Nursing Frequently Asked Questions

Updated November 2021

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 (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 or see https://www.muskegoncc.edu/counseling-and-advising-center/).

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 Waitlist is updated continuously. Students will be called for admission in the order their names appear on the Waitlist 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 (Summer and Fall admissions) will be selected from the applicants who have completed all general education courses required for the AAS degree.  Students who qualify need to see a counselor for an Accelerated Application.

Our admission is competency based, so once you have met our waitlist requirements, you will be admitted into the Muskegon Community College Nursing Program; as of Fall 2021 wait time was about 2 years.  Accelerated Applications can hopefully cut some time off the estimated regular wait time depending on how many students are qualified for the accelerated applications at any given 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.  During the application process, you will receive information on how you can verify that your name has been placed on the Waitlist and where you can obtain updates on wait times, projected call-in periods, etc.

What coursework or testing can I complete while I am on the Waitlist?

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 152 L&L, Human Anatomy, 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 to enter the Nursing Program are:

  • * ANTH 103 – Cultural Diversity in Contemporary Society
  • * PSYC 201  –  General Psychology
  • * BIOL 152 L&L – Human Anatomy
  • * ENG 101 – English Composition
  • * BIOL 252 L&L – Human Physiology
  • * 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.
  • BIOL 207 LEC & 207A LAB  –  Microbiology

* 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 Waitlist and are required to reapply to the Nursing Program. If you are invited to fill an opening based on your position on the Waitlist 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 Waitlist and you will be required to reapply. All current requirements for your coursework will again be activated and you must re-validate 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 re-validated in order to demonstrate current competency with the course content. You do not need to retake the course if you pass the re-validation competency test. See the nursing counselor regarding appointments with the appropriate Department Chairperson for any course over 8 years old that you need to re-validate. 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 fingerprinting is the responsibility of the student.

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 on our Financial Aid web page. 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 152 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 the Nursing Program, you will be given information regarding an online orientation. This will include a presentation about the philosophy and organizing framework of the Program, the curriculum, uniforms, student policy and procedures, required criminal background checks, and more

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.  

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 in order 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.

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.

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 of work experience as an LPN with an unencumbered license to be eligible for our PN to AD level.  The waitlist can vary depending on the number of students who qualify to apply at any given time to start the AD level of our Program.  We strive to get students into the Program within a semester or two of the NUR 212B course running (Fall and Winter).  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 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 waitlist by completing ready list requirements and making an appointment with the Counseling Office to obtain an application.  Our admission is competency based, so once you have met our Waitlist requirements you will be admitted into the Muskegon Community College Nursing Program as soon as a seat becomes available.

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, you are encouraged  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.  Please talk with your current Program Director or make an appointment to meet with our Director to discuss your options at MCC.  Please call Jodie at 231-777-0281 for more information.

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

A student who exits the Program for personal or academic reasons is eligible to apply to a course waitlist within two (2) years of exiting. An application for course waitlists can be found on the Blackboard Student Nurse Resource site. Readmission is on a space available basis. If you have been academically dismissed from the Program, you are no longer eligible to enter 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 heard that I have to take CPR classes.  Is that part of the Nursing Curriculum?

Prior to the first clinical semester, all students are required to turn in verification of hands-on training that includes adult and child CPR from either the American Red Cross (ARC) or American Heart Association (AHA); AHA Basic Life Support (BLS) is the preferred course. Certification will need to submitted and to be valid for the entire upcoming semester prior posted due dates.  Only hands-on certification by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association will be accepted. (Theory may be completed online but there must be a hands-on skills testout.)  Failure to maintain current CPR status or any required health documentation will cause students to lose his/her clinical request and they will not be placed on the clinical schedule and may be dismissed from the Program.

Now that marijuana is legal in Michigan, is it okay to use?

In addition to the MCC Drug Policy, Mercy Health (Trinity Health) has a zero tolerance policy nationwide in regards to the use of marijuana, whether the use be recreational or medical. This zero tolerance policy applies to all staff, students, and contracted staff coming on site to fulfill their job duty, perform services, or complete educational requirements. Even though the laws currently allow marijuana use, YOUR PROFESSION DOES NOT ALLOW IT!

Do I need to have specific immunizations for the Nursing Program?

MCC has a legal partnership agreement with Mercy/Trinity Health which requires our students to be in compliance with their regulations in order to participate in clinical at their facilities. Mercy/Trinity is requiring that all students receive the COVID-19 and annual influenza vaccinations in addition to the other student health requirements we already
collect. Participation in clinical is a required component of nursing courses so, in order to comply with the Mercy/Trinity regulation, students are required to submit copies of their vaccination records (or obtain an approved exemption if available) according to the posted deadlines.

At this time there is a religious and medical exemption option for both COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations, but we cannot promise that will continue indefinitely. The mandate comes from our contract with our partnering clinical agencies, so they set the standard for what is acceptable in their facilities. We have been informed that other colleges are dealing with agencies that are beginning to classify students as volunteers, not by employee standards, and therefore they have no-exemption policies at their agencies. Successful completion of clinical hours is required for course progression and graduation.