According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for registered nurses is more than $57,000 per year. Nurse practitioners regularly make more than $100,000 per year. This is a career field with growth potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% job growth increase between 2016 and 2026.
Common job responsibilities include administering medicines and treatment, recording patient observations, and performing diagnostic tests. Nurses can specialize in a particular field, such as emergency or urgent care, cardiovascular services, stroke care, pediatrics, and others. Students who desire a career in nursing should explore all ADN, BSN, MSN, DNP, and RN programs in Indiana.
How to Become a Nurse in Indiana
All nursing students go through a similar process to obtain licensure to practice in Indiana. However, there may be different procedures and costs depending on the type of nurse you wish to become. Registered nurses undergo a different process than certified nursing assistants. The various nursing schools in Indiana prepare students for rewarding careers.
Choose the Right Path for You
At a minimum, individuals need an associate degree from one of the accredited nursing schools in Indiana to become a practicing nurse in the state. This degree prepares students to become CNAs, LPNs, or RNs. If you wish to advance your career, serve as a nursing instructor at the college level, or become a nurse practitioner, you will need a master’s or DNP degree. There are numerous online RN to BSN programs in Indiana, which allow learners to earn a bachelor’s degree if they are a practicing RN.
Earn Your Nursing Degree
Many online BSN programs in Indiana do not have any on-campus requirements, although you may need to complete an internship, a fellowship, or a clinical experience before you can graduate.
You should also consider the length of various online RN programs in Indiana. You may find accelerated online nursing degree options that enable you to complete your program in one year.
Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License
Nursing graduates must apply for licensure. This requires you to take the NCLEX, a standardized exam that tests whether you qualify for an entry-level nursing position. Graduates must pay a fee of $200. The exam takes about four to five hours to complete. Most students begin studying about two months in advance.
All nursing schools in Indiana prepare students for passing this exam. While being licensed does not guarantee you a position in the field, nurses are in high demand in Indiana, and few encounter much difficulty securing a job.
Nursing Licensure in Indiana
The first step towards obtaining licensure in Indiana is earning a degree from one of the accredited nursing schools in Indiana, or elsewhere in the United States. Students apply for licensure with the Indiana State Board of Nursing near the end of their program.
After filling out an application, submitting a $50 filing fee, and undergoing a background check, you may register to take the NCLEX. A passing score on this exam certifies that you are qualified for an entry-level nursing position. The exam focuses on four core areas of nursing practice: safe and effective care management, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity.
Nurses who seek employment in other states do not have to retake the NCLEX exam; you will need to provide proof that you hold a traditional or online nursing degree and were licensed in Indiana.
Nursing Licensure in Indiana
Career Outlook for Nurses in Indiana
Online Indiana nursing schools prepare graduates for multiple positions. Registered nurses are the most common, and they typically complete an Indiana BSN program. There are also licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, nurse case managers, and nurse practitioners, the latter of whom tend to work autonomously and see patients independently.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Projection Central, the number of Indiana RNs will increase nearly 19% by 2024, when there will be more than 70,000 in the state. The BLS projects 4,840 nursing positions to exists by that year, marking a 36.9% increase. The BLS also projects the number of nursing assistants to increase 13% by 2024. These numbers reflect how valuable an online nursing degree can be in the Hoosier State.
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Biggest Hospitals in Indiana
Indiana has a strong healthcare sector and numerous large hospitals. This is helpful for nursing students, as there is currently a demand for certified graduates. Hospitals are a great place to find entry-level nursing jobs, in addition to internships and fellowships as you work your way toward becoming licensed.
The following are Indiana’s two largest hospitals:
- Methodist Hospital: This hospital is among the 10 largest medical centers in the United States. It’s perhaps best known for its critical care department and neuroscience critical care unit. Methodist also has the state’s largest emergency departments, which attracts graduates of nursing schools in Indiana.
- Saint Vincent Indianapolis: Located in Indianapolis, this hospital employs many graduates of nursing colleges in Indiana. The medical center is nationally recognized in several specialty areas, including critical care, orthopedics, cardiovascular services, gastrointestinal care, stroke care, and pulmonary services. The Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital is part of the Saint Vincent campus.
Additional Nursing Resources in Indiana
Indiana State Nurses Association
ISNA provides licensure and professional development opportunities to nurses throughout the state. The organization promotes and protects the profession of nursing, while also providing a weekly e-newsletter to members.
NAPNAP Indiana Chapter
This chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners provides resources and professional development opportunities to nurses who work with children. It provides educational programs and networking opportunities to PNPs to help them enhance the level of care they deliver to children and families throughout Indiana.
Indiana Association of Nursing Students
This organization assists students attending any one of the accredited on-campus or online nursing programs in Indiana. Among other activities, IANS hosts an annual state convention that features NCLEX review sessions, nationally known speakers, and networking opportunities. It also provides resources to help students prepare for licensure exams.
Indiana League for Nursing
ILN, part of the National League for Nursing, promotes professional growth and educational opportunities for its members. The organization also helps enhance the level of collaboration between healthcare systems and nursing schools in Indiana.
Indiana State Nurses Assistance Program
ISNAP is a statewide program that helps nurses and other medical professionals who are struggling with substance abuse issues. The Indiana State Board of Nursing oversees the program, which ensures that all nurses have access to the resources that can help them recover.
Accredited Online Nursing Programs in Indiana