To ask specific questions about your Michigan nursing license, contact Michigan’s Bureau of Professional Licensing here.
For general licensing information in Michigan, visit the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.
The following is an adapted list of questions and answers regarding Michigan licensing for nurses, adapted from the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Nursing FAQs (Revision Date 6/2021)
What nursing licenses are available in Michigan?
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Specialty Certifications (LPNs are not eligible to receive a specialty certification)
- Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)*
- Nurse Midwife (NM)*
- Nurse Practitioner (NP)*
- Nurse Anesthetist (NA) **Denotes an advanced practice RN (APRN).
How long are RN and LPN licenses valid? Can I renew my license early?
- Your initial RN/LPN license is good for 2 years. All subsequent renewals will also be valid for 2 years.
- You will be mailed and emailed a renewal notification postcard to your mailing and email addresses on record approximately 90 days prior to the expiration date of your license.
- It is your responsibility as a licensed health professional to renew your license on time.
- Failure to receive the renewal postcard or email notification, or to notify to Department of an address change does not exempt you from renewing your license on time.
- You can renew online and pay by credit card by logging into your MiPLUS account at https://www.michigan.gov/lara
How do I apply for or renew a Michigan nursing license?
- All nursing license applications and renewals in Michigan are completed and paid for online.
- For first-time nursing licenses, click here to create a new online application.
- For nursing license renewals, you will use the Michigan Professional Licensing User System (MiPLUS) website and portal.
Is there a grace period for my renewal?
- Yes, there is a 60-day grace period in which you may renew your license without having to go through the relicensure process.
- There is an additional $20.00 late fee if you renew your license in the 60-day grace period.
Is there a continuing education requirement for relicensure in Michigan?
Yes. The Michigan Public Health Code and board administrative rules requires every nurse to complete, during the 2-year period prior to the renewal of the license, at least 25 hours of continuing education.
How many continuing education (CE) hours are required?
- Michigan nurses are required to earn 25 hours of continuing education within the 2-year period preceding the date of renewal.
- At least 2 of these hours must be in pain and pain symptom management.
- A one-time human trafficking continuing education module is required. Find out more about the Michigan human trafficking educational requirement here.
- MNA’s Human Trafficking CE module fulfills this CE requirement and can be found here.
- Starting in 2022, all Michigan health professionals are required to complete implicit bias training in order to renew and maintain their license. Find out more about what’s required here.
I am a new nurse getting my first license. Do I need to complete continuing education (CE)?
You are not required to begin earning CEs until after your first renewal.
How do I know if a CE course is approved for my Michigan license CE Requirements?
The Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. You can find MNA’s current CE offerings here.
The Michigan Board of Nursing will accept any continuing education program or activity if it is approved or offered for CE credit by any of the following organizations:
- American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)
- American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
- Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
- American College of Nursing Midwives (ACNM)
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
- American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
- National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
- National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service, Inc (NAPNES)
- National League for Nursing (NLN)
- Another state or provincial board of nursing
- A continuing nursing education program offered by a nursing education program that is approved by the Board under Administrative Rule R 338.10303a
What is the difference between a CEU and a contact hour?
- A contact hour consists of 50-60 minutes. A continued education credit and a contact hour are the same. A Continuing Education Unit (CEU) consists of ten (10) contact hours/credits.
- You are required to earn 25 continuing education credits/contact hours or 2.5 CEUs in each 2-year licensure cycle.
What is needed for the Human Trafficking requirement?
Beginning with the March 31, 2018 renewal cycle and all renewal cycles thereafter, licensees must have completed training in identifying victims of human trafficking that meet the standards established in Administrative Rule 338.10105.
The Human Trafficking Training is a one-time training and is not part of the continuing education requirement but may be satisfied via a continuing education activity. MNA’s Human Trafficking CE module fulfills this requirement and can be found here.
Human Trafficking training content must cover all of the following:
- Understanding the types and venues of human trafficking in this state or the United States.
- Identifying victims of human trafficking in health care settings.
- Identifying the warning signs of human trafficking in health care settings for adults and minors.
