Academic Program

Whether your career goals include working in a hospital after graduation, pursuing graduate studies to become a family nurse practitioner, or moving on to doctoral work, Ball State’s nursing major will put you on the road to success working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, providers' offices, or home health care facilities.

In years past, Ball State nursing graduates have annual pass rates of 94 to 100 percent on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). And employers routinely tell us that our graduates are very well prepared for their profession.

Our students' successes are thanks to a blend of intense lecture material with practical clinical experience. You will work with high-fidelity simulators that create a real-life experience in our million-dollar campus labs. In addition, you'll get to apply your nursing skills in various clinical sites throughout east-central Indiana.

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Nationally Recognized

Our program is recognized by the National League for Nursing (NLN) Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. We rank among an elite group of programs that are recognized for enhancing student learning and professional development. Learn more.

Ball State is enabling me to attain my goal of working in my local community on a nationwide epidemic. I’m tackling both clinical research and a direct community initiative.

—Hannah Fluhler
Nursing and Pre-Dance/Movement Major
Read about her work to aid newborns suffering from drug withdrawal.


What It’s Like to Major in Nursing at Ball State


Program Requirements

You may complete your nursing degree through one of four concentrations, depending on your existing education and how quickly you plan to progress through our program.

You will take the skills you learn in the laboratory and apply them to real clinical settings under the supervision of nursing faculty. As you progress through the nursing curriculum, you will be exposed to clients across their lifespan in acute, chronic, and rehabilitation states. Throughout the program, you will also master a variety of computer skills.

During your last semester, you’ll take our unique critical care course. You’ll work directly with a nurse in various areas of practice, bringing together all the concepts you’ve learned from the foundational medical-surgical courses.

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Accreditation

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing at Ball State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

Pre-Licensure Concentrations

The regular concentration is a traditional four-year, on-campus concentration that prepares graduates for entry into professional nursing practice as a generalist to provide, design, manage coordinate, and evaluate healthcare for individuals, families, groups, and communities across the lifespan in both structured and unstructured healthcare settings.

Students completing the baccalaureate nursing program and meeting graduation requirements will be eligible to sit for the registered nurse licensure examination.

You will begin the five-semester clinical study in your second year with an introduction to basic nursing concepts and health care appraisal courses. In the third year, your clinical courses include medical-surgical adult health courses, psychiatric nursing, pediatrics, and research. In the fourth year, your clinical courses include nursing of the childbearing family, community health, medical-surgical nursing, critical care, leadership and management, and transition to practice seminar.

If your future plans include a master’s degree or doctoral work, the baccalaureate nursing program is an excellent precursor.

Download Plan of Study

This accelerated concentration allows you to complete your degree in three years rather than four. As a student, you will receive the same high-quality instruction and real-world learning opportunities as our four-year concentration. Students admitted to the university as incoming matriculating students will sign a Degree in 3 contract during undergraduate orientation. The Degree in 3 is an on-campus concentration that prepares graduates for entry into professional nursing practice as a generalist to provide, design, manage coordinate, and evaluate healthcare for individuals, families, groups, and communities across the lifespan in both structured and unstructured healthcare settings.

Students completing the baccalaureate nursing program and meeting graduation requirements will be eligible to sit for the registered nurse licensure examination.

You will begin the five-semester clinical study in your second year with an introduction to basic nursing concepts and health care appraisal courses, medical-surgical adult health courses, psychiatric nursing, pediatrics, and research. In the third year, your clinical courses include nursing of the childbearing family, community health, medical-surgical nursing, critical care, leadership and management, and transition to practice seminar.

If your future plans include a master’s degree or doctoral work, this accelerated program is an excellent precursor.

Download Plan of Study

Do you already have a bachelor’s degree and want a condensed, accelerated pathway to earn a second bachelor’s degree in nursing? Consider our 19-month track

Students completing the accelerated (second) baccalaureate nursing concentration and meeting graduation requirements will be eligible to sit for the registered nurse licensure examination. .

This accelerated program will prepare you to succeed whether you are looking at moving into a nursing career or onto graduate-level work.

Students entering this program may start in the Fall or Spring.

Download Plan of Study

If you’re already a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and want to take the next step to become a Registered Nurse (RN), then Ball State has the perfect pathway for you.

Our LPN to BS concentration allows you to apply your existing experience toward completing your bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Students completing the LPN to BS baccalaureate nursing concentration and meeting graduation requirements will be eligible to sit for the registered nurse licensure examination.

Whether your plans include expanding your nursing role in a hospital or other medical setting, or moving on to pursue graduate-level work, this program is an excellent precursor.

Download Plan of Study

 

Progress through the Program

The assigned Upper Division Advisor will work with you on an individual basis to develop a plan of study, including outlining the prerequisites you need and assisting you in determining the best way to progress through the nursing sequence and complete university Core Curriculum requirements.

The LPN transition concentration allows you to use previously earned science and general studies credits for the baccalaureate program. Other required courses and some elective credits can be transferred from other institutions.

Ball State Core Curriculum courses (general studies courses) may be taken on campus or as independent learning courses (by correspondence) through the School of Extended Education.

Credits

Total: 120

Courses

A few of the classes you will take include:

  • Introduction to Nursing
  • Health Appraisal Across the Lifespan
  • Fundamental Nursing Skills
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
  • Pediatrics
  • Childbearing

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

RN to BS Concentration

If you’re already working as a registered nurse with an associate degree, our RN to BS concentration is an excellent way to make yourself more marketable to employers.

This option—offered entirely online—will give you access to the same faculty in our nationally recognized program while benefiting from the flexibility of its delivery.

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What Can You Do with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

A bachelor’s degree in nursing prepares you to advance your career as a nurse, or to go on to graduate studies in nursing. This degree will prepare you to work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, extended care facilities, clinics, homes, and community health agencies. Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for National Council Licensure Examination for RN licensure (NCLEX-RN®).

You may pursue a career or further education as a/an:

  • Registered Nurse
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Postsecondary Nursing Instructor
  • Nurse Anesthetist

Paying for Your Education


Apply to Ball State

Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all applications on an individual basis. Applying is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

Apply Now


Want to Learn More?

The best way to get a true feel for Ball State is to spend some time here, so we encourage you and your family to schedule a campus visit. Take a tour, attend an information session, meet with a professor in our area, and ask plenty of questions. Or if you’d rather speak to someone directly by phone or email, please feel free to contact us.