Best Online RN to BSN Nursing Schools in Indiana

Nurses in Indiana are fortunate: Indiana has avoided many of the pitfalls of their Rust Belt neighbors with a diversified  economy, an excellent education system, and some of the best healthcare in the nation. These come together in institutions like Indiana University and Purdue University, which offer some of the finest nursing programs in the world.

Working RN nurses in Indiana who want to advance in their careers with a BSN have an incredible wealth of opportunities. Indiana offers some of the best online RN to BSN degree programs in the nation, from major public universities and small colleges alike. TopRNtoBSN’s ranking of the best online nursing schools in Indiana is a ranking of some of the best of the best not just in Indiana, but the whole US.

How We Ranked the Best Online Nursing Schools in Indiana

To rank the best online RN to BSN nursing programs in Indiana, TopRNtoBSN editors have to first do a thorough vetting of all the nursing schools in the Hoosier State – and there are a lot of them! Our focus is on accredited schools offering BSN and higher. From the initial list, we rank programs according to their Tuition Cost, Student Reviews, and Alumni Salary – factors that help students feel confident that they’re getting an online RN to BSN that will have a real impact on their careers.

1. Purdue Global

When you are looking for the best nursing schools in Indiana, you may consider Purdue University. The West Lafayette campus offers an education in nursing based on student goals and plans. The school allows students to obtain a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree for their long-term plans. It also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a PhD program in nursing. Students with an associates degree who plan to obtain a higher level of education can also obtain a BSN through the online program at Purdue Global.

Purdue University differs from other programs by offering students the flexibility to obtain a degree based on their goals. It allows students to pursue a graduate level education as well as obtain a bachelor’s online through the Purdue Global nursing program. The school is accredited by CCNE and the NLN Center of Excellence, which means the school meets or exceeds the standards set by the commission.

Degree: BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD; online RN to BSN through Purdue Global
Accreditation: CCNE, NLN Center of Excellence

2. Ball State University

Ball State University in Muncie is one of the top nursing schools in Indiana. The degree program focuses on assisting students with their plans for their long-term career goals. The program allows students to focus on specific concentrations or to continue their education with certifications that complement their undergraduate or graduate level education. Ball State offers the BSN, MSN, as well as an online RN-BSN program. The online program allows registered nurses with an associate’s degree to continue their education when it fits their schedule.

A key aspect that sets Ball State University apart is their simulations. Students go through simulations as part of their education to gain experience in a safe environment. It allows students to learn without the worries associated with caring for a patient. It also ensures that students feel confident in their skills before they work in a nursing career. The practice gives students real-world knowledge to apply in their career. The program is accredited by CCNE and meets the high standards of the accreditation commission.

Degree: BSN, MSN, online RN to BSN
Accreditation: CCNE

3. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

The Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis focuses on helping students accomplish their goals by providing the degree programs that specialize in specific nursing fields. The university offers undergraduate programs for students who want to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing and start a career as a registered nurse. IUPUI offers an online RN to BSN program that allows working professionals to complete a bachelor’s degree when they have limited time for their education. The graduate degree programs allow students to specialize in more complex areas of nursing.

Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis stands apart from other programs by offering an array of programs for student education. Students can start their degree as an undergraduate and continue into a PhD program. It also allows students to focus on continuing education with certifications in specialized fields of study.

Degree: BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD, online RN to BSN
Accreditation: CCNE

4. University of Southern Indiana

The University of Southern Indiana offers an excellent nursing program in their Evansville campus. The school offers programs from the undergraduate level into the doctor of nursing practice level, which allow students to advance in their career with a higher level of education. It also offers certifications for specialized fields of nursing. Registered nurses with an associate’s degree may also benefit from Southern Indiana’s online RN to BSN program that allows students to obtain a CCNE accredited degree without putting their career on hold.

The way the University of Southern Indiana stands out from other programs is their hands-on approach to education. The school gives students extensive experience in medical facilities before they move into their career. It also provides students with the education they need to prepare for licensing exams and certification exams. The focus on quality education and experience allows students to feel confident about their abilities when they start working in nursing.

