Steps to Becoming an APN in Indiana

indiana nursing

Get your Graduate Degree in Indiana
Earn your National Certification in Indiana
Apply for CNM Limited License/APN Prescriptive Authority in Indiana
Renewing Your Prescriptive Authority/Limited License in Indiana

The Indiana State Board of Nursing (317-234-2043 or pla2@pla.IN.gov) acknowledges qualified advanced practice nurses (APNs) who practice within the state.

Three categories of APN are recognized in Indiana:

  • Certified nurse midwife (CNM)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
  • Nurse practitioner (NP)

The Board does not issue licenses to nurse practitioners or to clinical nurse specialists, but does issue prescriptive authority.

Indiana Job Statistics

  • 2015 mean salary for NPs in IN: $97,030
  • 2013 NCLEX-RN pass rate for Indiana: 82.9%
  • 2014-24 projected increase in NP jobs in Indiana: 36.9%
  • Registered Nurse ranks #2 on 2016 Hoosier Hot 50 Jobs list of jobs that will be in demand in 2020

If you are a certified nurse midwife, you must have a limited license and certification granted by the American Midwifery Certification Board in order to be able to practice in Indiana.

You must hold an Indiana RN license prior to seeking recognition as an APN.

If you wish to become a recognized APN in Indiana, proceed with the following steps.


Step 1. Get Your Degree

There are two educational options leading to APN recognition in Indiana:

  • Obtain a master’s degree or higher in nursing

OR

  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing plus national certification

Qualified Programs

The Indiana State Board of Nursing accredits bachelor’s degree nursing programs, a list of which may be found here. Not all of these schools are accredited by national nurse education accrediting organizations. Some employers will only hire you if you graduate from a program accredited by National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

If you decide to earn a graduate degree, the program must be accredited by an accreditation agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The Indiana State Board of Nursing does not accredit nor review graduate nursing programs.

Course Requirements

Under rules of the Indiana State Board of Nursing, education for advanced practice nurses (regardless of whether it is at the undergraduate or graduate level) must include the following:

  • Biological science (as relates to an APN within your category)
  • Behavioral science (as relates to an APN within your category)
  • Medical science (as relates to an APN within your category)
  • Nursing science (as relates to an APN within your category)
  • Legal, ethical and professional responsibilities of advanced practice nursing
  • Supervised clinical practice in an APN specialty role
  • Patient assessment
  • Identifying abnormal conditions
  • Diagnosing health problems
  • Developing and implementing nursing treatment plans
  • Evaluating patient outcomes
  • Collaboration with a physician in a plan of care
  • State and federal drug laws and regulations
  • State and federal confidentiality laws and regulations
  • State and federal medical records access laws
  • Counseling individuals, families, and groups about health, illness, and health promotion
  • Conducting and applying research findings to your scope of practice

Prescriptive Authority

If you intend to hold prescriptive authority in your APN role, you must also have completed a two-credit master’s level graduate course in pharmacology within five years of applying for your APN license.

Specialization

Although your Indiana APN acknowledgement will not list any specializations, many advanced practice nursing students choose specialized programs. In addition to the master’s degree in nursing science with the option to pursue a variety of concentrations specific to specialized patient populations (i.e., neonatology, pediatrics, geriatrics, women’s health, etc), you may also choose to pursue the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).


Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

While it is not necessary for APNs with graduate degrees to seek national certification in the state of Indiana, you may still elect to become nationally certified.

To work as a certified nurse midwife, you must become nationally certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board.

If you are seeking APN recognition with a bachelor’s degree, you must become nationally certified within the category in which you intend to practice. You must satisfy all education requirements maintained by the certification agency through which you pursue certification, which may require a graduate degree at minimum or significant coursework beyond that included in traditional bachelor’s programs in nursing.

Advanced Practice Nursing Designation Options

The Indiana State Board of Nursing recognizes three categories of APN:

  • Nurse practitioner (NP)
  • Certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)

Certification Programs

The Indiana State Board of Nursing does not list national certification organizations that are acceptable (with the exception of the American Midwifery Certification Board). However, the Board does specify that if you are going to become nationally certified, certification must be granted by an organization that requires a national examination. The following list shows all advanced practice nursing certification agencies and related credentials:

National certification is optional based upon your level of education (except for CNM). Contact the appropriate national certification organization for more information on obtaining credentials.


Step 3.  Apply for CNM Limited License/APN Prescriptive Authority

It is mandatory that you disclose your social security number on all APN applications. Contact the Board if you do not have a social security number.

Certified Nurse Midwife

You must apply for limited licensure with the Board in order to practice as a CNM in Indiana. Use the Application for a Limited License to Practice Nurse-Midwifery. Along with your completed application, include:

  • Application fee payable to the Indiana State Board of Nursing
  • Copy of your current Indiana RN license
  • Have your nursing program send an official transcript directly to the Board, indicating completion of a CNM program
  • Have the American Midwifery Certification Board forward proof of your national certification to the Board
  • If you are seeking prescriptive authority, you must first receive your CNM limited license, then proceed with the Application for Prescriptive Authority as an Advanced Practice Nurse (steps are detailed below)

Send all of the above to the Indiana State Board of Nursing, Professional Licensing Agency, 402 West Washington St., Room W072, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Prescriptive Authority

Once you have earned your RN license, there is no specific application to become an APN unless you are also pursuing prescriptive authority. If you are, you may use the Application for Prescriptive Authority as an Advanced Practice Nurse. Along with your completed application, include:

  • A 2” x 3” photograph of your face
  • Application fee payable to the Indiana State Board of Nursing
  • Copy of your current Indiana RN license
  • Have your nursing program send an official transcript directly to the Board, indicating completion of the appropriate APN program
  • If you have a bachelor’s degree, have your national certification agency send verification of your national certification directly to the Board
  • Written collaborative practice agreement, specifying how you will cooperate, coordinate, and consult with a licensed practitioner
  • If you wish to prescribe controlled substances you must pursue Indiana controlled substance registration and federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration

Mail all of the above to the Indiana State Board of Nursing, Professional Licensing Agency, 402 West Washington St., Room W072, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Allow four weeks for processing of your application. The Indiana State Board of Nursing does not issue pocket licenses or wall certificates as part of the initial licensure process. You can check the current status of your license with the Board’s online status verification service.

