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Indiana Nursing License Requirements

Nurse licensure in Indiana is overseen by the Indiana State Board of Nursing, Professional Licensing Agency. Indiana licenses practical nurses and registered nurses, and also recognizes the functions of nurse practitioners. All nurses in Indiana must begin the licensing process by obtaining an education in nursing. Learn more about the requirements for different levels of nurse licensure in Indiana by selecting one of the categories below.

» How to become a licensed practical nurse (requires completion of a training program)
» How to become a registered nurse (requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree)
» How to become a nurse practitioner (requires a master’s degree)

5 Steps to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Indiana

1. Complete an Accredited Nursing Program.

Indiana nursing education programs that meet the requirements for licensed practical nurse education are accredited by the Indiana State Board of Nursing.1 Although out of state schools that provide an equivalent education may also be accepted by the Indiana State Board of Nursing as meeting the requirements, it may simplify the licensing process for Indiana residents to choose an accredited institution for nursing education. A list of accredited programs can be accessed from the Indiana State Board of Nursing, along with school graduate pass rates for the National Council Licensure Examination.1

2. Submit the Application For Licensure By Examination.

The Indiana State Board of Nursing provides the Application for Licensure By Examination for Graduates of US Nursing Schools for first-time licensees who have completed their nursing program in the US.2 This two-page form must be completed by the applicant and sent to the Indiana State Board of Nursing Professional Licensing Agency along with a recent photo of the applicant measuring 2.5 by 3.5 inches.3 For verification purposes the photo must bear on the lower front the school seal for the school from which the licensure candidate graduated, the signature of the licensure candidate, and the signature of the dean, director, or his or her designee from the nursing school.3

3. Provide a Certificate of Completion Form.

In addition to the application for licensure, the Indiana State Board of Nursing requires candidates for practical nurse licensure to obtain a certificate of completion executed by the dean, director, or his or her designee of the nursing education program completed.3 Certificate of completion forms that are not signed by one of these parties under school seal will not be accepted.3 The necessary form is included in the initial application packet.2

4. Register for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses.

Indiana requires that prospective licensed practical nurses take and post a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).3 Candidates must register for the NCLEX-PN through Pearson VUE, the third party company that administers the exam.4 The Indiana State Board of Nursing recommends that candidates review the NCLEX Candidate Bulletin from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing prior to registering for the exam.5

5. Take the NCLEX-PN.

Candidates should expect score processing following the exam to take at least three weeks.3 Once candidates are determined to have passed the exam and met all other licensure requirements, an e-mail will be sent to the candidate from the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency with their new license number.3 Applicants who did not successfully pass the exam will be notified by regular mail and given further instructions for re-examination by application.3 Applicants who do not pass the NCLEX-PN within three attempts are required to appear before the Indiana State Board of Nursing to apply for authorization to re-test.6

5 Steps to Become a Registered Nurse in Indiana

1. Earn a Degree in Registered Nursing from an Accredited Program.

The Indiana Board of Nursing provides accreditation to select educational programs designed to educate registered nurses in the state, with the exception of graduate programs and programs offering a Registered Nurse-Bachelor of Science, Nursing degree.1 Equivalent programs in other states may still qualify prospective registered nurses for licensure. Candidates can access a list of accredited programs as well as historical school graduate pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination on the Indiana State Board of Nursing website.1

2. Submit the Application For Licensure By Examination.

The Licensure By Examination for Graduates of US Nursing Schools is completed by first-time licensees for practical nursing as well as registered nursing who have graduated from a US nursing program.2 The applicant must complete the form and submit it to the Indiana State Board of Nursing Professional Licensing Agency.3 A recent photo of the applicant measuring 2.5 by 3.5 inches should be submitted with the form.3 To verify the applicant’s identity the photo must be affixed with the school seal for the school from which the applicant graduated, the signature of the applicant, and the signature of the dean, director, or his or her designee from the nursing school.3 These should all be placed on the lower front of the photograph.3

3. Provide a Certificate of Completion Form.

The Indiana State Board of Nursing requires that applicants for registered nurse licensure provide a certificate of completion executed by the dean, director, or his or her designee as a representative of program in registered nursing from which the applicant graduated.3 The certificate of completion form must be signed by one of these individuals under the school seal or the form will not be accepted.3 The certificate of completion is included in the application packet for licensure.2

