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Top Michigan Nursing Schools and Programs

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Schools, Licensing Requirements, and Resources

Online nursing programs in Michigan prepare learners to earn licenses and certifications, including certified nurse aide (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), and nurse practitioner (NP) credentials. These distance programs allow learners to balance coursework with family and professional commitments more easily than traditional programs by limiting the need for campus visits.

This page explores online programs in the state and steps for earning Michigan nursing credentials. Our guide also provides average salaries and professional resources for Michigan nurses. Readers can use this information to set their nursing career goals.

Advertisement NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Why Attend Online Nursing Programs in Michigan?

According to U.S. News & World Report, Michigan ranks fifth in affordability and 14th for opportunity among all 50 states. Michigan was also suffering a nursing shortage as of 2018. These factors hint at professional opportunities and financial benefits that may come from pursuing Michigan nursing licensure.

The average cost of in-state tuition and fees for Michigan schools is also lower than institutions in the nearby state of Illinois, which can lead to less student loan debt after graduation.

How to Become a Nurse in Michigan

To become an RN in Michigan, students must complete a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or associate degree in nursing (ADN) program. Both degree programs require courses in core areas of microbiology, physiology, anatomy, chemistry, and nutrition. BSN programs also include coursework in communications and leadership, and full-time students generally graduate in four years. Students can complete ADN programs in as little as two years.

Along with completing a degree program, each aspiring Michigan nurse must obtain a state-issued nursing license and pass the NCLEX.

  • 1. Choose the Path That’s Right for You

    Future nursing professionals must first decide which degree to pursue. ADN and BSN programs both provide pathways to nursing careers, but those with BSNs receive more opportunities than ADN-holders. A nurse who aspires to leadership or administrative positions needs a bachelor’s degree. RN-to-BSN programs are ideal for nursing professionals with ADNs who want to advance their careers. Other positions, such as college-level teaching positions, may require a master of science in nursing (MSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.

  • 2. Earn Your Nursing Degree

    Learners can pursue many ADN and BSN programs in Michigan online, but even online nursing programs require in-person clinical rotations. After completing online RN programs in Michigan, students become eligible to take the NCLEX. After passing the exam and receiving their license, professionals may secure employment. Licensed nurses with BSN degrees can pursue specialized positions that offer advanced leadership opportunities and better pay.

  • 3. Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License

    The NCLEX-RN, developed and administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, acts as a professional gateway and determines whether nursing school graduates can work in hospitals and clinical settings. Candidates receive six hours to complete the exam. Most accredited nursing programs prepare students for the exam, but applicants should also dedicate significant personal time to study. Given the demand for nurses in Michigan, nurses who pass the exam can receive plenty of employment opportunities.

Online Nursing Degree Programs in Michigan

Applicants for CNA, LPN, RN, and NP credentials in Michigan must complete approved nursing programs. Candidates should consult the board to determine which degree best satisfies their credential’s requirements. Programs increase in difficulty for higher credentials.

Nursing programs also allow students to build professional connections through clinical practicums, which can lead to career opportunities after graduation.

What Courses Are Part of an Online Nursing Degree Program in Michigan?

Each department requires unique courses for online nursing programs in Michigan. These classes may reflect specialty areas, such as geriatrics, mental health, or neonatal care, and graduate schools explore more in-depth concepts than undergraduate opportunities. However, online nursing schools in Michigan typically address the following topics.

Community Nursing

Enrollees explore how to improve community health by examining populations and determining large-scale preventative and treatment options. Students examine cultural and ethical considerations for public wellness and learn to use research and technology for nursing practices.

Nursing Informatics

Degree-seekers study technology for enhancing nursing practices for decision-making and safety measures. Courses may cover privacy concerns for data storage and train learners to organize information with modern technology.

Health Assessment

Students learn to determine patients’ health needs through data organization, interviews, history reviews, research, and check-ups. Classes may also address common health concerns for different ages and communities.

How Do Online Nursing Degree Programs Work?

