Approval for the development of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at SVSU was granted by both the Michigan State Board of Education in 1975 and the Michigan State Board for Nursing in 1976. Full approval by the Michigan State Board for Nursing, requiring two graduating classes, was granted in 1980. National League for Nursing (NLN) accreditation was granted initially in 1982, retroactive to the first graduating class, with re-accreditation by them in 1989 and by the NLNAC in 1997. Initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) was granted for the BSN program for a ten year period in 2005.
The first class in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program was admitted in 1988. NLNAC accreditation of that program was achieved in 1991, when the first class graduated and the program became eligible for that status. From that time to the present, the graduate program has consistently prepared nurses for advanced practice roles in education and client care management. In 1996, the Family Nurse Practitioner track was added. The Clinical Nurse Leader track was offered in 2006. The Board of Control approved the offering of a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program in 2012, the first and only doctoral program, at the university. This program was approved by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in 2013 and CCNE in 2015. The DNP is both a BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice in the area of Family Nurse Practitioner, and a post MSN DNP in the area of Practice Innovation.