Becoming a nurse practitioner (NP) in Indiana means dedicating yourself to the nursing profession, including many years of education and clinical, hands-on training. Nurse practitioners in Indiana enjoy a great deal of autonomy, in most cases much more than that of their registered nurse (RN) counterparts. Of course, most NPs work in the RN role for some number of years before pursuing an advanced nursing degree.
In addition to gaining experience as an RN, aspiring nurse practitioners in Indiana must complete at minimum a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, which includes a clinical preceptorship in their specialty area, before they can be licensed and practice as NPs. Upon successfully completing an NP program, Indiana nurse practitioners can expect more autonomy than an RN, but not quite as much as NPs in some states. Indiana NPs can practice independently and act as primary care providers. They can also sign handicap placards and order physical therapy. However, they may not use prescriptive authority without an agreement with a physician, and are ineligible to sign death certificates.
Becoming a nurse practitioner in Indiana requires the completion of a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree with an NP specialization. Many nurses take circuitous paths towards completing their NP credentials, but the following is the most basic path from undergraduate education to nurse practitioner licensure in Indiana.
All nurse practitioners must earn an undergraduate degree at some juncture. The most expedient route to a nurse practitioner career is to earn a Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree in nursing as soon as possible. However, some NPs begin as RNs with an Associate of Science degree in nursing. Students should seek out a program that is accredited, since this can have an impact on whether or not graduates are eligible for licensure.
With an undergraduate degree completed successfully, graduates can apply for RN licensure with the Indiana State Board of Nursing. This process involves: the submission of an application, an application fee of $50 (as of 2016), and a certificate of completion from an accredited nursing program; a criminal background check; and the completion of the NCLEX-RN exam (which itself costs $200). Upon successful completion of these steps, and approval from the Board, a nurse can begin work as an RN in Indiana.
Many NP programs have minimum requirements for how long a nurse must work as an RN in a given field before they are eligible for continued education in that specialty. Further, working as an RN is the best way to determine what specialty a nurse wants to pursue as an NP.
Being an RN can be a wholly satisfying career, but nurses who want more autonomy and who want to further their nursing education must earn a graduate degree with an NP specialization in order to earn a nurse practitioner credential.
Nurses with a Master of Science in Nursing (approximately 2 years) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (approximately 2 years for master’s degree holders, 4 years for bachelor’s degree holders), who have completed the required clinical hours in their NP specialty area as part of their degree program, are eligible for licensing as a nurse practitioner in Indiana.
Upon successful completion of both a graduate program and a professional credentialing exam, nurses in Indiana are able to apply for the Advanced Practice Nurse License from the Indiana State Board of Nursing. In Indiana, nurse practitioners must have a collaborative agreement in place with a physician in order to receive their licensure and must apply for prescriptive authority at this time. In order to maintain prescriptive authority in Indiana, NPs must complete at least thirty (30) hours of continuing education, at least eight (8) hours of which must be in pharmacology.
To apply for Indiana online NP programs, nurses should have an RN license in good standing in Indiana or a state with whom Indiana has an agreement. Further, some programs require that the nurse has worked a minimum number of hours in the specialty of their choosing before applying for an NP program in that same specialty.
The application process for online NP programs is similar to that of any graduate program. Nurses should expect to complete an application, submit a statement of purpose or essay, collect professional recommendations, and submit transcripts from their undergraduate work. None of the online NP programs in Indiana require that applicants take the GRE, but most do have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Application deadlines vary within programs, with some requiring applicants to submit materials early in the year for fall admission while others have rolling admissions throughout the year.
Accreditation is important for both online and campus based programs as it demonstrates a school’s ability to prepare students for their professional future. Recognized accreditation for an online program indicates that a program has been thoroughly assessed for its curriculum and faculty. The schools listed here have been accredited by either the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). It is important to note that there is no strict accreditation requirement per the Indiana Board of Nursing in order to NPs to earn licensure.
As a Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing at USI, Mary Rock, JD, MSN, RN is offers a unique perspective to graduate nursing students. Rock not only has extensive nursing credentials but has also worked as an attorney, which gives her a fascinating and useful perspective on the intersection of nursing and the law, which she is able to carry over into her teaching.
Dr. Amy Anderson, DNP, RN, CNE is an Associate Professor of Nursing in the Division of Graduate Studies at Indiana Wesleyan University where she teaches in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Dr. Anderson’s contributions to the nursing community have been many, including a health policy fellowship at The Heritage Foundation, the Big Idea Column in The Washington Times and membership in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Faculty Policy Think Tank.
Ball State University has its campus in Muncie, Indiana but offers online programs for students pursuing an MSN as a Family Nurse Practitioner, or those who want to earn a post-master’s certificate in the same specialty. The online NP program from Ball State does not require any campus visits through the duration of the program, making it ideal for nurses who are unable to get to campus easily and require more flexibility in their education. Ball State was named one of the Best Universities in the Midwest by the Princeton Review, and the graduate nursing program specifically was ranked in the top 25 by US News & World Report making it a top choice for aspiring nurse practitioners.
Constance 'Connie' McIntosh, RN, BSN, MBA is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Ball State University. Her course load often includes classes such as Financial Management and Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders. In addition to her teaching and academic advisor duties, McIntosh is also a member of the Indiana State Board of Nursing.
Dr. Diana Bantz, BS, MA, PhD is an Associate Director and Associate Professor in the Nurse Practitioner program at Ball State. Dr. Bantz earned her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, making her highly credentialed for her teaching role, but also has her post-graduate Family Nurse Practitioner certification. Her areas of research interest include health care economics, behavioral health, family practice, and reproductive health.
