Associate in Applied Science Degrees

Program Overview

Earn your RN or CNA at Southwestern Michigan College and join countless SMC nursing grads who have helped save lives throughout Cass County, Michigan and the United States for the past 50 years.

The nursing program provides hands-on experience working on a simulated mannequin capable of emulating real-life situations—everything from going into cardiac arrest to giving birth. Clinical experience solidifies skills and knowledge learned in the classroom, and caring instructors will guide you through every step of the program.

The Southwestern Michigan College nursing program is currently seeking accreditation with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and is a candidate for accreditation.

About Nursing

Nursing is one of the fastest growing occupations available and demand for nurses will always be steady. Plus, it is one of the highest paying careers for an associate degree.

Registered Nurses (RN) provide total patient care under the jurisdiction of a physician or dentist.

Positions are available in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, physicians' offices, and home healthcare.

By 2020, it is estimated that 80% of nursing jobs will require a bachelor’s degree. Southwestern Michigan College has articulation agreements with nursing schools in Michigan and Indiana so that you can make a seamless transition into a bachelor’s program.

Program Information
  • Pre-nursing classes can be completed at either campus.
  • Students must take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to earn the RN designation.
  • Our graduates had a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX for the second quarter of 2015; the national average was 85%.
  • Application for admission to the Southwestern Michigan College nursing program is a separate process from being admitted to the college. Students must apply for admission to the nursing program within the application deadlines. Students must first apply to SMC then contact the Nursing Specialty Advisor as soon as possible to establish a program of study and to learn all of the nursing program requirements.
  • Admission to the nursing program is highly competitive and is not guaranteed. There are admission requirements to the nursing program, and it is the student’s responsibility to understand and meet the requirements prior to admission.
  • Admission into the program is based on a competitive GPA of 3.0 or better in prerequisite courses. Students must work with an academic advisor to plan their prerequisite course sequence and to apply to the nursing program. The advisor will explain ADN selection and all that is needed for acceptance into the nursing program.
  • Forty students are admitted to the nursing program each fall and spring semester. Admission is based on an eight-point scale determined by GPA.
  • Articulation agreements exist between Southwestern Michigan College and Ferris State University and Bethel College.
Student Achievement Data
  1. Licensure Pass Rate
    Year SMC 3-Year
    Average Mean National Average National
    3-year Mean
    2013 77.42% 89.07% 83.04% 87.09%
    2014 93.33% 88.7% 81.78% 85.05%
    2015 93.55% 88.1% 84.53% 83.12%
  2. Completion of Program
    Program 2013 2014 2015
    A.A.S. 49.31% 67.65% N/A
    L.P.N./PARA-AAS 46.15% 41.67% N/A
  3. Job Placement
    2013 2014 2015
    100% 100% 100%
Program Guides

Nursing (RN)

Nursing (LPN to RN)


Job Outlook

Faster than average job growth is expected between now and 2020. The average annual median pay is $65,000.

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