Throughout Indiana, the number of primary care doctors providing preventative care services has decreased over the last few years. As a result, nurse practitioners and other registered nurses who are trained and licensed can provide services previously available only to doctors have become increasingly in demand.
In Indiana, nursing school graduates should find plenty of employment opportunities, especially if they are interested in providing quality primary care. As baby boomers age and older nurses retire, there should be plenty of jobs available for graduates.
Choosing the best nursing school in Indiana can be challenging. Choosing a school that supports its students from the first steps of their program through licensure and beyond is key to making this process easier.
The factors that contribute to this can be determined by examining a variety of different aspects.
The purpose of this article is to explore the factors that make each of these schools and universities unique.
Top Schools In Indiana For Nursing
1. Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana
Nursing is a rewarding career if you are motivated by a desire to address the health needs of underserved populations. Purdue University’s School of Nursing should be high on your list if that is what drives your interest in nursing.
In addition to teaching clinical and research skills, this nursing school in Indiana prepares you to think critically about healthcare policy and legislation.
In collaboration with local employers, the school sponsors a unique cooperative work experience program called the Professional Experience in Nursing program.
The Johnson Hall of Nursing houses classrooms, conference rooms, and faculty offices, while Lyles-Porter Hall is home to the school’s state-of-the-art simulation laboratories.
Hospital equipment and high-tech mannequins programmed to react to realistic heart, lung, and bowel sounds, as well as pulses and programmable vital signs, are included in the Center for Nursing and Simulation.
Through its partnerships with hospitals, clinics, the department of public health, long-term care facilities, and behavioral health/psychiatric agencies throughout the greater Indianapolis metropolitan area, nursing students will complete their clinicals at these facilities.
Nursing students may also work at Purdue’s Nursing Center for Family Health, which offers wellness screenings and other primary health care services to the Purdue community under nurse management.
Scholarships are available to enrolled nursing students through the School of Nursing. Academic excellence or financial need is considered in the awarding of these scholarships.
Applicants must complete a School of Nursing Scholarship Application and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for this funding opportunity.
2. Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
As part of the university’s medical school, Indiana University’s School of Nursing in Indianapolis was established in 1914 to provide nursing staff for Long Hospital. It is ranked among the best schools in the Hoosier State by U.S. News & World Report.
The nursing school’s main campus is located in Indianapolis, but it maintains satellite campuses in Bloomington and Fort Wayne as well.
Advancing the Science of Nursing Education (2016-2021) and Promoting the Pedagogical Expertise of Faculty has been the main focus of the school’s recognition by the National League for Nursing.
There are four floors dedicated to the School of Nursing at the University of Indianapolis, which features classrooms, computer labs, research facilities, and a 10,000-square-foot Resource Center for Innovation in Clinical Nursing Education.
Students can practice assessment and bedside skills on computerized mannequins in the Resource Center, which resembles a variety of hospital units.
In addition to clinicals at Indiana University Health University Hospital and other Indiana University Health facilities, students are assigned to other Indiana University Health facilities and the St. Vincent Hospitals network, as well as hospitals and clinics affiliated with Community Health and other healthcare providers in the area.
Additionally, the school hosts international scholars and sponsors global educational opportunities in Swaziland, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Liberia.
More than $700,000 in scholarship funds are disbursed annually by Indiana University in Indianapolis to help undergraduate and graduate nursing students.
Indiana University Scholarship Applications are required of potential candidates. Information provided by students on their FAFSA application may also qualify them for federal and state aid.
3. University of Southern Indiana
The University of Southern Indiana’s College of Nursing and Health Professions offers nursing as one of its many health-related programs.
By studying alongside colleagues studying dental hygiene, respiratory therapy, nutrition, health informatics, and other important healthcare disciplines, you’ll learn the importance of collaboration among health team members.
Hands-on skills are emphasized in the nursing degree programs offered at Southern Indiana University. The Nursing Program at the University of Southern Indiana uses the Dedicated Education Unit model, allowing you to work very closely with experienced nurses at St. Mary’s Medical Center and Deaconess Hospital during your clinicals.
Aside from working at the University of Southern Indiana’s three Community Health Centers, which provide primary healthcare to residents of three Evansville neighborhoods, you’ll also have the opportunity to work at the University of Southern Indiana’s three Health Centers.