Degree: BSN, MSN, DNP, online RN to BSN
Accreditation: CCNE

5. University of St. Francis

Students who want to obtain a degree in nursing may consider the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne. The degree program offers undergraduate and graduate level opportunities for students who want to study a high level of nursing. The school offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees in nursing for student career goals. The USF online RN to BSN program also helps students who want to improve their understanding of nursing when they have an associate’s degree and work as a registered nurse.

The University of St. Frances is one of the best nursing schools in Indiana because it focuses on engaging students in the curriculum. The school is a college of distinction and has accreditation from CCNE to provide students with the high standards they expect when attending the best universities for nursing education. The school offers state-of-the-art technology to students to ensure they are prepared to handle nursing in any environment.

Degree: BSN, MSN, DNP, online RN to BSN
Accreditation: CCNE

6. University of Evansville

The University of Evansville allows students to focus on nursing careers with an ACEN accredited bachelor’s program. The degree program offers the foundational skills students need to work in nursing and provide care to their patients. By providing students with simulations and clinical experience, the nursing degree allows students to enhance their skills and keep up with the needs of their career. University of Evansville also offers an online RN to BSN program for registered nurses who want to complete a bachelor’s degree with a flexible schedule.

The way the University of Evansville differs from other programs is their focus on combining science with creativity. The creative learning environment helps students find solutions to potential problems before it causes health risks to the patients. It also focuses on ensuring students understand the latest innovations in medical care and nursing to handle the technology they will use in their career.

Degree: BSN, online RN to BSN
Accreditation: ACEN

7. Goshen College

When it comes to the top nursing schools in Indiana, Goshen College may come to mind for their nursing degrees. The renowned college of nursing is CCNE accredited and has a reputation for providing students with a rigorous and expansive education in nursing. Students can obtain a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a doctor of nursing practice from the college of nursing. Goshen also offers an online BSN program for registered nurses who have professional obligations and limited time for their education.

Goshen College is the oldest bachelor of nursing degree program in Indiana. As the first program to offer an undergraduate degree in nursing, the school has a well-known reputation within Indiana and continues to focus on maintaining its high standard of excellence in its students. The school teaches students to evaluate their patients as a whole person rather than focusing on the individual concerns related to their symptoms. The holistic approach to nursing sets the school apart from other programs.

Degree: BSN, MSN, online RN to BSN, DNP
Accreditation: CCNE

8. Indiana Wesleyan University

The Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion provides students in Indiana with the nursing education they need to start working as a registered nurse. The programs prepare students to take licensing examinations and work with patients in a variety of settings and environments. The school offers undergraduate degree programs and graduate degree programs to help students accomplish their goals when they plan to work in nursing. IWU’s  online BSN program also allows registered nurses to continue with their education while they work in the medical field.

Indiana Wesleyan University stands apart by focusing on an integrated learning style. Students take courses with hands-on experience in nursing, as well as classes that focus on theory and basic skills. It provides a foundational level of education before moving into more advanced studied to ensure that student s are ready for the challenges of working in nursing. It also encourages students to take a compassionate approach to handling patient needs and goals.

Degree: BSN, MSN, DNP, online RN to BSN
Accreditation: CCNE

9. Indiana University Kokomo

When you want to study nursing, Indiana University Kokomo prepares you for the rigors of your career goals. The school offers an undergraduate bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s degree for students who attend the on-campus classes. Registered nurses with an associate’s degree may also take Kokomo’s  online BSN program to advance in their career and learn more comprehensive skills for their long-term plans.

Indiana University Kokomo differs from other programs by focusing on the idea of community. It teaches students to build a community in their work environment and treat their patients with respect and compassion when handling potential complications with their well-being. The program recognizes that students may need a sense of community when facing challenges in their degree program and provides the support students need to stay on track for their goals.

