On this page

Back to top

Best Nursing Schools in Indiana: Top Online & Campus Programs

Explore programs from the best nursing schools in Indiana and find other key information on becoming an RN or advanced nurse in 2024.

Search 100s of Schools in Minutes

Search hundreds of schools. It only takes a minute!

  1. Take our quiz
  2. Match with schools
  3. Connect with favorites
  1. Take our quiz
  2. Match w/schools
I want my
In
A panoramic view of a classical building with a large dome, flanked by modern buildings with columns under a clear sky, and a landscaped path lined with trees leading up to it, symbolizes opportunities

Good nurses make all the difference in healthcare. Not only do they provide some of the most valuable services, but patient care would be virtually impossible without them. If you want to have this type of impact and live in Indiana, there are plenty of accredited nursing schools that can give you the training you need. This is true whether you’re just starting out in your RN career or are currently licensed and looking to move up the nursing ladder.

This guide offers you a look at the best nursing schools Indiana has to offer and will help you find the online or campus program that best meets your education and career goals. You’ll also learn about nursing salaries across the state and financial aid opportunities that can help lower the cost of nursing school.

Best Online Nursing Programs in Indiana: 2024

Nursing students in Indiana have a variety of degree programs offered in hybrid or fully online formats, from ADN and BSN programs to MSN and DNP degrees. These convenient programs offer the same level and quality of instruction as in-person programs but have the flexibility of distance learning. Most online programs require students to complete hands-on clinical training at an approved facility – the exception being bridge programs and some advanced nursing programs where students are already fully licensed.

To help Indiana students find the right online nursing programs, we analyzed dozens of colleges and universities across the state by looking for regional and programmatic accreditation, low tuition, school-based financial aid, and academic and career services. Below you’ll find the online nursing programs in Indiana that earned top honors going into 2024.

or
About the ranking

X

Base Methodology for EduMed’s Best Online College Rankings for the ’23-’24 school year.

One: Create list of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on data pulled from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which was self-reported by the schools themselves.

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least 1 online component in a program within the ranking-subject area.

Two: Assign Weighting

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of metrics, which were all self-reported by the schools themselves to the U.S. Department of Education and IPEDS. 

The metrics are listed below in order of most- to least-heavily weighted. 

Online Programs – Number of online programs in the relevant subject area.

Online Student % – Number of total students who are enrolled in at least 1 distance-learning course in the relevant subject area.

Tuition – The average in-state tuition for undergraduate students studying full-time, as self-reported by the school.

Institutional Aid – Percent of full-time undergraduate students who are awarded institutional grant aid, as self-reported by the school.

Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Career Placement Services – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Student/Faculty Ratio

About Our DataEduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2023

# School Name Type Tuition Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 University of Southern IndianaEvansville, IN Public $ 10

The University of Southern Indiana (USI) offers a variety of online nursing degrees at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral level. These prgorams include a BSN program for registered nurses (RN to BSN), specialized MS programs in nursing fields including gerontology, family nurse practicioner, and psychiatric nursing, and, for those who already hold a BSN, a professional doctorate prgoram (DNP). Programs are 100% online, and generally begin in the fall semester. Program lengths and admissions requirements vary from degree to degree.

Program Highlights:

BS; BSN; DNP; MS

  • Credits: Varies
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $297/credit (BSN); $419.06/credit (graduate programs)
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
63%
2 Purdue University GlobalWest Lafayette, IN Public $ 7

Purdue University Global offers several nursing programs across all degree levels. That includes the Associate of Science in Nursing, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN-to-BSN, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, and the Master of Science in Nursing programs. That also includes two accelerated BSN and MSN programs and an MSN to DNP program. Additionally, both MSN programs offer six different concentrations. There are also online programs to become a nurse practitioner, a nurse educator, and an executive leader in the nursing field. That also includes an online MSN dual degree program.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN-to-BSN

  • Credits: 90-130
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $315 per credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: CCNE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
27/1
Online
Student %
100%
3 Indiana Wesleyan University-National & GlobalMarion, IN Private not-for-profit $ 4

Whether you're a high school graduate, a practicing professional, or someone looking to switch careers, Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) offers programs to prepare students in various stages of their nursing careers. That includes BSN, RN-BSN, MSN, and DNP programs. That also includes Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Education, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practioner programs--all of which earn you a post-graduate certificate. Several graduate programs also offer various concentrations, from primary care to nursing education. IWU also has ties to schools in other countries, opening doors to studying abroad.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) Degree Program

  • Credits: 31
  • Length: 15 months
  • Cost: $455 per credit
  • Mode: Fully online; hybrid
  • Accreditation: CCNE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
93%
4 Indiana State UniversityTerre Haute, IN Public $ 3 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
61%
5 Indiana University-Purdue University-IndianapolisIndianapolis, IN Public $ 3 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
13/1
Online
Student %
55%
6 Ball State UniversityMuncie, IN Public $ 3 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
Online
Student %
60%

Profiling Nursing Schools in Indiana

Our campus school profiles give you a detailed yet quick look at some of the popular traditional nursing schools in Indiana so you can get a better idea of what other students like you look for.

