Nursing License Requirements in Indiana | Become a Nurse in IN (2023)

Indiana’s RNs and LPNs are licensed by the Indiana State Board of Nursing. The National Nursing Database reports that Indiana has 129,881 nurses: 103,066 RNs and 26,815 LPNs.

Indiana is not a member of the nurse licensure compact. Nurses are licensed by endorsement if they have already passed an acceptable licensing exam, and by examination if they have not. First time licensees take the NCLEX exam at either the PN or RN level, depending on the level of the program they completed. The Board publishes NCLEX test rates by schools. Results from the years 2007 to 2012 are currently available.

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Select the type of Nursing License you are seeking:

  • I am looking for Certified Nursing Aide Requirements in Indiana
  • I am looking for Practical Nursing License Requirements in Indiana.
  • I am looking for Registered Nursing License Requirements in Indiana.
  • I am looking for Advanced Practice Nurse License Requirements in Indiana.
  • I am looking for Nursing Resources and Organizations in Indiana

Nursing Scholarships and Financial Aid in Indiana

There are several other organizations in the state that nurses should be aware of. The Indiana Center for Nursing is the state nursing workforce site. By browsing the site, one can find information about scholarships and financial aid

The Indiana State Nurses Association is a professional organization for the states RNs. The Indiana Practical Nurses Association supports the state’s LPNs (

LPN Requirements in Indiana

LPN Education Requirements

The first step is to enroll in an approved practical nursing program. Indiana approves LPN programs that are the equivalent of a calendar year in length and meet content requirements. There is a list of programs on the Board site ( Don’t know how to choose an LPN program that would be appropriate for you? Read “Choosing an LPN Program in Indiana” to gain a better understanding of the criteria you may want to consider.

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The Application Process

A student will turn in the application as the candidate approaches graduation. At what point the candidate becomes eligible will depend on the school. The Board publishes a list of application dates by school.

The application will need to be notarized. A $50 fee must be remitted with the application package ( The candidate will get a criminal background check after the application has been received. The Board notes that they are legally prohibited from viewing the criminal history of anyone but an applicant; results are not kept on file anywhere, so if a candidate’s CBC precedes the application, the candidate will have to go through the process again. (It should be noted that a conviction won’t necessarily preclude licensing, but the candidate may be asked to appear before the Board.)

When the student has finished all requirements, the director will submit certification to the Indiana Board.


The candidate must also register for the NCLEX-PN and pay the $200 testing fee ( This can be done at the Pearson site. A candidate bulletin is available through Pearson or the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Only when all required steps have been completed will an Authorization to Test be issued. At this point, the candidate can schedule at a choice of sites. The NCLEX-PN is computerized and available at Pearson sites year round.

It takes a few weeks to receive official test results. This is typically the last step in the process. If the candidate has passed, and everything else is in order, official notification will come in the form of an email with license number included.

A candidate who does not pass will be able to apply for re- examination. Additional fees will be required – and so will another CBC.

Out-of-State LPNs

A nurse who has been licensed or certified elsewhere must provide official verification. This is the case with all health licenses – CNA, EMT etc. – not just nursing. In many cases, nursing licenses can be verified online. If the state does not utilize the NURSYS database, a paper form is required. This will take longer, but a temporary permit may be issued. The permit costs an additional $10.

An LPN who is licensed in another state must show that the candidate is a graduate of an approved nursing program and that the candidate has passed the NCLEX or SBTPE. Indiana does not accept state-constructed exams such as the one that was used in California in past decades.

RN Requirements in Indiana

RN Education Requirements

An RN should begin by enrolling in an approved program. There is a list of in-state programs on the Board’s website. You will also find approved programs as well as criteria to consider when selecting an RN program here: RN Programs in Indiana. There are a number of programs at both the associate’s and bachelor’s levels. Although Indiana does not currently have any diploma programs for RNs, students who complete such programs are eligible for licensure.

The Application Process and the NCLEX-RN

A student will apply as the candidate’s nearing the end of the program. Students at different schools become eligible to apply on different dates. Still, the Board notes that application processing may take longer in May-June and September- December.

