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Best Online LPN Programs in Indiana

Discover how to launch your professional career as a practical nurse through one of the top online LPN programs in Indiana.

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Author: Michael Hoffman
Editor: Kari Scare
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Becoming a registered nurse (RN) is a great way to enter the field of allied healthcare but becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) first allows you to get on the job more quickly than an RN education allows. Like RNs, practical nurses play critical roles in healthcare teams in hospitals, outpatient clinics, doctor’s offices, residential care facilities, and more. LPNs monitor patient vital signs, administer medications, keep records, discuss care with patients and their families, and report patient status and concerns to team leaders.

In addition to the profound sense of satisfaction that comes with working in a helping profession, the benefits of being an LPN include good pay and job security. Being a practical nurse is also a great steppingstone to an RN career, especially with the availability of LPN to RN bridge programs. Understanding the difference between an LPN and an RN and the benefits of being a nurse more generally are helpful starting points as you consider the best career path for you.

In this guide, we’ll show you how you can launch your practical nursing career quickly and affordably through accredited online LPN programs in Indiana. We’ll walk you through how LPN programs work, how long they take, and what they cost, and fill you in on the Indiana LPN licensing process. Keep reading to learn about the best online LPN programs in Indiana.

A Closer Look at Online LPN Programs in Indiana

There are currently no fully online LPN programs in Indiana. So, you’ll have to look outside the state if earning your LPN completely online is a deal breaker for you. However, many Indiana LPN programs like the two spotlighted below do feature online components like prerequisite, general education, and even some nursing curriculum coursework. Regardless of the availability of online components, the programs below give a good idea of what you can expect in terms of curriculum, completion times, admission requirements, costs, and more.

Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana’s system of public community colleges, has over 40 campuses. Ivy Tech’s Practical Nursing Technical Certificate (TC) program is available on 20 of those campuses. The curriculum consists of 45 credits of coursework and training completed over three semesters (one year) of full-time study. The program is campus-based with clinical experiences attended in off-campus healthcare settings. All pre-requisite courses are offered in fully, partially, and/or blended online formats. Admission into the TC program requires a high school diploma or equivalent (GED), satisfactory test scores on the ATI TEAS test, and completion of four prerequisite courses in English, anatomy and physiology, and psychology.

Acceptance into Ivy Tech’s nursing program is selective and based on a points system. Graduates can sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN), which they must pass for LPN licensure in Indiana and virtually all other U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions. The cost is $2,455.76 for Indiana residents and $4,732.57 for out-of-state residents, making Ivy Tech’s practical nursing program among the most affordable in the state.

Vincennes University

Another great public option for Indiana LPN students is Vincennes University (VU). VU offers a Practical Nurse Certificate of Graduation program that begins each August and is completed with two semesters of full-time study plus one semester session. The bulk of coursework and labs are completed on either VU’s Vincennes or Jasper campuses. Students must also attend clinical rotation hours at program-approved healthcare facilities in southwest Indiana. Some prerequisites and a small number of regular curriculum classes can be taken online. The program is state-approved and accredited by ACEN, and graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN.

In addition to meeting all university admission requirements (including a high school diploma or minimum 500 score on the High School Equivalency Exam), entry into VU’s Practical Nurse CG program requires a cumulative GPA of 2.3 or higher and completion of math and English prerequisite courses. Seating in the program is limited with acceptance based on a points ranking system. The cost for tuition and fees is $3,443 for Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan residents and $8,145 for all others.

Indiana Licensing Information and Requirements

Like all other jurisdictions in the U.S., employment as a practical nurse in Indiana requires a valid state-issued LPN license, among many other requirements. Obtaining that license requires meeting a number of components in the licensing process. The five main components for obtaining and maintaining your Indiana LPN license are detailed below.

Background Check

Anyone applying for initial Indiana practical nurse licensure must complete a criminal history background check (CBC) at the applicant’s expense. CBCs are not required for license renewal. Applicants must first submit their license application and receive confirmation of its receipt before obtaining their CBC. Upon confirmation, applicants submit an online application for their CBC and schedule an appointment for fingerprinting through the IdentoGO website. The CBC is then conducted by the FBI and Indiana State Police.

CBC results are submitted to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. If no criminal record is found and all other licensure requirements have been met, the LPN license is issued. If a criminal record is found, the board may, at its discretion, either approve the license application or request the applicant appear in front of the Indiana State Board of Nursing (ISBN) for further discussion.

Education and Training

Completion of an accredited, state-approved practical nurse education program is required of all Indiana LPN license applicants. Once the education program is completed, a Certificate of Completion must be filled out and submitted by the applicant’s nursing school directly to the ISBN. Applicants must also provide information regarding their high school graduation as part of their online license application. Applicants who did not graduate high school must submit a copy of their GED scores. Graduates of foreign nursing schools must, in addition to meeting all other license-by-examination requirements, submit documentation of:

  • A passing score on an exam prepared by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools International (CGFNS),
  • A satisfactory Credentials Evaluation Service Professional Report (CES), and
  • A satisfactory VisaScreen Certificate verification letter.

