The Best Indiana Online Nurse Practitioner Programs and Requirements

By NurseJournal.org staff



Table of Contents


Nurse practitioners are responsible for recording and examining patients' medical histories, symptoms, and talking to patients about how to effectively manage their health and wellness. Nurse practitioners diagnose and treat acute illnesses, infections, and injuries.

All nurse practitioners in Indiana must earn either a master of science in nursing (MSN) or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP). Fortunately, candidates can choose from a variety of nurse practitioner programs in Indiana at all degree levels. Many colleges and universities in the state offer bridge programs that combine bachelor's degree and master's requirements, allowing associate degree-holders to obtain a master's degree within about four years.

Some opportunities allow licensed registered nurses (RNs) with a bachelor's degree to earn a master's in as little as one year. These programs typically require students to complete between 400 and 1,000 clinical hours, depending on the required clinical components. In addition, licensed RNs with a bachelor's degree may be able to obtain professional certification and a state advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license in one or two years.

Read about our ranking methodology here.

Best Indiana Online Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs

Rank University Degree Programs
1 Ball State University - Muncie, IN NP
2 Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN NP
3 University of Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN NP
4 Indiana State University - Terre Haute, IN NP

Ball State University

Ball State University offers a master's degree in nursing with a family nurse practitioner track. The 47-credit nurse practitioner program in Indiana includes 690 supervised clinical hours in primary care settings.

All students must complete an initial one-day, on-campus orientation. After attending orientation, distance learners take online courses in an asynchronous format, which means they can log on to access course material at any time. Full-time students can complete the program in around six semesters, or two years. Part-time students typically graduate after nine semesters.

Ball State offers graduate assistantships and scholarships to help curb tuition costs.

Campus Muncie, Indiana
Type Public
Accreditations Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Tuition $442/credit for Indiana residents; $651/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; three letters of recommendation; personal statement
Minimum Time Commitment 24 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial aid

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

IUPUI's master's degree in nursing allows students to pursue a family nurse practitioner track. This hybrid program incorporates some on-campus components with primarily online coursework. Depending on course objectives, some classes within the family nurse practitioner track may include in-person sessions. Core courses may also feature synchronous requirements, and students may need to teleconference in at specific times.

The program comprises 43 total credits and 600 clinical hours. Full-time students follow a two-year schedule, while part-time learners graduate in three years. IUPUI's nursing school runs several scholarship programs, including funding awards specifically for master's students.

Campus Indianapolis, Indiana
Type Public
Accreditations Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Tuition $578/credit for Indiana residents; $1,553/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license
Minimum Time Commitment 24 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial aid

University of Indianapolis

A private institution affiliated with the Methodist church, the UIndy offers a master's in nursing degree that emphasizes ethical reasoning in clinical practice. Students who choose the family nurse practitioner concentration enroll part-time, and they finish the degree in three years.

The 49-credit, 15-class hybrid program includes both online and on campus courses. Campus courses meet in person once a week, while students complete online coursework through web-based discussion forums.

Students must also fulfill 645 supervised clinical hours in a healthcare facility. Coursework prepares students for the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners family nurse practitioner certification exam. According to UIndy, program graduates boast a 100% exam pass rate.

Campus Indianapolis, Indiana
Type Private
Accreditations Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Tuition $730/credit hour
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; eight hours shadowing a licensed family nurse practitioner; one letter of recommendation; personal statement
Minimum Time Commitment 36 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial aid

Indiana State University

ISU students can earn a master's in nursing with a family nurse practitioner track entirely through part-time distance education. Candidates complete 47-50 credits, depending on their chosen culminating experience course. Learners typically graduate in 2.5-3 years.

The curriculum includes courses like advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology for advanced practice nurses, and diagnostic lab for family nurse practitioners. Students also learn to manage healthcare delivery systems and monitor healthcare practice quality. The program includes 675 clinical hours, which master's candidates complete onsite.

