The Department of Advanced Practice Nursing admitted its first students in 1986 and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN). A master's degree or post master's certificate in nursing enhances career possibilities by preparing nurses for leadership roles or further advanced study. At Indiana State University, graduate nursing study can be focused in Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Education, or Nursing Administration. All courses and practica are offered online and are asynchronous. A post master's certificate is offered in two of the master's concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Education. Both master's and post master's courses are designed with variable clinical hours, depending upon previous nursing education and specialization.
Graduates who complete the master's degree or post master's certificate in the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration are eligible to apply for national certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Those who complete the master's degree or post master's certificate in the Nursing Education concentration are eligible to apply for a nurse educator certification through the National League for Nursing. Depending upon experience, graduates who complete the master's degree with a concentration in Nursing Administration are eligible for certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Also available is the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (DNP), which represents the highest level of nursing preparation and prepares future leaders for nursing practice. The DNP program builds upon, and expands the competencies of, the master's prepared nurse. The DNP Program emphasizes innovative and evidence-based nursing practice and research findings to increase the effectiveness of both direct and indirect nursing. Scholarly projects focused on rural or underserved populations are of special interest and encouraged.
With guidance of faculty, students in all concentrations schedule clinical preceptorships in their own geographical location; and, there is currently no requirement for students to come to campus. Students who reside in U.S. Territories must provide proof of malpractice insurance for an advance practice nursing student prior to entry into clinical. International students do not qualify for admission into APN programs due to on-line modality of delivery.