Nursing Frequently Asked Questions

Updated September 2016

Welcome to the Nursing Information page of the Muskegon Community College Nursing Program.  Our Nursing Program is referred to as a “ladder” program which means our Associate Degree Nursing students seeking the Registered Nurse License (RN) are eligible to write the NCLEX-PN exam after successful completion of the first four terms (60 weeks) of the Nursing Program. The Associate Degree Program is designed to be completed in six terms (90 weeks). Students may exit after completion of the LPN Program and finish required course work to apply for admission to the Associate Degree Program if seeking the Registered Nurse License.

Please note that this curriculum is designed for full-time students (see Career Ladder) and consists of 8-12 credit hours per semester, much of which is laboratory and clinical coursework. If you have significant family or work obligations, we encourage you to take as many of the required general education classes as possible (PEA {no longer required for students entering Fall 2017 or after}, PSYC, ENG, BIOL, ANTH) prior to beginning the NUR course sequence.

ALL STUDENTS must make an appointment with the MCC Counseling and Advising Center to develop a Nursing Course Plan (231-777-0362).

How long will I have to wait to start the Nursing courses?

The wait time varies depending on the number of applicants who have met all requirements for admission; the Ready List is updated continuously. Students on the Ready List will be called for admission in the order their names appear on the Ready List which is based on the date and time of the Nursing Program application. If, at the time your name is called, circumstances prevent you from beginning the Nursing Program, you may defer your admission.

Up to half of each class (25 out of 50 in both the Summer and Fall semesters) will be selected from the applicants who have completed all general education courses required for the AAS degree.  Students who qualify for this accelerated admissions need to see a counselor for an Accelerated Application.

Our admission is competency based, so once you have met our Ready List requirements, within 2-3 years you will be admitted into the Muskegon Community College Nursing Program.  Accelerated Admission will hopefully cut about a year off the regular wait time.

Once I have applied, how will I know that I am accepted into the Nursing Program?

Communication regarding nursing admissions is through the official MCC email system; you are officially accepted into the Nursing Program when you have replied via MCC email to the official invitation sent by the Nursing Program indicating there is a space for you in the next class and you have been enrolled for NUR 100, Overview of the Nursing Profession.  During the application process, you will receive information on how you can verify that your name has been placed on the Ready List and where you can obtain updates on wait times, projected call-in periods, etc.

What coursework or testing can I complete while I am waiting on the Ready list?

You are encouraged to take any non-nursing general education course in the curriculum, subject to the pre-requisites for those courses. For example, take BIOL 105 Anatomy and Physiology I as this is a lab course and can be time consuming.  It will make your course load lighter when you do get into the Nursing Program.  Courses that you can take while waiting for the NUR classes are:

  • * ANTH 103 – Cultural Diversity in Contemporary Society
  • * PSYC 201  –  General Psychology
  • * BIOL 105 L&L – Anatomy and Physiology I
  • * ENG 101 – English Composition
  • * BIOL 106 L&L – Anatomy and Physiology II
  • * CHEM 100 & 100A Fundamentals of Chemistry (or CHEM 109 & 109A, Chemistry for Health Science)
    • Alternately, students may waive the chemistry requirement by demonstrating competency on the Toledo Chemistry Placement Test or providing proof of 1 credit high school chemistry within 8 years of ready date.
  • PEA 101A – Fitness, Wellness and Nutrition (No longer required for students entering Fall 2017 or after.)
  • BIOL 207 LEC & 207A LAB  –  Microbiology
  • PEA/DNC Elective (No longer required for students entering Fall 2017 or after.)

* required for entry into Level 2

I was recently called for admission to the Nursing Program, but now I am pregnant and I think I should wait until next year to start the Nursing Program.  Can I defer?

You are allowed two deferrals before you will lose your place on the Ready List and are required to reapply to the Nursing Program. If you are invited to fill an opening based on your position on the Ready List and choose not to come into the nursing class available, you will be allowed to defer.  You also may defer a second time. However, you must come into the Program on the third notification or your name will be removed from the Ready List and you will be required to reapply. All current requirements for your coursework will again be activated and you must revalidate any coursework that is more than eight years old.

