If you are interested in becoming a nurse in Indiana, you will need to apply through their state board of registered nursing. Hopefully, the following information will be of help to you. The Board is the state governmental agency that is responsible for implementing and enforcing all of the laws pertaining to nurse education, licensure, practice and discipline.
ENTRY LEVEL PRACTICE NURSES
Becoming licensed as a Registered Nurse in Indiana has several stages, getting the education, passing the NCLEX-RN exam, and getting licensure from the state of Indiana Board of Nursing. See 6 Things to Know About the NCLEX Examination and How to Master NCLEX-Style Test Questions.
STAGE 1. CHOOSE YOUR OPTIONS.
You can either become an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or an RN (Registered Nurse).
STAGE 2. MEET THE PREREQUISITES.
Usually, to become an ADN, you will only have to have completed high school or GED. However, to become an RN, you will likely have to complete a number of prerequisite undergraduate courses.
STAGE 3. COMPLETE YOUR EDUCATION.
To be an LPN, you will need to complete a one year diploma program. To become an RN, you need to complete either a two year associate’s degree (ADN) or a four year bachelor’s degree (BSN). See Top options for RN to BSN. From diploma to ADN to BSN, the curriculum will become increasingly specialized and in-depth, allowing for more interesting and better-paid careers. See 40+ top Indiana nursing schools fully accredited.
STAGE 4. PASS THE NCLEX EXAMINATION.
An LPN will have to take the NCLEX-PN exam, while an RN takes the NCLEX-RN exam. These are national tests, allowing you to transfer your license to different states if you so choose.
ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES
To become an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) in Indiana, you must complete the following steps.
STAGE 1. GAIN THE NECESSARY EDUCATION.
You can either complete a master’s degree (MSN), or you can obtain national certification after a BSN. The Indiana State Board of Nursing approves programs that are accredited by the NLNAC or the CCNE. Additionally, for MSN programs, the degree must be accredited through an agency that has been recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
In order for a course to be accepted, the curriculum must have included (often in relation to your chosen APN category):
1. Biological science
2. Behavioral science
3. Medical science
4. Nursing science
5. Supervised clinical practice
6. Ethical, legal and professional responsibilities
7. Identifying abnormal conditions
8. Patient assessment
9. Implementing and developing nursing treatment plans
10. Diagnosis health problems
11. Collaboration with a physician
12. Evaluating patient outcomes
13. Federal and state laws on confidentiality and regulations, drugs and medical record access
14. Conducting and apply research findings
15. Counseling individuals and groups
APNs can have prescriptive authority, but only if they have completed a master’s level degree that included two credits in pharmacology. No more than five years should have passed since completing those credits.
Indiana will not specify your specialization on your licenses. However, you can still choose your program of specialization. Many nurses in Indiana choose to study towards a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice).
STAGE 2. BECOME NATIONALLY CERTIFIED.
This is not always necessary but you could still choose to be certified. If you want to be a nurse midwife, however, you do have to be certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board. Additionally, if you want to work as an APN with a BSN, you also have to be nationally certified in your area of specialization. There are three categories that you can choose from as an Indiana APN. These are the:
1. NP – Nurse Practitioner
2. CNM – Certified Nurse Midwife
3. CNS – Clinical Nurse Specialist
Certification has to be done through a national organization if you choose to be certified at all. The Board recognizes all the national agencies that certify advanced nurse practitioners in various fields of healthcare. The only set specification is in relation to the certified nurse midwife, as stated above. Each agency has their own requirements.
STAGE 3. EARN A CNM LIMITED LICENSE AND YOUR APN PRESCRIPTIVE AUTHORITY.
You must disclose your social security number in order to apply for this. You must also apply for limited license as a CNM. Various documents must be included with this application.
Only APNs can apply for prescriptive authority in Indiana. This requires completion of a seperate form, with which you must include a number of documents.
All applications take around four weeks to complete. You do not receive a wall certificate or pocket license. If you wish to check the status of your application, you can do so online. Once your application has been received, you must also go through a criminal history background check, which includes a fingerprint process.
STAGE 4. RENEW YOUR LIMITED LICENSE AND YOUR PRESCRIPTIVE AUTHORITY.
This is done every odd numbered year on October 31. You can do this through mail or online. Expiration cannot be more than 60 days in the future. The forms for the CNM and the prescriptive authority are separate.
Those with prescriptive authority must also complete 30 credit hours of continuous education (CE) every two years. At least 8 of those hours must have been in pharmacology. You must also maintain your CE proof. There are no other CE requirements. However, if you have chosen to be nationally certified, it is likely that your certification will have requirements in order for you to retain your registration.
Indiana State Board of Nursing
Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
Attn: Indiana State Board of Nursing
402 W. Washington Street, Room W072
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Staff Phone: 317-234-2043 (Lines open 8:00am-4:30pm M-F)
Staff Fax: 317-233-4236
Staff Email: pla2@pla.IN.gov (Please include your license number when corresponding with the Board via e-mail)