How to Become a Registered Nurse in Indiana
Becoming a registered nurse in Indiana takes dedication and compassion, but for the person looking for a challenging career path will find nursing the right fit. Nursing candidates must complete an approved nursing program and complete the national standard examination to become licensed.
Nursing programs must be approved by the Indiana Board of Nursing (IBON). Colleges and universities offering nursing programs must be accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Nursing programs require students to be a high school graduate with a diploma or equivalent and complete a criminal background check as a requirement for admission.
Nursing candidates in Indiana must earn a minimum of an Associate’s degree to qualify to take the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Graduates with a Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree in nursing will most likely find more job opportunities than a graduate with an Associate’s degree. An approved nursing program will include class work and clinical training. There are online nursing programs that lead to an Associate’s degree in nursing, but they are only open to licensed practical nurses (LPN) who want to transition to RN.
Once the educational requirements have been completed, graduates are required to take the NCLEX-RN and become licensed to practice nursing in Indiana. Students are required to submit an application to test to the IBON, including a criminal background check. It takes the board approximately four weeks to process an application and an additional three weeks after the receipt of the criminal background check. The student is also required to register with Pearson VUE, the entity that administers the NCLEC-RN. There are separate fees paid to the IBON to apply to take the exam and a separate fee paid to Pearson VUE to take the exam. Once the student has received an authorization to test (ATT) the student then schedules a day and time to take the exam. On the day of the exam, the graduate must present a valid form of identification and the ATT. Results of the exam are available about four weeks after the exam.
RN licenses expire on 31 October of odd numbered years. Licenses can only be renewed 60 days prior to expiration. If licenses are expired for more than three years, the nurse will have to file for reinstatement. RNs are not required to fulfill continuing education hours as a requirement for renewal, except if a license is expired for more than three years but less than ten. RNs must then perform a total of 24 contact hours.
The average RN salary in Indiana is $62,000 annually and an entry level salary of $45,000 annually. Actual salary offered and salary increases throughout an RN career will depend on type of facility where employed, education, level of responsibility assumed and number of years on the job. RNs that assume positions of responsibility will earn more in salary than staff RNs.
RNs will find employment in a variety of areas including the private duty sector, nursing homes and hospitals, assisted care facilities and occupational healthcare centers, government and education facilities, teaching and clinics.
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