The Top Nursing Schools in Indiana

February 21, 2022 , Updated on June 21, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Examine some of the top nursing programs in Indiana and discover how to become a nurse in the Hoosier state.

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The Top Nursing Schools in Indiana
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Through academic institutions, such as Purdue, Indiana, and Valparaiso, the Hoosier state is well-known for its excellence in education. With high NCLEX pass rates, a below-average cost of living, and a healthy job outlook, earning your nursing education in Indiana can be a great decision for anyone looking to begin or advance their career.

This guide explores how to become a nurse in Indiana, expected salary and job outlook, and an examination of the best nursing programs in the state. Keep reading to learn more about the top nursing schools and programs in Indiana.

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The Best Nursing Schools in Indiana

Learn more about the top nursing schools in Indiana and examine which programs in the state provide the best options for prospective nurses.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing schools in Indiana, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

#1

Purdue University-Main Campus

School Information
Location West Lafayette, Indiana
Admission Rate 60%
Graduation Rate 82%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Purdue University, with its nursing program that began in 1863 with 30 two-year students, now features 12 undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. 

For students who hold an MSN degree, Purdue offers four post-master's certificates for nurse practitioners who want to specialize in adult-gerontology primary care, family healthcare, primary care pediatrics, and psychiatric and mental health. Courses blend asynchronous and synchronous formats. 

Generally, full-time students graduate in two years, but certificates can be completed in as few as eight months.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing; master of science in nursing; doctorate in nursing; Ph.D. in nursing
  • Campus: West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $347 per credit for Indiana residents; $948 per credit for out-of-state students 
  • Admission Requirements: Varies by degree; candidates for post-master's certificate need an MSN degree; current RN license; minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 32 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $58,015 for bachelor's graduates and $98,638 for graduate school graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#2

Huntington University

School Information
Location Huntington, Indiana
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 70%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Huntington University, one of the top CCNE-accredited nursing schools in Indiana, features a BSN degree that incorporates Christian principles.

Nursing students study pharmacology, pathophysiology, health assessments, leadership, and interprofessional research. Every degree-seeker takes a five-week "role transition" course that involves career help and mentorship from a licensed nurse. 

HU admits nursing students in their first year based on their academic record and their Test of Essential Academic Skills scores.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Huntington, Indiana
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $38,430 per year for Indiana residents
  • Admission Requirements: 58 undergraduate credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA; TEAS scores; admissions interview, background check
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 48 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $48,432 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#3

University of Evansville

School Information
Location Evansville, Indiana
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Evansville prepares students for careers in nursing through top-ranked nursing programs in Indiana, including a BSN degree with six semesters of clinical experience. 

Nursing students learn through simulations, lab work, and courses in physical assessments, medical surgical nursing, mental health, research and evidence-based practice, and leadership and management. 

Degree-seekers take clinical placements at hospitals, community agencies, and community health agencies near the campus. Students can also study in England, China, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, or Guatemala. 

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing; doctor of nursing practice
  • Campus: Evansville, Indiana
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Tuition: $325 per credit for RN-to-BSN students; $14,100 per term for doctor of nursing practice students
  • Admission Requirements: Varies by degree; first-year students need an ACT score of 22 or SAT score of 1100; minimum four years of English and three years of math; three years in science with a minimum "C" grade; transfer students need a minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 48 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 85.7% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $55,964 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#4

Marian University

School Information
Location Indianapolis, Indiana
Admission Rate 62%
Graduation Rate 63%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Marian University provides customizable BSN nursing programs in Indiana with three tracks: traditional, accelerated, and RN-to-BSN. 

The accelerated BSN degree offers fully online or on-campus courses that students can complete in 16 months if they hold a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing major. The traditional BSN degree features a four-year track with clinical rotations that last over six semesters. 

Offered in partnership with the Marian Adult Programs and Leighton School of Nursing, the RN-to-BSN degree offers fully online courses for nurses with an associate in nursing degree or diploma. All nursing degree-seekers at Marian can complete clinicals at healthcare facilities near the downtown campus.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing; doctor of nursing practice
  • Campus: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $335 per credit for the RN-to-BSN students; $775 doctor of nursing practice students
  • Admission Requirements: Varies by degree; direct admission requires a minimum 3.50 high school GPA; 1170 verbal and math score on the SAT or 24 ACT composite score; transfer applicants need at least a 2.80 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 16 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $59,320 for bachelor's graduates and $104,510 for graduates of graduate school, according to College Scorecard
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#5

Saint Mary's College

School Information
Location Notre Dame, Indiana
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 79%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 4% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Saint Mary's College, a Catholic institution for women, features one-of-a-kind nursing programs in Indiana. 

Students take labs in psychiatric and mental health nursing and courses in nursing leadership, community health nursing, and nursing research. Juniors and seniors work in small clinical groups of eight at the Memorial Hospital, Saint Joseph Hospital, Center for the Homeless, Hope Ministries, and local schools.

