Ball State University School of Nursing

Ball State University offers several CCNE accredited undergraduate and graduate programs including Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), LPN to BS in Nursing, Second Degree Baccalaureate, RN to BS in Nursing, MSN, RN to MSN, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. Schools Scholarships Student Support

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Best ProgramsAccredited Public NonProfit

BSN   DNP   MSN   RN-to-MSN   RN-to-BSN   LPN-to-BSN   Entry-Level BSN   MSN-to-DNP   NP   Master's   Accelerated BSN   Post-grad Certificate   Other  

Ball State University, a public entity, was founded in 1918 as a state-assisted residential university.


Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Nursing

The basic baccalaureate program is the traditional route for the entering undergraduate nursing student. This is a four-year, on campus program that prepares graduates for work as a Registered Nurse in a myriad of health care settings.  Pass rates for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) for past Ball State Nursing Graduates are 94 to 100 percent.

Degree in 3 Track

Matriculating freshmen that want to enter the program must submit a letter requesting entrance to the School of Nursing. Students must complete all prerequisite courses before the start of the 3-year plan of study. During freshman orientation, a contract is signed and submitted by the student to the School of Nursing during the first month of fall semester. Students apply to the nursing program during the first ten business days of the second semester of the freshman year.

General Applicant Track

Students having an interest in nursing and who are admitted to the university may follow the General Applicant Track. Students apply to the nursing program during the first ten business days of the first semester of the sophomore year. This program is an 8 academic semester track.

Partners in Nursing Education (PNE)

Students in the PNE track follow the 8 academic semester track and must receive prior approval from the Department of Military Science.

LPN to BS Track

Students holding an unencumbered Indiana LPN license will follow the LPN to BS plan of study. The LPN transition track offers an opportunity to apply prior course work toward a BS degree. Non-nursing course requirements can be satisfied with transfer credit or through online Ball State courses.  Nursing courses are taken on campus.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

Second baccalaureate degree applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university and possess a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.  Students will complete the nursing courses and clinical hours in approximately 19 months.

RN to BS

Ball State University offers a complete online RN to BS degree that is accredited and flexible. Students have the option to work as an RN while completing the BS degree without having to attend campus.  Required clinical hours can be completed within the community.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Specialty Tracks

Nurse Administrator

Nurse Educator

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Nurse Educator

For the Nurse Educator track, the focus is on the education of nursing students in the classroom and clinical settings.

Nurse Administrator

As a Nurse Administrator, students focus on the leadership role as they lead teams and units of nurses, factor in the costs of delivering patient care, create policy manuals, and manage issues concerning finance and administration in a variety of healthcare settings.

Options for Nurse Educators and Nurse Administrators

Nurse Educator + FNP Certificate
Nurse Administrator + FNP Certificate

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

For the family nurse practitioner track, students learn to function in an advanced practice role in several areas of practice including, but not limited to, private practices, schools and colleges, public health clinics, and VA facilities.

Graduates are educated to care for people across the entire lifespan. There is also an additional 690 supervised clinical hours required in primary care settings caring for adults, children, women, and families.  The coursework is completed online.  The clinical portion utilizes student-selected preceptors and clinical supervisors in his or her geographical location.  Upon graduation, students are eligible to apply for the Family Nurse Practitioner certification examination (ANCC and/or AANP).

RN to MS

RNs holding a bachelor's degree in another field can directly enter into the master's program.  Students will be required to take the nursing courses, as well as 16 credit hours of upper division nursing courses at the baccalaureate level.

RN to MS Concentrations

Nurse Administrator

Nurse Educator

Family Nurse Practitioner

This is an online program with the clinicals being completed within his or her geographical area.  Within typically nine to 11 semesters, students complete the RN to MS. A second bachelor's degree is not awarded as part of the RN to MS option.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

This program is ideal for the NP, CNS, and/or CNM.  The DNP program is part-time with online completion. There are clinical experiences required for the degree, but may be complete utilizing student-selected preceptors in the community. There is also a one day, mandatory meeting at the campus or via distance technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a dissertation required?

There is no dissertation required; only a scholarly project.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required for all applicants?

No, the GRE not required.

Will I need to find preceptors to supervise my clinical experiences?

Clinical experiences for the Population Focused Care and the Leadership and Health Policy in Advanced Practice courses do not require a preceptor. Depending on the nature of your DNP capstone project, you may or may not need a preceptor and/or mentor as part of your practicum clinical experience.


US News & World Report (2019-2020)

  • #171 (tie) in National Universities
  • #91 (tie) in Top Public Schools
  • #13 (tie) in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs
  • #21 (tie) in Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #20 (tie) in Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans

NICHE (2019)

  • Best College Food in America #63 of 1,382
  • Best Big Colleges in America #92 of 131
  • Top Public Universities in America #131 of 672
  • Best College Campuses in America #138 of 1,408
  • Best College Dorms in America #232 of 1,370
  • Colleges with the Best Student Life in America #237 of 1,542
  • Colleges with the Best Professors in America #302 of 1,615
  • Best Colleges in America #372 of 1,647
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in America #381 of 1,591
  • Best Value Colleges in America #580 of 1,590
  • Most Conservative Colleges in America #605 of 725
  • Most Diverse Colleges in America #1,318 of 1,592
  • Best College Food in Indiana #3 of 35
  • Top Public Universities in Indiana #3 of 15
  • Best Big Colleges in Indiana #3 of 4
  • Best College Campuses in Indiana #5 of 36
  • Colleges with the Best Student Life in Indiana #6 of 41
  • Best Colleges in Indiana #12 of 42
  • Colleges with the Best Professors in Indiana #12 of 41
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in Indiana #14 of 42
  • Best College Dorms in Indiana #15 of 36
  • Best Value Colleges in Indiana #19 of 42
  • Most Conservative Colleges in Indiana #22 of 27
  • Most Diverse Colleges in Indiana #36 of 42

College Factual (2018)

  • #3 Best Colleges for the Money in Indiana
  • #387 Overall Best Colleges for the Money nationally

Forbes (2018)

  • #503 Top Colleges
  • #178 in Public Colleges
  • #204 in Research Universities
  • #116 in the Midwest

Named a Military Friendly School for nine years by Victory Media. In 2018, Victory Media also ranked the online programs No. 8 in the country.

MONEY Magazine ranked Ball State #486 Best Colleges For Your Money (2018-2019).

Named one of the best universities in the Midwest by The Princeton Review for 14 years.

Designated a doctoral university: higher research activity by The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.


The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the baccalaureate degree in nursing, master's degree in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.

Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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