Program delivery varies among nursing departments. For instance, fully online RN programs in Michigan offer all coursework digitally but may use synchronous or asynchronous classrooms. Synchronous classrooms require specific attendance times, while asynchronous options allow learners to complete coursework over periods of time, such as weekly assignments. Asynchronous programs offer maximum time flexibility for working professionals.

Departments may also offer hybrid programs that require on-campus attendance for less than half of the program requirements. Hybrid or fully online nursing programs in Michigan can prepare enrollees for nursing licenses and certifications since they include the same admission and graduation requirements as on-campus programs.

Synchronous classrooms require specific attendance times, while asynchronous options allow learners to complete coursework over periods of time, such as weekly assignments.

Online nursing schools in Michigan may offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or graduate degrees. An associate degree takes about two years to earn, and a bachelor’s requires around four years. Graduate degrees, required for advanced nursing credentials, extend educational time frames even further.

Nursing Licensure in Michigan

The Michigan Board of Nursing outlines and upholds all application and renewal requirements for nursing licenses in the state. Each nursing credential requires specific criteria like training or education, examinations, and fees.

The 2018 annual mean wage for all occupations in Michigan reached $49,510. That year, RNs in the state earned mean annual wages over $70,000, and NPs earned took home an annual mean wage of over $106,000. These expectations surpass in-state averages for other medical careers like respiratory therapists, nutritionists, dental hygienists, clinical laboratory technicians, and audiologists.

Candidates should note that Michigan offers NPs restricted practice rights, which includes supervision and limited practice options. Over half of other U.S. territories give NPs more practice freedom than Michigan.

State Requirements by Nursing Type

The following table outlines the educational, fieldwork, and exam requirements for CNA, LPN, RN, and NP credentials, along with detailing renewal processes for each license or certification.

  • Certified Nurse Assistant

    CNAs in Michigan must take a board-recognized training course. Candidates have two years after completing the course to complete the required CNA competency evaluation program from Prometric. This program includes oral, written, and clinical skills assessments.

    The oral/written exam assesses candidates’ nursing knowledge through multiple-choice questions that test-takers must complete in 1.5 hours. For the skills assessment, individuals perform specified nursing tasks. Test-takers pay $115 for each exam, in addition to a $10 general registration fee. Candidates who do not pass these assessments in three tries must undergo new training. Successful test-takers earn placement on Michigan’s nurse aide registry.

    Michigan CNA credentials last two years. To renew them, candidates must pay a renewal fee and verify that they have worked a minimum of eight hours as a CNA within two years.

    Michigan Licensure Requirements

    • Education: CNA candidates must take a board-accepted training class.

    • Additional Clinical Hours: No additional hours are required for licensure by examination.

    • Exams: Applicants must take tests from Prometric. These exams include knowledge and clinical skills assessments.

    • Renewal Frequency: CNA credentials must be renewed biennially.

    • Continuing Education: Renewal candidates must work eight hours over the previous certification period.

  • Licensed Practical Nurse

    LPN applicants must earn and provide transcripts for a certificate, associate, or bachelor’s from an approved nursing program. The board also requires passing NCLEX scores for LPN licensure. This exam costs $200 and may address nursing concepts like coordinated care and safety in 75-265 questions. The practical nurse exam also includes a five-hour time limit. Candidates must obtain an authorization to test (ATT) before taking the exam, which is based on completing other Michigan nursing licensure requirements.

    Each LPN applicant must undergo a criminal background check and complete training human trafficking victimology training. Candidates must also answer questions concerning ethics and character and pay a $208.80 application fee.

    LPN licenses expire after two years and require 25 continuing education hours for renewal, which may come from sources like the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the National League for Nursing. At least two continuing education hours must cover pain concepts. LPN renewal costs $128.50.

    Michigan Licensure Requirements

    • Education: LPN licensure requires completion of a nursing program that awards certificates, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degrees.

    • Additional Clinical Hours: The board requires no additional clinical hours.

