How To Become A Nurse In Indiana

Do you pour over the employment ads and see all the openings for nurses? Do you see yourself having a future in the medical field? If you can say yes to these questions, becoming a nurse may be a great career choice for you. As with most careers, becoming a nurse in Indiana requires from one to four years of secondary education dependent upon the level of nursing you want to attain. In the State of Indiana, you can become an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) in one year to 18 months, an ASN (associate of science in nursing) in approximately two years or a BSN (Bachelor of Science in nursing) in approximately four years. While you choice may depend on your employment and financial situation as well as how fast you want to enter the medical field, each level has a difference scope of practice, or in other words, different care they are allowed to provide. While the ASN and BSN are similar in responsibility, you can become more focused on a certain area of nursing with a BSN. The following will explain the differences between the levels of nursing in better detail and explain how to become a license nurse in the State of Indiana.

LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse)

To become an LPN or Licensed Practical Nurse, you will usually spend one year to 18 months in school. Most community colleges, vocational schools and technical schools have LPN programs. No matter which type of secondary school you wish to attend, you must be sure that the school is fully accredited with the Indiana Board of Nursing. This means that they provide the proper training for you to successfully pass your licensing exam and become an LPN. Most schools also have a certain GPA you need to maintain in order to complete the program successfully. Once you complete your training successfully, you can take the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses) in order to get your license. There are four sections to this exam: Safe Effective Care Environment, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychological Integrity and Physiological Integrity. You must successfully pass each section in order to obtain your license.

While LPN’s have a narrow scope of practice with just an LPN license, additional training can be done in Intravenous Therapy and Medication Administration. While each state has their own regulations as to what care an LPN can and cannot administer, the criteria to take additional training to increase the scope of practice is generally the same. An LPN can provide basic patient care, have input into the planning, implementation and evaluation of patient care, all under the discretion of an RN (ASN or BSN). While the additional training can provide a larger scope of practice, LPN’s will usually never be in a position to make decisions or make suggestions on patient care.

RN (Registered Nurse)

If you can attend school full-time for four or more years and want to attain a higher nursing degree, you can choose either an associate degree (ASN) or a bachelor’s degree (BSN). The ASN requires approximately two years of secondary education and the BSN usually requires at least four. Before deciding on a school you wish to attend, you want to make sure, as with any nursing school, that they are fully accredited with the Indiana Board of Nursing. While you may be able to attend a community college to attain your ASN, you will need to find a four-year institution if you wish to obtain your BSN. In some larger cities, hospitals may also offer nursing programs as well, so it is a good idea to check if there are any hospitals in your area that have a School of Nursing. As with becoming an LPN, you will also have to take a state exam, and in the case of those with ASN and BSN degrees, will be the NCLEX-RN. The exam consists of the same four subjects as the LPN exam, but offers questions of a higher caliber designed for those with advanced training.

Becoming an RN – Associate’s versus Bachelor’s degrees

When you are deciding between becoming an ASN or a BSN, there are factors you need to take into consideration. If you can afford four years of school, go for the BSN, but if you want to get into the nursing field and then work up to your BSN, get your ASN, start working then attend school part-time to attain your BSN. Having the associate’s degree allows you to practice general nursing and have a much larger scope of practice than an LPN. It also gives you the opportunity to work in all areas of nursing which can help you to decide if there is a specific type of nursing you want to concentrate on while obtaining your BSN. If you become an ASN and find an employer that offers tuition assistance, you can also take advantage of getting your BSN without as much of a financial burden. A BSN also allows you to go into fields such as nursing management, where you would actually be doing less patient care and more supervisory and administrative duties.

Every nursing degree requires a certain number of CE (continuing education) hours be logged per year. If you work in a hospital, they will usually offer these at work, and if they do not you can take them online when it is convenient for you. Nursing licenses usually need to be renewed no more than every two years, and with the CE hours, you cannot renew your license.

Nursing Schools in Indiana

While the LPN program is offered at a majority of technical schools, vocational schools and community colleges in Indiana, the following schools are based on those attending for an ASN or BSN.

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Nursing School Locations

Indiana University School of Nursing
1111 Middle Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317-274-2806

Bethel College
School of Nursing
1001 West McKinley Avenue
Mishawaka, IN 46545
Phone: 574-807-7000

Purdue University, Hammond
School of Nursing
Gyte Annex, Room X138
2200 169th Street
Hammond, Indiana 46323-2094
Phone: 1-800 HI-PURDUE

Goshen College
Department of Nursing
1700 South Main Street
Goshen, Indiana 46526
Phone: (800) 348-7422

University of Southern Indiana
College of Nursing and Health Professions
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, Indiana 47712
Phone: (812)464-8600

Ursuline College Breen School of Nursing
2550 Lander Road
Pepper Pike, OH 44124
Phone Number: (440) 449-4203

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