Indiana University-Bloomington

Indiana University hosts one of the top nursing programs in the state. Undergraduates have a variety of online and in-person options, including an entirely online 120-credit RN-to-BSN track. There’s also a traditional BSN program for those without a bachelor’s degree and an accelerated track for individuals with bachelor’s degrees in other fields. An online master’s in nursing program is also available.

IU gives out over $700,000 in nursing scholarships yearly and has a 100% job placement rate for graduates. In addition, 97% of BSN graduates pass their NCLEX licensing exams on their first attempts. IU nursing students also have access to the university’s extensive clinical practice network that includes several area hospitals and research facilities. Note that while classes may be online, most clinical practice experience is in person.

University of St. Francis

A Catholic institution in Fort Wayne, Indiana, St. Francis nursing students choose from several undergraduate degrees in nursing, including ASN, BSN, DNP, LPN-to-ASN, and MSN programs. As one of the best nursing schools in Indiana, St. Francis helps students develop the necessary skills to coordinate patient care in diverse healthcare settings and prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam. Its 70-credit LPN-to-ASN program allows students to enroll full or part-time at the Fort Wayne or Crown Point campuses. Students often earn transfer credits for previous education, which sometimes allows for program completion in as few as three semesters. St. Francis’ ASN graduates also have a 93.3% career placement rate within six months. The school offers standout clinical experiences, including hands-on training in the Franciscan Health System Hospitals and Saint Catherine Community Health Systems.

Bethel University

Located in Mishawaka, Bethel is a Christian university with flexible in-person and online nursing degree programs. As one of the best nursing schools in Indiana, Bethel offers ADN, BSN, BSN-completion, and MSN degrees. Students can also complete the RN-to-BSN or MSN entirely online. Bethel’s 66-credit-hour ADN program includes 37 credits of nursing classes and 29 credits of general education. In most cases, full-time students finish the program in two years. While the traditional BSN takes four years to complete, its RN-to-BSN follows 20-month or 12-month tracks in hybrid or fully online formats. In 2018, ADN and BSN students at Bethel had 100% and 95% NCLEX-RN pass rates respectively. Graduates from both programs also reported a 100% job placement rate.

Types of Nursing Programs Offered in Indiana

Whether you’re just starting and have no nursing experience, looking to switch to nursing from another field, or want to bolster your credentials with a masters or doctorate, there’s a nursing program in Indiana for you. Here’s are some of the most common options currently available.

Pre-Licensure Nursing Programs in Indiana

ADN Programs

ADN programs are associate degrees in nursing and are designed for individuals with no prior nursing experience. They are typically two-year programs that provide the essential skills and experience for pursuing work as an RN. Upon completion of the NCLEX-RN exam, graduates work in clinics, home health, nursing homes, and outpatient facilities.

Examples of Indiana Nursing Schools with this Program

Traditional BSN Programs

Traditional bachelor’s nursing programs (BSNs) are for students who are already registered nurses (RNs). While you don’t need a BSN to work as an RN, a bachelor’s degree may allow you to take on more responsibility and earn a higher wage. BSNs usually take four years to complete.

Examples of Indiana Nursing Schools with this Program

Accelerated BSN Programs

Accelerated BSN degrees are for students who do not have RN licenses but who want to earn bachelor’s degrees in nursing. These programs are typically structured for students who already have bachelor’s degrees in another area. Students can often finish accelerated BSNs in one year (three consecutive semesters).

Examples of Indiana Nursing Schools with this Program

Nursing Bridge Programs in Indiana for Current Nurses

LVN to RN and LVN to BSN Programs

Designed for students who have licensed vocational nurse (LVN) credentials, LVN-to-RN and LVN-to-BSN programs are for individuals who want to become RNs. These online and in-person programs give students the clinical skills and hands-on knowledge needed to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.

Examples of Indiana Nursing Schools with this Program

RN to BSN Programs

For students who already possess an associate degree in nursing, the RN-to-BSN program, sometimes called a bridge program, helps students earn their bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Those who already have experience working as ADNs can typically complete these programs in as few as 12 months.

Examples of Indiana Nursing Schools with this Program

RN to MSN Programs

If you’re looking to move right through both the BSN and MSN degrees in one program, look for RN-to-MSN programs. These programs usually take three years to complete and are for RNs who already have diplomas or associate degrees in nursing. Your credentials must come from an ACEN- or CCNE-accredited school, and you’ll need an unencumbered RN license in Indiana.

Examples of Indiana Nursing Schools with this Program

Advanced Nursing Programs in Indiana

MSN Programs

MSN degree-seekers can choose from standard MSNs and direct-entry MSNs. The standard path is for those who already possess BSNs. Direct-entry programs are for those with bachelor’s degrees in another area. These programs typically offer a concentration area like nursing education or family nurse practitioner.