- Identifying resources for reporting the suspected victims of human trafficking.
Acceptable providers of human trafficking content include any of the following:
- Training offered by a nationally recognized or state-recognized health-related organization.
- Training offered by, or in conjunction with, a state or federal agency.
- Training obtained in an educational program that has been approved by the board for initial licensure, or by a college or university.
- Reading an article related to the identification of victims of human trafficking that meets the requirements of subdivision (a) of this subrule and is published in a peer review journal, health care journal, or professional or scientific journal.
Acceptable modalities of training include any of the following:
- Teleconference or webinar.
- Online presentation.
- Live presentation.
- Printed or electronic media.
Does my training on Identifying Victims of Human Trafficking count towards my CE hours?
No. However, if the training also satisfies the Board’s requirements for CE, then the training may be applied toward your CE requirement.
What is the Implicit Bias requirement for healthcare workers in Michigan?
To understand the implicit bias requirements for healthcare providers in Michigan, click here.
What is the Pain CE Requirement for nursing license renewal in Michigan?
Michigan nurses must complete at least 2 hours of continuing education in pain and pain symptom management, within the 2 years immediately preceding the expiration date of their license.
I heard there were different rules for CE in Michigan due to COVID-19. Are those still in effect?
Although previous Executive Orders allowed the Bureau to waive continuing education (CE) requirements for health professionals licensed under the Public Health Code, effective October 2, 2020, BPL no longer has this legal authority. Therefore, health licensees renewing after 11:59 pm October 1, 2020, are required to have completed all required CEs or request a waiver as permitted under the Michigan Public Health Code. Licensees experiencing difficulty with completing continuing education courses that were or are canceled due to emergent issues with COVID-19 should make every effort to schedule alternative courses in order to meet any necessary continuing education requirements.
I heard I can use COVID-19 work hours towards my Michigan nursing CE requirement. Is that still in effect?
Pursuant to the former Michigan Executive Order 2020-82, health professionals can use hours worked responding to the pandemic prior to June 9, 2020, toward meeting CE requirements at their next license renewal through June, 2022.
Health licensees claiming CEs for COVID-related health care services and activities will be required to provide reasonably sufficient evidence to show that the hours they worked during the time period in question were hours worked responding to the COVID19 emergency. Examples of reasonably sufficient evidence include, but are not limited to, a written attestation by the licensee, a Human Resources Administrator, or a direct supervisor at work, to the timeframe such as date and time, including hours worked. Contact the Bureau of Professional Licensing for questions.
Can I complete all of my continuing education hours at once?
No more than 12 credit hours of the 25 required hours may be earned during a 24-hour period for online or electronic media.
I’d like a waiver for the continuing education requirements. Is this possible?
MCL 333.16205 of the Michigan Public Health Code also affords health licensees the ability to request a waiver of continuing education by their profession’s board. Please note, requests must be received before the expiration date of the license. However, approval of a waiver is not guaranteed and the final determination rests with the board. If requesting a waiver, a licensee is encouraged to provide documentation to support his or her written request.
Examples of waivers can be for military service, disability, absence from the United States, or other circumstances beyond the licensee’s control.
If the board finds that any of the conditions for waiving the requirements have been met, the number of hours waived shall be proportional to the length of time the licensee was temporarily disabled, in active military service, outside the continental United States, or involved in circumstances beyond the licensee’s control. For questions, Contact the Bureau of Professional Licensing here.
Do I need to submit proof of my continuing education when I renew my license?
You are required to maintain your own records and keep documentation on hand for a minimum of 4 years. You are not required to submit continuing education information when you renew your license. The Board conducts a random audit after each renewal period. At that time, a percentage of all licensees who renewed will be randomly selected and notified by mail that they must submit evidence of having earned the required education. If you are selected for the audit, then you will be required to submit copies of the CE certificates you earned. (Please retain your originals.)
I have some specialty certifications. Do I need to submit my nursing specialties when I renew my license?