A candidate will need to take some preliminary steps, including having a 2 ½ by 3 ½ photograph taken. The application includes questions about legal and professional history. Any ‘yes’ answers will require explanation in the form of a sworn affidavit. (The exception is if the candidate has already applied to the Indiana Board for a license and the facts have not changed.)

The candidate will submit an application with a $50 fee. Click Here for the Application forms and related materials. The candidate will have a background check completed once the candidate receives notification that the application has arrived. (If there is other information missing from the application file, the candidate will receive an email to this effect.)

The candidate must also register with Pearson to take the NCLEX-RN ( The candidate will pay a $200 testing fee upon registration, but will not schedule an exam until the candidate receives the ATT. The candidate may schedule at a Pearson site of choice (either in Indiana or another state).

The successful candidate will receive an email with a license number. The unsuccessful candidate will receive written notification and a retake application. The candidate will need to pay additional fees for re-examination.

The Indiana Board will allow up to three examination attempts before requiring a candidate to make an appearance.

Out-of-State RNs

A nurse who is licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction can apply by endorsement, assuming the candidate has passed the NCLEX or its predecessor, the SBTPE.

The nurse will need to provide license verification for all healthcare licenses the candidate has held. An endorsement candidate may be issued a temporary permit which will get working sooner. For this, the candidate will need a copy of the current license.

Internationally Educated Nurses

Indiana does accept the CNATS exam for licensing purposes provided it was administered in English. Thus Canadian nurses may be eligible for licensure by endorsement.

Nurses from other nations are eligible for endorsement only if they have already passed the NCLEX in another jurisdiction. They are eligible for license by examination, but must first pass a qualifying exam through the Commission for Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. They must also provide license verification from the country where they received their nursing degree. Transcripts should show the time spent in theory and in clinical education.

Applicants may call the Indiana Board of Nursing at (317) 234-2043 with questions and to confirm they are on the correct path.


Indiana State Board of Nursing

Indiana Center for Nursing

Indiana State Nurses Association

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Nursing License Requirements in Indiana | Become a Nurse in IN? ›

Those seeking RN licensure in Indiana must provide proof of graduation from an approved and accredited registered nursing program (ADN or BSN). Fingerprints are required for a criminal background check, as is a passing score on the NCLEX-RN examination.

How do you get a license to practice nursing in the state of Indiana? ›

File an Application for Endorsement: Applications may be submitted online at The application fee for a single state LPN or RN license is $50.00. This fee can be paid by a credit or debit card. Applicants may request a Temporary Permit for an additional $10.00 fee during the application process.

How long does it take to get a nursing license in Indiana? ›

What are "walk-through" states?
StateCom pact?Time Frame for Permanent Licensure
Hawaii2 - 15 days
Idaho6 weeks
Illinois***6 - 8 weeks
Indiana3 - 8 weeks
47 more rows
Jan 26, 2022

Which state is easiest to get RN license? ›

Easiest states to become a nurse – Length of licensing process
  • Maine: 1-2 weeks.
  • Maryland: 2-3 days.
  • Missouri: 2 weeks.
  • Nevada: 1-2 weeks.
  • North Carolina: 1-2 weeks.
  • North Dakota: 1-2 weeks.
  • Texas: 2 weeks.
  • Vermont: 3-5 business days.

What degree do you need to be a nurse in Indiana? ›

Indiana requires the completion of an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing prior to certification. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is the most common degree held by registered nurses.

How do I become a registered nurse in Indiana? ›

Becoming an Indiana RN

In order to become an RN, a person will need to graduate from a college of nursing, perform satisfactorily on the licensing examination, and pass a background check. Programs may be offered at the associate's, diploma, or bachelor's level (See: RN Programs in Indiana).

What is the difference between practice nurse and registered nurse? ›

Although both registered nurses and nurse practitioners focus on patient observation and care, the largest difference between the two roles is that NPs are permitted to prescribe treatments, order tests, and diagnose patients—duties normally performed by physicians—whereas RNs are not.

