Michigan is home to two universities that offer online graduate programs in the family nurse practitioner (FNP) specialization. The University of Michigan–Flint provides both a master of science (MSN) and a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree in this specialty area for registered nurses (RNs) with bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Admission is also open to RNs with a non-nursing bachelor’s, contingent upon completion of prerequisite coursework before graduate study. The second school, Spring Arbor University (SAU), offers an online MSN program in FNP, which is open to both bachelor’s- and associate degree-holding RNs.

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While both of these programs feature online coursework, students in the FNP specialization are required to complete a set number of clinical practicum hours at a healthcare facility in their area. The FNP programs at the University of Michigan–Flint and Spring Arbor University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Read on below for a description of these degree offerings and information on FNP licensing requirements in the state of Michigan.

Program Information: Online Family Nurse Practitioner Programs in Michigan

Aspiring nurse practitioners enrolled at the University of Michigan–Flint are trained to care for individuals and families in diverse, community-based, inpatient and ambulatory settings. Graduates are prepared to serve as primary care providers in collaboration with other healthcare professionals.

MSN-FNP courses include graduate pathophysiology and pharmacology, epidemiology and disease prevention, physical diagnosis across the lifespan, and health promotion. DNP-FNP courses include advanced pathophysiology, advanced transcultural care, advanced pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics, advanced health assessment and clinical reasoning, and healthcare research.

While online coursework is a feature of both programs, students are required to visit campus one to two times per semester for simulation experiences and clinical evaluations. The GRE is not a requirement for admission; however, three or more credits of college-level chemistry and statistics and one year of RN experience are mandatory. In addition to the bachelor’s (nursing and non-nursing) pathways to the MSN and DNP, the school’s nursing faculty is developing an associate’s degree (ADN) “bridge” to the MSN-FNP.

Spring Arbor University offers an FNP master’s degree for both BSN and ADN holders. Advanced practice nurses are trained in the academic knowledge and clinical reasoning skills needed for the delivery of quality primary care. APRNs are prepared to treat patients at all stages of the lifespan in the areas of prevention, assessment, treatment, and management of acute and chronic illness.

The 55-credit (BSN-to-MSN) and 92-credit (ADN-to-MSN) program pathways are administered one seven-week course at a time, making them accessible for working RNs. A student success coach and nurse educators further enhance the program experience, creating a supportive learning environment taught by professionals in the field. These programs are offered 100 percent online with no required campus visits or GRE scores. As mentioned above, students are expected to complete their clinical hours at approved facilities in their home communities in addition to completing web-based coursework.

Michigan FNP Licensing Requirements

The Michigan Board of Nursing is overseen by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Here are the steps needed to qualify for an FNP license in the state of Michigan:

  1. Complete a BSN program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Applicants with preparation outside of the U.S. must be certified by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). Pathways exist for RNs with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees as well as diploma- and associate degree-prepared nurses.
  2. Take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam to obtain a registered nursing license.
  3. Gain experience in the field. This is not required for all graduate study; however, one to two years of clinical nursing experience before pursuing an advanced degree can enhance one’s studies and strengthen a candidate’s application for admission. Some employers provide employee tuition reimbursement.
  4. Complete an accredited, graduate degree in the family nurse practitioner specialization, including all required coursework and clinical hour requirements.
  5. Upon completion of the FNP advanced degree, apply for specialty certification from a national credentialing entity (e.g., American Academy of Nurse Practitioners).

To apply for state licensure as a family nurse practitioner, candidates must complete the online nurse specialty certification application on the Michigan.gov website. The Michigan Professional Licensing User System (MiPLUS) is LARA’s new online licensing and regulatory database application for health and occupational professionals in Michigan. MiPLUS allows applicants to apply for licensure online, track their application status, and get electronic notifications. Licensed APRNs can renew and modify their current licensing information as well.

A desktop or laptop computer must be used to complete the registration process; mobile devices will not enable candidates to register or renew credentials. It is also recommended that users access the MiPLUS site via internet explorer. A credit or debit card is needed to pay for registration and renewal fees, which are $123.60. Nurse practitioners in Michigan must be recertified every two years.

As a final note, after January 6, 2022, all nursing professionals in Michigan will have to complete a one-time required training in identifying the victims of human trafficking. APRNs applying for renewal in 2019 must take this mandatory course before recertification.