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RN Degrees in Indiana

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Searching for Indiana nursing schools? Now may be the perfect time to research nursing programs in Indiana. In 2010, the Indiana Economic Digest published an article predicting a shortage of nurses in the state (indianaeconomicdigest.net). And in May 2013, the Indiana Center for Nursing (ic4n.org) published an exhaustive study reflecting the increased demand for nurses in the state -- saying that by 2020, Indiana will need a total of 1.2 million new nurses. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that nationwide employment of licensed practical nurses and registered nurses will grow by 22 and 26 percent, respectively, which is significantly faster than the average growth rate for all jobs in the U.S.

Nursing Programs and Education in Indiana

To prepare for the licensing examination and for the nursing profession, individuals may explore the following academic pathways:

  • Diploma in Nursing: Often requiring about 2-3 years to complete and commonly offered through hospitals, diploma programs in nursing can help prepare students for entry-level work as a nurse.
  • Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN): It usually takes two to three academic years to obtain an associate degree in nursing. Community colleges, four-year colleges and universities offer this degree, which allows graduates to qualify for entry-level nursing positions by indicating that an individual has fulfilled basic educational requirements for entering the field.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): Usually finished in four academic years, a BSN may allow for greater career advancement opportunities than an ASN. A BSN is often a requirement if pursuing an advanced degree is desired. An accelerated BSN program is another option if you already have a BA in another field.
  • RN to BSN: This degree option is also available for current RNs looking to advance their education and gain a more well-rounded perspective on the nursing and health care field.
  • Graduate Degrees in Nursing: Once of the reasons cited for the state's lack of nurses is that RN schools in Indiana do not have enough faculty members to accept all qualified applicants interested in a nursing career. If you already hold a BSN and/or you have been working in the field, now may be the time to return for a graduate degree and pursue one of the many opportunities to teach.

Nursing Careers in Indiana

Some common options for graduates of nursing schools in Indiana who have also passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) include:

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse/Licensed Practical Nurse: LPNs/LVNs provide patients with essential nursing care by monitoring their health and ensuring their comfort during hospital visits and extended stays.
  • Registered Nurse: In addition to providing direct patient care, registered nurses typically supervise medical assistants and licensed practical nurses and develop plans for patient care and education.
  • Specialized Nurse: While obtaining a nursing degree in Indiana, you may be able to focus your studies on a very refined area like geriatric, psychiatric or pediatric nursing. There are over 50 other specialized areas to complement your general nursing education. Pursuing a specialized license in your specific area may also improve your job prospects. Specialized nurses assist patients suffering from specific ailments that are relevant to their specialty.
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse: RNs looking to work more directly with patients can choose to become APRNs by earning a master's degree. There are four main types of APRNs: nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse-midwife and nurse anesthetist; however, there are also sub-specialties within each of these positions.
  • Nurse Educator: If you are an experienced RN you may also focus on becoming a faculty member as Indiana is committed to increasing the number of teaching nurses in the state over the next decade. Some teaching positions require only a master's degree, while others call for a doctorate.

Nursing salaries vary according to the specific position and required level of education. For example, the BLS reports that licensed practical nurses had a mean annual wage of $42,400 in 2012, while registered nurses earned a mean annual wage of $67,930 during the same year. Nurse practitioners earned an average yearly salary of $91,450 in 2012.

Sources

"Nursing shortage looms in Indiana," Times of Northwest Indiana via Indiana Economic Digest, Jan. 1, 2010, http://www.indianaeconomicdigest.net/main.asp?SectionID=31&subsectionID=217&articleID=51793

"An Overview of the Nursing Workforce, Educational Capacity and Future Demand for Nurses in the State of Indiana," The Indiana Action Coalition: Transforming Healthcare, The Indiana Center for Nursing, May 15, 2013, http://www.ic4n.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Final-report_Indiana-Nursing-Data_IAC-Education-Subcommittee.pdf

"Occupational Employment Statistics: Registered Nurses," Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm

"Occupational Employment Statistics: Licensed Practical Nurses," Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292061.htm

"Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses," Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm

"Registered Nurses," Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm


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