There are many ways to get started in nursing. You could start out as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) by completing an LPN program, or you could complete an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and start your career as a Registered Nurse (RN). In order to become an RN, you need to complete an ADN or BSN and then pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Regardless of which path you choose, there are plenty of good nursing schools in Indiana that provide the education you need to get started in nursing.
LPN vs RN
If you’re the least bit worried about money—and who isn’t—the choice between RN and LPN is a no-brainer. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the median salary for an LPN is $47,480. That’s not bad, but consider this: the median salary for a Registered Nurse is $73,300 per year. And you can become an RN with just two years of nursing education.
ADN vs BSN
The choice between getting an ADN or a BSN is a bit harder. You have to go to school twice as long to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and the pay jump between an associate educated RN and a bachelor educated RN is not nearly as significant as the pay jump between an LPN and an RN.
There are three main benefits to earning a BSN rather than an ADN. First of all, you probably will make more money with a BSN degree. Second, as a more highly educated Registered Nurse, you will be more likely to be promoted to supervisory roles. Third, you gain job security as more and more healthcare agencies seek to hire only BSN-educated nurses.
The Top 20 Nursing Schools in Indiana
Because we feel strongly that a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is the best choice for nurses entering the profession, we have limited this list of the best nursing schools in Indiana to those that have a bachelor’s level nursing program that has been approved by the Indiana State Board of Nursing. If you’d like to see which schools have been approved to offer LPN and ADN programs, you can find that information here. Otherwise, read on to see the top 20 nursing schools in Indiana with bachelor’s programs approved by the state.
1. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis – Indianapolis, IN (91 points)
The School of Nursing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has been training leaders in the field of nursing since 1914. The school prepares students for careers as scientists, innovators, and expert clinicians.
IUPUI has three tracks for undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. There is the traditional, four-year BSN for the typical student, an accelerated BSN for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, and an online RN to BSN program for working RNs.
IUPUI also has several options for graduate students. There is a Master of Science in Nursing with nine tracks to choose from, a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Science. Students who have a bachelor’s degree can go straight to a PhD with the Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science program.
- Tuition: $4,397.39 per semester
- Enrollment: 30,105
1. Indiana University-Northwest – Gary, IN (91 points)
The Indiana University Northwest School of Nursing embraces diversity and its urban identity. The school has developed partnerships with many healthcare agencies in the surrounding area. It trains nurses as part of its mission to foster human dignity and health. The school focuses on providing student-centered training that prepares nursing students to provide care for individuals and contribute to the health of the community.
Many of IU Northwest’s faculty members have certifications in their areas of specialty. Students work closely with students in other healthcare disciplines and have the opportunity to collaborate with them on projects. The Inter-Professional Education project, which enables collaboration between nursing students and medical and social work students is an example.
IU Northwest School of Nursing has some of the highest NCLEX-RN pass rates in the state.
- Tuition: $3,533.68 per semester
- Enrollment: 6,387
3. Ball State University – Muncie, IN (90 points)
The Ball State University School of Nursing prepares students for a rewarding and demanding career in nursing. The school provides five pathways for students who want to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. There is a traditional BSN, an accelerated three-year BSN, an accelerated second-degree BSN, and LPN to BSN program, and an online RN to BSN program.
Ball’s Master of Science in Nursing program has three concentrations to choose from: family nurse practitioner, nurse administrator, and nurse educator. The MSN program is offered 100% online.
There are skills labs and simulation labs that provide a safe place for students to gain hands-on skills training and practice. There are also a variety of real-world care environments, such as clinics and hospitals, where students can practice their skills on real patients.
- Tuition: $4,069 per semester
- Enrollment: 21,998
4. Purdue University – West Lafayette, IN (89 points)
The School of Nursing at Purdue University produces graduates who make an impact on healthcare all over the world. The faculty is involved in research to help improve evidence-based care, and students work side-by-side with experts from a variety of disciplines.
Purdue offers a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing for high school graduates and a second-degree BSN for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. Students gain the experience they need to work in a variety of settings, from community health clinics to neonatal intensive care units and surgery rooms.
For graduate students, Purdue offers a MSN, DNP, and PhD. MSN students can choose from adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, primary care pediatric nurse practitioner, and psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner.
