Becoming a nurse practitioner in Michigan requires dedication and a commitment to furthering your nursing education. However, it can be an extremely rewarding career choice and even a rewarding process, allowing you to meet many nurses, educators, and other healthcare providers along the way.
Studying for an MSN or DNP online can be an effective and efficient way to continue to work as a nurse whilst furthering one’s nursing education. Luckily, there are a few programs in Michigan that allow nurses to do just that, thereby encouraging more students to take on the challenge of meeting the growing demand for more autonomous, highly educated nurse practitioners.
The process of becoming a nurse practitioner is certainly not a short or easy one, but it can be highly rewarding. From high school graduation through to nurse practitioner certification can take between 6 and 10 years, depending on the path. Keep reading to learn more about the steps to become a nurse practitioner in Michigan.
The path to becoming a nurse practitioner in Michigan begins with an undergraduate degree in nursing. This foundation in nursing education will prepare students to become registered nurses. While either an Associate’s Degree (two years) or a Bachelor’s Degree (4 years) are acceptable for initial licensure, earning a Bachelor’s of Nursing degree as soon as possible will expedite the nurse practitioner path. It is important for students to seek out a program that is accredited as this can have an impact on whether or not graduates are eligible for licensure.
Upon completion of an undergraduate degree, nurses are eligible to apply for RN licensure in Michigan. This application process requires sitting for the NCELX-RN exam as well as subjecting oneself to fingerprinting and a criminal background check. Upon successful completion of these steps, as well as completing the application and paying the fee, nurses can begin work as an RN in Michigan.
Being an RN can be a satisfying and lucrative career, but for nurses who seek more autonomy in their practice, earning a graduate degree in order to become a nurse practitioner may be the best course of action. Nurses with a Master of Science in Nursing (approximately 2 years) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (approximately 2 years for master’s degree holders, 4 years for bachelor’s degree holders) are eligible for licensing as a nurse practitioner. Again, it is important that nurses complete an accredited program in order to be eligible for future licensing.
Once completing a graduate program, nurses will need to seek a professional credential from an organization such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) before applying for nurse practitioner licensing. That process involves an application with proof of completion of an accredited program as well as a credentialing exam and application fee.
Upon successful completion of both a graduate program and a professional credentialing exam, nurses in Michigan are able to apply for the Nurse Specialist – Nurse Practitioner certification. This process involves completing an application for the Nurse Practitioner certification with proof of credentialing from an approved organization as well as submitting a nominal application fee and the results of a criminal background check.
In order to be eligible for an online NP program, nurses must already be a Registered Nurse with the requisite education and experience. The application process is not dissimilar to applying for any college or other institution of higher learning. Applicants should expect to fill out an application online by a stated deadline. For fall semester admission, when most programs typically begin, applications are usually due in the Spring while Spring semester application deadlines are due in the fall or winter, depending on the school
There are no online nurse practitioner programs in Michigan that require graduate testing (GRE) for admission, but applicants should be prepared to submit an application fee, transcripts from previous schools, letters of recommendation from professors and/or nursing supervisors and a personal statement or essay.
Accreditation is essential for online and campus based programs. Recognized accreditation indicates that a program has been thoroughly assessed for its curriculum and faculty. Online Michigan programs must be accredited by either the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) in order for graduates to be eligible for Michigan licensure. This is true for both RN licensure and NP certification.
Spring Arbor UniversityCampus Location: Spring Arbor, MI
Spring Arbor University has its campus in Spring Arbor, Michigan but offers online programs for nursing students, including an MSN Nurse Practitioner program. The program allows for specialization in a number of different areas, including adult-gerontological care and family health. In addition, Spring Arbor offers an ADN-to-MSN bridge program, as well, for students who do not already possess a BSN.
Spring Arbor is highly regarded throughout Michigan and the surrounding area. For one, it was ranked by the Economist as the No.1 in economic value for Christian universities in Michigan and No. 2 for all universities in Michigan, and the 2018 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges ranked the school in the top tier of Midwestern regional universities. Additionally, the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education recognized Spring Arbor University in their 2017 College Rankings.
The Flint campus of the University of Michigan offers a variety of options to online nursing graduate students. Students are able to pursue an MSN with a concentration in family care, or a post-master’s certificate in psychiatric-mental health or adult-gerontology acute care. Additionally, a BSN-to-DNP option is available with specializations in psychiatric-mental health, adult-gerontological acute care, adult-gerontological primary care, and family care.
Known as one of the best schools in both the region and the country, the University of Michigan at Flint offers high-quality education to online nursing students. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked the MSN program 128th in the country, and the DNP as 85th, and overall the school is ranked as 99th among the Regional Universities Midwest.
Dr. Constance Creech, EdD, MSN, RN, ANP-BCw is Director of Graduate Nursing Programs and Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Michigan, Flint where she has been a professor for more than 20 years. She is a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner who maintains a clinical practice in addition to her teaching duties at the university.
Dr. Megan Keiser, RN, DNP is an Assistant Professor of Nursing where she is the lead faculty for the Adult-Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner clinical track. Dr. Keiser is a board certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse and has been practicing as a Neurosurgery Nurse Practitioner for more than two decades.
Michigan State UniversityCampus Location: East Lansing, MI
Michigan State University offers an online MSN degree with an adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist (CNS) specialization. While it's true that a CNS is not an NP, the CNS program, like an NP program, prepares students to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and for that reason the program is included here. This MSN program is designed for students who already possess a BSN.
Michigan State University's MSN program was ranked 63rd in the country and its DNP was ranked 62nd by U.S. News & World Report, which places them among the top programs in the entire United States.
It is important to note that online programs do not uniformly report their campus visitation requirements and indeed those requirements might change from year to year depending on course offerings and professors. However, it is possible to glean a general idea as to how often students should expect to visit campus. Upon reviewing the table below, note that where the word "limited" is used, the school suggests that the number of required visits is low, but there is no readily available concrete data about how many actual campus visits are required.
While Spring Arbor University does not offer a bridge program that carries students directly from Associate's Degree to Master's Degree (as some programs in other states do), it does offer separate RN to BSN and BSN to MSN/Nurse Practitioner Programs. This offers RNs who have not yet earned their Bachelor's Degree to do so quickly through online coursework in order to apply to a graduate program of their choosing - either at Spring Arbor or another school.
Clinical preparation is essential to beginning work as a nurse practitioner. In many cases, this involves seeking out a preceptor – or an experienced, teaching nurse – with whom to work either within the scope of a graduate course or as an entry to a particular position after graduation. In Michigan, there is no specific preceptorship requirement for licensure, rather it is expected that nurses who graduate from an accredited NP program will have this clinical experience already.
After graduating from an NP program and completing a national certification exam in his or her chosen specialty, nurses are eligible to apply for nurse practitioner certification in Michigan. Nurse practitioners in Michigan are more restricted than in other states. While they are able to practice autonomously, including diagnosing and treating patients without supervision, they are not able to prescribe medication or physical therapy, or to sign death certificates or worker’s compensation claims, all of which must be done by a physician.