Sophomore nursing students can also study abroad ​​in Uganda with the Sisters of the Holy Cross through the intercultural nursing practicum. 

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing; doctor of nursing practice
  • Campus: Notre Dame, Indiana
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $48,880 per year for Indiana residents
  • Admission Requirements: Completed prerequisite courses; minimum 2.5 GPA 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 48 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.1% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $59,599 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#6

Anderson University

School Information
Location Anderson, Indiana
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Anderson University, one of only nursing schools in Indiana with a cadaver lab, features traditional and accelerated BSN degrees.

Students who hold a bachelor's degree in another major can take a 122-credit accelerated BSN degree that only takes 15 months to complete, or opt for the traditional 120-credit BSN degree that takes four years. Access to the Center for Medical Simulation's cadaver lab and simulation center lets students learn about disease and illness through dissection and the latest technology.

AU offers faith-based study abroad opportunities in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing; master of science in nursing; doctor of nursing practice
  • Campus: Anderson, Indiana
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $700 per credit for undergraduate students
  • Admission Requirements: Traditional BSN students need an SAT score of 1100 (500 in math) or 21 ACT score
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 15 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $56,035 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#7

Indiana University-East

School Information
Location Richmond, Indiana
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 40%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 79% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Indiana University-East's School of Nursing and Health Sciences, with some of the fastest nursing programs in Indiana, offers three pathways to earn a BSN degree in 12-24 months.

Students can pick from a completely online BSN degree with tracks in community health education and health administration, a traditional on-campus BSN program, or an RN-to-BSN degree for working nurses. The RN-to-BSN degree meets once a week, either online or on campus.

Degree-seekers complete a 30-hour residency and 120 credits in subjects, such as health policy, nursing research, informatics, and nursing management. They can also study abroad in Belize. 

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing; master of science in nursing
  • Campus: Richmond, Indiana
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $7,827 per year for in-state undergraduate tuition; $20,934 per year for out-of-state undergraduate tuition
  • Admission Requirements: Varies by degree; RN-to-BSN candidates need a current RN license; associate degree in nursing
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 85.9% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $57,154 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#8

Ball State University

School Information
Location Muncie, Indiana
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Ball State University offers flexible fully online undergraduate and graduate nursing programs in Indiana, with full-time and part-time options. BSN degree-seekers can also participate in clinical placements at local healthcare settings. 

The school of nursing offers a traditional and fully online RN-to-BSN degree with asynchronous assignments. The curriculum focuses on nursing care for women and children in community settings. Nursing students put their lessons into practice through 180 clinical hours, which they can complete at their current workplace. 

RNs complete their BSN degree in 3-6 semesters. Students who hold a bachelor's degree in another major can also earn an on-campus BSN degree in as few as 19 months. 

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Muncie, Indiana
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $455 per credit for Indiana undergraduate students; $670 per credit for out-of-state undergraduate students; $566 per credit for Indiana graduate students; $781 per credit for out-of-state graduate students
  • Admission Requirements: Varies by degree; RN-to-BSN candidates need an accredited associate in nursing degree or diploma; current RN license; minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 19 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.3% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $56,505 for bachelor's graduates and $92,124 for graduate school graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#9

Ivy Tech Community College

School Information
Location Indianapolis, Indiana
Graduation Rate 25%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 58% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Ivy Tech Community College offers a direct pathway for nursing students to enter an RN-to-BSN program at partner schools, such as Ball State University, which accepts up to 65 transfer credits. 

Students can earn an associate in nursing degree (ADN) in less than two years and gain the knowledge necessary to pass the NCLEX-RN. Courses incorporate clinical work and lab simulation. Current military medics, medical assistants, paramedics, and LPNs can earn an ADN through transitional tracks.

Degree-seekers can also concurrently earn a licensed practical nurse (LPN) certificate. 

  • Program: Associate in nursing degree
  • Campus: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $149 per credit for Indiana residents; $292 per credit for out-of-state residents
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites; TEAS scores
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 75% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $52,715 for associate degree graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#10

University of Southern Indiana

School Information
Location Evansville, Indiana
Admission Rate 93%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Southern Indiana's six nursing programs prepare nurses for leadership, education, and advanced practice roles with convenient online courses. 

Students can choose a traditional four-year BSN program that requires 120 credits or an RN-to-BSN degree that only requires 30 credits. USI, with the top-ranked nursing programs in Indiana, accepts unlimited transfer credits. 

Future nurses train at the simulation center and through clinical rotations with licensed nurses at the St. Mary's Medical Center and Deaconess Hospital.