Health Professions Center is where a variety of courses takes place. Besides classrooms, this facility has a Clinical Simulation Center equipped with hospital-style patient rooms and manikins with realistic responses to simulate a wide range of clinical situations.
A multidisciplinary research center, such as the Center for Healthy Aging and Wellness, and a center for continuing education in the health professions are also housed at the college.
Undergraduate and graduate nursing students can apply for 18 endowed scholarships at the college. Financial aid may also be available to students based on the information they provide on their FAFSA applications.
4. Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Indiana
Indiana State University’s School of Nursing recognizes the transformation the nursing profession has undergone over the last quarter century. As a nurse educated in Indiana, you will be able to advocate for interprofessional healthcare, coordinate interprofessional care, and be a clinician at the bedside.
Since its founding in 1865, the university has consistently been regarded as one of the finest colleges in the Midwest by “The Princeton Review” and other internationally recognized educational ranking organizations.
Besides offering degree programs in kinesiology, social work, and applied medicine and rehabilitation, the school is part of the College of Health and Human Sciences.
Students at the Terre Haute campus learn clinical skills and critical thinking through simulated medical cases using mannequins that replace human patients in the Learning Research Center located on the second floor of the nursing building.
Clinicals are also available at university-managed clinics throughout the Wabash Valley, including the Sycamore Nursing Center, a clinic that offers primary healthcare to families throughout the region.
The Indiana State University nursing program offers 42 scholarships specifically for nursing students. Students qualified for nursing scholarships are also encouraged to apply to other scholarship opportunities at Indiana SU.
If you want your financial aid application to be considered by both the state and the federal government, you must submit a FAFSA application.
5. Indiana Wesleyan University
The largest Christian evangelical university in Indiana, Indiana Wesleyan University’s nursing education programs emphasize nursing as both a profession and a calling. This university has more than 80 different Christian denominations represented among its students.
The Young America’s Foundation has ranked Indiana Wesleyan University among the top ten conservative institutions of higher education, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Located in Ott Hall of Sciences and Nursing, a 111,250-square-foot building that includes classrooms and a sophisticated learning environment called the Pre-licensure Fortune Simulation Lab, the School of Nursing is home to more than 400 student nurses.
It offers high-tech mannequins on which students can practice physical assessments and bedside skills. It is also equipped with the types of hospital equipment students will encounter in the real world. Clinicals are supervised at Christian-based medical facilities in Marion and surrounding areas.
Nursing scholarships are not available through the School of Nursing. However qualified nursing students can apply for any academic scholarship offered by Indiana Wesleyan University. Students may also be eligible for state and federal funding if they submit a FAFSA application.
6. Valparaiso University
As part of its mission to prepare nurses who are ready for their new roles upon graduation, Valparaiso University places emphasis on preparing them for a smooth transition to their new jobs.
During classes at the Valpo College of Nursing and Health Professions, students are encouraged to learn through the direct application of classroom lectures to real-world scenarios. Valpo believes nurses need to be flexible, collaborative, and visionary when it comes to healthcare.
Wellness promotion is an important priority at this college, which emphasizes a holistic approach to healthcare education. In the high-tech Virtual Nursing Learning Center, a simulated hospital environment with realistic patient stations, students practice their clinical skills on computerized mannequins.
A variety of medical facilities in northern Indiana and Chicago provide clinical experience to students, from small clinics to large teaching hospitals. Nursing students can also participate in internships to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, China, Thailand, India, Tanzania, and Ireland through the college.
In order to offset the cost of tuition, Valparaiso awards scholarships. College of Nursing and Health Professions does not offer endowed nursing scholarships.
However, nursing students are welcome to apply for any of the university’s academic and merit awards. Funding may also be available from the state or federal government. These amounts will be determined by the information contained on the FAFSA application.
7. Ball State University
The Ball State University School of Nursing prepares you to embrace the multiple practice possibilities that await you as a registered nurse. In 1918, Ball State University was founded as a college for teachers, and its practical, common-sense approach to education is evident in its nursing curriculum as well.
You will be well prepared for your future here, whether you are interested in working in a hospital, becoming an FNP or moving the frontiers of evidence-based nursing forward through dynamic research.