What is the quickest nursing certification? ›

Of all the nursing certifications, LPN or LVN programs are the quickest and most convenient options. Because training can be completed at a hospital, vocational technical school, community college and even online, LPN/LVN programs are ideal for students who work or have other obligations.

Is Indiana a compact state for RN? ›

That's because Indiana's registered nurses and licensed practical nurses can convert their home state licenses to a multistate license that allows them to practice in 33 other states as well. That's right: On July 1, Indiana became the 34th state to join the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).

Does Indiana require continuing education for nurses? ›

As a nurse in the state of Indiana, you are required to earn continuing education to renew your active APN license.

What state pays more for RN? ›

In the United States overall, the average registered nurse salary is $82,750 and the median (50th percentile) is $77,600. California, with RN salaries averaging $124,000, is the highest-paying state for nurses as of May 2021 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

What state pays the most as an RN? ›

Top 10 Best Paying States for RNs
  1. 1. California. With an average salary of $124,000 annually, the Golden State takes the prize for being the highest-paying state for registered nurses. ...
  2. Hawaii. ...
  3. Oregon. ...
  4. District of Columbia. ...
  5. Alaska. ...
  6. Massachusetts. ...
  7. Washington. ...
  8. New York.
Mar 13, 2023

What state has the lowest RN salary? ›

The lowest-paying states are South Dakota ($60,540), Alabama ($61,920), Mississippi ($63,130), Iowa ($64,990), and Arkansas ($65,810).

How many times can you take the Nclex in Indiana? ›

Indiana: Nursing graduates can retest three times before preparing a presentation for the nursing board indicating their serious intent as a candidate prior to renewed eligibility to test a fourth time. South Carolina: test-takers who fail their exam within a year must complete a remediation program before retesting.

What type of nurse can you be without a degree? ›

There are two types of nursing that do not require a degree: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN/LVN).

Can you take the Nclex at home? ›

You can not take the NCLEX at your home. The NCLEX is administered by Pearson VUE and can only be taken at Pearson Vue testing centers. Check out the comprehensive NCLEX prep review that I recommend.

What is a RN salary in Indiana? ›

$56,714 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $81,088 is the 75th percentile.

How much is an RN paid in Indiana? ›

Salaries by years of experience in Indiana
Years of experiencePer hour
1 to 2 years$41.20
3 to 5 years$43.25
6 to 9 years$44.80
More than 10 years$50.10
1 more row

What is a nurse salary in Indiana? ›

Average Nurse Salary in Indiana

The registered nurse salary in Indiana is $62,400 per year. This means that nurses in Indiana earn an average of $30.00 per hour. On the other hand, the national average for registered nurses is $77,600 per year. This annual salary is approximately $37.31 per hour.

Is a certified nurse better than a registered nurse? ›

When comparing an RN and a CNA, the scope of work varies. RNs have more autonomy to do their jobs compared with CNAs, who are assistants to RNs and other medical providers. CNAs have a more limited scope and work under supervision, but they alleviate the workload of others, allowing for better overall patient care.

What is higher than an RN? ›

What Are the Levels of Nursing? There are five levels of nursing: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN), Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

What is the highest level of a nurse? ›

What is the highest level of nursing? The highest level of nursing education is the doctoral level. Positions that require doctoral nursing degrees include certain types of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), as well as leadership positions such as chief nursing officer or director of nursing.

What is the hardest nursing class to take? ›

Hardest Nursing School Classes
  • Pathophysiology. In this course, students learn how different anatomical systems work and how diseases or injuries affect these systems. ...
  • Pharmacology. ...
  • Medical Surgical 1 (also known as Adult Health 1) ...
  • Evidence-Based Practice.

What is the hardest nursing certification to get? ›

Emergency nursing is considered one of the most difficult fields of nursing, and certification in this specialty is highly desirable.

How do I keep my RN license active in Indiana? ›

Licensure Renewal

Renewal is required to remain active on the Indiana Nurse Aide Registry. LPN – License renewal is required every two years on 10/31 in even-numbered years. Continuing education is not required but there is a renewal fee. RNs – License renewal is required on 10/31 of odd-numbered years.

