If you’re familiar with the field of healthcare, you likely know how indispensable nurses are to this industry. This includes CNAs, LPNs, RNs, NPs, and others at advanced levels of licensure.
Nurses often provide the bulk of patient care, which is why all nursing schools in Indiana focus heavily on clinical experience and patient communication in their curricula. If you’ve been waiting for the chance to pursue a career as a registered nurse, take this time to learn more about the different types of degrees listed below and contact local schools to find the best nursing program for you.
- Traditional BSN Degree
- Accelerated/Second Degree BSN
- RN to BSN Bridge Programs
- LPN to BSN Bridge Programs
Looking to Become an RN in Indiana?
A Bachelor’s Degree May Be the Best Nursing Program for You
Many colleges for nursing have ramped up their BSN offerings in recent years. This is due to a push from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to create a nursing workforce that is largely comprised of baccalaureate nurses.
This recommendation came about due to dozens of research studies that indicated better patient outcomes and patient satisfaction levels in facilities with high percentages of BSN graduates. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that higher levels of nursing education are linked to better patient outcomes in different settings and specialties (2017).
What Should I Look for in BSN Nursing Schools in Indiana?
As you start to explore the nursing programs available in your city and other nearby communities, start to create a list of top nursing schools. Keeping track of the schools that interest you makes it easier to request more information, compare degree options at each school, and ultimately decide on a program that is aligned with your professional goals.
You should definitely focus your search on programs accredited by the CCNE or ACEN, since these programs are held to high educational standards that prepare students for the NCLEX licensing exam. You may want to look at the Indiana State Board of Nursing to find out which programs they approve and recommend. They may also provide information on NCLEX pass rates. A school with a high NCLEX pass rate may offer the support students need to build core nursing skills and prepare for the testing process. As you get further into the school selection process, you may want to visit schools and sit in on classes to further narrow your list of programs.
Applying to Indiana Bachelor of Science in Nursing Colleges
It’s never too early to start preparing for the application process, particularly since many nursing colleges have strict acceptance requirements. As a nurse, you may make choices that mean life or death for your patients. That’s a big responsibility, and you have to be able to prove that you’re up to the task.
Nursing schools look for high grades, especially in science courses. They also verify that you are of sound physical health, that you do not use drugs, and that you are up-to-date on all mandatory vaccinations. Many nursing programs require an essay for acceptance; use this as an opportunity to talk up your skills and really explore your passion for healthcare.
What Are BSN Programs in Indiana Like?
Not all nursing schools are the same, but they often have more similarities than differences. You need several hundred hours of experience to become licensed in the state of Indiana, so all BSN programs should meet this standard.
However, many schools go above and beyond to give students more diverse clinical experiences. While contacting Indiana schools, be sure to look at both their theory education requirements and their practical experience requirements.
Indiana BSN Degree Basic Requirements
With your list of top nursing schools at hand, you may delve into each program’s graduation and clinical hour requirements. A Bachelor’s degree in any field requires 120 credits; the average nursing program allots 50 to 60 credits to general education courses. The rest of your time in school should be spent on nursing coursework.
Courses Required in BSN Nursing Schools in Indiana
- Comprehensive Health Assessment
- Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for Nursing Practice
- Healthcare Delivery Systems
- Fundamentals of Nursing
RN to BSN Programs in Indiana
Those who have already earned an Associate’s degree in nursing may qualify for acceptance to RN to BSN bridge programs. These programs often have experience requirements, so you may need 1,000 hours of nursing experience or more to be accepted. Over a period of two years, you may take additional general education classes and high-level nursing classes to prepare for graduation.
Coursework Options in RN to BSN Programs in Indiana
- Transitional Care of Families and Populations
- Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice
- Managing Health and Illness Across Care Environments
- Applied Healthcare Ethics
Indiana Accelerated BSN Programs
Many colleges for nursing now have accelerated BSN program options. This type of degree uses general education credits from your first Bachelor’s degree to reduce the amount of credits you need for a BSN. Accelerated programs typically run from 12 to 24 months in length.
Classes Required in Accelerated Nurse Programs
- Leadership in Healthcare Delivery and Policy
- Adaptive Processes in Clinical Nursing Care
- Biophysical Processes in Clinical Nursing Care
- Interactive Processes in Clinical Nursing Care
LPN to RN Programs in Indiana
A one-year nursing diploma may give you the chance to get some experience in healthcare and decide that you want a nursing degree. In an LPN bridge program, plan on earning about 90 credits over a period of two to three years.
Classes Offered in LPN to RN Programs
- Population Health and Community Nursing
- Professionalism in Collaborative Practice
- Clinical Nursing Care Procedures
- Introduction to Nursing Research
All Nursing Schools Are Not Created Equal…
How to Make a List of Top Nursing Schools in Indiana
You know which type of degree you need, so it’s time to figure out which school is well-suited to you. Whether you’re interested in accelerated nurse programs, bridge programs, or standard BSN programs, you can get started by making a list of questions that you want to ask each school.
After you request information, you can begin sorting the folders of documents you get into categories in a nursing school binder. Set up an appointment to talk with admissions representatives at each school over the phone. With your list of questions, you can take notes and compare options easily.
Questions to Ask Indiana Colleges for Nursing
- How many credits do I need to earn for a BSN?
- How many clinical hours are required or offered at your school?
- Which clinical settings are available to BSN students?
- Does the school offer NCLEX study groups or review materials for graduating seniors?
- What is the average class size?
Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want; after all, this is the start to your future career. With the information you collect, you can make an informed decision and select the best nursing program for you.