As medical and surgical needs become more complex, nurses with graduate degrees are being sought for their ability to provide high-quality care and are highly compensated for their additional skills. Although only 8.8% of the entire RN workforce in Indiana had a master’s degree in 2011, this number has doubled since 1997 according to the Indiana Center for Health Workforce Studies.
Nearly 77% of Indiana’s advanced practice nurses had master’s or doctoral degree in 2011. Two thirds of Indiana’s 3,222 APRNs were nurse practitioners, while the remaining were nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, or clinical nurse specialists.
There is strong interest in obtaining MSN degrees in Indiana. In 2013, there were 2,904 nursing students getting masters degrees in the state according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Two surveys conducted by the Indiana Center for Health Workforce Studies found that a significant number of RNs and LPNs planned to obtain master’s degrees to improve their skill set and earn higher salaries. Seventeen percent of the RNs surveyed in 2011 planned to pursue an MSN in the next two years.
An Analysis of APRN VS Staff Nurse Salaries in Indiana
Since staff nurses in Indiana generally have BSN or ADN degrees, comparing their salaries to those of MSN-educated APRNs demonstrates the earning power of having a master’s degree in nursing in Indiana. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development provides salary information for these professionals from 2013:
Additional data on the benefits of having an MSN in Indiana is apparent in the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses salary survey of the Midwest from 2012. It found that MSN-educated nurses in this region earned an average of $17,858 a year more than those who had BSNs as their highest degree:
- MSN $77,090
- BSN $59,232
Nurse Practitioner Salaries Throughout Indiana
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides an analysis of nurse practitioner salaries in different parts of Indiana in 2013. The salaries for these professionals who were in the top tier of their salary bracket earned at least $187,199 a year in the Bloomington, Columbus, and Terre Haute areas:
Salaries of Nurse Anesthetists in Metropolitan Areas of Indiana
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that nurse anesthetists in the Gary and Indianapolis areas earned the highest salaries of the metropolitan areas that it analyzed in 2013:
*These figures represent hourly wages that are at least $90.00 per hour or annual salaries that are at least $187,199. These are the maximum salaries reported Indiana by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nurse Midwife Salaries in Indiana’s Major Metropolitan Areas
Nurse midwifes in the top tier of their salary bracket earned the most when they were located in the Cincinnati-Middletown area of Indiana according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013):