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing; master of science in nursing; doctor of nursing practice; graduate certificate
  • Campus: Evansville, Indiana
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $274 per credit for Indiana undergraduate students; $667 per credit for out-of-state undergraduate students; $409 per credit for Indiana graduate students; $802 per credit for out-of-state graduate students
  • Admission Requirements: Varies by degree; candidates for the RN-to-BSN degree need a current RN license; associate in nursing degree or diploma from an accredited college; minimum 2.3 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.5% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $56,554 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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Featured Online MSN Programs

How to Choose a Nursing Program in Indiana

When deciding between nursing programs in Indiana, applicants should consider several factors. Researching the characteristics of each program can help determine if it is right for you and your professional or personal goals.

Exploring tuition, program length, and financial aid opportunities can help narrow options. Reviewing the institution's success in preparing its students, as determined by NCLEX pass rates and accreditation, can also provide insight into program quality.

Why Become a Nurse in Indiana

Prospective nursing students can appreciate Indiana's low cost of living coupled with its lower-than-average tuition costs when compared to the surrounding states. Indiana's academic institutions also effectively prepare nursing students for the field, as 87.7% of test-takers pass the NCLEX-RN in their first attempt.

Additionally, Indiana is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). As a nursing compact state, Indiana, along with 36 other states, has agreed to a set of rules and procedures that all licensed RNs must follow. As part of the compact, it is easier for nurses to qualify for a license in Indiana with minimal paperwork. Nurses with an NLC license also do not have to pay license renewal fees and can provide telehealth care to patients across state lines.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in Indiana

Indiana registered nurses (RNs) earn an average salary of $67,490, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in Indiana fare better, bringing in an average salary of $109,940.

The BLS also projects that employment for RNs in Indiana could increase by 12.4% from 2018-2028, while the projected growth for nurse practitioners (NPs) is 29.4%.

The highest paying cities in Indiana are often located in the more densely populated areas of the state. Outside of the capital, Indianapolis, cities in the north and west provide the highest salaries.

Highest Paying Cities for Nurses in Indiana
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas Median Salary for RNs
Michigan City-La Porte $67,840
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson $67,680
Kokomo $67,150
Lafayette-West Lafayette $66,180
South Bend-Mishawaka $65,100
Source: BLS, 2020

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Indiana

After deciding to become a nurse in Indiana, prospective students can choose a nursing specialty to further determine the right program for their needs.

Whether deciding to become an RN or an APRN, students must graduate from a program approved by the Indiana State Board of Nursing, pass the NCLEX-RN exam, and apply for a state license.

After earning their license, APRNs must satisfy continuing education requirements to maintain their status and continue working as a nurse in the state. Currently, there are no continuing education requirements for RNs.

RN Requirements

To become an RN in Indiana, prospective nurses must meet the following criteria:

  • Students must enroll in a state-recognized accredited program to earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). The board recognizes programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
  • Upon completion of an undergraduate program in nursing, students must pass the NCLEX-RN exam before applying for a state license.
  • With an ADN or a BSN and a passing score on the NCLEX, nurses must also complete a criminal background check to be granted their license.
  • RNs in Indiana currently do not need to complete continuing education hours to renew their license.
  • Nurses who have already earned an RN in another state can apply for licensure by endorsement.

APRN Requirements

To become an APRN in Indiana, prospective nurses must meet the following criteria:

  • Enroll in a nursing program accredited by the Indiana State Board of nursing and earn either a master of science in nursing (MSN) or a doctor of nursing practice (DPN).
  • Nurses with a BSN as well as national certification and two semesters of pharmacology do not need an MSN or DNP to become an APRN.
  • To maintain their license, APRNs are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years, with eight of those hours addressing pharmacology.

Other Top Nursing Programs in Indiana

Frequently Asked Questions About Indiana


How long does it take to become an RN in Indiana?

To become a licensed RN in Indiana, nurses must either earn an ADN or a BSN. ADN programs for full-time students typically take two years to complete, whereas a full-time BSN program takes four years. Individuals with a bachelor's degree in another field who wish to earn a nursing degree can enroll in an accelerated program, which typically takes less than two years to complete.

What are the top employment settings for nurses in Indiana?

According to the Indiana Center for Nursing, the top three workplace settings for RNs include hospitals (55.9%), outpatient clinics (14.6%), and long-term care facilities (7%); the top settings for APRNs include outpatient clinics (47.9%), hospitals (28.9%), and long-term care facilities (5%).

How often do you have to renew your nursing license in Indiana?

Both RNs and APRNs need to renew their license on 10/31 of every odd-numbered year regardless of when it was acquired. Currently, APRNs must complete 30 hours of continuing education, with eight of those hours focusing on pharmacology. RNs are not required to complete continuing education hours at this time.

What is the hourly salary for nurses in Indiana?

In 2020, the median hourly salary for RNs in Indiana was $31.25, whereas NPs earned $52.62 per hour, according to the BLS.

Find Nursing Programs in Other States

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NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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