Completing a registered nursing (RN), bachelor’s of nursing (BSN) or master’s level nursing program (MSN) at a Michigan nursing school means you have a well-paying job for life. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual wage for RNs is approximately $70, 000 as of May, 2017. Employment opportunities for registered nurses is expected to increase by 15 percent between now and 2026, a much faster rate than all other occupations. The demand for nurses is mainly due to the aging population of so-called “baby boomers”, or those born between 1950 and 1964. In addition, rising rates of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and joint degeneration contributes to the need for more nurses in Michigan and across the U.S.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
An Associates, Bachelor of Arts (BA) or B.S. degree in nursing (BSN) is what you need to earn to work as a registered nurse. However, working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing significantly increases how much an RN earns working in all healthcare settings. Most BSNs take four years to complete. Some colleges offer acceleration BSN programs that award students their degree in two years or less.
Requirements for being accepted to a BSN program at most Michigan nursing schools include:
Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN)
After receiving a BSN and working as a nurse for several years, you may consider returning to school to earn your masters degree in nursing. To be licensed as a family nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, you must complete an MSN program, write a thesis paper and accumulate a specific number of experiential hours working as a registered nurse.
MSN programs take about two to three years to complete. Some RNs enroll as part-time students because they are working full time. Fortunately, Michigan nursing schools offer flexible scheduling of classes, the option to take online classes and other accommodations to help employed RNs complete their masters degree. For nurses specializing in a particular medical field (neonatal, operating room or anesthesia, for example), additional coursework is included in the program that focuses solely on these subjects.
Admission requirements to an MSN program offered by Michigan nursing schools include:
If you have taken classes at a higher education institution other than the one at which you are enrolling, you will need to provide transcripts of those courses before being admitted to a nursing program.
Be aware if you live outside Michigan but want to take a nursing degree program at a Michigan college or university, your tuition may be double the amount of tuition paid by Michigan residents.
Average tuition does not include book costs, laboratory fees or living on campus.
Once you earn a registered nursing degree, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination to obtain a RN license. The NCLEX is a standardized test used by state boards of nursing to determine whether you are prepared to work an an entry-level registered nurse.
Before taking the NCLEX examination, you must apply for a Michigan nursing license from the state’s Board of Nursing. After the board makes sure you have met eligibility criteria, you can then register to take the test.
Some nursing schools in Michigan provide up-to-date information about their NCLEX pass rates while other schools post pass rates of previous years.
Saginaw Valley State University offers RN and BSN degree programs with three different completion paths. Students enrolled in an RN track may choose to take a hybrid format (online and campus components) to continue working as a nurse. SVSU’s MSN programs concentrate on careers such as family nurse practitioner, administrator, clinical nurse leader or educator. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is for nurses who have already earned an MSN. A doctorate emphasizing research, a DNP degree prepares nurses to enter the research or education field.
SVSU is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. In 2015, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded Saginaw Valley State University SVSU with a Community Engagement classification, an honor given to less than 10 percent of U.S. universities and colleges.
Baker College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the Academic Quality Improvement Program. They offer BSN and MSN degrees and do not require incoming nurses to provide copies of GRE or GMAT score when applying for admission. Baker College also has campuses in Cadillac, Jackson, Auburn Hills and Muskegon, Michigan.
The University of Michigan-Flint School of Nursing has BSN programs ranging from pre-licensure to completion of a BSN degree. They include:
UM of Flint also offers MSN and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs for nurses who already have a master’s degree and wish to work in a more administrative position. UM of Flint is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Eastern Michigan University offers a BSN program, MSN programs specializing in adult-gerontology, clinical nursing research and nursing education. Graduate certificates are available including “Quality Improvement in Health Care” and “Teaching in Health Care Systems.” EMU is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Lake Superior State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Higher Learning Commission. LSSU offers a BSN degree approved by Michigan’s Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Ferris State University offers a BSN program and an MSN program for students earning their BSN degree. FSU is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
GVSU offers an RN to BSN degree program and an MSN program granting eligibility for students to take the Clinical Nurse Leader certification examination. In addition, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is available that allows nurses with an MSN to earn a terminal degree as a nurse practitioner. GVSU is the only university in Western Michigan to offer this type of program.
Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. GVSU reports a nearly 95 percent employment rate one year following graduation.
