I just graduated from the second degree program (SDO) at University of Detroit Mercy. Website is http://healthprofessions.udmercy.edu.../2nddegree.php
I had applied to the U of M SDO program but was not accepted (I was #1 in my class but they had "too many applicants" that year). Just to warn you, it will cost a LOT being out of state. They tried to claim I was an out of state student since the HS I graduated from was out of state (even though I was born here and had lived here for 6 years before applying!) and I had to fight them for months...
Overall, it was a great experience, a highly respected program(one of top 25 in the country according to US News...), and U of M and WSU are pretty good too but I've heard they're trying to work out some wrinkles with the program at WSU, and WSU also is a longer program, 20 months I think? I think U of D is a bit easier to get into.
It is 12 months, 58 credits so it's pretty intense, but I managed to do it with a couple kids and a job too so I figure its not TOO hard. You have to be good at time management. One of the best things is the SDO program is filled with people who come in without having a clue what they're doing...engineers, art majors, teachers, etc. So you're not alone in learning new stuff. They tend to be "non-traditional" people, who have kids and jobs and life outside of school. You get this feeling of not being alone, even when you're not sure why you're there or "what the He!! am I getting myself into."
The tuition is steep- I think the one year cost 36K (because it's a private school) but I also had a lot of scholarships
, loans, grants, etc that made it manageable.
One hint: get some medical experience before hand, if you can...around here, if you enroll in nursing school (or become an EMT- I did that in a 4 month program) you can work as an extern, or a technician, and that made the coursework so much easier, seeing things in real life and having a basis for learning. Reading something in a book is so different from remembering what you saw in your patient the day before...You get clinical experience in school but no matter where you go it won't really prepare you the way real-life experience can.
Graduates in this area earn 20-22 an hour (With shift differential I'll earn $28 an hour to start!), and depending on where you live you can find affordable housing, especially if you commute. Detroit isn't the best area, but you can find some affordable rentals in the suburbs, Farmington/Farmington Hills is nice, about 45 min from Ann Arbor (I think?) and 1/2 hr from Detroit. I had an apartment there when I got married, for 1K a month that was 2 bedroom, 2 bath, basement W/D, townhouse with front and back porches, etc. You should be able to find something 1 bedroom for about $500-700 a month easily.
There are really well-respected hospitals in this area...Beaumont is one of the top in the country, U of M hospital is so big they have their own hotel, and is cutting edge with research and new technology. You've also got Henry Ford hospital (very student friendly) and all the DMC hospitals downtown affiliated with Wayne State. They're all within about an hour of each other, so you've got a great (if not hard!) choice to make.
The weather sucks. No getting around that. It can change in a minute, which is the hardest part. My gas bill last winter to heat our tiny 3 bedroom ranch was $230 a month! Not cheap. And this winter will be even worse, considering the prices now...
Best wishes! Either way, you've chosen a great path. I can work anywhere I want, and change my specialty at the drop of a hat- I love the flexibility. And I can do what I do best, caring for people, teaching, helping.