Degree: BSN, MSN, online RN to BSN
Accreditation: CCNE

10. Indiana State University

Indiana State University at Terre Haute offers a nursing degree program that focuses on competence and skill. The program recognizes that students need a high level of education in nursing to focus on providing services to their patients. That is why the school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees to improve student knowledge and skills. Indiana State also offers an online program for a bachelor’s degree to help working nurses continue their education at their own pace.

The university campus at Terre Haute stands out from other programs by focusing on transformational results. The school works on student growth by teaching compassion and competent nursing skills. The focus on competence means students are able to handle the challenges of a complex work environment and difficult patients. The focus on compassion prepares students to understand their patient and take an appropriate approach to providing medical care to individuals.

Degree: BSN, MSN, DNP, online RN to BSN
Accreditation: CCNE

11. Bethel College

Bethel College in Mishawaka is an excellent program for students in nursing. The ACEN accredited bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees allow students to learn the skills they need to provide medical care to patients in a hospital or medical facility. Bethel’s nursing program ensures that students have the ability to take a leadership role in their career and provide compassionate care to patients who may feel uncomfortable in a medical facility. It also teaches students the critical thinking skills and communication skills they need to work with doctors and other medical professionals.

A key aspect that sets Bethel College apart is their high level of technology and nursing simulations. The school has an up-to-date lab with advanced technology and simulations to teach students to handle the needs of patients. The adult and child-sized mannequins give students experience working with different groups before they take on the challenge of working in a medical facility or getting involved with a hospital.

Degree: BSN, MSN, online RN to BSN
Accreditation: ACEN

12. Indiana University – South Bend

Indiana University at South Bend offers students a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in nursing. The IU South Bend nursing program also offers an online RN to BSN degree that is CCNE accredited for students who plan to return to school for a bachelor’s degree after starting their career in nursing. The degree programs offer the foundation students need to handle challenges in a medical facility and provide the care patients need for their long-term health. The school also prepares students for the licensing exams to help them feel confident in passing the exam.

Indiana University in South Bend stands out from other programs by focusing on leadership skills. The school teaches students to handle leadership roles in nursing and prepares students to take on a higher level of education to advance in their career. It also offers students a small-town atmosphere without giving up on the growth and development they expect for their nursing education.

Degree: BSN, MSN, online RN to BSN
Accreditation: CCNE

13. Vincennes University

The best nursing schools in Indiana offer students opportunities to improve their skills and advance in their career. Vincennes University offers students a nursing bachelor’s degree program and even an associate’s degree program to help students start on their nursing career immediately. The school also recognizes that students may continue their education through specialized certifications and provides a practical nursing program to help with continuing education goals.

The way Vincennes University differs from other schools is its focus on student goals. The school offers different programs to help students accomplish their career objectives and move into a nursing role that fits their long-term plans. It provides an accredited education with a focus on growth and competence.

Degree: BSN; online RN to BSN
Accreditation: ACEN

14. Marian University

Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana is an excellent school for students in nursing. The school offers flexible degree programs that work with student goals and help them obtain the bachelor’s degree they need to advance in their career. It recognizes that adult students may have limited time for their degree and works around the concerns that may arise when focusing on education and career growth.

Marian University is a CCNE accredited school that stands apart by offering accelerated BSN programs. The accelerated program allows students to finish a degree in a short amount of time and still accomplish their long-term goals for their education. Marian also offers an online RN to BSN program that lets students study when it fits their work schedule or their personal obligations. The flexibility allows students to pursue their career goals without giving up on their undergraduate education.

Degree: BSN; online RN to BSN
Accreditation: CCNE

15. St Mary-of-the-Woods College

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College offers an education in nursing that allows students to focus on their plans for their career. It provides degree programs in undergraduate and graduate level education. The online RN to BSN degree program also works with professional nurses who may have a complicated work schedule and limited time for their degree. Students can also obtain a post-master’s family nurse practitioner certification through the college to specialize in family practice nursing.