Simulated hospitals, long-term care clinics, obstetrical wings, and home healthcare units are divided into sections in the Simulation and Information Technology Center. By addressing these scenarios, students can prepare for the kinds of situations they will likely encounter as nurses.
Throughout northeastern Indiana, students will have the opportunity to hone their bedside skills through clinical rotations at hospitals, ambulatory care clinics, and community health agencies.
Students enrolled in nursing majors are also part of this school’s Living-Learning Community, which strengthens educational and support networks.
There are 18 scholarships specifically earmarked for aspiring nurses at Ball State University’s School of Nursing. There is also an extensive database of external nursing scholarships maintained by the university.
Depending on the information you submit with your FAFSA application, you may be eligible to receive federal and state financial aid.
8. University of Saint Francis
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Do you want to make a real difference in the lives of the patients you care for? You will be prepared to do this if you enroll in the nursing program at the School of Health Sciences at the University of Saint Francis.
All of the university’s departments, including nursing, remain deeply rooted in the Franciscan values of compassion, truth, and service, regardless of whether they accept students of any faith. Liberal arts will form the foundation of your clinical nursing education.
A high-tech simulation lab lets you practice on computerized mannequins that display realistic physiological responses so that you can develop fundamental skills and assessment abilities.
Through clinicals at some of the best medical facilities and community agencies in northeast Indiana, including Parkview Regional Medical Center, Dupont Hospital, Heartland Home Health and Hospice, East Allen Community Schools, and the Allen County Board of Health, you will gain even more confidence.
If a nursing student meets the award criteria, they are eligible to apply for one of the University of Saint Francis’ institutional scholarships. Depending on the information they submit on their FAFSA application, they may also qualify for state and federal financial assistance.
9. University of Indianapolis
As one of Indiana’s best nursing schools, the University of Indianapolis School of Nursing has earned a reputation for excellence. A specialization as Neonatal Nurse Practitioner is only available at this nursing school in the state of Indiana.
Regardless of their religious background, all students are welcome at the university, which is affiliated with the Methodist Church.
You can be confident that your nursing instructors will provide personalized instruction and mentorship due to the low student-faculty ratio of 8:1. Nursing Academy is also an academic partnership between the University and the Community Health Network.
Lilly/University of Indianapolis Nurse Education Program is a unique partnership between this nursing school and Eli Lilly and Company. Students with a nursing degree have a chance to participate in clinical rotations at Lilly, opening doors for those who wish to work in pharmaceuticals.
The Marion County Health Department, Roudebush, VA Medical Center and Westview Hospital are among the facilities where clinical rotations are offered. The Simulation Center at UIndy offers students the opportunity to practice lifesaving skills before clinical rotations.
Lealice Briggs Nursing Scholarships are available to full-time students in the School of Nursing. The university may offer other grants and scholarships, and if the information on their FAFSA application indicates a sufficient need, students can qualify for state and federal grants and loans.
10. Indiana University – Kokomo
Nursing students learn how important it is to be part of a team at Indiana University’s Kokomo School of Nursing. You’ll be able to connect with faculty members and nursing peers who are going through the same learning process as you more easily since class sizes are small.
Developing a curriculum and evaluating the student handbook are important responsibilities for student nurse leaders. Graduates of this nursing school are valued by healthcare facilities throughout Indiana because they know Indiana University Kokomo nurses are qualified.
Students from the nursing school are given the opportunity to visit medical facilities and participate in educational and cultural activities while on study tours in places like Guatemala and South Korea.
Located on the first floor of the East Building, the Clinical Simulation Center offers clinical experience in a virtual environment free from the dangers of making mistakes.
Nursing students spend their clinical rotations working with registered nurses in hospitals, clinics, and healthcare agencies across central Indiana, functioning as part of the healthcare team.
A large database of external nursing scholarships is maintained by Indiana University Kokomo, which doesn’t offer scholarships specifically for nursing students. Federal and state grants and loans may also be available to nursing students who submit FAFSA applications.
Written by Joanne Potter
Joanne, BSN and RN, is a writer that specializes in health and wellness. She has fifteen years of experience as a Registered Nurse in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Her years working at the bedside and extensive neonatal knowledge enable her to write with a deep understanding of what patients and families want from their communities. Visit her LinkedIn page.