The University of Southern Indiana (USI) has one of the most robust online graduate nursing programs in the state and offers the following specialties:
All of the graduate nursing programs, including the nurse practitioner degree programs, are offered online with no campus visit requirements. Students should check and ensure that the state where they live is eligible to attend.
Dr. Roxanne Beckham, DNP, RN-BC, CNE, NE-BC is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at USI, where she joined the faculty in 2012. Informatics is a core interest of hers and extends to the courses she teaches, which include Healthcare Informatics for Advanced Nursing Practice, Business of Nursing, Systems Leadership and Interprofessional Collaboration, and Nursing Informatics.
Susan Seibert, MSN, RN is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing at USI where her teaching and interests are focused on development of leadership in the nurse faculty role. She is also licensed as an RN in both Indiana and Illinois where she has had clinical experience as a staff nurse in neurological, surgical, and ICU settings.
A few graduate nursing programs are available online from the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), including an online Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. The online NP program is ranked in the top 50 of all online graduate nursing programs by US News & World Report, making it a solid choice for aspiring NPs in Indiana.
Dr. Janet S. Carpenter, PhD, RN, FAAN is Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship as well as Distinguished Professor and Co-Director of Training in Behavioral Nursing Research at IUPUI. Dr. Carpenter's research interests lie in oncology and women's health, particularly the measurement, mechanisms, and management of menopausal symptoms in cancer survivors and midlife women without cancer.
Dr. Meg Moorman, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Community & Health Systems at IUPUI where she has taught courses in obstetrics, women's health, community health, and nursing education. Dr. Moorman's research has focused on nursing education, in particular using arts and the humanities to teach both nursing and medical students.
Online nursing programs do not uniformly report campus visitation requirements. In fact, campus visitation requirements can change from year to year as programs, faculty, and courses offered shift. Before applying to any program, prospective students should be sure to clarify what their campus visit commitment is with their program of their choice.
In the table below, readers can get a general idea of how often they would be expected to visit campus. Note that where the word "limited" is used, there is no readily available exact data about how many campus visits are required.
|School Name||Program Name||Degree Offered
|Accreditor||Campus Visits Required (Yearly)||Requires RN?||Requires BSN?||Requires MSN?|
|Ball State UniversityMuncie , IN||Family Nurse Practitioner Track||MSN||FNP||CCNE||0||yes||yes||no|
|Ball State UniversityMuncie , IN||Graduate Certificate in Nursing - Family Practice||Post-Graduate Certificate||FNP||CCNE||0||yes||no||yes|
|Indiana State UniversityTerre Haute , IN||Family Nurse Practitioner - MS||MSN||FNP||ACEN||0||yes||yes||no|
|Indiana State UniversityTerre Haute , IN||Family Nurse Practitioner - Post-MS||Post-Graduate Certificate||FNP||ACEN||0||yes||no||yes|
|Indiana University-Purdue UniversityIndianapolis , IN||Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Lifespan||MSN||PMHNP||CCNE||limited||yes||no||no|
|Indiana University-Purdue UniversityIndianapolis , IN||Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Lifespan (Post-Master's option)||Post-Graduate Certificate||PMHNP||CCNE||limited||yes||no||yes|
|Indiana UniversityFort Wayne , IN||Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner||MSN||AG-PCNP||ACEN||limited||yes||yes||no|
|Indiana Wesleyan UniversityMarion , IN||Master of Science in Nursing - Primary Care (Family NP)||MSN||FNP||CCNE||>3||yes||yes||no|
|Purdue UniversityHammond , IN||Online Family NP Master's Degree||MSN||FNP||ACEN||0||yes||yes||no|
|Purdue UniversityHammond , IN||Online Family NP Certificate Program||Post-Graduate Certificate||FNP||ACEN||0||yes||no||yes|
|University of Southern IndianaEvansville , IN||Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner||MSN||AG-ACNP||CCNE||limited||yes||yes||no|
|University of Southern IndianaEvansville , IN||Post Master's Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner||Post-Graduate Certificate||AG-ACNP||CCNE||limited||yes||yes||no|
|University of Southern IndianaEvansville , IN||Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner||MSN||AG-PCNP||CCNE||limited||yes||yes||no|
|University of Southern IndianaEvansville , IN||Post Master's Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner||Post-Graduate Certificate||AG-PCNP||CCNE||limited||yes||yes||no|
|University of Southern IndianaEvansville , IN||Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)||MSN||FNP||CCNE||limited||yes||yes||no|
|University of Southern IndianaEvansville , IN||Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)||Post-Graduate Certificate||FNP||CCNE||limited||yes||yes||no|
|University of Southern IndianaEvansville , IN||Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner||MSN||PMHNP||CCNE||limited||yes||yes||no|
|University of Southern IndianaEvansville , IN||Post-Master's Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner||Post-Graduate Certificate||PMHNP||CCNE||limited||yes||yes||no|
Before nurse practitioners are able to work independently (or in the case of Indiana, with a collaborative agreement), they must complete hands-on clinical training in the way of a preceptorship. The preceptorship involves the NP students working under the supervision of a licensed nurse practitioner in his or her chosen specialty. Students should expect to locate and come to agreement with a preceptorship independently of their school, although most schools do maintain a database of preceptors and programs that have worked with their students in the past.
As mentioned, Indiana nurse practitioners do not currently enjoy quite as much autonomy as NPs in some states, most notably in the sense that they may not use prescriptive authority without a collaborative agreement with a physician. That said, Indiana NPs can practice independently and act as primary care providers.
Online RN to MSN - FNP
Online Bachelor's to MSN - FNP
Online BSN to MSN - FNP
Online MSN - FNP
Online MSN - PNP-PC
Online MSN - AC-AGNP
Online MSN - PC-AGNP
Online BSN to DNP - FNP