The number of Indiana nurses with a master's degree has been increasing over the last decades, which is indicative of a larger national trend: nation-wide, advanced practice, master's-prepared nurses are becoming an essential part of the healthcare team. In Indiana (and beyond), advanced practice nurses are providing primary care, delivering babies, administering anesthesia and providing expert clinical care to patient populations that range from the very young to the very old.
There are many opportunities to further your education if you currently have an Associate's degree in nursing or a Bachelor's degree in nursing. During your time as a nurse, you may have discovered that you enjoy working with patients, digging into nursing research, being a leader, or working with student nurses. There are several MSN programs in Indiana that can provide you with the skills you need to have a successful career in advanced nursing.
The need for nurse educators is growing fairly quickly in Indiana. On the Hot 50 List, a list of the 50 fastest-growing jobs in Indiana, both registered nurses and licensed practical nurses are present. Nursing schools in Indiana are struggling to graduate enough nurses to meet this demand, so some schools may be hiring more nurse educators to expand their nursing programs.
Advanced nursing practice is another great area of opportunity for many MSN nursing students. The Greensburg Daily News reports that many rural Indiana counties have a significant shortage of doctors. As a nurse practitioner, you may be able to work with patients of different ages and medical needs. In this state, nurse practitioners do need to have a collaborative agreement with a physician.
If you want to become a leader in your institution, consider going into nurse leadership or management. On the Hot 50 List, medical services managers are listed amongst the top 10 most in-demand jobs. This degree may help you work more closely with patients and other nurses. Request information from the schools offering the Master's programs in Indiana you are interested in learning more about to get started.
Learn About Indiana MSN Programs
While considering a Master's of Science in Nursing, you should note that you need at least two years of full-time education to earn this degree. If you attend part-time, you may be able to graduate in three to four years. The education process is a bit longer for Associate's-level nurses. You may be able to attend an Indiana RN to MSN program, which allows you to combine your BSN and MSN courses into one program.
Some Master's degree programs allow you to take courses online. You may be able to take courses like Pharmacotherapeutics, Physiologic Concepts in Advanced Practice Nursing, and Nursing Informatics online. However, courses with a clinical component require typical classroom hours. Courses with clinical requirements include Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, Advanced Health Assessment, and Pediatric Health Practice. If you are going into a direct care nursing care nursing program, you can anticipate completing at least 600 hours of clinical work. Nursing leadership, nursing research, and nursing education programs tend to have less rigorous clinical requirements.
If you are not currently an Indiana RN, MSN programs may still be available to you. Direct Entry MSN programs allow you to apply credits and experience from your non nursing Bachelor's degree to Master's in Nursing training. This is great if you know that you are looking for advanced opportunities in nursing, but have not yet become a nurse.
It's important to tackle your school's learning outcomes as an MSN student. You should develop a sense of comfort in a clinical setting, both working with other nurses and with patients. In addition, you need a thorough understanding of how illness affects individuals and populations. It's crucial to learn how to read and apply nursing research to evidence-based care standards.
Since nurses of all specialties are in high demand in Indiana, it should come as no surprise that there are quite a few scholarship programs for MSN students. The Indiana State Nurses Association awards scholarships. The Indiana Center for Nursing has a scholarship program for graduate-level nursing students. They also partner with other local organizations to offer more scholarships. The General Federation of Women's Clubs is another local resource for nursing students.
Advanced Nursing Careers in Indiana
Master's-prepared advanced practice nurses work both in and out of traditional healthcare settings. Many of Indiana's nurse practitioners and nurse midwives work in non-hospital settings such as ambulatory care centers or in private practice. Most of Indiana's certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) work in hospitals; many others work in ambulatory surgical centers, or in rural settings. Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) in Indiana work in hospital settings, long-term care centers, clinics or community health agencies.
In general, average nursing salaries in Indiana are similar the national averages. Nurse practitioners earn an average of $87,500 per year, according to O*Net. The average salary for a nurse anesthetist is $166,800 per year and nurse midwives earn an average of $83,400 annually (O*Net, 2013). Nursing instructors earn an average of $63,000 (O*Net, 2013).
Professional organizations for MSN nurses in Indiana include the Coalition of Advanced Practice Nurses of Indiana, the Indiana Association of Nurse Anesthetists, and the Indiana State Nurses Association.
MSN programs for Indiana nurses include:
- Ball State University. The Princeton Review has called Ball University one of the best universities in the Midwest. Ball's School of Nursing has one of the nation's largest and most well-respected online MSN programs. Nurses who are interested in pursuing a career in either nursing leadership or primary care can study online through Ball. The school also offers an online RN-to-MS program for nurses who hold a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing.
- University of Indianapolis. Located in the state's capital, the University of Indianapolis has a multitude of options for nurses who wish to pursue a master's degree. Students can study nurse midwifery, nurse management, nurse education or nurse practitioner. The University of Indianapolis also offers a dual MSN/MBA degree for aspiring nurse administrators who would like a graduate degree in both nursing and business.