How often do you have to renew your nursing license in Indiana? ›

Indiana nurse licenses expire on October 31st of even-numbered years. The renewal fee is $50; however, if you fail to renew by the given expiration date, you'll be charged an additional $50.

How much is a compact license in Indiana? ›

To apply for a compact license, please visit and click “Register a Person” to begin the NLC application. The online application fee is $25. After completing the online application, you will be contacted by a customer service representative with details of what additional documentation is required.

Which nursing credential requires the most years of education? ›

Length of Nursing School, by Degree and Program
DegreeTime to Complete
Associate Degree in Nursing24 months
Bachelor of Science in Nursing48 months
Master of Science in Nursing66-72 months
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)84-90 months
2 more rows

Is Indiana a full practice state for nurse practitioners? ›

Under current Indiana state law, APRNs are unable to practice without collaborative practice agreements and must submit a subset of their patient charts to a physician for review for quality assurance.

How do I renew my compact nursing license in Indiana? ›

How to renew your Indiana nursing license
  1. Step 1: Submit renewal application. Your registered nurse license will expire on October 31st of every year ending with an odd number. ...
  2. Step 2: Fulfill continuing competency requirements. ...
  3. Step 3: Submit your renewal application.
Sep 15, 2022

What county pays nurses the most? ›

1. Luxembourg - $96,000 (USD) Currently topping the list as the highest-paid country in the world for nurses, this tiny country in Western Europe pays its nurses very well. Because of the tiny size of the country and its tax haven laws, getting a job as a nurse is extremely difficult.

What state pays ICU nurses the most? ›

We noted above that the highest-paid ICU nurses work in California. California's cost of living is 50 percent higher than the average cost of living throughout all parts of the U.S., and that's one of the reasons why the average ICU nurse salary in the Golden State is 51 percent higher than the average ICU nurse salary ...

What is the highest-paid travel nurse? ›

9 highest paying travel nurse jobs
  1. Pediatrics registered nurse. National average salary: $69,122 per year. ...
  2. Home health registered nurse. National average salary: $74,686 per year. ...
  3. Hospice nurse. ...
  4. Travel nurse. ...
  5. Oncology registered nurse. ...
  6. Labor and delivery nurse. ...
  7. Operating room registered nurse. ...
  8. Emergency room registered nurse.
Mar 3, 2023

Where is the best place for nurses to work cost of living? ›

Based on the annual mean wage of RNs and the cost of living per state, the top two states for nurses to work in are Nevada and Texas. Nevada has a 101.6 rating on the cost of living index, coupled with an annual mean wage for RNs of $83,790 per year.

What is the highest paying occupation? ›

Highest-Paying Occupations
Chief Executives$189,520309.20%
Computer and Information Systems Managers$164,070254.30%
Architectural and Engineering Managers$159,920245.30%
17 more rows

Can a RN negotiate salary? ›

It is possible to negotiate a higher salary as a new nurse. There is no rule book that says you can't. No one will scold you or punish you if you negotiate. As a matter of fact, according to the 2019 Job Seeker Nation Survey report from Jobvite, your potential employer expects it.

What city do nurses make the most money? ›

This makes San Jose the highest-paying city for nurses as of May 2021 (according to the BLS). In the United States, the average salary for RNs is $82,750. Additionally, the median (50th percentile) is $77,600. Over $100,000 lower than the San Jose's average nurse salary is Decatur, AL, at $54,410.

Is the nursing shortage getting better? ›

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Projections 2021-2031, the Registered Nursing (RN) workforce is expected to grow by 6% over the next decade. The RN workforce is expected to grow from 3.1 million in 2021 to 3.3 million in 2031, an increase of 195,400 nurses.

Which state has the hardest NCLEX exam? ›

None. There is no “easy” state to take the NCLEX. The NCLEX is a national exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). Because it's national, the NCLEX will be the same regardless of what state you choose to take it in.

Can you fail at 75 questions on NCLEX? ›

How many questions can you miss on the NCLEX to pass? You can miss up to 85 questions before officially passing the NCLEX exam. But it's important to note that pass and fail scores are more based on the NCLEX's confidence interval.

