Not only do BSN prepared nurses provide care that results in higher patient satisfaction and better patient outcomes than nurses with ADNs according to the Michigan Center for Nursing, a 2013 article in the Ann Arbor News describes how employers in Michigan are giving preference to RN candidates with a BSN over those who hold associate’s degrees.
Demand is so great, in fact, that legislation in 2012 approved 28 community colleges in the state to form baccalaureate nursing degree programs should they so choose. Although the Michigan Board of Nursing still confers RN licenses to both ADN and BSN graduates, such developments make a Bachelor of Science in Nursing a better pathway than ever to an RN license.
In addition, Michigan baccalaureate nursing students can take advantage of Title VIII grant funding allocated specifically for students in BSN degree programs. The program gave away nearly $70,000 in 2013 alone.
Enrolling in a Pre-Licensure BSN Degree Program in Michigan
Michigan’s nursing students can choose from convenient evening or online programs in addition to campus-based nursing programs in the following cities:
- Berrien Springs
- Grand Rapids
- Big Rapids
- Sault Sainte Marie
- East Lansing
- University Center
- Ann Arbor
Prospective students also typically need to meet entry requirements set by their school of choice before enrolling. Among these might be:
- Fill out the school’s application and pay the application fee
- Submit two essays
- Submit two letters of recommendation
- Submit transcripts from high school and all colleges attended, if any
- Maintain a minimum GPA in prior coursework or degrees attained
BSN Program Course Outline and Clinical Experience
Once these requirements are met and a student is admitted, programs include lower-level general education and upper-level professional nursing coursework. Students who return to nursing school for their second degree are in some cases exempt from a portion or all of these lower-level classes.
Some schools allow admission to the nursing major immediately upon enrollment, while others require students maintain a minimum GPA in general education coursework and complete a second application to the nursing major afterward.
Regardless, programs typically require a total of 120 or more credits for graduation. Classes might include:
- Assessment of Health and Illness
Professional Nursing Courses:
- Childbearing and Reproductive Health
- Mental Health and Illness Across the Lifespan
- Infant, Child and Adolescent Health and Illness
- Leadership in Management
- Community Health Nursing
- Nursing Care of Patients with Complex Needs
Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs also include hands-on clinical experience to complement classroom instruction and in some cases students can complete a portion of the requirement in online simulations. More often, however, students complete a rotation at a local hospital or clinic. Among many site options are:
- Covenant Health Care Services in Saginaw
- MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland
- Tuscola County Medical Care Facility
Entering the Nursing Field in Michigan as a BSN-Educated RN
Before entering practice as an RN, Bachelor of Science in Nursing program graduates must also obtain an Registered Nurse license through the Michigan State Board of Nursing. To do so, a student must submit a license application, fingerprints and a $54 fee to the board, and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
Taking the NCLEX-RN Exam
The following are steps an applicant must take in order to register and complete the exam:
- Apply for a license with the Michigan State Board of Nursing and pay the $54 fee
- Register with the testing company for the NCLEX-RN exam
- After receiving an authorization to test, schedule an examination
- Take the NCLEX-RN exam. Candidates must pass the exam within one year of their first attempt and two years of graduation
- If candidate passes the exam, and RN license will be conferred by the Board
Residency and Career Opportunities After Graduation
Nurse residencies are an excellent way for BSN graduates to transition into practice as an RN. The following institutions offer this type of programming for new graduates:
Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit – This facility offers a Post-Baccalaureate Pediatric Nurse Residency Program exclusively to graduates of BSN programs in Michigan with less than one year of nursing experience. Residents work under nurse preceptors in patient care and classroom environments to gain skills in safe pediatric care, effective communication and clinical reasoning.
St. Joseph Mercy Health System in Ypsilanti, Pontiac and Howell – BSN graduates are eligible for St. Joseph’s Nurse Residency program even before taking the NCLEX-RN exam. Upon hire, students complete an 8-week orientation and take the exam, followed by 12 months of educational sessions and mentorship.
Not only are they exclusively eligible for such residency opportunities, BSN degree graduates are preferred for a wide variety of highly skilled roles in the medical field over their ADN-prepared peers. The following are a few of the positions in the state that preference BSN nurses:
- Emergency Department RN at Allegiance Health in Jackson
- Urgent Care Nurse Educator at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids
- Ambulatory Care RN at East Ann Arbor Health Center in Ann Arbor