As most of you probably know, Maryland is a walk-thru state that will issue your temporary RN license in 48 hours or less. It is actually a very simple process, but the lack of information throws everything out of whack. There is a newer way to finish the process, but still requires you to show up for the fingerprinting process. The rest can now be done online with much less hassle.
It is not my goal to leave you thinking that the Maryland State Boards are inefficient or lacking in quality of service; however, we waited for two hours and did not see a single nurse make it through the system without issues. They may have a complete list of what is needed for licensing somewhere, but it is obvious that most nurses never see it.
To finish the process in person, you are going to need all of the following items:
- Two forms of photo identification including your driver license. It cannot be a temporary license like the ones you get from states like Kansas that issue a paper license and then mail the permanent from the capitol days later. Maryland will not accept it as this was what got us thrown out of line.
- A passport type photograph of yourself. Just a headshot from the shoulders up will do.
- Up to date proof of your nursing license from the state where you took the board exam. If your state is paperless, you will need to print the screen from your state nursing license verification webpage that shows your name and active status. If you do not have at least that, they will send you down to print it from a library somewhere up the road. I repeat. They will not look it up while you are there in person.
- Finally, the real reason you are there is to pay them some money. They are going to require $58 for fingerprints and another $140 for the licenses.
Here are the steps involved for anyone wanting to get it done the easier way online:
- Show up to the board office on a Wednesday morning the week before you start the assignment. This is normal for any assignment to Maryland and your travel company will set up your housing this early.
- Go inside and put your name on the list. If there is not anyone waiting at the desk just ask for the fingerprint paperwork and directions. They will send you out into the mall to their live scan site with a card. The paper they give you at the finger print station is very important as it has a tracking number on it that you will need.
- Simply take your paperwork back to the board office and they will give you one of the copies with the tracking number on it.
- At this point, you can get back in line and finish the process in person, if you have all the documents, or you can leave and go find some Wi-Fi. We ended up at McDonalds near our apartment complex and took in one of our laptops in for lunch.
- From the Maryland Board of Nursing website you can click the online link and it will take you step by step through the process. You will not need any form of ID or proof of nursing license either. They will take care of verification this way, but not if you are there in person.
- All you do is create an account, enter your personal information, license number, and upload a picture of yourself from your computer. Then you pay them the $140 with a credit card and you are done. It only takes 5 minutes. Our license showed up in their system that Friday afternoon.
- The final step is license verification for your permanent license. Kansas does not participate in Nursys, so we always have to mail in the form with a check. This has to be completed before your 90-day temporary license expires.
For us, I do not think the online option was supposed to be available to the public yet, and they did not want to tell us about it. It took some warm debate in the hallway with management and a decision to leave Maryland right then and there before being given the option. I actually think they put up the link that morning for us as we looked for information the previous night and did not see it.
With a combined effort, Keith and Melissa participate in travel, nursing, web design, blogging, and photography. We are the couple behind the nurse blog for travelers at Beauty & Bandaids.