Michigan Nursing License

Facing a dearth of registered nurses that by some estimates could reach 18,000 by 2015, Michigan officials have for several years been seeking ways to boost the nursing workforce.

In 2008, Michigan’s then-governor announced $6.5 million in funding to expand nursing education programs statewide.

By January 2011, there were almost 134,000 RNs licensed in the state, according to a survey by the Michigan Center for Nursing. However, about 37% of active RNs were age 55 or older, a dramatic increase over the 14% who were in that age group in 1999.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has cited that aging workforce as one catalyst for RN job growth, which has been projected to average 3,500 openings each year through 2014. RN employment “is expected to increase much faster than the average for all occupations,” the state agency reported.

Other factors for the surge in RN demand include an aging population and the mushrooming number of procedures and tests given to patients as a result of evolving technology.

The job landscape is similar at the national level. The employment rate for RNs is expected to increase 26% between 2010 and 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in its Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition.

The BLS reported the national average salary for RNs was $64,690 in 2010. In Michigan, the average was $54,689 in 2011, according to an Advance for Nurses survey.

Typically, earnings are higher for nurses with advanced qualifications. Michigan’s licensing agency predicts that nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing also will enjoy more employment opportunities than those with an associate’s degree.

In 2011, 40% of RNs in the Great Lake State held a bachelor’s in nursing, a survey by the Michigan Center for Nursing found.

The Institute of Medicine has called for the proportion of nurses with bachelor’s degrees to increase to 80% nationally by 2020. The national institute’s 2011 report pointed to RN to BSN degree programs and online learning as ways to help reach that target.

Michigan Nursing License Requirements

To become a licensed RN in the state of Michigan, applicants must have completed an approved nursing program and passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). RNs who are licensed in another state and have passed the NCLEX-RN or the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE) can apply for a Michigan license by endorsement.

After the initial renewal period, which is no more than one year, RN licenses are then valid for two years. During that time, RNs must complete 25 contact hours of continuing education (CE) credits, including one hour on pain and symptom management, in order to renew their license.

Michigan Board of Nursing

It’s important to note that nursing licensure requirements and fees can change. For the most up-to-date information contact the Michigan Board of Nursing at:

Mailing address: Bureau of Health Professions, P.O. Box 30670, Lansing, MI 48909

Phone: (517) 335-0918


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