- Tuition: $4,996 per semester
- Enrollment: 41,573
4. Indiana University-Southeast – New Albany, IN (89 points)
The School of Nursing at Indiana University-Southeast is educating tomorrow’s nurses today. The school seeks to train caring, quality professional nurses who will be leaders in healthcare who meet their patients’ needs in a variety of settings.
IU Southeast offers a traditional, four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing as well as an RN to BSN completion program. The RN to BSN program can be completed at the IU Southeast campus or online. The BSN program prepares students to meet the healthcare needs of the future as well as current healthcare needs.
Graduates are prepared to serve as leaders and practitioners in long-term and acute care in a variety of settings. The program also prepares students for graduate-level studies. Students gain a solid foundation in nursing, social and biological sciences, and the humanities.
- Tuition: $3,533.68 per semester
- Enrollment: 5,238
6. Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne – Fort Wayne, IN (88 points)
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne recognizes the need for more highly trained nurses in the workforce. The school offers nursing students an opportunity to turn their passion into a rewarding and fulfilling career.
The school’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program teaches students to improve the lives of their patients through information and evidence. The school has modern simulation facilities and high-tech labs to give students the hands-on training they need to become confident and competent nurses
There are three ways to get your BSN at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. There is the traditional BSN, an RN to BSN track, and an accelerated BSN for students who already have a bachelor’s degree. After completing the BSN program, students are qualified to take the NCLEX-RN and become Registered Nurses. The school has a 100% job placement rate.
- Tuition: $4,397.39 per semester
- Enrollment: 14,326
6. University of Southern Indiana – Evansville, IN (88 points)
The College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Southern Indiana offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, an RN to BSN program a Master of Science in Nursing, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The school also offers programs in dental hygiene, health administration, and other health professions.
USI provides quality nursing programs that enable its graduate to compete for in-demand nursing positions. Students gain a variety of clinical experiences in many different healthcare settings. They are prepared for the NCLEX-RN exam and start their careers as highly trained Registered Nurses.
USI’s nursing programs provide individualized attention from faculty and close faculty-student relationships that nurture students to success. The school’s faculty has won awards and has accumulated years of nursing experience. In addition to nursing skills, students gain computer literacy, writing, and communication skills.
- Tuition: $3,714.24 per semester
- Enrollment: 10,701
6. Purdue University Northwest – Hammond, IN (88 points)
The Purdue University Northwest College of Nursing has rigorous nursing programs that give students the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. At the undergraduate level, the school offers a four-year, traditional BSN with a concentration in Professional Nursing. There is also an online RN to BSN completion program and an accelerated BSN program for students with a bachelor’s degree.
Purdue University Northwest offers a Master of Science in Nursing with three concentrations to choose from: family nurse practitioner, nursing educator, and nurse executive. The nurse executive and nursing educator programs are available online. For students who already have an MSN, there is a Doctor of Nursing Practice program.
PNW has a reputation for excellence in its nursing education and is committed to evidence-based nursing education.
- Tuition: $3,581.85 per semester
- Enrollment: 9,400
6. Indiana University-South Bend – South Bend, IN (88 points)
The Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences at Indiana University-South Bend has a small-town atmosphere, but the campus continues to grow. The school offers both graduate and undergraduate programs for students at different places in their educational journeys.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program prepares students for graduate study as well as providing a general foundation of professional nursing skills and knowledge. There is a traditional BSN for the typical student and an RN to BSN program for students who are already working as RNs. The RN to BSN program is available online.
The Master of Science in Nursing-Family Health Practitioner program prepares nurses for advanced nursing practice. The learn how to develop treatment plans, assess health, and use various diagnostic techniques. The program is designed to be completed part-time.
- Tuition: $3,533.68 per semester
- Enrollment: 5,091
10. Chamberlain College – Indianapolis, IN (86 points)
Care is what sets Chamberlain College apart from the competition. The school believes in taking care of its students, its patients, its healthcare partners, and its community. Chamberlain works with students to help them succeed both in school and in their careers. Chamberlain has been training nurses for 130 years.