What is the 8 year rule?

Any coursework that is older than 8 years must be revalidated in order to demonstrate current competency with the course content. You do not need to retake the course if you pass the revalidation competency test. See the nursing counselor regarding appointments with the appropriate Department Chairperson for any course over 8 years old that you need to revalidate. You must have taken the course in order to test for competency.

Why do I have to have a Criminal Background Check?

Michigan Public Acts 27, 28, and 29 of the 2006 Michigan Public Health Code state that “persons with a history of felony or conspiracy to commit a felony within 15 years….or a misdemeanor involving a vulnerable adult or child, or a state or federal crime that is substantially similar to a misdemeanor described in this statement within 10 years”… may not work or be affiliated with certain health care facilities. Students with felony or misdemeanor criminal records would not be able to complete the program of study required for nursing licensure.  Please click here for more information.

Fingerprinting may be required for clinical experience in accordance with Michigan law.

The cost of the criminal background check and any required finger printing is the responsibility of the student.

I heard that I have to take CPR classes.  Is that part of the Nursing Curriculum?

You will need to submit evidence of current Adult and Child CPR to the Nursing Program Office (room 333) prior to the second term of the Nursing Program. The CPR requirement can be met in one of three ways:

  1. Complete HE100A Community First Aid.  You will earn the American Red Cross Adult, Infant, and Child CPR card and a Community First Aid card in this 2 credit course.
  2. American Heart Association:  Complete BLS Provider Course (includes Adult and Child)
  3. American Red Cross:  Professional Rescuer (includes adult & child)

*** Current CPR must be maintained throughout the Nursing Program and be valid through each entire semester.

Are there scholarships available for Nursing Students?

Yes, there are scholarships available to students entering the nursing profession. Requirements vary. You should first complete the FAFSA through the Financial Aid office (due annually by March 1st). Local organizations, hospitals, and health care agencies, and Community Foundations have scholarships available to nursing students. Other sources of nursing scholarships are available on www.discovernursing.com and www.michigancenterfornursing.org.  There may be additional scholarships available for students currently enrolled in nursing (NUR) courses in the Program. These are posted on the Program’s Blackboard site under scholarships when they become available.  In addition, some of the local healthcare agencies will assist you with tuition reimbursement if you are currently their employee.

Financial Aid information is available through the Student One Stop, at http://www.muskegoncc.edu/pages/475.asp, and will also be offered in CSS 100 College Success Seminar.

What exactly do you do during clinicals?   Where are clinicals?  Do I have a choice? 

Clinical experiences are a required part of all nursing education programs. The clinical experiences generally are 2 or 3 days per week at local health care agencies, usually located within a 40 mile radius of the College. You will be caring for patients of all ages and in various stages of health and illness. Generally, clinicals are on the day shift, but also can be evenings or weekends .

What is the cost of the Nursing Program?

Nursing students pay the same tuition rates as other students per credit hour, depending on whether the student is “in-district” or “out-of-district”. For all courses with clinical components there are contact in excess of credit hour fees as delineated in the College class schedules. There also are course fees; please click here for more information.

My grade in BIOL 105 was a C-.   Why do I need to repeat that course?

In order to progress in the Nursing Program you must have a C (2.0) in all general education coursework and a 77% (C+) in all NUR courses and AH 111.

I took PSYC 201 at another college and it only transferred to MCC as 2.67 credits.  I need 4 credits of PSYC.  What should I do?

See your counselor as soon as possible.  You may take an independent study to fulfill the requirements of PSYC 201. You cannot progress to the second term of the Nursing Program without the necessary equivalent credit for PSYC 201.

Will there be an orientation to the Nursing Program?

Yes, once you have been accepted into a NUR 100 Overview of the Nursing Profession class, you will be given information regarding an online orientation to the Nursing Program. This will include presentations about the philosophy and organizing framework of the Program, the curriculum, uniforms, student policy and procedures, and required criminal background checks.

