More than 110,000 registered nurses in Indiana chose to renew their license in 2017. These seasoned professionals make up the bulk of employed nurses in Indiana, providing healthcare in settings that range from hospitals and doctor’s offices to public schools and patient homes.

Indiana’s nursing workforce is relatively young, with an average age of 44, but there’s always room for fresh talent. If you’re thinking about starting a nursing career in the Hoosier State, it’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about the state’s nursing climate. Read on to find out how to become a nurse in Indiana, pick up some nursing certification and licensure tips and learn about professional organizations that can help your career.

Best Nursing Schools in Indiana

Indiana Badge ImageIf you’re looking for good nursing schools, college rankings can help you narrow down the options. Our two lists of the top nursing colleges in Indiana — one list for undergraduates and one for graduate students — can help aspiring nurses quickly assess the 36 schools offering nursing degree programs in the state.

To create our rankings, we pull data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and use a comprehensive ranking methodology to score each school on metrics that are important to nursing students. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the details of our methodology. Otherwise, keep reading to start narrowing down your options.

Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$24,554
Undergraduate graduation rate
65%
Undergraduate retention rate
81%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$27,030
Undergraduate graduation rate
56%
Undergraduate retention rate
71%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$9,208
Undergraduate graduation rate
76%
Undergraduate retention rate
91%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
65%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$8,992
Undergraduate graduation rate
58%
Undergraduate retention rate
81%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
88%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$6,478
Undergraduate graduation rate
33%
Undergraduate retention rate
67%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
94%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$5,122
Undergraduate graduation rate
22%
Undergraduate retention rate
54%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
87%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$27,040
Undergraduate graduation rate
65%
Undergraduate retention rate
76%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$33,200
Undergraduate graduation rate
68%
Undergraduate retention rate
82%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$31,500
Undergraduate graduation rate
56%
Undergraduate retention rate
77%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$8,141
Undergraduate graduation rate
46%
Undergraduate retention rate
74%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
88%
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
10
Graduate Tuition
$8,331
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
6
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
4
Graduate Tuition
$9,208
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
4
Graduate Tuition
$8,386
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
3
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$6,750
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$5,449
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$11,070
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$5,747
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
1
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$7,128
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
2
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$8,497
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
2
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$6,648
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0

Nursing Accreditation in Indiana

It’s important to have a legitimate, high-quality education before seeking employment as a nurse in Indiana. Accreditation is the most important factor in finding this. In the accreditation process, schools have their curriculum and instruction evaluated and approved by an independent accrediting body. If the school passes the examination, then it earns accreditation as a stamp of approval, demonstrating that it meets U.S. standards for educational quality.

Make sure the nursing school you choose to attend is accredited by at least one of these three national accrediting bodies:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA)

Indiana Nursing Licensure

To become licensed to practice nursing in the state of Indiana, applicants must complete the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) Candidate Bulletin, as well as the state-specific application. The completed application must be submitted along with a photograph, affixed with a school seal and accompanied by a $50 fee for registered or practical nurses.

Nurse practitioners (NPs) and other advanced practice nurses must meet additional requirements, which include completing pharmacology education, signing a collaborative agreement and submitting a Controlled Substance Registration (CSR) application.

Licenses for RNs and nurse midwives expire on October 31st of odd-numbered years; licenses for LPNs expire on October 31st of even-numbered years. This expiration is the same regardless of the issuance date. The renewal fee is $50, and the process can be handled entirely online.

Indiana Nursing organizations

Everyone needs a little help from time to time, and professional nursing organizations can supply help, guidance, support and much more for aspiring and working nurses. Perks of membership often include access to occupational research libraries, discounts on national conference attendance and more. Here are a few of the professional organizations available to nurses in Indiana:

  • Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses in Indiana:

    This organization seeks to promote and advocate for advanced practice nurses in the state, including NPs, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse midwives. Members can take advantage of a career center, a job board, information on legislative affairs and more.

  • Indiana Center for Evidence Based Nursing Practice:

    This organization seeks to better inform nurses through evidence-based research and medical news. Members can dive into opportunities for professional development hosted by Purdue North West’s College of Nursing.