You are required to maintain certification by each national certifying body for which you are certified. The Board conducts a random audit after each renewal period. At that time, a percentage of all licensees renewing will be randomly selected and notified by mail that they must submit evidence of current certification. If you are selected for the audit, you will be required to submit copies of your certificate(s) you earned. (Please retain your originals.)
Can I earn continuing education (CE) credit for taking college classes?
A licensee may earn 5 hours of continuing education for each semester credit hour earned for the completion of academic courses related to nursing practice offered in a nursing education program approved by the board. (Three hours of continuing education may be earned for each quarter credit hour earned.)
If audited, a licensee shall submit an official transcript that reflects completion of the academic course and number of semester or quarter credit hours earned.
Can I earn continuing education (CE) credit for specialty certifications?
- A licensee may earn 25 hours of continuing education for obtaining specialty certification or maintaining certification as a clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, or nurse practitioner. If audited, a licensee shall submit proof of certification or recertification.
- A licensee may earn 10 hours of continuing education for successful completion of a national nursing specialty examination in the year which the licensee achieves a passing score.
- A maximum of 20 hours may be earned in the renewal period. Credit will not be given for repeating the same examination in a renewal period.
Can I earn continuing education (CE) credit for publishing an article or presenting at a conference?
- A licensee may earn 10 hours of continuing education for initial publication of a chapter or an article related to the practice of nursing or allied health in either of the following: A nursing or health care textbook; a peer- reviewed textbook; a nursing or health care peer-reviewed journal.
- A maximum of 10 hours may be earned in each renewal period.
- A licensee may earn 3 hours of continuing education for each 60 minutes of presentation of an academic or continuing education program that is not a part of the applicant’s regular job description. A maximum of 6 hours may be earned in each renewal period.
Can I earn continuing education (CE) credit for being a preceptor in my job?
A licensee may earn continuing education for participation as a preceptor for at least 1 nursing student or new employee undergoing orientation. A preceptorship shall be for a minimum of 120 hours and have a 1 student/employee to 1 preceptor ratio. This may involve more than 1 student or employee. A maximum of 5 hours may be earned in each renewal period.
I am a new graduate of a nursing program in the United States. When can I take the NCLEX exam?
You must register to test for testing with Pearson Vue Professional Testing and pay your examination fees for the NCLEX. However, please be aware that eligibility to take the test is determined by the Department. Pearson Vue will notify the Department when you have applied to take the test. The Department will notify Pearson Vue when your application is complete, and you are eligible to sit for the test.
You will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) from Pearson Vue that allows you to make your appointment to sit for the exam. You will also receive a list of available testing sites. The test is administered daily at various Pearson Vue Professional Centers sites in each state. You may test at any site listed in any state, regardless of where you have applied to be licensed.
Where can I find more information about taking the NCLEX?
How do I apply to take the NCLEX?
You can apply via the web or telephone:
- Website: Register at www.pearsonvue.com/nclex
- Telephone: (866) 496-2539 (toll free) Monday-Friday, 7am through 7pm, Central
Standard Time, or (952) 905-7403 (pay number)
I am a Canadian nurse who wants to work in Michigan. Do I have to take the NCLEX?
If you are a Canadian nurse who did not become licensed via passing the NCLEX, then you may apply for a temporary license until you have taken the NCLEX. A temporary license is good for up to one year, allowing enough time to take the NCLEX one time and have your results submitted to this office as part of your application. Click here to register with the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.
I am a graduate of a foreign nursing school. How can I become a nurse in Michigan?
- Click here to register with the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.
- Check if CGFNS certifies your foreign degree here.
- Apply for and pass the CGFNS Qualifying Exam.
I am a graduate of a foreign nursing school. What are the English language proficiency requirements?
- CGFNS International requires evidence of English-language competency for both spoken and written English as demonstrated through passing scores on one of the accepted ELP examinations:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-Based Test (TOEFL® iBT)
- Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC®)
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- * CGFNS does NOT currently accept the at-home versions of English Language Proficiency exams.
Where can I find a copy of the administrative rules pertaining to Nursing?
You may view the Michigan Board of Nursing’s current Administrative Rules on the Bureau of Professional Licensing’s website at www.michigan.gov/bplrules.