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CMU and Mid-Michigan launch shared nursing degree programs

Brett Dahlberg
Mid Michigan College Director of Nursing Barbara Wieszciecinski signs an agreement to create an RN-to-BSN partnership between Mid Michigan and Central Michigan University.

Central Michigan University has partnered with Mid Michigan College to offer a combined track toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

CMU had a BSN program, but no program for training or licensing new nurses, who typically start with an associates degree. Mid Michigan had a program for training new nurses, but no guaranteed route for them to earn a bachelor’s degree.

As CMU’s dean of the College of Health Professions, Tom Masterson, explained, that meant that CMU students who aspired to be nurses often earned their bachelor’s degree and then went back to Mid Michigan to become a licensed nurse.

“If you came here wanting to be a nurse, we would tell you to go to a community college. You wouldn’t have even gotten a nursing degree here, because we don’t have the actual licensed nursing degree at CMU,” he said.

That process for CMU students would typically take six years, he said.

The new partnership allows CMU students to enroll in Mid Michigan’s registered nursing program, and allows Mid Michigan nursing graduates to enroll in CMU’s BSN program, each completing the combined degree track in 4.5 to 5 years, officials at the schools said.

Barbara Wieszciecinski, the director of nursing at Mid Michigan, said the partnership will ease the shortage of nurses in Michigan by letting students with an associates degree in nursing from the college start working in the field while they’re pursuing their bachelor’s degree at CMU.

“There is such a nursing shortage out there,” she said. “The projection is that it will continue. … This is going to help bridge that gap.”

Officials at the colleges said the first students will likely enroll in the new track at Mid Michigan this fall and graduate with a Bachelor’s in nursing from CMU in 2025.

Brett joined WCMU in February, 2021, as a general assignment reporter. He was previously the health reporter at WXXI Public Broadcasting in Rochester, N.Y., and has filed stories for National Public Radio, IEEE Spectrum, The Village Voice and other outlets.