How to Become a Nurse in Indiana

By most measures, the demand for nurses is growing nationwide — and Indiana is no exception. This expected need, along with the potential for competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package, makes nursing a desirable career to explore. According to the Indiana Nursing Licensure Survey, more than 80 percent of nurses currently practicing in Indiana earned their education in Indiana. Exploring nursing school options in Indiana is the first step prospective nurses need to take to get started on their career.

Each type of nursing has its own set of educational requirements to keep in mind. Applicants interested in becoming a CNA, LPN, RN, or APRN in Indiana can learn more about licensure below. The Indiana Board of Nursing is known as the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (PLA), and it controls all levels of nursing licensure in this state.

How to Get Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Certification in Indiana

Those with an Indiana CNA certificate work under the direct supervision of a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse in the state.

To register as a certified nurse aide in Indiana, applicants should be sure to include the following in their applications:

  • A $50.00 non-refundable payment for the application
  • A picture, about 2.5 x 3.5 inches, from the shoulders up in black and white or color
  • Proof of completion of 105 hour CNA training approved by the state
  • Proof of passing the nurse aide competency evaluation, which includes both a written test and a skills test
  • If applicable, documentation of a legal name change

An Indiana CNA registry is valid for two years. Once it expires it must be renewed in a timely manner. If it’s been expired for less than 18 months, CNAs can renew their application by visiting www.pla.in.gov. If it has been longer than 18 months, CNAs must contact the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency directly.

How to Get a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) License in Indiana

To apply to be a licensed practical nurse in Indiana, applicants must submit:

  • A $50 non-refundable payment for the application
  • A picture, about 2.5 x 3.5 inches, from the shoulders up in black and white or color
  • Proof of education
  • If applicable, proof of active licensure in another state
  • Criminal background check
  • If applicable, documentation of a legal name change

After the application is approved, the applicant may take the NCLEX-PN exam. If the applicant passes the NCLEX, the LPN license is awarded.

Those with an Indiana LPN license do not have to complete continuing education hours in order to renew their license. An Indiana nursing license is valid for two years. Once it expires, it must be renewed in a timely manner. If the license has been expired for less than 18 months, LPNs can renew their application by visiting www.pla.in.gov. If it has been longer than 18 months, LPNs must contact the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency directly.

How to Get a Registered Nurse (RN) License in Indiana

To apply for an Indiana RN license, students must register for the NCLEX-RN exam and submit an application to the PLA. Within the application, students must include:

  • A $50 non-refundable payment for the application
  • A picture, about 2.5 x 3.5 inches, from the shoulders up in black and white or color
  • Proof of completion of an approved nursing program* If applicable, proof of active licensure in another state
  • Criminal background check
  • If applicable, documentation of a legal name change

After the application is approved, the applicant may take the NCLEX exam. If the applicant passes the NCLEX, the RN license is awarded.

Once obtained, the Indiana nursing license is valid for two years. There are no continuing education requirements to renew an Indiana RN license. Failure to renew in a timely manner is subject to a late fee. If the license has been expired for less than 18 months, RNs can renew their application by visiting www.pla.in.gov. If it has been longer than 18 months, RNs must contact the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency directly.

How to Get an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) License in Indiana

To apply for an Indiana advanced practice nurse license, applicants must already have an RN license in the state and should have completed at least a master’s degree in nursing. APRN hopefuls must include the following with their application:

  • $50 application fee made payable to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
  • A list of any other state licenses held, or a license or certification in the healthcare services field
  • A document verifying legal name change, if applicable
  • A completed Controlled Substance Registration (CSR) application, which has to be submitted for the location of primary practice. If the nurse administers, dispenses, or distributes controlled substances in other health settings, a CSR must be submitted for each of those additional settings.
  • Proof of having successfully completed a graduate-level pharmacology course
  • Collaborative agreement
  • Criminal background check
  • For prescriptive authority, APRN applicants for an Indiana nursing license must have successfully completed at least 30 hours of continuing education, and at least eight hours had to be in pharmacology.

Once obtained, an Indiana APRN license lasts for two years.