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Top Indiana RN-to-MSN Programs

NurseJournal Rankings Team
Updated February 22, 2023
Registered nurses can find some of the nation's best RN-to-MSN programs in Indiana. Learn about the state's top-ranking programs and what to look for when choosing the right school for you.
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Registered nurses (RNs) who earn a master of science in nursing (MSN) can enter careers as advanced practice registered nurses. Indiana hosts some of the country’s best RN-to-MSN programs. Graduates can expect higher earning potential and more employment opportunities than their counterparts with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) alone.

Explore our rankings of the best RN-to-MSN programs in Indiana and what factors to consider when choosing the best program for your needs.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best RN-to-MSN programs 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.

Learn more about the key factors to consider when choosing a program, or go straight to our full ranking of the best Indiana RN-to-MSN programs.

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How Do RN-to-MSN Programs Work?

RN-to-MSN programs allow registered nurses to earn a master of science in nursing quickly without the time and expense of completing a four-year BSN degree separately. These bridge programs typically take less than three years to complete, depending on your previous coursework and specialization requirements. RN-to-MSN programs in Indiana offer working RNs the flexibility of on-campus, online, or hybrid learning formats and full- or part-time plans of study.

The fast-paced curriculum first addresses gaps between undergraduate and graduate level training through basic courses, such as statistics, health assessment, and research methods. Students then complete graduate coursework, including principles of nursing management, physiology, pharmacology, ethics, and policy.

Applying to an RN-to-MSN Program

Before applying to an RN-to-MSN program in Indiana, make sure you meet that school’s admission requirements. Look for an accredited program that offers your intended specialization and can accommodate your schedule. While admission criteria and prerequisites vary by program, most schools look for candidates who meet the following benchmarks:

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    Admission Requirements

    ADN degree, valid and unencumbered RN license, one year of clinical experience
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    Admission Materials

    Transcripts, personal statement, letters of recommendation, drug test and criminal background check
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    GPA Requirement

    3.0 or higher
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    Other Requirement

    Depending on the program, undergraduate courses in subjects like chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and statistics

Why Is RN-to-MSN Program Accreditation Important?

Accreditation is an important indicator of academic quality. Students who attend an unaccredited program may not qualify for federal financial aid and cannot transfer credits to an accredited school. Doctoral programs and prospective employers generally look for applicants who hold a degree from accredited institutions.

All the schools included in our rankings hold regional accreditation, and their programs have also received programmatic accreditation. Colleges and universities receive regional accreditation through six regional agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Within these regionally accredited institutions, programmatic accreditation of RN-to-MSN programs ensures that graduates have the necessary preparation for nursing careers. Programmatic accreditation is granted by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Learn More About the Best RN-to-MSN Programs and Schools in Indiana

See our methodology to learn more about how we create our rankings.
Ball State University
LocationMuncie, IN

Ball State University is in Muncie, which is about an hour outside of Indianapolis. It is a public university that currently houses some 17,000 students. It is one of the best colleges and public schools in our country. The School of Nursing has been particularly recognized for its excellence, and even more so for its online program.

• Campus: Muncie, IN
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: $315 per credit hour
• Degree requirements: BSN, GPA of 3.0 at least, research course, RN license
• Minimum time commitment: 36 to 50 credit hours depending on chosen program
• Programs: MSN Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), MSN Nurse Administrator, MSN Nurse Educator
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

Bethel College
LocationMishawaka, IN

The Bethel College of Nursing is a Christian college. It has affiliations to the Missionary Church. It is found in Mishawaka, an urban area of Indiana. It has recently been ranked as 19th in Midwestern colleges, which is incredibly high. Additionally, the nursing graduate programs are also officially recognized as being outstanding.

• Campus: Mishawaka, IN
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: ACEN
• Tuition: $33,260 per year
• Degree requirements: Transcripts, letters of reference
• Minimum time commitment: 36 semester hours
• Programs: MSN Nurse Administration, MSN Nurse Education
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

Goshen College
LocationGoshen, IN

Goshen College is part of the Mennonite Church. This means that it applies the traditions of the peace church in its educational philosophy. It is a small college, with only around 1,000 students. However, it is one of the best liberal arts colleges in our country. The programs offered in nursing have also been acclaimed, particularly for those students who want to become advanced practice nurses.

• Campus: Goshen, IN
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: $29,010 for the full program
• Degree requirements: GPA of 3.0 minimum, resume, BSN, RN license, three letters of recommendation, essay, one year work experience at least, TOEFL if applicable, statistics class, interview
• Minimum time commitment: 48 credit hours
• Programs: MSN Family Nurse Practitioner
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

Indiana State University
LocationTerre Haute, IN

Indiana State University is only just outside of Indianapolis, in Terre Haute. It is a public institution that is ranked quite high on the national scales. Furthermore, Forbes has recognized them as being one of the better schools in the Midwest. Additionally, the College of Nursing and Human Services in particular has been distinguished for being one of the best in our country. The school also offers a number of distance learning options.

• Campus: Terre Haute, IN
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: ACEN
• Tuition: $380 per credit hour
• Degree requirements: Transcripts, BSN, RN license
• Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen degree
• Programs: MSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), MSN Nursing Administration, MSN Nursing Education
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

Indiana University East
LocationRichmond, IN

The Indiana University East is classed as the best institution for master’s degree in Indiana as well as western Ohio. It is near Richmond, just outside of the border with Ohio. It is a fully accredited school that has made a commitment to ensure students are able to learn in creative ways, using hands-on experiences.

• Campus: Richmond, IN
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: ACEN
• Tuition: Varies depending on personal circumstances
• Degree requirements: GPA of 3.0 minimum, RN license and at least one year’s work experience, statistics course, personal statement, resume, two letters of recommendation
• Minimum time commitment: 39 semester credits
• Programs: MSN Nursing Education
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions About Indiana RN-to-MSN Programs

How much do nurses with their MSN earn in Indiana?

A graduate degree boosts earnings considerably. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021, MSN graduates who worked as nurse practitioners (NPs) in Indiana earned an average annual salary of $113,490, while RNs made $68,890. The top 90% of Indiana NPs earn over $130,000 per year, compared to $96,040 for the lowest paid 10%.

How long does it take to complete an RN-to-MSN program?

The time needed to complete an RN-to-MSN program can take anywhere from 1-3 years, depending on the number of transferable undergraduate credits you have, whether you attend the program full or part time, and your choice of specialty.

What are the prerequisites for an RN-to-MSN program?

RN-to-MSN programs require students to complete undergraduate prerequisite courses before enrolling. Depending on the program, prerequisites may include English composition, statistics, psychology, human anatomy and physiology, and biology.

Is now a good time to earn your MSN in Indiana?

Employment prospects for Indiana’s MSN graduates look promising. As of 2021, Indiana ranked 15th among all states for employment of nurse practitioners with an MSN degree. Between 2020 and 2030, Indiana projects the employment of NPs to grow by 54.5%, compared to 46% nationwide.

Explore Other MSN Programs