Chamberlain has two pathways to the BSN. There is an accelerated three-year BSN program and an RN to BSN option. Students in the three-year BSN program start taking nursing courses in their first year. There is a simulation center where students can get hands-on practice in a safe environment. Students also have access to a clinical setting where they can practice their skills on real patients.
For graduate students, Chamberlain offers a Master of Science in Nursing, an MSN-adult gerontology nurse practitioner program, and MSN-family nurse practitioner program, an RN to MSN program, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
- Tuition: $8,100 per semester
- Enrollment: 25,569
11. Indiana University-Kokomo – Kokomo, IN (85 points)
The School of Nursing at Indiana University-Kokomo wants to be the next step in your journey to a nursing career. The school provides effective and innovative learning opportunities for its students. It encourages involvement in the community, promotes scholarship, and supports diversity. Students are encouraged to develop a lifetime love of learning.
IU Kokomo offers international study abroad programs, high-tech simulation labs, outstanding clinical training, and hands-on educational opportunities. The school’s nursing graduates are highly sought after by employers. Students accumulate more than 900 practicum hours over the course of the nursing curriculum.
IU Kokomo offers three paths to the BSN: the traditional pre-licensure track, the RN to BSN track, and a second-degree BSN track. The MSN has three concentrations to choose from: family nurse practitioner, education, and administration.
- Tuition: $3,533.68 per semester
- Enrollment: 4,106
12. Indiana State University – Terre Haute, IN (84 points)
The School of Nursing at Indiana State University has been offering nursing education since 1963. The school now has three separate nursing departments. Indiana State University’s faculty is dedicated to service, scholarship, and teaching. Students are transformed into caring and competent nursing professionals.
The School of Nursing offers four pathways to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. There is a traditional four-year program, a second-degree BSN program, an online LPN to BSN program, and an online RN to BSN program. The school also offers an MSN in family nurse practitioner or nursing education as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
The College of Health and Human Services has a 95% job placement rate, a 1:20 faculty to student ratio, and an average starting salary of $42,668.
- Tuition: $4,593 per semester
- Enrollment: 13,584
13. Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion, IN (80 points)
The School of Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University understands that there is a nursing shortage, but their nursing program is about more than finding bodies to fill a position. The school has faculty members who are willing to share their knowledge and experience through mentorship. They integrate hands-on learning and ensure that graduates have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed as nurses.
IWU has a generous transfer policy, so students with existing credits can speed up their educational progress. The school has three ways to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. There is a traditional four-year nursing program, an RN to BSN program, and the Transition to Nursing program, which is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. The Transition to Nursing program takes 14 months to complete. The school also has master’s and doctoral level nursing programs.
- Tuition: $14,092 per semester
- Enrollment: 13,802
13. Indiana University-East – Richmond, IN (80 points)
The School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Indiana University East trains nurses to take a compassionate approach as they care for their patients. The school provides a creative, hands-on learning environment. Students learn nursing skills in a high-tech learning lab where they use Personal Digital Assistants and a state-of-the-art patient simulator to practice their skills.
The School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a traditional four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing, an on-campus RN to BSN, an online RN to BSN, a BS in Applied Health Science, and a Master of Science in Nursing. The MSN program has three tracks to choose from: family nurse practitioner, nursing education, and nursing administration.
- Tuition: $3,857.59 per semester
- Enrollment: 4,135
15. University of Indianapolis – Indianapolis, IN (73 points)
The University of Indianapolis School of Nursing has a reputation for cutting-edge nursing programs. The school’s programs consistently rank highly, and graduates do well on the state licensing exam. The faculty has a wide range of clinical experience in many areas. Students have opportunities to participate in mission and volunteer service activities.
UIndy has four paths to the BSN degree. There is a traditional BSN, an RN to BSN, a second degree accelerated BSN, and another accelerated BSN called The Nursing Academy that is run in cooperation with the Community Health Network.
The Master of Science in Nursing program has four concentrations to choose from: nursing and health systems leadership, nursing education, primary care adult/gerontological nurse practitioner, and primary care family nurse practitioner. There is also a Doctor of Nursing Practice program, most of which can be completed online.
- Tuition: $15,444 per semester
- Enrollment: 5,500
16. Anderson University – Anderson, IN (66 points)
The School of Nursing at Anderson University trains nursing students to meet the needs of their patients, whether that means advocating for a patient’s rights or assisting in an operating room. A BSN from Anderson university prepares students for graduate education or for management and leadership positions in nursing.
