Nursing License Requirements in Michigan

The Michigan Board of Nursing is under the banner of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The Board licenses LPNs and RNs and sets rules for practice. Michigan currently has 140,991 RNs and 27,935 LPNs.

Michigan is not a Nursing Licensure Compact state.

Michigan is not a member of the nurse license compact, but nurses can be licensed by examination or endorsement. Nurses licensed for the first time must pass the NCLEX. (NCLEX pass rate is a condition for continued Board approval of a nursing program, but if approval is withdrawn, this does not mean that students who went through the program can’t be licensed.)

Select the type of Nursing License you are seeking:

The Board has produced a webinar to help nursing students, new licensees, and other interested individuals understand licensing and professional responsibilities. A link can be found on the main page of the Michigan Board of Nursing site.

There are additional organizations that the state’s nurses may want to be aware of. The Michigan Center for Nursing is a nursing workforce site ( One of the current initiatives is recruiting male nurses – some of their stories can be found online. Nursing students can also find a list of scholarship programs ( Michigan conducts surveys every two years and publishes information about the nursing workforce in different regions of the state.

LPN Requirements in Michigan

Education Requirements for LPNs

In order to be a license qualifying program, an LPN program must be approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing or approved by the board of nursing in another jurisdiction and substantially equivalent. Michigan maintains a list of approved in-state programs.

There are several factors to consider prior to selecting an LPN program. The article, LPN programs in Michigan, will help you better understand these factors during your LPN program selection process.

Once a candidate has completed the educational requirements, the candidate’s school will send certification to the Board. Candidates from schools located in other jurisdictions will need transcripts.)

Sponsored Content

The Application Process

The candidate must turn in an application to the Bureau of Health Care Services, Health Professions Division and register with Pearson VUE ( Both these steps must be complete before authorization can be granted to take the NCEX-PN. The authorization is good for 90 days. The candidate may schedule an exam at a choice of testing centers, either in Michigan or in another state.

The cost to apply to the Board is $54.00, according to the current application packet; the cost of the examination is $200. Fingerprinting is also required and will incur additional fees.

Application packets can be found on the Board site ( Candidates should take the fingerprint request form found in the packet to an approved vendor ( and have their prints done. Candidates should make sure they have the correct agency ID.

Applicants are expected to attempt the NCLEX within two years of program completion. An unsuccessful candidate may retake the exam after a period of 45 days. Michigan allows three attempts over a one year period. If a candidate is still not successful, further education will be required. This may take the form of either a refresher course or NCLEX review course.

Although not mandatory, LPNs may wish to join the Michigan Licensed Practical Nurses Association ( This professional organization supports LPNs and LPN students.

Out of State LPNs

Applicants who have been licensed in other jurisdictions must provide license verification. The Michigan Board of Nursing requires verification from any state where the applicant has held permanent licensing.

LPN applicants from foreign countries must have their credentials evaluated by one of two organizations: the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or the Credential Evaluation Services of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. The TOEFL will be required of those who did not do their education in English.

Identogo or other Livescan prints are preferred for out-of-state candidates, but there are other options. Out-of-state candidates who have access to Livescan printing should have the electronic fingerprints printed out.

A candidate who has a current disciplinary sanction (including a fine) in another state is not eligible for licensure. After resolution of the sanction, the candidate may apply. Criminal convictions do not always make an individual ineligible for licensure; the Board considers the type of offense and other mitigating factors, like age.

RN License Requirements in Michigan

Education Requirements for RNs

An RN candidate should enroll in an approved registered nursing program. There are schools in the state offering pre-licensure programs at the associate and baccalaureate level.

A program in another state can be accepted as license-qualifying if it is substantially equivalent. It must include theory and clinical practice.

Read the “RN Programs in Michigan” article to learn about factors to consider when choosing a Registered Nursing program.

NCLEX-RN and the Application Process

Later, the candidate will need to pass the NCLEX-PN. The candidate will apply to the Michigan Board for permission. The candidate will also register with Pearson VUE ( Only after both these steps are completed will the candidate be granted authorization to test. A U.S. candidate is expected to make the first attempt within two years after graduation and to pass the exam within one year of the first attempt. After 3 attempts, a NCLEX review course is required. After 6 attempts, a candidate is no longer eligible for licensure in Michigan (unless the candidate redoes the whole RN program). Unsuccessful candidates will receive a score breakdown which may help them prepare.

Fingerprints are another requirement. The Board recommends that applicants contact one of the board approved agencies no later than 7 – 10 days after applying.

Examination candidates who did their education out of state should have official transcripts sent. In-state students will have a certification of education.

A $54 payment should accompany the application. In the event it is missed, the candidate should send the payment with a copy of the application and a note of explanation.

The Board notes that it takes some time for both the application and payment to reach the appropriate department and be processed (even if sent by overnight mail) so candidates should not check on the status immediately.

RNs may also wish to join the Michigan Nurses Association (

Out of State RNs

A registered nurse can be granted a provisional license after the Board receives verification of a license in good standing in another state. (The candidate may need to submit additional materials before permanent license can be issued.) The cost of application is $54 (or $64 if a provisional license is required).

In some cases an internationally educated nurse will need to submit educational evaluation even if the candidate holds licensing in another state of the U.S. – this will be the case with nurses who have held their state licensing less than five years.

International RNs should either hold certification through CGFNS or have a course by course report. Verification should be sent directly by the issuing agency.

Applicants who received their nursing education in Canada may be exempt from the CGFNS requirement. They should have their transcript and a copy of their Canadian license sent to the Board. If the program was not located in Canada or taught in a language other than English, they will need to go through CGFNS (as per application instructions).

Canadian RNs are eligible to work under a temporary license while they are in the process of meeting the NCLEX requirement. It’s good for up to a year, but will be invalidated in the event the candidate fails a first attempt.

Sponsored Content

Find Nursing Licensure Requirements in Your State:
US map

Learn about becoming a Registered Nurse, LPN or LVN in your state:
To View Full U.S. Map Click Here.