4. Register for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

To qualify for licensure, registered nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).3 The registration for the NCLEX-RN must be completed through Pearson VUE, which is a third party company that provides the exam on behalf of the Indiana State Board of Nursing.4 It is recommended that prior to registering with Pearson VUE for the exam candidates review the NCLEX Candidate Bulletin from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.5

5. Take the NCLEX-RN.

After receiving authorization to test from Pearson VUE and the Indiana State Board of Nursing candidates may attempt the NCLEX-RN.3 Score processing typically takes at least three weeks.3 If a candidate passes the exam and all requirements for licensure are satisfied, the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency will notify the candidate via e-mail with their new license number.3 If an applicant does not pass the exam, notification will be sent via regular mail along with further instructions for applying for re-examination.3 Three attempts on the NCLEX-RN are permitted before the applicant will be requested to appear before the Indiana State Board of Nursing for further authorization to re-test.6

5 Steps to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Indiana

1. Become an Indiana Registered Nurse.

To practice as a nurse practitioner in Indiana candidates must hold a current, unrestricted Indiana registered nursing license.7 Applicants must therefore meet the qualifications for registered nurse licensure and pass the NCLEX-RN.

2. Earn an Advanced Education in Nursing.

While no license to practice as a nurse practitioner is granted in Indiana, Indiana recognizes the right of actively licensed registered nurses to practice as nurse practitioners, with the exception of prescriptive authority without a license, as long as the statutory requirements to do so are met.6 These requirements include obtaining a degree from a graduate program or a certificate from a bachelor’s degree program that holds accreditation by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation.7 The Indiana State Board of Nursing does not accredit graduate level programs in nursing as it does practical and registered nurse programs.1

3. Earn National Certification.

Nurse practitioners who obtain a certificate, but not a degree, from an accredited institution as outlined in state statutes for nurse practitioner practice must also obtain national certification.7 This certification must be through a national organization that requires a certifying examination as a prerequisite to obtaining certification.7

4. Apply for Prescriptive Authority.

To be granted prescriptive authority, a registered nurse practicing as a nurse practitioner must complete and submit the Application for Prescriptive Authority As An Advanced Practice Nurse.8 Note that prescriptive authority requires the nurse practitioner to have completed at least two semester hours of a graduate level pharmacology course accredited by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation.9 A non-laminated, non-Polaroid type photograph of the applicant measuring 2.5 by 3.5 inches should be included with the application.9 Applicants should also include a copy of their current Indiana registered nurse license.9 An additional controlled substances registration is required for prescriptive authority for controlled substances.9

5. Executive a Written Collaborative Practice Agreement.

Those practicing as nurse practitioners with prescriptive authority must be acting under a written collaborative practice agreement.9 The agreement must be between the practicing nurse practitioner and a licensed health practitioner. A full list of the requirements for the collaborative agreement as well as agreement examples can be accessed through the Indiana State Board of Nursing Professional Licensing Authority.9

Indiana Nursing Associations

Nurses and prospective licensees in Indiana may be interested in joining one or more professional nursing associations for continuing education, building professional networks, and accessing further information about the profession.

Indiana Nursing Salary

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Nursing Assistants33,180$23,120
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses19,790$39,720
Registered Nurses58,430$57,520
Nurse Practitioners2,650$85,590

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.

References:
1. Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, Indiana State Board of Nursing: Nursing Education and Nursing Program Information
2. Indiana State Board of Nursing: Application for Licensure By Examination for Graduates of US Nursing Schools
3. Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, Indiana State Board of Nursing: Application and Instructions for Licensure by Examination for US Graduates
4. Pearson VUE: The NCLEX Examination
5. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing: Candidate Bulletin & Information
6. Indiana Professional Licensing Agency: Frequently Asked Questions
7. Indiana State Board of Nursing: Compilation of the Indiana Code and Indiana Administrative Code, 2013 Edition
8. Indiana State Board of Nursing: Application for Prescriptive Authority As An Advanced Practice Nurse
9. Indiana State Board of Nursing, Professional Licensing Agency: Information & Application Pertaining to Prescriptive Authority for Advanced Practice Nurses