Examples of Indiana Nursing Schools with This Program

DNP and PhD Doctoral Programs

Doctoral nursing programs are for individuals who already possess MSNs. DNP and PhD doctoral programs lead toward different types of careers. A DNP prepares students for leadership roles in healthcare settings and is considered a nursing practice degree. The PhD in nursing is a research degree that helps students advance knowledge and theories in the field to inform nursing practice.

Examples of Indiana Nursing Schools with This Program

Post-Graduate Certificates

Going a step beyond DNPs and PhDs, graduate certificates help develop specialized knowledge in a particular area of the field. Popular post-graduate certificates include adult gerontology, family nurse practitioner, healthcare informatics, nurse midwifery, and psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Examples of Indiana Nursing Schools with This Program

Financial Aid Opportunities for Nursing Students in Indiana

In addition to internal scholarships from individual schools, nursing students in Indiana can take advantage of scholarships and grants offered through the Indiana Healthcare Foundation (IHC). Indiana residents with a high school diploma or GED certificate are eligible to apply. Students accepted into an Indiana nursing program with an LPN or RN license and a 2.7 or higher GPA may also apply for financial aid. Applicants for IHC aid must submit three letters of recommendation and school transcripts for consideration. For more information on aid for nursing students, check out our nursing scholarship guide, guide to graduating from nursing school debt-free, and financial aid guide. With these tools, you can begin your search for financial aid and locate other ways to offset the costs of nursing school.

How to Become an RN in Indiana: Education and Licensing Requirements

To become a registered nurse in Indiana, you’ll need to apply through the Indiana State Board of Nursing. This governmental agency enforces all state laws related to nursing education, practice, and licensure in the state. The following step-by-step guide details the requirement for becoming a first-time RN in Indiana.

Step 1

Complete ADN or BSN Degree

The first step toward RN licensure is completing a state-approved nursing degree from an accredited institution. To become an RN, you’ll need to complete either an ADN or BSN program. Both include online or in-person coursework along with hands-on clinical experiences.

Step 2

Apply for Licensure by Examination in Indiana

Submit an application for state licensure by examination through the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA). The IPLA determines your eligibility to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. The Indiana state application must include transcripts, a 2.5-3.5″ professional headshot with appropriate credentials attached, and a $50 application fee.

Step 3

Submit NCLEX-RN Exam Application

Next, visit NCSBN to complete the NCLEX candidate bulletin. Note that the NCLEX-RN exam is a nationwide test, so a passing score is valid in Indiana and all other states in the U.S. Registration for the exam is also uniform among states, including the $200 registration fee.

Step 4

Pass NCLEX-RN Exam

The NCLEX-RN exam is a computerized, pass-fail test comprising four main subject areas: safe and effective care environments; psychosocial integrity; health promotion and maintenance; and physiological integrity. You’ll receive anywhere from 74-145 questions, including 15 pre-test questions.

Step 5

Keep Licensure Current

Indiana RN licenses expire on October 31st of odd-numbered years. Licenses that are expired for 18 months or less can be renewed online with a $100 fee. There are no continuing education requirements for RNs in Indiana as of December 2021.

Employment Outlook for RNs in Indiana

The job outlook for registered nurses in Indiana currently looks bright. RNs in Indiana will see a 12.4% growth in available positions from 2020-2028, which is slightly higher than the average growth of all other occupations in the U.S. This translates into over 4,700 average annual openings and over 8,500 new jobs through 2028. The demand for RNs will continue to increase to meet the needs of the aging baby boomer population. RNs are valuable within in-home healthcare and long-term rehabilitation centers, which are popular choices for care today, as well as in hospitals and other medical facilities.

Employment Projections for RNs in Indiana

New Jobs
(2018-2028)
Job Growth Rate
(2018-2028)
Average Annual Openings
(2018-2028)
Indiana 8,540 12.4% 4,750
United States 371,500 12.1% 210,400

Source: Projections Central

Nursing Earnings in Indiana: How Much You Could Make as an RN

The median earnings of registered nurses in Indiana are slightly lower than nationwide median earnings. According to BLS, RNs working in the Michigan City-La Porte area earn the highest median wage at $67,840. RNs working in Fort Wayne earn the lowest in the state at $61,150. The top 10% of earners in Indiana work in the Indianapolis area and earn $96,990 per year.

Annual Earnings for Registered Nurses in Indiana

10th Percentile Median Earnings 90th Percentile
Indiana $51,110 $65,000 $88,310
United States $53,410 $75,330 $116,230
Bloomington, IN $52,730 $63,400 $81,260
Columbus, IN $51,490 $62,210 $80,060
Elkhart-Goshen, IN $46,810 $63,890 $85,190
Evansville, IN-KY $52,290 $63,370 $82,210
Fort Wayne, IN $46,600 $61,150 $80,080
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN $52,980 $67,680 $96,990
Kokomo, IN $53,320 $67,150 $82,430
Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN $53,170 $66,180 $92,580
Michigan City-La Porte, IN $53,160 $67,840 $95,910
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI $49,580 $65,100 $85,060
Terre Haute, IN $46,730 $62,670 $81,200

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020