• Certifications and Licenses
  • RN - Indiana

    • Compact State
    • Participates in NURSYS
    • Renewal every 2 years

    Overview

    The Indiana State Board of Nursing (ISBN) operates within the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA) and consists of nine members appointed by the Governor. It promotes and protects the welfare of the people of Indiana by ensuring each individual holding an Indiana nursing license is competent to practice safely. The ISBN licensed more than 121,500 registered nurses in early 2022.

    About

    The ISBN accredits all nursing education programs operating in Indiana that prepare nurses for initial licensure as registered nurses. However, it doesn’t review or accredit RN-BSN programs, graduate-level nursing education programs, or out-of-state nursing programs. Nursing schools approved by the ISBN must demonstrate that they’re adequately preparing nursing students to pass pre-licensure exams to maintain their accreditation.

    An Indiana nursing license applicant must create a MyLicense account under the Personal Licensing tab to begin an initial application online. Once they submit their online application and payment, a customer service representative contacts them about additional documentation required to complete their application for licensure. Applications started but not completed within one year are considered abandoned, and the applicant must submit a new application and fee.

    All applicants, whether applying for licensure by endorsement or exam, must:

    • Complete an application online or a paper application mailed to the ISBN

    • Complete fingerprinting for a criminal background check

    • Submit name change documentation if applicable

    • Provide detailed statements and documentation, such as court documents, for any criminal offenses, lawsuits, or disciplinary actions that required a positive response on the nurse licensure application

    Any paper documents the applicant must send or are being sent from a direct source should be mailed to the IPLA to the attention of the Nursing Board.

    Renewal

    All Indiana RN licenses expire on October 31 of odd-numbered years. RNs can renew their licenses online, which is quicker than completing and mailing in a paper renewal form. The ISBN won’t process Indiana RN license renewals over the phone. RNs may renew their licenses up to 90 days before the expiration date of their current license.

    The Indiana RN license renewal fee is $50. Late renewals require an additional $50 late fee. RNs whose licenses expired less than 18 months ago may renew online using their MyLicense account, but licenses that expired more than 18 months ago require a paper application. Nurses whose license expired more than three years ago must submit a copy of an active license from another jurisdiction. If they don’t have an active license from another jurisdiction, they must make a Personal Appearance before the ISBN.

    Continuing Education Requirements

    Registered nurses aren’t required to obtain continuing education for regular licensure renewal in Indiana.

    Requirements

    Fingerprinting Requirements

    The Indiana General Assembly mandated in 2011 that all healthcare professionals undergo a criminal background check before being issued a license. IdentoGO processes all background checks of applicants for Indiana nursing licenses and sends the results to the IPLA.

    Applicants must not begin the fingerprinting process until after they’ve submitted their Indiana nursing license application. Applicants who submitted paper applications must wait until they receive an email with the official date the ISBN processed their application. Those who submitted their applications through their online MyLicense account must pay their application fee and wait until the confirmation receipt appears. The IPLA won't consider fingerprints for criminal background checks submitted before receiving the application.

    Contact Information

    Indiana Professional Licensing Agency Attn: Nursing Board 402 West Washington Street, Room W072 Indianapolis, IN  46204 [email protected] (317) 234-2043

    Multistate

    Indiana wasn’t part of the original Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), but it fully implemented the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) on July 1, 2020. Implementation of the eNLC allowed nurses holding a standard Indiana RN license to apply for their Compact licenses. A Compact license allows RNs to practice in their home state and other states participating in the NLC.

    RNs with active Indiana nursing licenses are required to apply for a Compact license. If applying for initial nurse licensure, applicants can request the Compact license when completing their initial licensure application or apply for it after they receive their RN license. An Indiana RN license must be issued before IPLA can issue the Compact license. RNs with expired Indiana nursing licenses must renew their license before submitting a Compact license application.

    RNs with a Compact license can practice in other states that have enacted the NLC. Before applying for their Compact license, they must have an active Indiana RN license and declare Indiana as their primary state of residence (PSOR). Other steps include:

    • Completing an application online or paper form mailed to ISBN

    • Paying the $25 application fee

    • Providing proof of PSOR via document with home address

      • Driver’s license

      • Voter registration card

      • Federal income tax return

      • W2 forms

      • Military form No. 2058

    Licensure by Endorsement

    RNs with an active, unencumbered license in another state may apply for Indiana nurse licensure by endorsement. The steps include:

    • Paying the $50 application fee

    • Submitting a passport quality photograph

    • Verifying current, active nurse licensure in another U.S. state or territory with the expiration date and provide verification from every state, territory, and country for every registration, license, permit, or certificate currently or previously held by submitting:

      • Verification through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s (NCSBN) Nursys platform for states and territories that participate

      • Verification of State Licensure forms from states and territories that don’t participate in Nursys

    • Verifying high school graduation or GED scores

    • Verifying education by requesting the state accredited nursing program to send transcripts or proof of program completion directly to the ISBN if the state of original licensure didn’t verify education when verifying licensure

    • Verifying a passing score on the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE)

    Licensure by Exam

    Graduate nurses who’ve never taken the NCLEX-RN or held an RN license must apply for licensure by exam. They must complete the Indiana nurse licensure application and the NCLEX Candidate Bulletin before they’re granted eligibility to take the licensure exam. Additional steps they must complete include:

    • Requesting an NLC license on the application or requesting one after receiving initial licensure

    • Paying the $50 application fee and, if applicable, the $25 NLC application fee

    • Verifying high school graduation or GED scores

    • Verifying completion of a nursing education program with documents sent directly from the source to the ISBN

      • Certificate of completion from the Dean, Director, or Designee of the domestic nursing program with an original signature

      • Official transcripts showing the degree and graduation date if program completion occurred more than six months before application for nurse licensure

    • Listing and verifying all licenses or certifications held in any state or territory in the health professional field

    The applicant will receive an email instructing them to apply and register for the NCLEX-RN. Registration may be done online or by calling 866-496-2539. Once the applicant registers and pays the $200 fee with a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express credit, debit card, or prepaid card, they must email the IPLA at [email protected]

    After the ISBN declares the applicant eligible for testing, Pearson VUE, the administer of the NCLEX, sends the applicant an Authorization to Test (ATT) email, and they can schedule their exam. Applicants must take the NCLEX within the ATT validity dates listed in the email, which averages around 90 days.