I want to earn my BSN.  Can I do that at Muskegon Community College?

Muskegon Community College has concurrent agreements with Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University which allow you to work on earning your BSN while still attending MCC.  Many courses taken at MCC also will transfer to other universities for completion of your BSN.  (Please see the Michigan Center for Nursing web site for a complete list.) Contact the MCC Counseling and Advising Center or contact individual programs directly for specific information on BSN completion requirements.

Can I transfer from my current Practical Nursing Program to Muskegon Community College?

MCC is unable to accept Nursing Credits from a ‘stand alone’ Practical Nursing Program (GRCC, Everest, Davenport) because we are a ladder program and teach to the AD level.  Our students all start together and have the option to exit at the end of 4 terms to write the NCLEX-PN. This is a different model than other schools have and many schools only do the practical nurse program as a technical level program.  It is also very difficult to transfer from one Ladder Program to another Ladder Program because the curriculums are aligned differently to accommodate available clinical space.  We may not be able to give you credit for NUR courses even from another ladder program.

I am a Licensed Practical Nurse and want to come to Muskegon Community College’s Nursing Program to finish my AD to be eligible for RN licensure.  How do I do that? 

If you are a new PN graduate (congrats!), you will need to pass NCLEX-PN, meet our general education requirements, AND have 6 months full time (or equivalent) work experience as an LPN with an unencumbered license to be eligible for our PN to AD level.  The wait list is approximately 1-1.5 years to start the AD level of our Program once all general education requirements are met. We do not have a transition course so you must be ready for acute care advanced med surg clinical and have adequate time to study, attend clinical, labs and simulations.

I work full-time.  I just want to go to MCC part-time to finish my Associates Degree. 

Muskegon Community College does not have a part-time program option. While most students strive to complete all general education courses before they start the advanced med surg nursing course, coming back to school for 8 -9 credits per semester with labs and clinical is intense and our experience is that students do not succeed if trying to work more than 16 hours/week.  

I took classes at a University to enter a BSN program.  I was not accepted and now I want to come to Muskegon Community College.  Can I start nursing courses right away with advanced placement?

If you have no nursing coursework, your best avenue for a degree is probably another 4 year university program.  There is no advanced placement here at MCC for a student with another degree or 60 general education credits.  Contact the Universities for Accelerated Second Degree Nursing Programs or check out www.michigancenterfornursing.org  for more information.  While we welcome your application and sometimes a biology course or chemistry course will transfer to MCC for a general education requirement, we cannot start your nursing coursework ahead of our current list of waiting students for these seats.  You will need to join the wait list by completing ready list requirements and having your application signed in the Counseling Office.  Our admission is competency based, so once you have met our Ready List requirements, within approximately 2 years (or sooner with the accelerated application) you will be admitted into the Muskegon Community College Nursing Program.

Do I have to come to Muskegon to go to school?  Can I do the Program online? 

Our classes are in Muskegon and clinical agencies will vary in location.  We are not an online program so you must have the resources to travel.

I exited the MCC Nursing Program over a year ago and I want to re-enter, what is the process for readmission?

Any time you exit the Nursing Program and wish to reenter, you must reapply subject to all admission requirements at the time.  If you have been academically dismissed from the Program, you are no longer eligible to enter the Muskegon Community College Nursing Program.   A student who exits the Program during the first level must meet readmission requirements within two years.  Readmission is on a space available basis.

My family is moving and I need to transfer Programs or I am not happy in my current Nursing Program.

If you are a student currently enrolled in nursing courses in another AD or BSN Program and are thinking about transferring to Muskegon Community College, I encourage you to discuss your concerns with the Director of your current nursing program.  Often, when the going gets tough, “jumping ship” seems like the right answer when, in fact, it may be much more difficult than you think.  All NURSING coursework needs to be examined for transferability as curriculums vary from program to program.  Please talk with your current Program Director or make an appointment to meet with me to discuss your options at MCC.  I can be reached at 231-777-0281 or christina.donley@muskegoncc.edu.