Like much of the USA, Michigan is experiencing a shortage of nurses driven by an aging population and a similarly aging healthcare workforce. The shortage is expected to continue until at least 2030. The supply of newly trained nurses is reduced by bottlenecks at nursing schools caused by limited clinical facilities to train new nurses and insufficiently qualified nurse educators to instruct them.
Two year ADN programs are a helpful route to ensuring newly qualified RNs get into the workforce more quickly while still retaining the option to go back to their studies at a later date.
There are around 30 ADN programs across Michigan, delivered mainly by community colleges. Competition for available places is often high. Once accepted into a nursing program, a student in Michigan will typically take four to five semesters to complete their degree and will then be eligible to sit the NCLEX-RN examination to receive their state license.
Michigan is not a member of the original Nurse Licensure Compact. However, the state of Michigan has legislation pending which will allow it to become a member of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact. This means that RNs registered in Michigan will become eligible to obtain a multi-state license.
2 Year Nursing Programs in Michigan
Grand Rapids Community College
The associate degree program at Grand Rapids consists of a pre-nursing semester and four semesters of nursing coursework. A mixture of classroom instruction and clinical lab work that provides direct, hands-on healthcare experience ensures that students are ready to work as a Registered Nurse in a variety of acute and community settings. The program is approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Graduates go on to take the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.
Requirements for admission to the program include a minimum High School GPA of 2.5 or a College GPA of 2.0 and a score of 75% on each segment of the HESI (Health Education Services Inc.) entrance examination. Candidates who meet all of the requirements are placed on a wait list and allocated the next available seat on the program. The waiting time once accepted is between 18 months and two years.
143 Bostwick Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Lake Michigan College
The LMC nursing program associate degree has been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) since 1981 and is fully approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing. Graduates are prepared to take the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. The average completion time is three years, year one is taken up by completion of pre-requisite and general education courses.
Pre-requisite courses include chemistry, biology, and math with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Applicants must also take and pass the HESI (Health Education Services Inc.) entry examination. Entry into the nursing program is competitive and places are limited. All applicants are evaluated and ranked using a point system. In addition to the candidate’s academic record, direct patient care work experience, certification in a healthcare field, completion of the Professional Health Careers Academy (PHCA), or a previously earned bachelor’s degree will also be taken into account in the ranking process.
2755 E Napier Ave
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Lansing Community College
LCC’s career ladder nursing program leads initially to certification as an LPN and continues on to an Associate Degree in Applied Science (AAS). Graduates take the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. The program is approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The program operates a selective admissions process. There is no waitlist, candidates are ranked and offered one of the limited numbers of places based on a points system.
The program offers three tracks towards the associate degree. The traditional track admits two intakes each year and can be completed within two years. The second-degree track admits up to 32 students each year who already possess a bachelor’s or higher degree and has a 16-month duration. The advanced standing track is designed for existing LPNs, respiratory therapists, and paramedics and also has a 16-month duration.
610 N Capitol Avenue
Lansing, MI 4893
Macomb County Community College
Macomb County Community College has around 550 nursing students enrolled in its selective-entry ADN program. This program prepares students for the NCLEX-RN licensing examination and a career as a registered nurse. In recent years, the pass rate for Macomb graduates in this examination has exceeded the US national average. The associate degree program at Macomb is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing.
At Macomb, nursing and general education courses are enhanced by supervised clinical experience in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Nursing coursework introduces students to theoretical concepts and patient-centered care and allows for the exploration of different nursing specialties. Macomb is particularly proud of its Human Patient Simulator Lab which includes a state-of-the-art, computer-controlled mannequin, upon which students can practice their hands-on nursing skills.
14500 E Twelve Mile Road
Warren, MI 48088
Schoolcraft two year nursing program graduates receive an award of an Associate Degree in Applied Science (AAS) and are prepared to sit their NCLEX-RN examination. The 63.5 credit program is approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Application requirements include pre-requisite college-level courses in Psychology, Math and Biology with a minimum 2.5 GPA, and a composite score of 60% for the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). Qualified applicants are allocated places in date order of the receipt of their application. Students are admitted to the program on an ongoing basis and start the program in the fall semester.
Nursing courses are offered during the day/afternoon at the Livonia campus and are scheduled throughout the year in seven-week blocks. In addition to lecture and laboratory sessions, clinical rotations during evenings and weekends form part of the standard curriculum.
18600 Haggerty Highway
Livonia, MI 48152
Benefits of Associate Degree Programs
Associate degree programs in nursing cover much the same clinical and conceptual material as a bachelor’s in nursing but with a reduced academic background component. Associate degrees are usually delivered by community colleges who place a premium upon employing faculty with plenty of real-world experience. This combination enables students to complete their studies more quickly and enters the healthcare workforce fully prepared with the practical skills and experience needed in their new roles as Registered Nurses.
Accreditation and Licensing in Michigan
Educational institutions use accrediting organizations to demonstrate that their programs meet and achieve educational standards. The two accrediting organizations for ADN programs are the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Licensing in Michigan is managed by the Michigan Board of Nursing. Nursing educational programs are approved and monitored by the Board to ensure that proper educational standards are maintained and to ensure students are receiving an appropriate curriculum.
In addition to educational institutions requiring approval, RNs must obtain an individual license in order to practice in the state. ADN graduates obtain a license by passing the NCLEX-RN examination at the end of their program of study.
Overview of Associate Degree Programs in Michigan
Places on the majority of ADN programs in Michigan are usually capped at an upper limit which is determined by the availability of faculty and facilities. The requirements for candidates frequently specify a variety of pre-requisite courses, a GPA of 2.5 and achieving a minimum standard on an entrance examination such as the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) or Healthcare Education Systems Inc. (HESI). However, meeting the minimum requirements does not always guarantee a place. Colleges are adopting a variety of different tactics to manage the flow of aspiring RNs including candidate ranking, date-driven acceptance, and long wait lists.
There are a number of different ways of referring to associate degrees in nursing. These include ADN, for Associate Degree, Nursing; AN, for Associate of Nursing; ASN, for Associate of Science in Nursing; and AAS, for Associate of Applied Science in Nursing. As long as the institution granting the degree is fully accredited by either ACEN or CCNE and approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing, graduates of all of these types of associate degrees are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN examination to obtain a license to practice as a Registered Nurse in the state.
Choosing an Associate Degree Program in Michigan
Many community colleges across the state offer an ADN program. The most critical factor in choosing an institution is that it is fully accredited by either ACEN or CCNE, and approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing. After this has been confirmed, other factors to consider include:
- The type of educational institution and the quality of the teaching;
- Curriculum and educational philosophy;
- The selection process, pre-requisites and wait lists;
- Length of the program;
- Clinical hours and where these take place;
- Program outcomes such as the pass rates for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam compared to the state and nationally, student course completion rates, student satisfaction rates, and graduate hiring data;
- Tuition and additional costs.