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RN to MSN Programs in Michigan

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing says that in 2013, there were 1606 students enrolled in Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs in Michigan, 1552 of which were studying to become Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). In Michigan, Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, and Nurse Midwives are the only recognized APRN specialties. Currently, 5.8 percent of Michigan’s RNs practice in an APRN specialty. The need for advanced practice nurses in Michigan is particularly great since 63 percent of the state’s population live in areas that are underserved by primary care providers.

Featured RN-to-MSN Programs

Loyola University's RN to MSN BLEND (MSN Bridge) program offers a unique curriculum specifically designed for RNs with a bachelor's degree in an area other than nursing. This 6-credit bridge program offers an MSN specialization in Health Care Systems Management (MSN-HCSM) and can be completed in just 14 weeks. Complete your online application by Nov. 14 – Get your $50 application fee waived!

Sacred Heart University's online RN-BSN-MSN allows you to earn your BSN and MSN all in one accelerated program. Choose from one of three MSN specializations: Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Education, or Nursing Management and Executive Leadership.

Not all students in RN to MSN programs in Michigan are preparing to work in an APRN role, however. Other career opportunities exist for MSN-educated nurses in education, leadership, administration, informatics and more.

Education might be the biggest area of need for nurses who possess MSNs in Michigan, as the American Association of Colleges of Nurses reported that in 2013, there were 28 faculty vacancies in nursing schools statewide. That year, the average age for nursing faculty in Michigan remained at 53, as it has for the past decade, indicating that the nursing faculty is aging and as they near retirement age, newly qualified MSNs will be needed to fill their vacancies.

Enrolling in Michigan’s RN to MSN Programs

Students may elect to enroll in a specialized ADN to MSN program or a BSN to MSN program depending upon their situation. The American Association of Community Colleges maintains a list of three current ADN to MSN programs in Michigan, and there are also more than a dozen BSN to MSN programs in the state.

Enrollment requirements vary depending upon the program and the school, but generally include:

  • Must possess a minimum of an ADN degree
  • Must possess a current, valid Michigan RN license
  • Must have completed a minimum of 12 months of work experience as an RN
  • Must have passed the GRE within the past five years
  • Must have a 3.0 GPA in all undergraduate nursing coursework
  • General Education Courses that must be completed prior to entering an RN to MSN program in Michigan may include:
    • Communication
    • Cultural enrichment
    • Social awareness
    • Science

Structure of RN to MSN Programs

For students who have an ADN degree upon entering an RN to MSN program in Michigan, certain bridgework courses must be completed before graduate study can commence. These courses usually carry titles such as:

  • Professional nursing skill development
  • Transition into professional nursing
  • Population based health promotion
  • Epidemiology and statistics
  • Community nursing
  • Research in nursing
  • Leadership in nursing
  • Service learning project

Nursing core courses that are usually found in a Michigan RN to MSN program include titles like:

  • Introduction to advanced nursing roles
  • Organizational and systems leadership in nursing
  • Clinical prevention and population health
  • Quality improvement and safety
  • Critique of evidence for practice
  • Health care systems, policy and advocacy

Students in a Michigan RN to MSN program may wish to pursue advanced practice nursing or take on other nursing roles after graduation. Depending upon their ultimate career goals, nursing specialty concentrations may include:

  • Nursing education:
    • Curriculum design
    • Teaching theories and methodologies
  • Nursing administration:
    • Leadership roles for nurse administrators
    • Introduction to performance metric systems
    • Quality improvement principles and practices
    • Sustainable development
    • Project management
  • Nursing informatics:
    • Leadership roles for informatics nurse specialists
    • Database management and administration
    • Project management
    • Information security and assurance
  • Family nurse practitioner:
    • Family health care
    • Advanced health assessment
    • Pharmacology
    • Pathophysiology

Regardless of one’s specialty concentration, all students in a Michigan RN to MSN program must complete at least one clinical practicum. Examples of sites in which these could take place include:

  • University of Michigan Health System- Ann Arbor
  • Beaumont Medical Center- Lake Orion
  • Henry Form Medical Center- Southfield
  • Upper Peninsula Medical Center- Marquette
  • Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute- Flint

Seeking Nurse Specialty Certification through RN to MSN Programs in Michigan

The Michigan Board of Nursing recognizes three types of nurse specialty certifications for advanced practice nurses: nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists.

All nurse specialists in Michigan must pass national certification examinations administered by the certification bodies listed under each specialty below before they will become “specialty certified” to practice as an APRN in Michigan. The process to become specialty certified in each APRN role recognized in Michigan is explained below.

Nurse Anesthetist

  • Must hold a current, valid Michigan RN license
  • Must complete Section I of the Nurse Anesthetist Specialty Certification Form, then forward the form to the national certification organization verifying that the candidate has passed their certification examination, the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. The organization will forward the completed form to the Michigan Board of Nursing.
  • Must complete a Criminal Background Check and provide evidence of fingerprint processing from an authorized agency (instructions are included within Specialty Certification Form packet)
  • Jobs for Nurse Anesthetists in Michigan were recently advertised in:
    • Surgery Partners- Berkley
    • Harper Hospital- Detroit
    • Oakwood Hospital- Taylor
    • Botsford Hospital- Farmington Hills
    • Department of Veterans Affairs- Ann Arbor

Nurse Midwife

  • Must hold a current, valid Michigan RN license
  • Must complete Section I of the Nurse Midwife Specialty Certification Form, then forward the form to the American Midwifery Certification Board who will verify the candidate’s current certification and mail it to the Michigan Board of Nursing
  • Must complete a Criminal Background Check and provide evidence of fingerprint processing from an authorized agency (instructions are included within Specialty Certification Form packet)
  • Jobs for Nurse Midwives in Michigan were recently advertised in:
    • Harper Hospital- Detroit
    • Spectrum Health Systems, Inc. – Kentwood
    • Sparrow Health System – Lansing
    • Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan – Marquette
    • Lakeland Health Care- Saint Joseph

Nurse Practitioner

  • Must hold a current, valid Michigan RN license
  • Must complete Section I of the Nurse Practitioner Specialty Certification Form, then forward the form to a national certifying board recognized by the Michigan Board of Nursing who will verify the candidate’s current NP certification and mail it back to the Michigan Board of Nursing. Credentialing organizations that are recognized for Nurse Practitioners in Michigan are:

  • Must complete a Criminal Background Check and provide evidence of fingerprint processing from an authorized agency (instructions are included within Specialty Certification Form packet)

Jobs for Nurse Practitioners in Michigan were recently advertised in:

  • Beaumont Hospitals- Troy and Royal Oak
  • Visiting Physicians Association – Flint
  • United Health Group – Detroit
  • Reverence Home Health & Hospice- Kalamazoo
  • Henry Ford Health System- Detroit

Other Nursing Roles for RN to MSN Graduates in Michigan

Nurse specialty certification is not the only goal of RN to MSN graduates in Michigan. Many other opportunities exist for qualified graduates with specialized education in nurse education, nurse leadership, nurse administration, nurse informatics, and more.

Examples of recently posted jobs in Michigan within non-specialized certification roles for MSN holders include (March 2015):

  • Nursing Instructor- Mott Community College, Flint
  • Quality Improvement Coordinator- Department of Veterans Affairs, Ann Arbor
  • Advance Care Planning Coordinator – Mercy Health of Michigan, Grand Rapids
  • Executive Administrative Manager – Beaumont Hospitals, Troy
  • Manager of Nursing- Bronson Healthcare, Battle Creek

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