A Look at Nursing in Indiana

This vibrant Midwestern state of 6.7 million people is known for its down-to-earth attitude, passion for sports and abiding Hoosier pride. It is also a place with a robust job market for RNs.

RNs are already the single largest professional group in the state’s healthcare workforce, and plenty of additional opportunity awaits potential new hires. Nursing is among the top professions in expected job growth nationally through 2022, and the need for RNs in Indiana is expected to grow by almost 18 percent in the next four years.

Career Diversity

As in most states, Indiana hospitals employ the majority of RNs (59 percent). High numbers of RNs also work in ambulatory care settings (8.9 percent), eldercare facilities (7.4 percent), and home health agencies (6 percent).

Indiana RNs gravitate to a variety of medical specialty professions as well:

  • Acute and critical care (20.4 percent)
  • Medical and surgical (12 percent)
  • Geriatrics and gerontology (6 percent)
  • Pediatrics and neonatal (5.3 percent)
  • Adult and family health (4.7 percent)
  • Maternal and child health (4.6 percent)
  • Psychiatric, mental illness and substance abuse (3.1 percent)
  • Oncology (2.8 percent)
  • Trauma (2.4 percent)
  • Women’s health (2.2 percent)

Compensation and Considerations

Indiana is a great place to live and raise a family, but the average wage for RNs with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a bit lower than the national average, at $28.54-$31.57 per hour. Nurses do benefit from a lower cost of living and housing, however, as Indiana is much more affordable than states with the highest RN pay, such as Hawaii and California.

The average yearly salary for BSN RNs in Indiana is $65,976, with actual wages determined by education, job title and location. The state’s three largest metro areas demonstrate a typical variance in salary ranges for BSN RNs:

  • Fort Wayne — $49,046-$67,122
  • Indianapolis — $57,467-$70,012
  • Evansville — $62,587-$72,654

A Focus on the FutureSalaries in midsize Indiana cities such as South Bend, Bloomington and Fishers tend to be comparable, if slightly lower. Cities like Harrison and Gary that have seen a population decrease in recent years are less likely to have RN jobs offering top salaries, but nursing jobs in the small cities and rural towns of Indiana offer a range of settings in which BSN RNs can truly make a difference.

As of 2016, 54 percent of hospitals in the U.S. required RNs to have a BSN, and 98 percent of healthcare employers indicated a strong preference for hiring BSN graduates. The number of Indiana RNs holding a bachelor’s or advanced degree has grown steadily over the last decade, including a 12-percent jump from 2011 to 2015. At that stage, the number rose to 60 percent, but the state is still pushing to meet a higher goal.

Indiana is working with hospitals, healthcare employers and ADN RNs to achieve a new model of nursing by reaching an impressive target: 80 percent BSN RNs in the state nursing workforce by 2020. This pursuit is driven by research that points to better patient outcomes, with fewer errors and lower costs, in organizations with a higher proportion of BSN nurses on staff.

As the demand for RNs with a BSN degree continues to rise in the decade to come, the career outlook for Indiana nurses will continue to be strong.

Learn more about the USI online RN to BSN program.


Bowen Center for Health Workforce: Nursing Workforce

Bowen Center for Health Workforce: Data Report: 2015 Indiana Nursing Licensure Survey

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN): Nursing Shortage Fact Sheet

Journal of Nursing Regulation: The 2017 Environmental Scan

The Journal of Nursing Administration: Baccalaureate Education in Nursing and Patient Outcomes

Glassdoor: RN, BSN Salaries in Indiana

Glassdoor: RN, BSN, CCRN Salaries in Indianapolis, IN Area

Indeed: Registered Nurse Salaries in Indiana

Indeed: Registered Nurse Salaries in Indianapolis, IN

Indeed: RN BSN Salaries in Fort Wayne, IN

Indeed: RN BSN Salaries in Evansville, IN

Nurse.org: Highest Paying States for Registered Nurses

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