RN Nursing Programs in Michigan, MI
How to Become an RN in Michigan
Registered Nurses in Michigan are licensed via the nationally-standardized NCLEX-RN test, which can be taken after as little as two years of study. Hospitals and other private facilities provide what is perhaps the fastest route to licensure, through accelerated programs dedicated to preparing for the NCLEX. In a more traditional educational setting, the quickest route is via a two-year Associate Degree, Nursing program, or ADN. ADN programs can be found all over the state and usually take two years once admitted. However, admission can take up to a year, with general study requirements and departmental application often tacking on another year. Around ten courses, spread out over two semesters, in topics like statistics, chemistry, math, English and psychology are necessary to apply for a nursing program. It is advisable to do well in these courses—acceptance into a nursing program is competitive and it is important to give your best effort when taking prerequisites to ensure a successful application. And in Michigan, demand for nurses outstrips available programming, meaning programs often are able to select from a large pool of qualified candidates as to who is admitted.
ADN students mostly take nursing courses, with some study in the liberal arts and hard sciences as well—knowledge of both nursing procedures and good communication and interpersonal skills are vital in a dynamic health care environment. After completion of an ADN with satisfactory grades, students are ready for the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). To take the examination, students must first apply to the Michigan Board of Nursing with proof of successful completion of a state approved RN program or equivalent, and submit to a criminal background check—it is important to note that an applicant may be denied if the Board of Nursing deems their criminal record inappropriate to the occupation. They then pay a non-refundable application fee of $54 and sit the exam at an additional cost of $200 to exam administrator Pearson Vue. Once the exam is successfully completed, a nurse with an ADN receives their license to practice and can begin to work as a Registered Nurse in Michigan.
After an ADN-equipped nurse is licensed as an RN, they usually find entry-level employment. Still, Registered Nurses must be able to think critically when devising patient care plans and managing LPNs and CNAs. Indeed, it is a diverse and rewarding occupation from the start and there is much to be learned while working in a hands-on health care setting. However, there is another route to RNN licensure in formal education: a Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BSN).
Around half the RNs in Michigan hold a BSN, which affords the opportunity for greater responsibility than a BSN or diploma program. A BSN can be achieved in as little as four years straight out of high school, but it can also be pursued after receiving licensure as an LPN, or even an RN. If starting from scratch, the first two years are pretty much the same as an ADN, with around ten prerequisite courses in general studies and general admission required before applying directly to nursing school. The final two years are what really sets a BSN apart, as nursing students focus on such specialized topics as public health, radiology, maternal care, advanced theory and practice, research and more. BSN students also gain work experience as part of a built-in practicum in a supervised environment, ensuring that they gain hands-on experience as well as technical knowledge. The practicum also gives students access to various setting where they may find work, giving them a leg up in deciding where to specialize and pursue a job once they graduate.
A BSN program in Michigan gives students specialized knowledge to go with their nursing skills—a level of critical thinking that prepares students for a leadership role in a health care setting and beyond. With a BSN, a prospective nurse gains experience, makes professional connections, and is able to pursue specialized areas of interest. This allows RNs equipped with a BSN to pursue a more diverse array of career options than those with an ADN, which is worth considering when deciding what educational path to choose.
RN Nursing Jobs and Career Opportunities in Michigan
There is high demand for Registered Nurses in Michigan and it is only expected to rise in coming years. RNs are the largest group of health care professionals in the state and those working in metropolitan areas make, on average, over $68,000 per year (according to BLS.gov) plus benefits. Registered Nurses do work hard for these wages, however, with irregular hours, including split shifts, nights, weekends and holidays being typical. After all, patient’s health care needs don’t fit a nine-to-five schedule. RNs must also make tough decisions and take responsibility for their patient’s health, which can be trying for some. From management of Licensed Practical Nurses and Certified Nurse Assistants, to complicated decision making procedures and critical patient care, their actions can affect dozens of people’s lives on a daily basis. But this kind of responsibility and critical thinking can be very rewarding at the end of the day, and no one day will ever be the same for an RN in Michigan. Whether working in a hospital, as is the case for 60 percent of RNs, or in home care or a physician’s office, working as a Registered Nurse in Michigan is certainly an attractive option.