  • Indiana League for Nursing:

    Part of a nationwide organization, the ILN works to promote professional growth for working nurses and nurse educators, enhance collaboration between nurses and health systems, provide recruitment support for medical centers and more. Members enjoy continuing education options, advocacy and options for nurse educator certification, among other benefits.

  • Indiana State Nurses Association:

    Nurses in the state can turn here to discover nursing information, trends and more, including info about credentialing, continuing education opportunities and upcoming conventions. The association is also active in legislative matters, including the push to improve education standards and create loan repayment options for nurses.

Indiana-Specific Continuing Education

Continuing education is not required for LPNs, RNs or nurse midwives who seek yearly renewal of their licenses, although those renewing a license that’s out of date by three years or more must complete a refresher course. Advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority must complete 30 hours of continuing education each year, eight of which must be within the area of pharmacology.

Beginning on July 1, 2019, licensed health care practitioners who apply for controlled substances registration must complete two hours of continuing education every two years. This education must be focused on opioid prescribing and abuse disorder.

For more details, visit the Indiana Board of Nursing.

Hospitals in Indiana

Nursing and hospitals go hand in hand. Hospitals employ nurses at all license levels, from seasoned professionals to fresh interns who are looking to learn the ropes. Indiana is home to several large hospitals and healthcare systems that present nurses with opportunities for gainful employment, career advancement and constant learning throughout their careers. Here are a few of the biggest in the state.

  • Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital (Indianapolis): Recognized for multiple years as a top hospital for quality and safety by the University Health Consortium, IU Health Methodist Hospital is now a magnet institution, seeking to attract the most talented nurses. The hospital’s partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine gives nurses a chance to work with innovative treatments and therapies.
  • Saint Vincent Indianapolis Hospital (Indianapolis): As part of Ascension, the world’s largest Catholic health system, Saint Vincent is committed to treating the body, mind and spirit. Serving Indiana for more than 140 years, physicians and nurses at the hospital work on everything from cardiovascular health to neuroscience to trauma.
  • Parkview Regional Medical Center (Fort Wayne): One of the largest employers in the Fort Wayne area, Parkview Regional features smart technology in every room, allowing physicians and nurses to care for patients in new and innovative ways. An enhanced emergency care center for kids makes this a solid destination for nurses interested in pediatrics.
Sources & Methodology

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we gathered data for 6,758 United States institutions. We then filtered that list of schools by state and analyzed the data for each state with two different methodologies, in order to create two different lists: our undergraduate list, based on 11 ranking criteria, and our graduate list, based on 9 ranking criteria.

Final data for the 2016-17 school year was used for these rankings. Schools that did not provide data for all of the required ranking criteria were disqualified from that ranking.

The 11 criteria for the undergraduate school ranking were as follows:

  1. Number of associate- and bachelor’s-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of associate- and bachelor’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of associate- and bachelor’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Average amount of federal grant aid awarded to full-time first-time undergraduates
  8. Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
  9. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  10. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  11. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

The graduate school ranking scored schools based on 9 criteria, different from the undergraduate list. These 9 criteria were as follows:

  1. Number of master’s- and doctoral-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of master’s- and doctoral-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of master’s- and doctoral-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  8. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  9. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools’ tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

 

Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed January 2018, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • 2017 Indiana Nursing Licensure Survey Data Report, Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research and Policy, August 2018, https://www.ic4n.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2017-Nursing-Data-Report-Final.pdf
  • About Our System, Indiana University Health, https://iuhealth.org/about-our-system
  • About Us, Parkview Health, https://www.parkview.com/about-us
  • About Us, St. Vincent, https://www.stvincent.org/About-Us
  • Advanced Practice Nurse, Indiana State Board of Nursing, https://www.in.gov/pla/files/APN%20checklist%202017.pdf
  • Continuing Education Requirements, Indiana State Board of Nursing, https://www.in.gov/pla/2492.htm
  • Nursing Education and Nursing Program Information, Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, https://www.in.gov/pla/2490.htm
  • Schools of Nursing Approved by the Indiana State Board of Nursing, Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, https://www.in.gov/pla/files/Schools_of_Nursing_Approved_by_the_Indiana_State_Board_of_Nursing.pdf

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