    • Exams: Candidates must pass the NCLEX.

    • Renewal Frequency: Renewal must occur every other year.

    • Continuing Education: Individuals must complete 25 continuing education hours.

  • Registered Nurse

    To earn an RN license in Michigan, individuals must complete an approved nursing certificate, ADN, or BSN, and pass the NCLEX. For the RN exam, test-takers complete 75-265 questions covering infection control, health promotion, and care management. The NCLEX-RN includes a six-hour time limit and costs $200. Individuals must obtain an ATT before testing. Applicants who fail to receive the ATT in one year must re-apply for the NCLEX.

    Other criteria for an RN license include a criminal background check and responses to questions regarding the applicant’s character. The board also requires training in recognizing human trafficking victims and a $208.80 application fee.

    RNs must renew their license every other year by completing 25 approved continuing education hours and submitting a $128.50 fee. Continuing education hours must examine pain concepts and may come from organizations like the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

    Michigan Licensure Requirements

    • Education: RN applicants must earn a certificate, associate, or bachelor’s from a nursing program.

    • Additional Clinical Hours: The license requires no additional hours.

    • Exams: Applicants must pass the NCLEX.

    • Renewal Frequency: Licenses must be renewed every two years.

    • Continuing Education: Renewal requires 25 continuing education hours.

  • Nurse Practitioner

    RNs can pursue Michigan NP certification by providing transcripts from applicable nursing programs and obtaining national certifications from organizations like the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the ANCC. Candidates should choose certifications that reflect their specialty areas. As an example, individuals who want to work in pediatrics can pursue credentials from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. These certifications call for unique requirements that frequently include a graduate degree, clinical hours, and a fee.

    NPs must also undergo a background check, answer moral character questions, and complete human trafficking training. Renewal must occur every two years, requiring a $158.30 fee and 25 continuing education hours. Part of these experiences must explore pain concepts. NPs who work with controlled substances under delegation must also complete training on substance issues and opioids before their initial renewal.

    Michigan Licensure Requirements

    • Education: NP certification requires an advanced nursing degree, RN license, and national certification.

    • Additional Clinical Hours: National certifications may require additional clinical hours.

    • Exams: Candidates take the NCLEX for RN licensure. National certifications may also mandate standardized exams.

    • Renewal Frequency: NPs must renew certifications every other year.

    • Continuing Education: Renewal candidates must complete 25 continuing education hours.

Online Nursing Degree Programs and Licensing in Michigan FAQ

  • What Nursing Field Makes the Most Money?

    Advanced nursing positions typically offer higher salaries. For instance, the median salary for nurse anesthetists ($167,950) is nearly $100,000 more than the median income for RNs. To earn more money, candidates should consider advanced nursing credentials.

  • Can Someone Become a Nurse in Two Years?

    A two-year associate degree may qualify applicants for LPN or RN licenses. However, NP credentials may call for a master’s degree, which can take five more years to earn.

  • What Is a Good Specialty for Nursing?

    Specialties should reflect career goals. To work with children, for example, candidates can choose a pediatric or neonatal specialty. NP applicants should also pursue national certifications that relate to their specialty areas.

  • Does an Online Nursing Degree Have the Same Value as an On-Campus Degree?

    Departments often require the same curriculum for on-campus and online degrees and may not mention the delivery method on transcripts or degrees. These details indicate that the degrees hold equal value.

  • Is Michigan a Nurse Compact State?

    Michigan is waiting on legislation to enter the nurse licensure compact (NLC). If the state joins the NLC, Michigan nurses can work in any NLC area with their current licenses.

Michigan Nurse Salaries and Employment Trends

CNAs in Michigan earn higher annual mean wages than in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana. The state’s mean annual wages for these nurse aides surpasses the U.S. figure. LPNs in Michigan also earn higher annual mean wages than candidates in all other noted areas, as well as Minnesota.