Does NCLEX get harder when you fail? ›

Does NCLEX-RN Get Harder with Every Retake After Failing? Some candidates mistakenly believe that the NCLEX is harder each time. Questions become more challenging with each correct answer you provide on the NCLEX. However, subsequent tests are not easier or more difficult than previous exams.

What is the easiest medical job to get? ›

What Is The Easiest Medical Job?
  • Medical Secretary.
  • Caregiver.
  • Medical assistant.
  • Medical biller.
  • Pharmacy technician.
  • Phlebotomist.
  • Phlebotomy technician.
  • Medical transcriptionist.
Feb 21, 2023

Can I take the Nclex without going to nursing school? ›

No, you can't take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) until you complete a nursing degree. The type of degree needed depends on the nursing license you wish to obtain. In general, you'll need to pass a diploma program or get an associate's (ADN) or a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN).

How can a nurse make money without being a nurse? ›

Today, there are many ways nurses can work from home.
  1. Telehealth Nurse. Telehealth is becoming much more popular today and can easily be a full-time career. ...
  2. Medical Surveys. ...
  3. Nurse Blogger or Health Writer. ...
  4. Medical Transcription. ...
  5. CPR Instructor. ...
  6. First Aid Instructor. ...
  7. Teach or Tutor Nursing Students Online. ...
  8. Health Coach.
Mar 20, 2023

Which state is easiest for NCLEX? ›

1. New Hampshire
  • NCLEX Pass Rate Average (2017-2021): 94.58%
  • RN-Associate Degree NCLEX Pass Rate (2021): 92.8%
  • RN-Bachelor Degree NCLEX Pass Rate (2021): 93.8%
  • Total Number of Candidates (2021): 767.
Apr 25, 2023

What is the passing score for NCLEX? ›

While it's possible to pass the NCLEX after answering all 135, it's also possible to pass the test with a minimum of 70 questions or any number in between. Keep in mind NCLEX has a time limit of five hours. If you haven't answered enough questions correctly when the clock runs out, you will fail the test.

How hard is the Nclex exam? ›

NCLEX Pass Rates

The second-attempt pass rate for domestically-educated students taking the test was 45.56%. These results demonstrate that it is a pretty difficult test. The questions are designed to test your critical thinking, knowledge of the nursing process, and assessment skills.

What do you need to be a nurse practitioner in Indiana? ›

Advanced Practice Nursing (APRN) in Indiana

Education: Graduate degree in nursing, or a bachelor's degree in nursing together with national certification, at least two semester hours in pharmacology. Fees: $50 Application Fee. $60 Prescriptive Authority Registration Fee.

Is Indiana a compact nursing license state? ›

That's because Indiana's registered nurses and licensed practical nurses can convert their home state licenses to a multistate license that allows them to practice in 33 other states as well. That's right: On July 1, Indiana became the 34th state to join the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).

What is the difference between LPN and RN Indiana? ›

LPNs are less likely than their RN counterparts to provide inpatient hospital care and are unlikely to work in emergency care settings. Instead, they work largely with populations who are elderly, chronically ill, disabled, or convalescent. Some work with generally well populations in community or medical settings.

What is the average NP hourly rate in Indiana? ›

$49.71 is the 25th percentile. Wages below this are outliers. $67.12 is the 75th percentile.

What are the most restricted states for NP? ›

Restricted practice states: According to the AANP, restricted-practice states as of January 2020 were California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Is NP certification recognized by all 50 states? ›

ANCC certification is recognized in all 50 states and offers the most options by population foci. Recertification is required every 5 years.

Does Indiana require national certification for nurse practitioners? ›

Licensure Requirements

Requirements include an RN license, a graduate degree in an NP role and national certification.

What degree does a nurse practitioner typically require? ›

To become an NP, one must be a registered nurse (RN), hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), complete an NP-focused graduate master's or doctoral nursing program and successfully pass a national NP board certification exam.

Can nurse practitioners prescribe medication in Indiana? ›

Indiana's Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Laws

NPs must work within a collaborative arrangement with a physician in order to prescribe. Within this agreement, state law allows nurse practitioners to prescribe Schedule II to V controlled substances.


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