Anderson University has three pathways to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. There is a traditional BSN program, an accelerated program, and an RN to BSN program. The accelerated BSN program is designed for students who have at least 59 college credits and takes 15 months to complete.
The Master of Science in Nursing program has four concentrations to choose from: psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, nurse educator, family nurse practitioner, and executive leadership. The Doctor of Nursing Practice also has four specialties to choose from: psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, advance practice, executive leadership, and family nurse practitioner.
- Tuition: $13,410 per semester
- Enrollment: 2,512
17. Valparaiso University – Valparaiso, IN (65 points)
The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Valparaiso University prepares students to be part of collaborative teams who work together to transform healthcare systems. Students learn to serve unselfishly, lead unswervingly, perform exemplarily, and think critically. Valparaiso graduates are the best in the world at what they do.
Valparaiso offers a traditional BSN program as well as an accelerated program that requires at least 76 transfer credits. The accelerated program can be completed in 15 months. The traditional program is one of the most competitive and comprehensive BSN programs in the United States. Faculty members serve as mentors to their students and the curriculum provides a foundation in the liberal arts.
The school also offers a Master of Science in Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
- Tuition: $20,970 per semester
- Enrollment: 4,540
17. University of St. Francis – Fort Wayne, IN (65 points)
The University of St. Francis provides a top-notch nursing education that prepares students to become competent nurses who advocate for their patients. Students learn to operate high-tech equipment and technology. There are small classes, so students receive individualized attention and build close bonds with their classmates. Students participate in experiential learning and learn cultural awareness.
USF offers three pathways to the BSN. There is a traditional BSN, an online BSN completion program, and an RN to BSN bridge program offered in cooperation with Joliet Junior College. The Master of Science in Nursing program has four concentrations to choose from: psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, nursing education, nursing administration, and family nurse practitioner.
- Tuition: $17,500 per semester
- Enrollment: 3,902
17. Huntington University – Huntington, IN (65 points)
Huntington University gives students the hands-on skills they need to succeed in nursing. They also learn how to use their passion to serve others. The program is based on a liberal arts foundation. The first two years of the nursing program consist of core liberal arts courses and demanding courses in chemistry, physiology, and human anatomy. The last two years are primarily focused on nursing courses.
HU has a 100% job placement rate and an overall student employment rate of 99%. The school’s NCLEX pass rate was 92% in 2017. The school is small enough to allow students and faculty members to form relationships with one another.
The nursing program at HU provides students with off-campus and on-campus clinical experiences. Students gain the professional competence they need to have a successful nursing career.
- Tuition: $12,978 per semester
- Enrollment: 1,262
20. Bethel University – Mishawaka, IN (63 points)
Bethel University’s nursing program prepares students for a successful career in one of the fasting-growing fields in the US. Students have access to a state-of-the-art simulation lab, and faculty members have decades of experience to share with their students. Bethel’s graduates are highly sought after by Indiana hospitals.
Bethel offers an ADN program that takes two years to complete. The program requires 66 hours of coursework, 37 hours of which is made up of nursing courses. The school offers a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing as well as an RN to BSN completion program.
The Master of Science in Nursing program is offered online and takes two years to complete. The online courses require students to meet with their class online one night per week. There are two tracks to choose from: the administrator track and the educator track.
- Tuition: $14,625 per semester
- Enrollment: 2,152
Still not sure which Indiana nursing school is best for you? Use our Degree Finder to help you decide.
Our Ranking Methodology
We gathered undergraduate tuition rates from each school’s website and enrollment data from Google. We used the in-state per semester tuition rates where available. Where tuition was listed per credit, we multiplied by 12 credits to get a semester cost. For annual costs, we assumed that the school year is made up of two semesters.
After sorting first by tuition then by enrollment, we assigned points to each school, with a maximum of 50 points for tuition cost (lowest is best) and 50 points for enrollment (highest is best). We added these two scores to get a final score for ranking.
Problems with Your Ranking?
If you work for one of the schools we ranked and you notice an error in the information we used to rank you, please feel free to contact us and let us know so we can make a correction.