Indiana's advanced practice nurses are licensed as RNs. They must meet state standards in order to practice. However, they may carry out some advanced practice duties under the authority of just their RN license. An additional state-issued credential is required in some, but not all, cases.
The Indiana Board recognizes three advanced practice roles: clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, and nurse midwife. A nurse midwife must hold concurrent licensure as a limited midwife. Nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists need apply to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (PLA) for an additional credential only if they seek prescriptive authority. (A nurse midwife who seeks prescriptive authority will submit separate applications for midwife licensure and prescriptive authority.)
Although Indiana recognizes nurse anesthetists, they are not defined as advanced practitioners in state administrative code.
Nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists qualify on the basis of education and certification. In most cases, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners are not required to hold certification; this goes against the national norm.
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Clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners will need to complete programs through accredited colleges or universities. Clinical nurse specialists must complete programs at at least the master’s level. Nurse practitioners are not held to this standard. However, those that do not have education at the master’s level must maintain certification. Certification is national in scope and is issued by third parties.
Certified Nurse Midwives have both education and certification requirements (https://secure.in.gov/pla/2504.htm). They must complete nationally accredited midwife programs and pursue certification through the American College of Nurse-Midwives (www.amcbmidwife.org). Certification entails examination.
A clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner who seeks prescriptive authority will need two semester hours of graduate coursework in pharmacology.
An out-of-state advanced practitioner will need to complete continuing education coursework if his or her qualifying pharmacology coursework was completed five or more years in the past. The licensing agency can accept continuing education coursework taken at any point during the prior two years. The applicant will need to demonstrate 30 total hours of continuing education with at least eight specifically in pharmacology. The out-of-state advanced practitioner will also need to demonstrate recent prescriptive experience.
Advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority work under collaborative practice agreements. The licensing agency has provided a template. Prescriptive authority is renewed every other year. In most cases, the APN will need 30 hours of continuing education with at least eight in pharmacology. Continuing education requirements for the first renewal period will depend on date of issuance.
An advanced practice nurse who will prescribe controlled substances will also need a Controlled Substances Registration, or CSR, and a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration registration.
Applications for prescriptive authority can be downloaded from the website of the Professional Licensing Agency (https://secure.in.gov/pla/3722.htm).
The applicant will include a copy of his or her RN license; the licensing agency can accept licenses from Indiana or other nurse compact states. (An individual who has applied for but not yet received an Indiana RN license may apply, and will note that the license is pending.)
The applicant should request an official transcript, sent straight from the issuing institution. If the applicant holds less than a graduate degree, he or she must also document current certification.
The applicant will need a professional quality, head and shoulders photograph. The application fee is $50.
Nurse midwife applications can also be downloaded from the PLA website (https://secure.in.gov/pla/3720.htm). The fee is $50. Nurse midwife limited licensure is renewed every other year. The fee is also $50.
Nurse anesthetists must also meet education and certification requirements. State administrative code states that they are to complete programs accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs and pursue certification through the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists; they can also be authorized to practice based on credentialing from organizations that served as predecessors to these two agencies.
The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs maintains an online listing of accredited programs (http://home.coa.us.com/accredited-programs/Pages/default.aspx).
The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthetists is now the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (http://www.nbcrna.com/about-us/Pages/default.aspx).
Nurse anesthetists do not apply to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. They are authorized to administer anesthesia without prescriptive authorization; they are not eligible for the prescriptive authority granted to advanced practice nurses. Certification is renewed every two years.
The Indiana Association of Nurse Anesthetists, a state professional organization, has provided additional information about becoming a nurse anesthetist in Indiana.
The Indiana State Board of Nursing is under the banner of the Professional Licensing Agency. Staff can be reached at ‘pla2 at pla.IN.gov’. Applicants with questions may call 317-234-2043.
State professional organizations are an additional source of information. Indiana advanced practice associations include the following:
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