Professional Nursing Examination

The heart of the LPN licensing process in Indiana – and virtually all other U.S. jurisdictions – is taking and passing the NCLEX-PN. The NCLEX-PN is a computerized adaptive test (CAT) where the total number of questions, question difficulty, and exam completion time are adjusted according to the test taker’s performance as the exam proceeds. Questions are presented in a variety of forms, including multiple response, fill-in-the-blank, ordered response, and others.

Both submittal of the license application and registration and payment for the NCLEX-PN must be completed before you can schedule your exam. Registration with Pearson VUE, the test administrator, can be done online or by phone. The exam is taken in person at one of the Pearson NCLEX Test Centers located throughout and outside the U.S. Notification of your results may take up to six weeks, but most test-takers receive theirs much quicker.

Renewal of Licensure & Continuing Education

All Indiana LPN licenses expire on October 31st of each even-numbered year regardless of the initial issuance date. Online renewal requires payment of a $50 renewal fee. An additional $50 late fee is assessed if your license is not renewed by the expiration date. There are no continuing education requirements in Indiana for LPN license renewal.

Career and Earning Potential for Indiana LPNs

Two big pluses of an LPN career in Indiana are healthy salaries and solid job security, as detailed in the two charts below. The first table shows the U.S. Department of Labor’s estimated job growth rates for LPNs in Indiana and the nation overall. Although slightly lower than that for LPNs across the entire country, the growth rate for LPNs in Indiana through 2030 still outpaces the 7.7% estimated growth rate for all U.S. jobs and far surpasses the 4.7% increase predicted for all occupations in Indiana combined.

In terms of earnings, the second table includes the most recent annual salary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for LPNs in Indiana overall and for several of the state’s metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. Median state earnings for LPNs are very much in line with the $55,860 figure for LPNs throughout the nation. Bear in mind, though, that what you actually earn as an LPN in Indiana depends on individual factors like your specific employer and job duties, level of nursing experience, and your geographic location.

AreaEmployment
(2020)
New Jobs
(2020-2030)
Job Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings
(’20-’30)
Indiana14,4201,1808.2%1,250
U.S.688,100751,9009.3%60,700

Source: Projections Central

Location10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
Indiana$ 45,410$ 56,980$ 65,880
Bloomington, IN$ 46,130$ 54,890$ 60,830
Columbus, IN$ 38,720$ 48,080$ 61,710
Elkhart-Goshen, IN$ 47,430$ 59,980$ 70,460
Evansville, IN-KY$ 43,770$ 55,670$ 62,180
Fort Wayne, IN$ 41,750$ 50,710$ 63,040
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN$ 47,690$ 59,080$ 67,740
Kokomo, IN$ 46,420$ 58,340$ 63,170
Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN$ 47,740$ 58,190$ 66,070
Michigan City-La Porte, IN$ 46,070$ 57,040$ 66,110
Muncie, IN$ 41,650$ 54,080$ 61,280
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI$ 46,310$ 59,010$ 64,100
Terre Haute, IN$ 42,140$ 52,690$ 60,590

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Resources for Indiana LPN Students and Professionals

  • Admissions Guide for Aspiring Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs): This EduMed guide offers tons of great information on the LPN program admissions process along with valuable advice on improving your chances for selection into the LPN program you’re most interested in.
  • Important Skills for LPN Students: This EduMed guide explains the hard and soft skills you need to succeed in both your practical nurse studies and practice as a working LPN. Also check out the 10 Essential Skills for Nurses in 2024 for more advice on becoming a successful nursing professional.
  • Indiana Center for Nursing: The Indiana Center for Nursing is a non-profit organization made up of over 60 Indiana nursing schools, state agencies, healthcare providers, and others whose mission is to “assure the future of our state’s nursing workforce and promote Indiana as a destination state for nursing practice.” Included on the ICN website is tons of useful information on practical nursing education and practice as well as LPN specialty certification.
  • Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE): The Indiana CHE is the state’s coordinating agency tasked with working with Indiana independent and public colleges and universities in defining their missions, developing new degree programs, establishing new campuses and branches, and more. CHE additionally oversees the distribution of student financial aid from state aid programs. Visitors can access information on state financial aid opportunities, including scholarships and the Indiana State Financial Aid Manual.
  • Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (PLA): PLA is the state’s overseeing body for licensing and regulation of the practice of a range of professions and occupations, including nursing. Useful PLA webpages for practical nurses and nursing students include the Nursing Home webpage through which you can access information on nurse licensing, the Indiana State Board of Nursing, and more.
  • Indiana Professionals Recovery Program (IPRP): IPRP is a state-affiliated monitoring program for the estimated three to six percent of healthcare professionals (including LPNs) currently struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. Participation may be mandatory or voluntary. Successful completion of the program allows participants to keep their treatment process confidential and continue working in their area of healthcare practice.
  • Indiana State Nurses Association (ISNA): An affiliate of the American Nurses Association, ISNA is the premier organization of nursing professionals in Indiana. Although full membership is open to registered nurses only, associate membership is available to LPNs. Student membership is also available. Benefits include access to a wide range of association news and advocacy efforts, access to professional development and networking opportunities, and participation in association events.
  • Learn More Indiana: A program of Indiana CHE, Learn More Indiana offers state residents of all ages access to a broad range of free resources to help them in choosing, applying to, and paying for college. Visitors to this site will find comprehensive information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities of all kinds, including the 21st Century Scholars program that provides up to four years of tuition for income-eligible students at participating colleges and universities.