WSU’s College of Nursing offers BSN, RN to BSN and BSN for veterans degree programs. The BSN program lets students choose a path to earn a BSN based on their prior education and healthcare experience. Wayne State also offers MSN degrees that include several specialties such as an MSN in Advanced Public Health Nursing, the only program of its type in Michigan. Nursing students with a BSN or MSN are eligible to take WSU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program that focuses on developing a nurse’s ability to work as a leader or educator in a clinical setting. Nurses who already have an MSN can enroll in the college’s Ph.D. program to earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing.
Wayne State University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Oakland University offers a BSN degree for RNs or a traditional “track” for students with an associate’s degree in nursing. If an RN decides to obtain a BSN at Oakland University, the school awards 19 credits if they have NCLEX_RN licensure. OU also has MSN degree programs specializing in nursing leadership, advanced nursing and future Ph.D. nursing studies. Forensic nursing and gerontological nurse practitioner certificates are available for those enrolling in an MSN program.
Oakland University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review have named OU as a top graduate school in the Midwest.
Finlandia University offers an RN to BSN degree program capped at a tuition rate of $15,000. FU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association for Colleges and Schools and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The Mable Engle Nursing Programs offered by Davenport University includes a BSN-Completion, a BSN, a pre-licensure BSN and a diploma in the Practical Nursing degree program. For nurses with BSNs, DU has an online MSN program to prepare students for careers in advanced nursing roles (educator, administration and nurse practitioner). The university also offers a Veterans Bachelor of Science Nursing degree for people with military medical experience.
Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Madonna University offers BSN pre-licensure and BSN degree programs. MU plans on launching an accelerated BSN in Fall of 2018 that allows students to complete a BSN degree in as little as 16 months. This university also has a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to BSN degree program which incorporates courses needed to earn RN licensure. Students can also enroll in MSN and DNP programs that lead to careers as nurse practitioners, researchers, administrators, and educators.
MU is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Chamberlain College of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree that can be earned in three years instead of four years. CCU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing EducationCalvi
Visit the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (Nursing) to learn more about education and licensing requirements needed to work as a licensed nurse in Michigan.
Rochester College is a four-year, liberal arts school offering an RN to BSN program. The college also provides traditional nursing courses for first-year students wishing to obtain their RN licensure. RC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The pass rate for students taking the NCLEX-RN examination for the first time is 81%.
SHU offers an RN to BSN degree program for licensed registered nurses. This university only accepts students who have already completed a Siena Heights Nursing approved degree program into their RN to BSN program. You must have an associate’s degree in nursing or a diploma awarded after completing a hospital-based program.
Siena Heights University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission for the North Central Association and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Andrews University offers a pre-licensure BSN and an RN to BSN degree program. The RN to BSN program is online. After earning a BSN, students may elect to enter the university’s graduate nursing program to obtain a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. A DNP degree is necessary to work as a family nurse practitioner.
Andrews University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges and Universities and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Spring Arbor University offers traditional BSN, RN to BSN and RN to MSN degree programs. SAU begins training nurses during their first year of a BSN program. They also have multiple clinical sites nearby at which nurses can gain the practical hours needed to complete their program.
SAU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and theCommission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The university is also affiliated with the Free Methodist Church and is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
Concordia University in Ann Arbor offers a BSN degree and an MSN degree for nurses wanting to specialize in adult-gerontology or work as a family nurse practitioner or a nurse educator. CU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the Council for the Accreditation for Educator Preparation and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Calvin College offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program. The university states that 100 percent of its 2017 nursing graduates obtained employment within one year of graduating from CC. Calvin College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Higher Learning Commission
Hope College is a four-year, liberal arts school offering a BSN degree program. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
All Michigan nursing schools listed above have nursing programs approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing. The Board establishes nurse licensure qualifications by relying on definitions of nursing practice provided by the Michigan Public Health Code. The Michigan Board of Nursing also regulates education standards, approves nursing education programs, implements criteria to ensure programs continue to be competent and takes disciplinary actions against licensed nurses who violate safety and health rules.
This list is arranged by affordability, with Saginaw Valley State University offering the least expensive nursing programs approved by the MBN and Hope College offering the most expensive nursing programs approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing. If you would like to be considered for our list next year or would like to update the information on your school, please feel free to contact us.