100% employment rate for nursing and health services graduates

Earn your associate degree in nursing at Southwestern Michigan College and join the nearly 3,000 SMC nursing grads who have helped save lives throughout the region and beyond for over 50 years.

The nursing program at SMC is regarded as one of the best in the region, with national accreditation (ACEN), the highest standards for admission, a 100% job placement rate and a brand new facility.

Double green arrows   Apply now to get started or contact us with questions.

Start Quote SymbolEvery SMC nursing graduate is someone that I would clearly define as a high performer in our organization. They have stepped up and taken leadership roles and continue in them as they define what nursing means for Borgess Lee and the community they serve. They have all used the skills they learned in their ADN program to provide exemplary care at the bedside, and they continue the drive for excellence and the desire for knowledge as was portrayed to them by SMC. The quality of graduates from this program is superior.End Quote Symbol

Janice K. Troeger, MSM, BSN, NECP
Chief Nursing Officer
Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital

About Nursing Careers

Nursing is one of the fastest growing occupations available and demand for nurses will always be steady. It is also one of the highest paying careers for an associate degree. Registered Nurses (RN) provide total patient care under the jurisdiction of a physician. Positions are available in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, physicians' offices, and home healthcare. The average annual median pay is $70,000. Much faster than average (16%) job growth is expected between now and 2024.

To become an RN you must complete an associate in applied science degree in nursing and take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

Path to Becoming an RN

  • Apply to SMC
  • Complete prerequisite courses
  • Apply to the nursing program
  • Complete the nursing program to earn an associate degree in nursing from SMC
  • Take the NCLEX to earn the RN designation

More About Nursing at SMC

The goal of the nursing program at SMC is to train nurses who are knowledgeable, experienced, compassionate and capable of providing total patient care and becoming leaders in their workplaces.

From day one students gain hands-on experience practicing clinical skills and applying the knowledge they learn in the classroom. Class sizes are small so that students can build meaningful relationships with instructors and so that instructors can make sure each student is progressing appropriately. All students complete clinicals at real health facilities and in simulation labs so that they graduate already having experience performing the tasks they’ll complete on the job.

As a result, graduates are well-equipped to excel in nursing careers. Graduates consistently earn above-average pass rates on the NCLEX and enjoy a 100% employment rate.

Other Information

  • The associate degree in nursing program at Southwestern Michigan College meets the state education requirements for a RN nursing license in the states of Michigan and Indiana. Southwestern Michigan College has not determined if the associate degree nursing program at Southwestern Michigan College meets the state education requirements in any other state or any U.S. territory. Contact the state regulatory agency for nursing in any other state for which this information is needed.
  • Nursing prerequisite courses can be completed on the Dowagiac or Niles campus.
  • Those holding a LPN license can be given credit for experience and complete a shortened program. View the LPN to RN program guide for more details.

End of Program Outcomes

  • Client-centered Care: The graduate will provide compassionate and coordinated care based on respect for diverse clients' preferences, values and needs.
  • Evidence-based Practice and Informatics: The graduate will use current standards of practice using nursing informatics to support decision-making in nursing care.
  • Safety: The graduate will use psychosocial and physiological measures to minimize risk of harm to clients, families and others in the healthcare environment.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration: The graduate will effectively collaborate within the interdisciplinary team (including clients and families) to achieve quality patient outcomes.
  • Professionalism: The graduate will uphold the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses and perform within the legal scope of practice.

Interested in other health careers? Learn more about Health Services programs at SMC.

Admission Information and Deadlines

Forty students are admitted to the nursing program each Fall and Spring semester. Students must have a 3.0 or better in prerequisite courses and an overall GPA of 3.0 to be eligible to apply to the program. Admission is highly competitive and is not guaranteed. There is currently no waiting list for admission.

Admission to the nursing program is a separate process from being admitted to the college. It is the student’s responsibility to understand and meet admissions requirements prior to admission.

Application Process

  1. Apply and gain admittance to SMC. Select Health Services AA on the application.
  2. Contact a nursing advisor to select appropriate prerequisite courses.
  3. Complete prerequisite courses.
  4. Apply to the nursing program during your last semester of prerequisite courses. The Application to Begin Nursing Program can be found in Wired under Student Resources > Student Quick Links > Nursing.
  5. You will be notified of your acceptance via mail or email.

Application Deadlines
May 1 for Fall 2020 Regular Program Admission
August 1 for Fall 2020 Evening Program Admission
October 15 for Spring 2021 Regular Program Admission

Student Achievement Data

  1. Licensure Pass Rate
    Year SMC Average National Average
    2017 85.90% 84.24%
    2018 73.21% 85.11%
    2019 88.10% 85.17%
  2. Completion of Program
    Program 2016 2017 2018
    A.A.S.-RN 79.25% 68.05 In Progress
    L.P.N.-A.A.S.- RN. 83% 68% In Progress
  3. Job Placement
    2017 2018 2019
    96% 100% 100%

Why Choose the Nursing Program at SMC?

SMC’s nursing program offers students unique opportunities they will not find in other nursing programs in the area, like state-of-the-art simulation and skills labs.

The mission of the nursing program at Southwestern Michigan College is to provide quality nursing education to students that will benefit clients, employers and the dynamic and diverse community. Graduates will successfully embody the ability to promote human well-being by exhibiting sound nursing judgment and demonstrating an inquiry in practice during the continual development of their professional identity in a culturally diverse society.

Our goal is to graduate the highest-performing nurses in the area. By offering twice-a-year admissions, we are able to keep our class sizes small while continuing to fill the demands of the growing nursing profession. Our small class sizes also allow for more nurturing and supportive relationships between faculty and students. Thanks to our competitive admission process we are able to ensure high-quality students and graduates who are serving our community’s needs.

Candidates for admission must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and continue to achieve academic excellence throughout the program. The program is rigorous and requires dedication to learning and personal growth from all students. The faculty and staff are dedicated to student success and are here to serve each student along their journey through this respected, high-quality program.

Job Outlook
Annual median pay: $71,730
Much faster than average job growth is expected between now and 2026.

2018 median pay. Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Contact Information

Email: nhs@swmich.edu
Phone: 269-782-1222

One of the Best Nursing Programs in Michigan
SMC's nursing program was named one of the top five nursing programs in Michigan in 2020 for its student success rates, reputation and affordability by nursingprocess.org.

    Double green arrows height=    

The nursing program is available in an evening program format, so that you can balance your family and work while earning your degree. Ask an advisor for details.


Learn More About the Nursing Program

Listen to current students and faculty share what they love about the nursing program.


Tour the Simulation Lab

Student Testimonial

Professor Testimonial

ACEN Accredited

The associate in applied science in nursing program at Southwestern Michigan College is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850,
Atlanta, GA 30326
Learn more about ACEN accreditation.



Why accreditation?
Accreditation is a sign of superior quality, as institutions must meet rigorous standards and conduct continuous self assessment, planning and improvement. Choosing an accredited school means you will receive the best education and will be more attractive as a potential employee or candidate for advanced study.