However, U.S. income figures for RNs and NPs surpass Michigan’s expectations. Likewise, Wisconsin and Minnesota offer higher average pay for RNs than Michigan.

CNAs in Michigan earn higher annual mean wages than in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

Michigan residents interested in earning higher salaries should pursue advanced credentials since NPs in the state take home mean annual wages that reach more than three times as much as for CNAs. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects NP positions in Michigan to grow over three times more than CNA opportunities from 2016-26.

Salary expectations and job growth vary, based on factors like industry and experience. No education or degree guarantees employment or income level.

Nurse Salary and Projected Job Growth in Michigan, by Type

  Annual Mean Wage Projected Job Growth(2016-2026)
Certified Nurse Assistant $30,130 11.0%
Licensed Practical Nurse $49,040 10.5%
Registered Nurse $71,330 13.5%
Nurse Practitioner $106,880 34.4%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Projections Central

Annual Mean Nurse Wages in Nearby States

  Certified Nurse Assistant Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Nurse Practitioner
United States $29,580 $47,050 $75,510 $110,030
Ohio $27,570 $43,430 $66,820 $101,970
Indiana $27,210 $44,310 $64,860 $103,200
Wisconsin $29,590 $45,290 $71,470 $106,790
Minnesota $33,710 $47,020 $78,920 $119,160

Source: BLS

Certified Nurse Assistant


In Michigan, CNAs earned a mean annual wage of $30,130 in 2018, which exceeded expectations for nearby states. The highest-paying industries for nursing assistants (government and hospitals) offer median salaries exceeding $30,000. CNA positions in Michigan should increase by 11% by 2026. BLS data indicates that this projection surpasses the expected national 2018-28 growth for nursing assistants by 2%. This difference in percentages indicates above-average career opportunities in the state.

Licensed Practical Nurse


LPNs in Michigan earn higher mean annual wages than candidates in all other areas represented on the table above. However, this average ($49,040) is lower than the 2018 average income for all U.S. careers ($52,145). Factors like experience can increase earnings for LPNs. In particular, candidates with a minimum 20 years of experience average over $3 more per hour than those entering the field.

Registered Nurse


Mean annual wages for Michigan’s RNs ($71,330) come in lower than Wisconsin’s and Minnesota’s, but higher than figures for Ohio and Indiana. Michigan also exceeds the 2018 average income for all U.S. workers. RN positions in Michigan should increase by 13.5% from 2016-26. This percentage surpasses the career’s U.S. growth projection from 2018-28 (12%). These factors indicate above-average career opportunities and lucrative pay for Michigan residents.

Nurse Practitioner


NPs in Michigan earn a mean annual wage over twice as much as the 2018 average income for U.S. positions and more than NPs in Ohio and Indiana. BLS data indicates that hospitals are the highest-paying industry for NPs, midwives, and anesthetists, with median pay surpassing $120,000. Projections show that Michigan NP positions should increase by over 34% from 2016-26. This percentage is more than 6% higher than the 2028 growth projection for all U.S. NP.

Nursing Resources for Michigan

  • Michigan Nurses Association MNA participates in events like the Spring Leadership ACTION Conference and offers self-study opportunities that qualify for continuing education credits. Site viewers can also access resources on topics like Lyme disease and nursing regulations.
  • Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners MICNP delivers a yearly conference and a Telehealth webinar and informs site viewers of NP programs. Candidates can also earn MICNP scholarships and attend continuing education workshops at discount prices.
  • Michigan Board of Nursing Individuals can review Michigan nursing licensure processes and view a list of qualifying nursing programs through the site. The site also addresses license renewal and the state's nurse scholarship program.
  • Michigan Nursing Student Association Members can attend an MNSA convention, with keynote speakers and an awards ceremony. The association also offers several scholarships, such as the Future Florence Scholarship.
  • Michigan Emergency Nurses Association The association offers the MI ENA Annual Spring Conference. Members can also take a preparatory course for the certified emergency nurse exam and explore career options through the group's career center.

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Advertisement NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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