Steps to Becoming an APN in Indiana

indiana nursing

1Get your Graduate Degree in Indiana
2Earn your National Certification in Indiana
3Apply for CNM Limited License/APN Prescriptive Authority in Indiana
4Renewing 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 Nurse Practitioner Statistics

  • Salaries for NPs in Indiana range from $86,730 – more than $137,480
  • 2020 mean salary for NPs in Indiana: $109,940
  • 5,700 NPs working in Indiana as of 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 Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA) 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 latest report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2020 found that Indiana was home to 5,700 nurse practitioners statewide. The average salary for NPs in the state at that time was $109,940, which worked out to $52.86 an hour.

For Indiana NPs who fall in the top 25 percent, the pay was just above $125,000, while the  top ten percent earned more than $137,480.

Here you’ll find the full range of annual salaries and hourly pay rates (from the median to 90th percentile) for nurse practitioners in Indiana’s major cities and non-metro areas:

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bloomington
100
119350
Central Indiana nonmetropolitan area
260
107730
Columbus
50
117200
Elkhart-Goshen
160
111220
Evansville
440
112200
Fort Wayne
580
106400
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson
2140
110050
Kokomo
40
107460
Lafayette-West Lafayette
150
114350
Michigan City-La Porte
90
111850
Muncie
100
109980
Northern Indiana nonmetropolitan area
250
105340
South Bend-Mishawaka
210
106950
Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area
300
110770
Terre Haute
180
118640

Nurse Anesthetist Salary in Indiana

With 630 state-licensed nurse-anesthetists working in Indiana as of 2020, this group represents a smaller part of the APN workforce in the state. Earning $169,620, on average, nurse-anesthetists are the advanced practice nursing classification in Indiana with the most substantial salaries. That’s even more apparent among top earners in the 75th percentile who earned $187,930 that year.

Below you’ll find further details on annual salaries and hourly pay rates for nurse-anesthetists in the greater Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson area:

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson
130
173160

Nurse-Midwife Salary in Indiana

Nurse-midwives represent the smallest group of advanced practice registered nurses in Indiana, with just 70 CNMs serving the entire state as of May 2020. But that small group pulled down a very respectable average salary of $112,510 that year.

At the higher end of the salary range in the 90th percentile, Indiana’s certified nurse-midwives earned more than $140,540, which comes to $67.57 an hour.

Below you’ll find further details on annual salaries and hourly pay rates for nurse-anesthetists in the greater Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson area:

Area Name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson
40
114870

Post-Secondary Nursing Instructor and Teacher Salaries

Whether nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists or nurse-anesthetists, all APNs get their start by passing through a master’s or DNP level training program. And in most cases, the instructors in those programs are current or former APNs themselves.

Indiana was home to 1,630 nursing instructors as of May 2020, who earned an average of $91,310 that year. In the top ten percent, salaries were considerably higher, coming in at more than $143,810, higher than both nurse practitioners and nurse midwives at this level.

Below you’ll find further details on annual salaries for college-level nurse-instructors in the greater Lafayette area:

Area Name
Employment
Annual 75th percentile wage
Lafayette-West Lafayette
150
112070

 

2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market and salary data for Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Post-Secondary Nursing Instructors represent state data not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2021.

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