faculty who are laden with honors & fellowships. It’s the Secretariat for the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centers for Nursing & Midwifery. It supports three community-based health centers in Baltimore City, including the Wald Community Nursing Center. We could go on & on.
But the true cherry on top is Johns Hopkins’s reputation among graduate nursing students. Alumni adore JHUSON. On review sites and messageboards, they say that the School is unparalleled for its international reputation, name recognition, dedicated faculty, research work, post-graduation job opportunities, and clinical training. According to JHUSON, 91% of the School’s clinical placements occur in Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS) facilities, including Johns Hopkins Hospital. The only real downside of JHU is the cost. Check the JHUSON section on financial aid & scholarships. Merit-based funds are available for DNP students, including the Johns Hopkins Hospital Employee Nursing Grant.
2. University of Maryland-Baltimore
UMB’s DNP program is right up there with JHU! The School of Nursing has superb national rankings (e.g. top 10 for the DNP), with particularly strong showings in leadership areas (e.g. CNL and Nursing Administration) and Nursing Anesthesia. It has 28 clinical simulation laboratories, 300+ clinical learning sites, and a massive stake in research. It runs three organized research centers and the National Institute for Nursing Research-funded P30 Omics Associated with Self-management Interventions for Symptoms (OASIS) Center. And it receives a bucketload of NIH funding.
We especially like the fact that the School has tight community partnerships, including a special relationship with the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) called UMNursing. This aims to give graduate students opportunities for clinical placements, residencies & fellowships, and professional advancement. As you might expect, independent reviews of the School are excellent. Alumni love the name recognition of UMB, the rigorous curricula, the top-notch professors, and the proximity to clinical sites. For example, in addition to UMMC, nursing students may have opportunities to work at Johns Hopkins Hospital and liaison with other UM institutions (e.g. the Institute of Human Virology in the UM School of Medicine).
3. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
USUHS’s DNP program is the unicorn in our list. It’s a top-ranked doctorate in a great Graduate School of Nursing (GSN) that has an established reputation in a number of areas (e.g. Nursing Anesthesia). But it’s only available to commissioned officers or service-sponsored civilians in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, or Public Health Service. If you meet the admissions criteria, then you’ll be looking at a DNP with all kinds of benefits. We’re talking about a program with 99.9% overall certification pass rates for 20+ years, opportunities for operational elective courses (e.g. Cold Weather Medicine), unusual specialties (e.g. perioperative nursing for the AG CNS), and DNP practice partnerships with military treatment facilities.
It gets better. GSN faculty are a blend of civilian and military instructors with deep roots in military healthcare; many are international advisors & consultants to professional organizations and taskforces. The Abdellah Research Center is packed with faculty-funded and student-funded research projects. The School sits in close proximity to USUHS School of Medicine, the NIH, and the National Library of Medicine. And DNP students don’t have to pay for the program. Instead, all graduates complete a service obligation that’s determined by their sponsoring Service or Agency.
Most Affordable DNP Programs in Maryland
To find the cheapest DNP programs in Maryland, we examined the lowest per credit tuition rate for the doctorate. In the case of Maryland public universities, this was the in-state rate. We’ll be the first to admit that UMB and JHU are not cheap! There were only three MD schools that could be ranked.
1. Salisbury University
Salisbury has a separate DNP tuition rate for graduate residents and non-residents. The in-state rate is moderately affordable, though not as low as resident rates in some other states; the out-of-state rate is comparable to mid-level private universities. There may also be additional course fees.
2. University of Maryland-Baltimore
UMB has separate DNP tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state residents. The in-state rate is achievable; the out-of-state rate is similar to expensive private universities. The DNP also includes a number of substantial fees (e.g. clinical hour fee, student lab fee, student success fee, online course fee, etc.).
3. Johns Hopkins University
JHU has one of the most expensive DNP programs in the country—we’ve put it in the rankings because it’s the final option in Maryland. The Advanced Practice & Executive Tracks have the same full-time, per credit tuition rate (this will be less for students enrolling part-time). The rate for the Advanced Practice/PhD is ~$300 more per credit. And there will be additional fees.
Note: USUHS students receive full pay and allowances, free medical care, tuition, books, and lab fees while at the university and upon graduation. In return, all graduates complete a service obligation determined by their sponsoring Service or Agency.
Online DNP Programs in Maryland
Unlike other states, Maryland doesn’t have a great deal of online DNP programs. If you glance at our listings, you’ll see a number of options, but they often contain substantial campus components. For example:
- Online BSN to DNP Programs in Maryland: JHU’s program is advertised as being “online with immersions.” Students are expected to visit campus for 7 on-site experiences (~1 immersion per semester).
- Hybrid BSN to DNP Programs in Maryland: UMB uses a hybrid model, with a blend of face-to-face and online courses. This is true for the APRN tracks and the Nurse Anesthesia program.
Other BSN to DNP programs in Maryland (e.g. Salisbury, USUHS, and JHU’s track in Nurse Anesthesiology) appear to be primarily on-campus. You can always check with the DNP program coordinator to be sure.
You’ll have a little more choice at the post-master’s level, where universities don’t have to worry so much about clinical training requirements.
- Online Post-Master’s DNP Programs in Maryland: Salisbury promises that its DNP in Leadership is designed for working professionals and available in a distance accessible format. JHU’s Executive track is primarily online, but there are 4 on-site immersions.
- Hybrid Post-Master’s DNP Programs in Maryland: UMB states that its post-master’s program is blended, with synchronous & asynchronous online coursework and face-to-face components.
Note: Not interested in any of these options? Check out the directory of Online DNP Programs. They are organized by state.
BSN to DNP Programs in Maryland
We provided links to each BSN to DNP track in our listings. Unless you’re in the armed forces, and are eligible to apply to USUHS, you’re going to be limited to DNP programs from a small number of schools. Here’s a quick summary of what to expect:
- Multiple APRN Specialties: You’ll be able to compare JHU and UMB side-by-side—they have almost the same NP and CNS specialties, with a few exceptions. UMB offers NNP and PMHNP tracks; JHU has a dual DNP/PhD and a Pediatric Critical Care CNS.
- FNP: Aspiring family nurse practitioners can add Salisbury to their shortlist. Salisbury has lower tuition rates, but its full-time BSN to DNP may also have more campus components.
- Nurse Anesthesia: JHU’s program is campus-based; UMB’s program is hybrid; and USUHS’s program is only open to commissioned officers or service-sponsored civilians in the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, or Public Health Service.
Maryland Nursing Organizations
- Maryland Board of Nursing (MBON)
- Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland (NPAM)
- Maryland Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MANA)
- District of Columbia/Maryland National League for Nursing (DC/MD NLN)
- Maryland Organization of Nurse Leaders (MONL)
Below you'll find a list of all of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs available in Maryland.