Campus Terre Haute, Indiana
Type Public
Accreditations Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
Tuition $419/credit for Indiana residents; $541/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current nursing license; three letters of recommendation; personal statement
Minimum Time Commitment 2.5 years
On-Campus Requirements No
Program MSN - Family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial aid

Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Indiana

All prospective Indiana nurse practitioners must complete the following steps to obtain licensure:

  • Obtain a nursing degree. Indiana candidates seeking APRN certification may complete a master's degree or doctorate in nursing, or earn a bachelor's degree along with national certification. The Indiana State Board of Nursing grants accreditation for bachelor's-level nursing programs. However, many employers prefer to hire nurses who graduate from programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation. Qualifying master's programs must hold accreditation from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
  • Complete coursework according to the state nursing board's regulations. Required classes address topics in medical science, behavioral science, biological science, patient assessment, identifying abnormal conditions, and state and federal confidentiality laws and regulations. In addition, many prospective nurse practitioners pursue specializations, including pediatrics, geriatrics, neonatology, and women's health. Individuals planning to hold perspective authority in an APN role must complete an additional two-credit master's course in pharmacology within five years of applying for their APN license.
  • Earn national certification. While Indiana does not require APNs with graduate degrees to seek national certification, candidates who pursue certain specialties may wish to do so. For example, individuals interested in working as certified nurse midwives must pursue certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board. However, prospective APNs with a bachelor's degree must obtain national certification in their chosen specialty and meet all educational requirements to maintain licensing eligibility. The Indiana State Board of Nursing recognizes APNs in three categories: certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists. The state highlights national certification boards dedicated to cardiovascular nursing, dermatological nursing, gastroenterological nursing, and certified pediatric emergency nurses.
  • Apply for licensure. Individuals who wish to become certified nurse midwives must apply for limited licensure with the state's nursing licensing board before they can practice professionally in the state. Those interested in gaining prescriptive authority may apply by sending their official transcripts to the licensing board, paying the associated fee, completing an application, and holding a current, active RN license.

In-Demand Nursing Specialty Eligibility Requirements in Indiana

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGPCNP-BC)

Years of Experience: None, but must hold a current, active RN license

Clinical Hours Required: Minimum of 500 supervised clinical hours in the adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner profession

Continuing Education: N/A

Other: Graduate-level coursework in advanced physiology/pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and advanced health assessment

Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse (AOCN)

Years of Experience: None, but must hold a current, active RN license

Clinical Hours Required: Minimum of 500 clinical hours supervised by an adult oncology nurse practitioner, completed during a graduate program

Continuing Education: 30 hours of oncology continuing education within the last five years

Other: One graduate-level oncology course

Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN)

Years of Experience: Must hold a current, active RN license, along with a minimum of five years of professional experience as a pediatric nursing RN

Clinical Hours Required: Minimum of 1,800 clinical hours of pediatric experience or a minimum of five years working as an RN along with 3,000 clinical hours in pediatric nursing

Continuing Education: N/A

Other: N/A

Salary and Career Information

At $64,860, the mean salary for Indiana RNs is about $10,000 lower than the $75,510 national mean. However, Indiana's 17% projected job growth rate for the profession is faster than the 14.8% national average.

NPs across the state earn a mean salary of $103,200, which is only slightly less than the U.S. mean. The 38.7% projected job growth rate for Indiana NPs is slightly higher than the national 36.1% projected rate for all professions combined.

Indiana's metropolitan areas boast excellent salary potential and high employment levels. The region with the highest employment level for NPs is the Chicago - Naperville - Elgin, Illinois - Indiana - Wisconsin metropolitan area, with 3,950 working in this part of the state.

RN vs. NP Salary and Projected Job Growth in Indiana
  Registered Nurse Nurse Practitioner
Indiana Mean Salary $64,860 $103,200
U.S. Mean Salary $75,510 $110,030
Indiana Job Growth 16.5% 38.7%
U.S. Job Growth 14.8% 36.1%

Source: BLS, Projections Central


Indiana Metropolitan Areas With the Highest Mean NP Wages
  Salary Employment
Louisville - Jefferson County, Kentucky - Indiana $108,390 760
Chicago - Naperville - Elgin, Illinois - Indiana - Wisconsin $107,160 3,950
Indianapolis - Carmel - Anderson, Indiana $105,800 1,730
South Bend - Mishawaka, Indiana - Michigan $105,650 140
Terre Haute, Indiana $104,930 140

Source: BLS