The Top Nursing Schools in Indiana

February 21, 2022 , Modified on April 27, 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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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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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.

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.

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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.

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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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