Criminal History Background Check

Once you have received notification that the Board has received your application, you must undergo a criminal history background check. This includes a fingerprinting process. Instructions for your criminal history background check may be found here.


Step 4. Renewing Your Prescriptive Authority/Limited License

Your APN prescriptive authority and CNM limited license in Indiana expires on October 31 of every odd-numbered year. They may be renewed online or by mail.

You may not renew your APN prescriptive authority or CNM limited license until 60 days before it is set to expire.

Certified Nurse Midwives must complete the Nurse Midwife Renewal Form. APNs with prescriptive authority must complete the APN Prescriptive Authority Renewal Form. Send the completed form along with the proper fees to the Board at Indiana State Board of Nursing, Professional Licensing Agency, 402 West Washington St., Room W072, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

The Indiana Professional Licensing Agency does not issue pocket license cards at license renewal. If you wish to purchase a pocket card, you may do so online.

Continuing Education

If you are an APN with prescriptive authority, you must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years, with at least 8 hours in pharmacology. Proof of continuing education must be maintained in case of Board audit.

Expired License Renewal Application

If your APN authority or CNM limited license has expired, you must add a late fee to your renewal application. Licenses that have been expired for more than three years may not be renewed. Contact the Board for information on reinstatement.

Advanced Practice Nurse Associations in Indiana

Consider joining one of the professional associations that support advanced practice nurses in Indiana:


Indiana Nurse Practitioner Salary

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners reported in their National NP Compensation Survey that in 2011, NPs practicing in Indiana, earned an average base salary of $88,140 and an average total income of $93,812. Nurse practitioners in the capitol city of Indianapolis reported one of the highest incomes in the state, earning an average salary of $90,280, according to a 2011 survey conducted by Advance for NPs & PAs, a peer reviewed journal. NPs in the city of Gary reported an average salary of $88,406 and in the city of Evansville enjoy an average salary of $76,030.

Registered Nurse Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Anderson IN
980
60010
Bloomington IN
1340
55970
Cincinnati-Middletown OH-KY-IN
23260
62440
Columbus IN
730
53050
Elkhart-Goshen IN
1760
69990
Evansville IN-KY
4220
53190
Fort Wayne IN
5160
50900
Gary IN Metropolitan Division
6480
61950
Indianapolis-Carmel IN
20740
61510
Kokomo IN
950
52850
Lafayette IN
1390
57450
Louisville-Jefferson County KY-IN
15890
58460
Michigan City-La Porte IN
830
56530
Muncie IN
1340
50870
South Bend-Mishawaka IN-MI
2780
55130
Terre Haute IN
1590
54430
Northeast Indiana nonmetropolitan area
2610
50420
Northwest Indiana nonmetropolitan area
2370
57010
Southwest / Southeast Indiana nonmetropolitan area
3010
52270

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Cincinnati-Middletown OH-KY-IN
260
83010
Evansville IN-KY
not avaialable
45560
Gary IN Metropolitan Division
100
50340
Indianapolis-Carmel IN
500
63940

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual median wage
Cincinnati-Middletown OH-KY-IN
600
69370
Fort Wayne IN
130
57190
Gary IN Metropolitan Division
100
52140
Indianapolis-Carmel IN
290
68880
Louisville-Jefferson County KY-IN
390
51590
South Bend-Mishawaka IN-MI
150
50970
Northwest Indiana nonmetropolitan area
60
49180

Nurse Administrator Salary
(Includes Nurse Managers, Directors, and Chief Nursing Officers)

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Anderson IN
130
79430
Bloomington IN
130
77200
Cincinnati-Middletown OH-KY-IN
1940
90570
Columbus IN
110
97620
Elkhart-Goshen IN
180
72990
Evansville IN-KY
390
69680
Fort Wayne IN
490
84910
Gary IN Metropolitan Division
660
90640
Indianapolis-Carmel IN
2440
87440
Kokomo IN
80
74060
Lafayette IN
210
83420
Louisville-Jefferson County KY-IN
1370
92920
Michigan City-La Porte IN
120
76230
Muncie IN
160
128040
South Bend-Mishawaka IN-MI
260
85560
Terre Haute IN
260
67860
Northern Indiana nonmetropolitan area
360
69020
Central Indiana nonmetropolitan area
360
86950
Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area
340
68620

These tables provide salary and employment information compiled by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2011. The data contained herein does not include self-employed nurses in independent practice.

When responding to the salary survey, some advanced practice registered nurses identified themselves as RNs while others identified themselves as health diagnosing and treating practitioners. When available, both sets of data were included for comparative purposes.

* These figures represent earnings that are at or above $90.00 per hour or $187,199 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish earnings beyond $90.00 hourly or $187,199 yearly.

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