    The length of time required for processing exam results varies, but processing can take three weeks or longer. Applicants who pass the NCLEX receive an email from the IPLA with their license number. Applicants who fail the exam receive notification through the mail along with an application to retake the test.

    Licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses

    Applicants for an Indiana nursing license educated outside the U.S. must follow the same steps as domestic applicants, plus submit additional documentation. Foreign educated nurses may apply for licensure by endorsement if they hold a current, active RN license in another state; otherwise, they must apply by exam.

    Licensure by Endorsement:

    Foreign nurses applying for licensure by endorsement must provide documentation of education if their original state of licensure doesn’t verify their foreign education credentials. Required documents include:

    • Official copy of high school diploma or equivalent, or official transcripts

    • Official nursing school transcripts provided through a Credentials Evaluation Service, such as the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), that specify Theory and Clinical Experience in all areas

    • Verification of licensure in the territory or country in which the applicant graduated, included in the CGFNS Certification Program

    Canadian graduate nurses must submit:

    • Official nursing school transcripts identifying all areas of theory and clinical experience

    • Verification from the original state of licensure that the applicant passed either the NCLEX, SBTPE, or the English version of the Canadian Nurses Examination (CNATS)

    Licensure by Exam:

    Foreign graduate nurses applying for licensure by exam must complete the same requirements as U.S. educated nurses and must submit:

    • Official or notarized copies of high school/secondary school transcripts that verify graduation

    • Official nursing school transcripts obtained through a Credentials Evaluation Service

    • Verification that they passed the CGFNS exam

    Documents not in English must be accompanied by an official translation from the consulate or embassy of the country where the nursing school is located or as part of the Credentials Evaluation Service provided by CGFNS or a similar provider.

    Timing

    The timeline for processing an application for an Indiana RN license by endorsement can vary based on an applicant's files. However, once the ISBN receives an application and reviews the files, it typically contacts the applicant in approximately two weeks if there are any additional items it needs to process the application and issue the endorsement license.

    The government typically processes in-state criminal background checks within 72 to 96 hours and out-of-state background checks in 7 to 10 days. Applicants who applied for licensure by exam should anticipate at least three weeks for processing their NCLEX results.

    Overall, applicants should allow 4 to 6 weeks for application and document reviews. They can log into their MyLicense account to view application updates as they’re processed. The ISBN processes items in the order they’re received.

    Temporary Nurse License

    The ISBN may issue a temporary permit to practice nursing to RNs licensed in another U.S. state or territory who have applied for an Indiana nursing license by endorsement. Applying for a temporary permit includes:

    • Completing the online application or page 4 of the paper application

    • Paying the $25 temporary permit fee

    • Submitting proof of active license in another U.S. state or territory

    • Submitting a passport quality photo

    Permits are valid for 90 days or upon denial of licensure by endorsement. However, the ISBN may renew a temporary permit for an additional 90 days if it can't complete the application process in the initial 90-day period.

    Fees

    Applicants can apply for or renew an Indiana RN license online and pay with a credit or debit card or mail a paper application to the ISBN office with a check or money order made out to “IPLA.”  When renewing an Indiana nursing license that expired more than 18 months ago, applicants must submit a paper renewal form and pay with a check or money order. All application fees are nonrefundable. 

    • Nursing Application: $50

    • Multistate License Application: $25

    • Temporary Permit: $25

    • Renewal of Unexpired License: $50

    • Renewal of Expired License: $50 Plus $50 Penalty

    • Reinstatement – Retired: $50

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    Frequently asked questions

    Can Indiana nursing license applicants come to the ISBN office to receive an RN license immediately?

    No, the ISBN can accept the licensure application, related documents, and application fee when applicants visit the office, but they must have time to review everything. Staff members contact the applicant within two weeks if they require further information. A criminal history background check also must be completed before the ISBN can issue a nursing license.

    What happens if the State or FBI rejects an Indiana nursing license applicant’s fingerprints?

    About 2% of Indiana’s applicants have their fingerprints rejected, which occurs when the captured fingerprints are of poor quality. Applicants are sent instructions via email on how to resubmit their fingerprints at no cost the first time they’re rejected. The State submits a name search instead of a fingerprint search if an applicant receives two FBI rejections within three months. Name searches can take six or more weeks to process.

    What happens if a candidate for an Indiana nursing license by exam fails the NCLEX?

    Nurse licensure candidates receive a notification letter and a repeat exam application if they don’t pass the NCLEX. Candidates who fail the exam three times must appear before the ISBN to receive authorization to take the test again. The Compliance office sends out notifications to candidates who must make an appearance.

    How do newly licensed nurses get physical copies of their license to display?

    The ISBN no longer issues wall certificates or pocket licenses, but nurses can purchase them through the IPLA’s website. However, neither document is considered proof of an active license. To verify the current status of an Indiana nursing license in real-time, nurses should use the online status verification service.