The CCNE accredited nursing degrees at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College stand out for their focus on leadership. The school teaches students leadership skills and communication skills to prepare them for their role as a nurse in different facilities. Since nurses may take on leadership roles or need to communicate concerns effectively with a doctor, the school helps students develop the skills they need for their career while teaching advanced nursing skills.

Degree: BSN, MSN; online RN to BSN
Accreditation: CCNE

FAQs – Nursing Schools in Indiana:

How to Become a Registered Nurse in Indiana?

The Indiana Board of Nursing (IBON) is tasked with the responsibility of managing the state’s nursing licensure standards, testing, and education requirements. The Indiana Nursing Board sets baseline criteria for becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse, and Nurse Practitioner (NP). When an applicant has met the nursing in Indiana requirements, IBON will issue an Indiana nursing license. IBON’s website provides a database that provides –

  • Indiana Nursing License Enrollment Information
  • Accredited Nursing Programs Indiana
  • Indiana Nursing License Renewal information
  • An Indiana Nursing License Verification feature
  • An Indiana Nursing License Lookup feature
  • Indiana NCLEX Pass Rates by school

Members of the Indiana Nursing Board set forth the pre-license education requirements for Indiana nursing license holders, and, the continuing education minimums required for an Indiana nursing license renewal.  The Indiana Nursing Board’s website lists IBON’s approved Indiana nursing license four-year degree programs, accelerated nursing programs Indiana, and online nursing programs Indiana.

When one has earned a degree from an accelerated nursing programs Indiana (or any on-campus program), they must then pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) examination. Nursing Licensees who have passed the state’s qualification standards earned a nursing degree from an approved program, and pass the NCLEX exam will receive nursing in Indiana license. Some features of IBON’s website include:

How is the Job Market for Nurses in Indiana?

The nursing profession has always been a rewarding career marked by a steady job market in terms of growth and demand. And while the nursing profession, like every other profession, is subject to the influence of the cyclical nature of the economy, and any revised law, nursing jobs in Indiana will likely find a consistent demand. It is noted, however, that the overall nursing profession is now trending towards preferring to hire a nurse with a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) degree, instead of a nurse who only holds a Registered Nurse degree.

A National Nurse Database recently disclosed that the state of Indiana has nearly 130,000 nurses, of which more than 104,000 were Registered Nurses. The remainder of nursing professionals accounts for those who hold Licensed Practical Nursing licenses in Indiana.

There are more than 150 hospitals in Indiana, with about ten hospitals in Indianapolis proper alone. As such, the nursing job market for professionals at hospitals in Indianapolis (for those who prefer an urban way of life), or at the many rural and suburban hospitals in Indiana, remains strong.

Nursing jobs in Indiana, the 16th most populated state, continue to expand across all nursing specialties, across the rural parts and the cities of South Bend, Fort Wayne, and Elkhart, among others. Nursing jobs in Indianapolis, the state’s capital and largest city, vary based upon the nurse’s level of education, experience, and specialty.

With a population that exceeds 850,000 — nearly 13% of the state’s population, nursing jobs in Indianapolis are available for nursing professionals who seek careers in a diverse Midwestern city with much to offer.

How Much Do Nurses Make in Indiana?

The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that a Registered Nurse’s median annual salary for 2018 was $71,730, or nearly $35 per hour. An Indiana nurse salary falls slightly short of the national average, though Indianapolis in particular is one of the highest-paying cities for nurses.

According to the BLS, Nursing Salaries Indiana vary across the Hoosier state but fall within a range of $36,020 to nearly $68,000. On average, an Indiana nurse salary equals an approximate average of $26.25 per hour.

Yet, an average nursing salary in Indiana varies depending on the position. Average nursing salaries Indiana will differ for  say, a Nurse Anesthetist Salary vs. a Nurse Practitioner (NP) Salary.

A nurse practitioner salary in Indiana will likely exceed a traditional nursing salary in Indiana due to the mandated additional training and increased responsibilities required for an NP license.

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